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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

 The Algonquin  it ain't, and I'm hardly Dorothy Parker, but the luncheons that have become a sort-of monthly event with our friends, published authors Jim Morris and Kenn Miller do put me in mind of that pinnacle of American literary levity. 
That's Jim at the head of the table. Kenn is to his left.
These veterans of various military conflicts have little reason to be amusing and entertaining about the world, but they are. I love their books. They recently introduced us to Steven Rothblatt, across the table from me. His film, Oh Baby, is currently in the festival circuit. The best single link for it may be this one, for when it screened at USC . Here's the trailer and here’s a cool link to photos from the premiere of the film (in Hollywood at the Renberg Theatre) and other pics related to the film:
I asked Steven how he came to make such a film. Here's what he said.
My spouse, John (author of Where The Sun Sets) says we've started a buzz in the neighborhood. Well, if they weren't already buzzing, it's hardly my fault.

Our coterie hasn't come up with solutions for ALL the world's problems, but it ain't for not trying. I'll not mention the wonderful neighborhood cafe where we meet by name because the last time I did that, you couldn't get in the place at lunchtime for two months.

Another recent meeting of note: 
There was a reunion of the publications department of the L.A. Country Medical Association Sunday, September 5th, at the home of Howard Bender: former editor of the in-house organ, LACMA Physician magazine.
Back row from left, Randy Lander, Andrea David, our host, Howard Bender and Mike Villaire; in front on my left is Summer West.

Howard went on to greater executive duties elsewhere. His successors were Summer West and Mike Villaire. Andrea David was the advertising manager. She and I have, at least, lunched occasionally through the years. I hadn’t seen any of the others since I left the place twenty years ago. Andrea’s job fell into my lab when she left for greener pastures. (I had been secretary for the department up to that point.)

Andrea and Randy. Randy was our department secretary for a while - in between numerous other positions at the association.

The magazine’s printing company asked us if we would please, please, please send them our copy digitally! They even furnished the computer for us to do so. As department secretary, I got the job of jockeying the infernal machine. That was in '82. You'd think by now I'd have figured out how to use the damn things
Our host put in his years putting out the magazine, but his heart was always in producing game shows, so at this party, he directed us to form two teams and try to answer questions he had prepared about our years together. He even furnished little punch bells to ring in on.
Well, it's official. My memory is shot to hell. I don't think I answered a single damn question.  Oh yeah, I did get one about me, but I can’t remember what it was.
Summer's husband and son were the only guests other than yours truly to take advantage of the gorgeous pool, but everyone had a glorious time anyway.Of course, nobody got a picture of me doing my famous swan. Oh well.

Thank you, Elissa (Mrs. Bender), for the great spread. And thank you, number one son, Fletcher, for the great grilling. 

Daughter, Amanda, was away – I think at school – so I’ve yet to meet her.
Thank goodness Summer West (mother of the swimmer) had a good camera and the skills to provide these pictures. Many thanks.

PS.  Would the person who brought this lovely plant to our Fourth of July party please e-mail and confess.
ALSO – we found a stack of pristine posters for The Devil in Miss Jones on a shelf in the bedroom recently. I vaguely remember someone handing them to me at the party and my stashing them on the shelf – but I have no idea who it was, nor can I remember if I was supposed to sign and return them, or what. If anyone has any information about this matter, please HELP.

Georgie and John

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