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Showing posts from June, 2016

Dusty Hawes

Yesterday another jolt from the universe: the sudden passing of another incredibly special friend: Dusty Haws.

He traveled the world, and was in the Galapagos this week, having a blast with his wife, looking so happy, posting many pictures as he always did. Just Monday I liked his last post saying he was going offline for a few days as they went deeper into the islands. I think he was only in his late 40's.

Dusty and I met in LA when he was college age. I'd put a bookmark in my styling work to write full time for a year or two... and in the land of film dominance, I found I needed to spend time around books and people who read to both fuel my efforts and break the isolation of writing life. I took a pleasant, non-stressful, part time gig at Book Stop in the Beverly Center... and there I met Dusty. We seemed the only two employees who felt if we were going to spend our time at something, we'd do it 110% - regardless of earning only minimum wage. We had book stacking contes…

Teaching Kids

Aw. Warmed my heart to see this. Apparently this is still on the blackboard from when I introduced myself to 4-8 year olds when I was teaching cooking classes to them. We made cupcakes, and sandwiches shaped like squirrels (oh yes we did), made bananas into dolphins (holding grapes like a ball in their mouths), etc. More work than it sounds like but we have fun. I really love teaching kids animal rescue and animal appreciation from time to time there as well.

Photo by Chris Wren

Rest in Peace Muhammad Ali

I was about 16 years old, attending the all-weekend gatherings at the home of Danny Thomas that sprang up every year around the annual St. Jude Children's Research Hospital banquet in LA.

I was at a lunch buffet table in their living room stabbing at some sliced tomatoes (amazing what you remember), and felt a warm breeze on my neck. I looked up - no windows were open, even though it was sunny out. It was an ordinary moment, a tiny detail. I felt it again, then again - and then... I became aware of a presence behind me.

Naturally I turned around and there was Muhammad Ali, square jawed, close clipped hair, looking down at me with intense dark eyes. Then suddenly, he broke into a huge smile. I remember how broad it was, and that his teeth were brilliantly white. He'd been breathing on my neck - and not what that seems to imply...

He was just a prankster. Having seen the way he messed with his opponents in the ring, I realize now it was an honor to be the receiver on the harmles…