Thursday, March 25, 2010


Ah yes, California. Also nicknamed Sunny California. That is where I grew up.

We lived in a small house, in a small neighborhood called Harbor City. I never thought of it as a small neighborhood because everything else was so near by. It all seemed connected.

We lived very close to the ocean. To the right of us, perhaps twenty minutes away was Redondo Beach. Needless to say I kept a tan year round. I loved running into those breaking waves until I would get knocked down, then I would panic to pick myself up before the next wave hit because I couldn't swim.

To the left of us approx. thirty-five minutes away, was the city of Long Beach, with many shops and the Greek Orthodox Church, where we faithfully went every Sunday, whether we wanted to or not. Mommas rules!

Like many families do, we occasionally took summer time trips. I loved those fun trips. My Dad was the greatest about making everything fun.
Whenever we went on trips my sister and I would pass the time by singing. My Dad would sometimes join in, (those were the times when God did not answer our prayers).
Daddy was tone deaf. He had the most horrible voice, even our dog would run away when my Dad would sing. I'm not joking the poor dog would really run into another room.

I loved going on those vacations, but when it was time to go back home our favorite song to sing was, 'California Here I Come.'

I loved California. I never wanted to live anywhere else. There are so many things to do, so many places to go.

People come from all over just to walk down the street of the famous Hollywood Blvd and step on the stars.
What is really interesting about Hollywood Blvd is watching all of the weird and crazy people that live in the area. Scary!! Many I'm sure want a Be's, hoping to get discovered.

However there really are truly wonderful things to do there as well. I saw my first wide screen movie at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd and my first real Broadway play, or do they call them off Broadway plays? I think I was about fifteen or sixteen.

It was so exiting to see a real play with real Actors and Actress's performing on stage, right there in front of me. The name of the play was 'The World of Suzie Wong'.

There were other perk to living in California too.
I occasionally got the opportunity to run into an actor or actress a few times in my life.
Most of them many of you will have never heard of because you are not old enough to know about them. But there is one that some of you may recognize.

In 1950 or 1951 there was a weekly television show by the name of 'The Cisco Kid'. It was about two Mexican Cowboys that caught the bad guys in every episode.
The handsome Duncan Renaldo was Cisco and his frumpy side kick Leo Carrillo was Pancho. I watched that show faithfully.
I was about six or seven years old and we were just about to walk into a restaurant when the person coming out of the door and I nearly ran into each other, my mouth dropped open when I looked up to see a very drunk staggering Leo Carillo.
Yes my Pancho was drunk as a skunk, but he was kind enough to give a fan his autograph while swaying back and forth he somehow managed to do just that. Then he staggered out into the parking lot.

My poor Mother had a very hard life, she worked on Terminal Island skinning and boning fish for a cannery.
In 1954 she came home one day after work and told us there was a movie being filmed on the docks in front of the cannery that she worked in and she was going to take us there to watch them film that part of the movie. So that evening off we went. I was so exited, only ten at the time.

The name of the movie was 'On The Waterfront.' I didn't get to ask for any autographs but it was so exiting to watch the filming of the movie. Little did I realize at the time that the actors that were covered in big coats pretending to try to fight the wind and rain , while the water hoses and the fans were really what they were fighting to walk across the docks, could have been people like Dana Andrews and Marlin Brando. Oh just shoot me.

Do you remember the Perry Mason series and his cute little secretary Della Street, played by Barbara Hale.
I can't tell you what year it was but I was well in my teens and we had gone to visit my Aunt Mary, while we were visiting her she took us with her to pick up her daughters at this little place where they could ride horses. We got out of the car and walked up to the fence, this lady walked up to us on the other side of the fence and said Hi. She was so friendly and oh my gosh, it was Barbara Hale. I suppose she was there to pick up one of her kids too. I have no idea? I was just concentrating on how much she looked just like she does on the television. Wow she was tiny and cute.

In my memories of best things that have ever happened to me, this has to be one of the best.
In 1989 I was living in Burbank California. I was going to visit someone in the hospital. I drove into the parking lot at St.Joseph Hospital in Burbank and walked to the front of the hospital. What kind of luck do I have? There was a movie crew there, and it looked like they were just starting to pack up their stuff and who do I see -- Ben Gazzara. I ran up the front stairs called my sister and told her who was out there. She said get his autograph.
So dummy me runs back out the door and says Mr. Gazzara could I please get your autograph for my sister.
He says, love to sweetie but were leaving. Then he says We're just going up to the cemetery. Come on up there and I'll have a lot of time to talk to you., I'll give you my autograph too.

Oh I can't, I replied, I'm here to visit someone. He yelled back, visit them later, come on. His honey's and sweetie's seemed so genuine.
I was so tempted. I yelled back I don't know where it is. He yelled back, as the long train of vans and cars were beginning to role up the hill and out of sight. He gave it one last try as he stuck his head out the car window and waving his hand, come on sweetie and follow us.
And over the hill they went and inside the hospital I went.

You know there are some people that are pretty or handsome on the outside and aren't worth a darn on the inside. And there are some people that may not be as pretty or as handsome as others, but they are so obviously sweet and kind that you see them as a beautiful and caring person.

A personality can make a person beautiful or ugly in the eye of the beholder. And in my opinion Mr. Ben Gazzara is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. He was not flirty, he was just an every day nice guy.

So several years have gone by and I haven't run into any celebrity's so I guess I've reached my quota. I guess I'm not a celebratey magnet after all.

In the meantime I divorced one man and later met another man and we got married.

We moved to a different area and rented a beautiful house. My husband made some friends there and eventually introduced me to a couple of the men.

In my attempt to try and make conversation with them I asked one of the men what kind of work he did. He said he had a little band and played in clubs every now and then until his regular job needed him.

Then I asked the other man what kind of work he did and he said he sometimes drove a truck until his other job need him.

By this time I am really getting curious about these two guys. So I just had to pop that question? Well what are your main jobs?

And they both said almost simultaneously,

We're stuntmen for the movies.
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