Ask me on a rainy day…..

December 25, 2016

I awoke earlier than I wanted to this morning…5:00…after tossing and turning I said what the heck….and got up…as Ralph and I  were leaving to drive back to Palm Springs….

 there was a hint of light in the East…as I gazed out across the beautiful ocean….only a few lit boats out….the moon was waning……

 I turned on my favorite radio program I listen to all the time…the BBC…and heard the tail end of the Queen’s Christmas speech to the Commonwealth….it had been pre-recorded…

 she actually was in bed with a Horrendous cold and did not attend the Christmas services at Church today …first time in 31 years….

 there is Something so comforting about her reign …which I hope goes on past my Life…as it is a stability not seen really anywhere….tho she is just a titular head…she Really provides such reaffirmation of the way I see Life……I watched the “Crown” on Netflix…and didn’t realize how much she had to give up in assuming it….in her 20’s…

 as the sun came up….in a totally cloud free sky….I thought how Lucky I have been in Life……as my mind diminishes…my balance faltering…..C’est La Vie……

Ralph and I went down to the Golden Bull for dinner on Channel Road in Santa Monica Friday eve…

I have gone there since 1969 when my Uncle Sumner introduced me to this favorite spot as he motored from his apartment building in West Hollywood to his house in Malibu….

a house I will NEVER forget…as one evening ..actually it was my birthday we were headed out there but stopped to pick up  Dick Crane ( of Crane Plumbing from Chicago)…who lived in Pacific Palisades with his wonderful wife Maggie….

Dick special drink was a “Black Russian”…(extremely lethal)….. we picked them up….before we motored down Chatauqua to the beach to the Bull…..back then it was basically gay…which it is Not anymore…..Maggie was of Scot descent and when she had a few…well she not only began to stutter but she gained  a THICK Scottish brogue 

Don was the bartender then…he now owns it…and it  has lost its gay club atmosphere….as most “gay” bars have…it is wonderfully totally mixed…….

but that night in the 70’s  we dined and then went back to the Cranes house for Black Russians before motoring on to my Uncle’s beach house in Malibu…..

well this was one of those times when the fires were burning all around the area..so we had to drive well inland…and this is after Dick’s lethal Black Russians….

we went North to Oxnard …as flames were licking the area…then back south on Pacific Coast  Highway…where there was a blockade just north of Sumner’s house….

he told the police officer manning the blockade…that he had a 12 year old daughter all alone in his house …and had to get to her….Jim and I looked at each other in disbelief….but we were let through…..

when we reached the house…actually he had several on the property…but the main house had a wooden shingle roof….he told Jim and I to get up there  on top with hoses…telling us if the fire came close to just run down to the ocean (the house had like 300 steps down to the beach…it sat on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean)

as Jim and I were on the roof watering it down….Sumner was in his bedroom with a newly made drink. Bourbon and Ginger…..(we could see him as the house was L-shaped)….he was chatting on the phone with his girl friends…. Betty Ridder (of the Ridder Publications)..as flames were consuming  the Malibu hills

 …Jo her ex ….the Executive Editor of  the San Jose Mercury..and man did he  love his tipple…

Sumner said when he visited his palatial office in San Jose… that had a Large  portrait of the pope…

he said Jo…where is the bar….Jo said oh just go up and punch the Pope in the nose …well Sumner did and the wall flew open exposing the bar…

Jo  was gay and a good friend of Sumner’s…they were in the Navy  on different ships….

they once happened to  meet in Shanghai in a bar…they both had rickshaw drivers…and Sumner bet Jo that his rickshaw driver could beat Jo’s back to their ships which were docked next to each other…..

well Sumner had his driver get Jo’s driver drunk…and when they raced back…Jo’s driver who was trying to beat Sumner’s….he ran so drunkenly fast…. pulling the rickshaw that he and Jo and cart sailed off the pier….

