Opening The Hobbit Door

October 7, 2012

This weekend was …well just WONDERFUL!!!

I rented a Chrysler convertible to motor down Early Friday ….to Palm Springs to stay with  a friend of mine….whom I have mentioned before….he is this just WONDERFUL guy from Milwaukee….

I have always thought most of the “nicest” people come from the Midwest……

Ron is a Realtor….who has sold many houses since he moved from Atlanta  to PS about 12 (?) years ago…and he started introducing all of these people (primarily Gay Guys)…to each other…and as time goes on they they formed the “Palm Springs Boozie Bunch”…and they meet Friday eves for cocktails ….and then again Sunday at the end of the week….and since a lot of them are retired well there are sooo many parties thrown within a month….

their ages float between 40 and death….

but they are all SOO active….whether it is a job they still have…their synagogue ……raising money for the Arts….fighting for their political beliefs…..hiking the hills…or FINALLY putting together THAT photo album that you have been meaning to do for 40 years…..with all the loose photos that you have accumulated over your life…inherited from your  family…and you do NOT know who in the HELL that ugly  old spinster with more wrinkles than God gave a prune …dressed in her black widow weeds..could be…so as you sigh and wonder…you decide to toss it in the trash..as if it means nothing to you and it will definitely NOT mean anything to your family ( and Gil I REALLY want to peruse your albums next time down…as I love to  hear the stories and IMAGINE…what it is to open the Hobbit Door)

Ron is such a delight to stay with as he is so relaxed…..(don’t tell my friend Nabil this) but Friday we lunched at Costco…by just pushing our shopping cart through the aisles…sampling all the different foods they were trying to sell…we ran into a couple who said they there was a book written about How To Become a Millionaire…and one of the suggestions was to dine at Costco…

…..we both got so full….and then Ron bought me a strawberry sundae …that was HUGE….and cost like $1.69……it was a heavenly experience!!!!
We went back and swam in his wonderful pool….until we had to leave to meet the “Boozy Bunch”…..at Azul……a great outdoor/indoor multi-layered club….the “Boozy Bunch” takes over the top floor on Fridays….and man the drinks are sooo inexpensive…like $2.00 for a draft beer and $4.00 for a martini…..

the wonderful thing about this bunch…is that though they are comfortably well off…they still seek a deal….which warms the cockles of my heart…..

we moved from outside to the upstairs inside bar…2 guys (Jack and Greg)…. who are part of the group had just motored in from Milwaukee …..they are old friends of Ron’s….I have never met such effusively HAPPY men in my Life…just to see them makes you smile ….they exudiate (not a word)….warmth…Ron took me over the next day to their condo…and MAN I thought Harriet Craig  must live there…so soo super neat….not a lampshade out of place (sigh!!!)…towels from Buckingham Palace neatly arranged…….

Ron and I had dinner that Friday eve with two wonderful guys….who are devout Jews…Larry was raised Jewish and Ed converted …after they met…and before they married….

I soo enjoy their company as I learn SOO Much about Judaism when with  them…..like Larry often at the end of the service is responsible for taking the Torah…which you can ONLY handle by the ends of the scrolls and with your wrist action snapping them upright….in one action….

and he says the Torah weight 30 pounds….so it takes some talent to accomplish this…..and this weekend is when the end of the Torah  happens…as Moses dies….so they have to re-roll the Torah..back to the beginning ..which entails a huge group of people…in a circle…… only touching by the edges – re-rolling until you reach the Beginning …..

I only knew one Jew growing up….Leo Leva…as my exclusive school…like all white schools back in that era….frowned on Jews and Blacks…..I think it was 8th grade that a Black was finally accepted in………..

But I always felt that of ALL religions that Judaism was/is the MOST accepting….and yet also the most persecuted….(sigh!!)

The reason I went down this weekend was to go to a party…that 2 guys I had met only once before…were having…..Chris and Tim…and they are probably the youngest …of the “Boozy Bunch”….they are not yet retired….Tim is intensely involved with ..well it is Greek to me…but something to do with Computer Systems…Chris ..is one of those talented craftsmen that can physically take hold of your house and remodel it to turn it into the dream you envisioned….

