I spent the next few days at my friend Walden’s in the desert north of San Bernadino. Cars and guitars are Walden’s passion. He restores vintage Chevies and Corvettes from the 50s and 60s and his services are in constant demand. A fine musician as well, he also has a great collection of fine guitars and mandolins. I tried to play ‘em all. I also picked up a Martin Cowboy guitar that Walden had ordered for me months back. I do like my cowboy guitars.
As Dante descended into the Inferno, so I dropped down into the LA basin and battled traffic out to the Pacific Palisades where my old amigo Gary Boyle lives. Gary had come to visit me at The Home Ranch earlier in the summer and had a fine time. Both of us have a passion for the west, both real and romantic, and have ridden many miles together. Indeed, the next morning I got to take a ride with him up in the Santa Monica Mountains.
My whirlwind stay in LA included seeing many old and good friends. I had dinner with Steve and Janet Cooper. Steve and I go way back to UCLA days and a guy could have no better friend. I was lucky in that my nephews, Stephen and Scott Cohen, were both home when I showed up for dinner at sister Ann and bro-in-law Andy’s place in Culver City. Great to see them all in one spot at the same time! I also stopped by to see Tom and Renee Harnsberger, who live in the Palisades not far from Gary’s. Then there was an afternoon with Walt LaRue, artist, singer, raconteur, and my great pal. Finally, heading up Highway 1 on the way out of town, I squeezed in a visit with Mike and Evelyn Preece in Point Dume. Mike had just had his knee replaced and was hobbling, but sure enough on the mend. Nothing can shake Mike’s sense of humor. He and Evie are two of my favorite people.
While I will always miss my friends in Los Angeles, I don’t regret leaving. Living in less crowded and generally more user-friendly locales these last few years has been a treat. While it’s never easy to pull up stakes and leave one’s friends, it was time for a new adventure for me, an adventure that continues to this day.
on the dock of the Bay…
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