Social Summer Somethings

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Chez Nous was a destination for The Knoxville chapter of The Andy Griffith Show Re-run Watchers Club.

I want to talk about some local somethings that are a great way to enjoy a super summer. Just walking Skye in the neighborhood and eying the gardens is a joy. Between swimming (medical appointments), ping-pong, quicken, movies and writing, writing, writing, the days are zipping by. Outings with friends and family, all in the circumference of home, are like a drawn out stay-cation.

On Father’s Day we were treated by David’s kids, Adam and Sheri, to an evening at L.A. Live. If you haven’t been downtown for a year or so it might be hard to believe. The area near the old Convention Center is like a little island of New York, glitz and all. Arenas, hotels, bowling, night clubs, sports bars, entertainments, light meals, fancy dining and all things in between have sprung up like Brigadoon out of a Catalina Eddy. Great people watching. We had drinks overlooking downtown at Wolfgang Puck’s WP24 (he also has a bar and grill on the main drag). Then dinner at Rosa Mexicano. Fun and yummito.

Ray Aghayan and Bob Mackie, dear old friends and both great and award winning costume designers for films and television, joined us in our hood at Tony’s Mexican Grill. It was a pleasure to be casual and reminisce. David and I knew Ray from L.A. City College. If it weren’t for Ray, I’d never have entered the world of musicals. And Bob’s first big production (he won the Emmy), Alice Through the Looking Glass at NBC, allowed me my first Bob Mackie costume. (I was a Daisy in a magic garden.) Ray and Bob are also great friends of Jo Anne Worley (via Billy Barnes Revues), and Selette Eckstein (from LACC). I love how friends weave together.

Jo Anne and I went to see CHiPs the Musical at the Falcon Theatre. Garry Marshall again mates with the Troubadour Theater Company and brings great silliness via his terrific venue. The Troubies are fail-safe funny and makes me wish I were young enough to play with them.

It was nice to play and plot with Selette Eckstein when we lunched at Carnival for some favorite Lebanese salad. Selette was married to the late George Eckstein. I loved him so much and knew George as the producer of the first Billy Barnes Revue.

And winning the prize for coming the longest way, a group of Mayberry friends took David and me to Chez Nous in Toluca Lake. They are members of the Knoxville Chapter of the Andy Griffith Show Re-run Watchers Club. We became friends in Mt. Airy during many Mayberry Days. They were tickled to eat at a place that Andy used to go to and enjoyed checking out the neighborhood for more Andy locations. So thanks for a sweet time to Stephanie and Kent Baker and their girls Emellie and Lexy, Michael Lowery and my own Mr. Schwump, Dennis Beal.

We are heading out with a group from Actors and Others for Animals to attend the next taping of Hot in Cleveland to be cheerleaders for our board member, Betty White, not that she needs any these amazing days.

It has been go, go, go. As Anton Chekhov said, “Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out.” True, but in the best of ways!

As Tolucan Times writers Lawrence and Lawrence, we were invited to a casual lunch at Santa Monica’s Viceroy Hotel (a trip in itself!) by Arnelle Kendall, our friend from The Red Carnation Hotels, who is also V.P. of Public Relations for Travel Corporation. It was an opportunity to meet with the presidents of eight of their brands and learn of some up to date excitement in the Boutique Travel world. We’ll be talking about these varied and creative travel folks, but you might Google of Travel Corporation for a bit of dazzle.

So, just sharing some pleasures and keeping an even pace. …

We’ll talk!

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