The party was at 7 …which Ron and I thought was late for us old farts….but it was just perfect…as the sun had totally set…the sky was Black…but Bedazzling with  the Diamond Stars in the firmament……

Their house use to belong to the TOP Costume Designer –

Edith Head who was born in 1887  of Jewish parents…her father emigrated from Prussia in 1876……

she  left us all  in 1981…she won 8 Academy Awards …

it is just a magical house…..in a sort of “Spanish California” style…a wonderful swimming  pool in the front yard….and a wonderful yard in the back….where I could imagine  toothpick sized,  bespectacled  Edith with her trademark black bangs….sketching costumes……for Universal’s next film………

I ran into Kyle…who was Tim’s and Chris’s house guest from DC.. I had met him the night before with the Boozy Bunch…..a wonderful…wonderful guy….I being my usual Barbra WaWa …self had 8 million questions for him…..he is young…and has that youthful mysterious Spark in his eyes…..that says he is Enjoying Life…

I asked him if he had had many partners…well he has had 3 I think…but his partner now was REALLY a “Falling Leaves” meeting…

Kyle was in the Air Force..back in the dark ages of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”……and really misses the camaaderie  (sp?) of that experience…which I can totally understand……

the way he met his current partner…he had been in a DC venue…(he lives in DC)….left it and not realized he had left his wallet behind…well this chap came across his wallet…..was walking down the street and saw Kyle driving  down the street so waved Kyle down…..and gave him his wallet…

well a lot of time passes and Kyle is on this social network “Grindr”….and comes across this guys picture…and emails him..”Aren’t You the person that returned my wallet?”……he was and ..well the rest is history…..his partner is currently in the Air Force

My muoth dropped to the floor…as what are the odds of that EVER happening….somebody finding your wallet…seeing you drive down the street…and then reconnecting months later…..

Tim took us on  a tour of their house….

We ended in the Master Bedroom….which was just so so wonderful…..there is a fireplace…one of those rounded Spanish type fireplaces…

…an unbelievably wonderful  Bathroom…with skylights..sunken Moorish tiled baths …showers……and a door to the outside…..

and then MY FAVORITE…

on the right as you enter the bedroom….

there is a Hobbit Door……

that is wooden…rounded at the top….and probably 4 feet off the ground…you have to bend over to open it…once you open it…

are two VERY old  Gold safes……one for Edith’s furs…the other for her jewels and the old sepia photos of her father as a  child in Prussia…..

When Tim opened the larger one…which he had to do with a large gold  crank………one was hit by the scent……of an era long ago…..one can not describe it ………

as behind  that  Hobbit Door IS the  soothingly warm comfortable aromatic  Black and White memories  of times past…………………..

3 Responses to “Opening The Hobbit Door”

  1. Ron said

    As always Rob, was wonderful,as you are! Thanks for sharing the weekend. Ron

  2. tim said

    Wow Rob! What a wonderful and rich written rendering of the weekend gone by! Thank you SO much for your thoughtful and charming penning (not a word! LOL) of a fun time and for reminding me of how lucky and magical our lives really are! OH…and that GORGEOUS CHRYSANTHEMUM you brought over to us as a housewarming. Completely not necessary, but my word, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen such a HUGE speciman of one of these with such a PERFECTLY rounded shape…and the COLOR!!!! You don’t know it, but what you presented us with is my absolute all time favorite color variety of that type of Mum and it reminds me of Virginia where we moved from a year and a half ago! Those always signaled the arrival of fall and all the beauty and mystique as the leaves change colors and the fallen leaves swirl around in a playful tease of summers fading warmth! I have set it just outside our front door so that all who come here can see it and we can see it each time we come and leave our home. It also provides further enrichment as we can see it from INSIDE the house as well and now I think of you each time those beautiful maroon flowers dazzle me with their rich warm tones and then I smile as I realize that a new friendship is also in bloom! XO
    -Tim and Chris

  3. gil melby said

    Thanks, Rob for the very interesting and well written tale of our lives here in Palm Springs, and the very nice party at Tim and Chris’ home.
    We are indeed lucky to have so many good friends here. And, we appreciate your friendship also, and look forward to many more get togethers in the future.

    Gil

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