Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The long awaited final post about my Dad and Judy's visit

Apologies for the long delay in posts... I've been working on my first project for Group 101. More on that later. Until then, here's the final entry in the story of my dad and stepmom Judy's visit in Hollywood:

My dad's last day in Los Angeles was Saturday, Sept. 11th. It was only fitting, although not planned, that I took him to the L.A. Firefighters Museum to see their monument made in tribute to their fallen brothers and sisters. Actually, the monument is only in parts, as they need about $500,000 to finish it. The most important pieces are on display - five lifesized bronze statues depicting firefighters in action, including an EMT trained fireman rescuing another sprawled on the ground.

My dad almost immediately struck a repoir with one of the museum's volunteers, a grey haired, mustached retired firemen with credentials on par with my dad, in that both were firemen for about as long, and both retired at the rank of Captain. They exchanged "war stories" as we received a tour of the museum's relics: the stuff my dad used when he was a working fireman. Old bulky air tanks and masks, complex climbing ladders, and those large round trampoline looking things that you see in old movies for people to jump out of burning buildings onto. Both my dad and the guide remember training with it, but can't recall anyone having actually ever used one... exept during training.

When we were almost finished our tour guide invited us to have lunch in the firehouse kitchen... with other retired firemen. I knew my dad wanted to say yes, and so did I - I remember him telling more stories about life at the firehouse, hanging out with th guys, than of actual fires. But we already had plans to take Claire and Judy to Pinks for hot dogs. When we explained this to the firemen, he completely understood. (the Firefighter's Museum is only open Saturdays 10 to 4, and as long as you call ahead so they can make sure they have enough groceries, you too can have lunch with and made by real life heroes with a mere suggested additional donation of $5, probably the greatest secret in L.A. dining ever).

So, after a short stop at the museum gift shop, we picked up Claire and Judy, and headed for Pinks.

This would be my dad and Judy's only "celebrity sighting" on their visit, not counting their trip to see the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where they were sorta cheated with a guest line up including Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw. They were also cheated at Pinks, since they didn't know who Patricia Arquette was, or is. Anyway, Judy got a "Martha Stewart Dog", and my dad a chili cheese dog. I forget what Claire got, but whatever it was sure was delicious, as all dogs at Pinks are.

That pretty much wrapped up my dad and Judy's trip. Claire had another performance that night, so I had dinner with my dad and Judy, and afterwards, Judy hit the sack while I abandoned my dad at the Renaissance bar to pick up Claire. When I returned, my dad was happy to recount that a hooker tried picking him up. We had some drinks before our goodnights, leaving me with a few hours to sleep before giving them a ride and send off at LAX.

suggested reading: A New York Call Girls blog, Tony Pierce wrote a very nice piece about his mom for her birthday, and Katzinjammer's been thrown in the slammer again.