but Sumner this late night was  also talking  to Olivia Dodge ( her father (Irwin) gave their St Paul house  to be the Minnesota  Governors Mansion….she married Artie Dodge…a gay man…she did not know was gay…

I use to stay in the guest home of their Dixie Slope house (that looks like the White House or Mount Vernon..with columns..a long circular drive up)…

…overlooking their pond …..when I was at college…

one night Artie came down off  the Hill and  climbed into bed with me …..which Shocked me at first…and later disgusted me…even tho I am Gay

I felt sorrier for Olivia than Artie..as he was a lost soul…who had married into money…but well just had low self esteem….never found himself

I heard that she bought him a house in like Maine….after they separated…and he use to pick up young boys…

his sail boat was found listlessly meandering  off the coast…with no one in it…

he had just  disappeared…..

but the Bull this Friday when Ralph and I went down was just jumping…we got a fabulous table in the bar….and were mesmerized by these older ladies in red …Loving their cocktails….at the bar….and man did they continue to drink….one toward the end of the evening kept gazing at her Uber app…seeing if any cars were near by….

when we left…the Heavens were pouring buckets down…our car was fortunately parked on the street…but had I not entered the driver’s seat from the passenger’s well my feet would have been totally drowned as it was flooding down…just a river…..which was quite wonderful….

Christmas Eve we took Uber over to Nabil and Jeff’s Fabulous Traditional dinner…

they have done this Wonderful Celebration for our “family” for the last 20-30 years…it is so wonderful…to have this tradition…like the Queen’s Christmas message…they go hand in hand….

but I in my Barbra WaWa way….. asking questions of the Uber drivers

…on the way in..we had Jose…who has 2 children…one like 7 and the other like 15…but he said they are like night and day…the older not into sports except archery…..(I had no idea archery was offered anywhere)….

his 7 year old tho is totally into sports…but does not listen to his coach…as far as playing with the team…this kid would rather run as fast as he can kicking the ball through the park…

Jose said I can teach him that ..so why should I  pay someone else to……

Jose said we were his Last passengers as he had NOT bought any Christmas presents yet….and this was at 4 o’clock and most of the malls shut at 6….and he still had to drive down to distant  Downey where the family were celebrating at his mother’s…he said the party would go until like 2 or 3 in the AM…..

and then after the  Fabulous Christmas Eve dinner where we overate and a mesmerizing game of Charades ..

we had a young Jewish girl Uber…. drive us back at break neck speed….through the deserted streets of Beverly Hills and Santa Monica…

she is 27…works for ABC….has two younger sisters…one coming out from New Jersey to live here…get a job in fashion/wardrobe …..

we talked about Hanukkah..the meaning…how it rarely falls on the same day as Christmas…..

..boy friends…she had one..does NOT want  one now..as she wants to focus on her career….. 

I told her that the Most important thing I have learned in 70 years is to first Love yourself….find a career that you love…and then find The Man with whom you will spend the rest of your Life with…..

as Judi Dench said to her boyfriend of many years…who kept asking her to marry him… 

“Yes ask me on a rainy day in Southampton ” (where she seldom acted… )

Well it did rain once…when she was performing there….

..and the rest is History…..

3 Responses to “Ask me on a rainy day…..”

  1. adelaidedonnelley said

    Rob, I love the way you take off from something in the present and open into a whole world of memories. Our Marcel Proust! J

    Just be careful when driving in a flooded road. I heard on the radio that it only takes 6″ of rain to be sucked up by engine and ruin it. Also that it’s easy to hydroplane and also to get carried away; Any way Merry Christmas and thanks for the memories ;-)) xxd

  2. Richard Steele said

    Love the story once again, your life is so interesting and mine is so hum drum–oh well I love it. Merry Christas and a Happy Healthy New Year and keep writiing. Hugs R&R

  3. Omar said

    I sometimes find myself lost in your stories as if I were living the whole thing through your eyes

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