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Thursday, September 06, 2007

L.A. IN '87 (#2 OF 2)

More recollections of L.A. in 1987:

I had two touristy goals while visiting Los Angeles in 1987 -- one realized, one not.

I had been reading Errol Flynn's autobiography "My Wicked, Wicked Ways." Flynn wrote that he and John Barrymore used to panhandle at Sunset and Vine as a lark. I SO WANTED TO DO THAT! I just wanted to mutter "Spare change?" and get someone to cough up a quarter, on the EXACT SAME SPOT that Flynn and Barrymore once did. But Kathy overruled me. "You idiot, you'll get arrested," she said. (Kathy was never one to spare your feelings.) I then pictured spending a night in an L.A. jail cell.

But I DID get to do "a spot of whittling" (that is, shaving a piece of wood with a knife) in front of the "Beverly Hillbillies" mansion, just like Uncle Jed used to when I was a kid.

Once when we were shopping at a mall, we spotted Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein on "Welcome Back Kotter" and was then in the cast of "Cagney and Lacy." (I'd met Hegyes before at, of all places, my old alma mater Glassboro State College. Hegyes was a GSC alum, and one day in 1977, he visited the campus and taught an acting class I was enrolled in.)

At the mall in L.A., Hegyes and his lady were behind us on the escalator. I turned and started to say, "Hey, didn't you ..." Hegyes smiled and nodded. (He expected the rest of the sentence to go something like, "... used to be in 'Welcome Back Kotter?'") Instead, I said, "... go to Glassboro?"

Hegyes' eyes got wide and he busted out laughing. He probably NEVER heard that one before. I then said, "Just kidding, Robert. I went to Glassboro and met you there once."

One more memory: Kathy photographed me doing something rude with Marilyn Monroe's handprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater. I'll leave it go at that.


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