Tuesday, April 30, 2019



Proof positive, of a dubious pseudo fact:  Continual use of marijuana does not kill you nor (in this case only - individual results will rely on the person's state of mind and age) make you silly.

By my exceedingly rough use of mathematics, Willie has been on the unlit end of a joint for at least 66 years.   The only apparent side effect is that he does have chronic COPD which has, to date, been successfully treated.  His love of entertaining others is so deep that it will surprise very few of you if the day came when he took the stage with an oxygen bottle in each boot.

Toward a More Colorful Vocabulary - "I need this like a submarine needs a screen door."

"Jeopardy"  If there is a fan club for James Holzhauer whose winnings as of last night are $1,329,604, sign me up.  The first time he played and started out by betting all of the $1,000 clues first, I was impressed.  Talk about "Go big, or go home"... And then worked his way up to the $200 level.

This "Start for the Big $$$" has affected ensuing contestants.  More than a few of them now do it the James Way.

I think it's sportsmanlike on his part to leave the easy pickins for his fellow contestants.  I think they have all (or pretty much all)  resigned themselves to the fact that he rarely gets it wrong and he's gonna win anyhow.

Doesn't hurt that he's not exactly ugly, too.  And very family oriented.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Could the Pope Just Shut TF Up?

I really am tired of his proclamations regarding OUR country.  Stay in the Vatican, Holiness, and don't come around opining on subjects you know nothing about.

I was, most definitely, not pleased to read that he had directed the sum of half-a-million dollars to feed and shelter the caravans of illegals awaiting a moonless night to sneak in from the northern border of Mexico over our southern border.  Of some 27 "helpful aid" separate funds of the half a mill  available, 13 have been funded.

I believe this funding is being administered by various dioceses for such as food, shelter (paying for hotel stays for illegals among others)  If you don't think there are some really rancid deals going down with a free supply of funding you are either not paying attention or a stranger to Mexican shores.  And please note:  I love Mexico and could probably live there, perfectly content.

In another diatribe released this week, he called on Catholic young people to stand by Mother Mary who has, according to his Holiness, undertaken brutal treatment.  This after his priests were molesting kids for years and years and years.  Right - "Come to Mary and let Father Budweiser grope you - he missed you last time; think you were home with a cold."

Millions of Catholic youngsters will scurry to find out what their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents (it's been going on that long) were talking about... Yet another example of the stupidity of the Church.  His audience is so brainwashed, it is thought that youngsters will just flock to Church.

Today's tidbit is that the Pope has taken on the beauty industry, warning a group of hair stylists, barbers and beauticians who were paying him a call, to eschew gossiping while they work.  He feels that it is not a Christian thing to do.  Be kind to one another.

The Pope also reminded them that their patron saint, St. Martino de Porres, a 16th century barber/surgeon was also the patron saint of innkeepers, mixed races, and public health workers.  I hope this latter item does not include the woefully inadequate Children's Protective Services which has a morbidly insane number of children killed by parents when they were turned back over to them.
Back to St. Martino de Porres.  He achieved sainthood, it is written for:  levitating, being in two places at once, instant cures and the ability to talk to animals.  Mull over the latter.

In defense of the above (sort of) of all of the Catholics I know, only ONE (1) is not a lapsed Catholic.
Quoniam res ipsa laquitur  The thing speaks for itself.

Dear Pope - the Vatican has a wall around it - why don't you stay behind it and leave the United States alone?  Thank you for your consideration.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

What the Very Hell Were So Many of Us Thinking?

I am referring to the HBO broadcast "The Sopranos"  It ran a lengthy six seasons with 86 episodes from Jan. 10, 1999, to June 10, 2007.

For nostalgia or what? on Richie's part but he brought home the first six episodes from the library last Saturday.  Born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island, he has long been familiar with that group.  He regards them as more legit than our politicians.  And I can't really call "Bullshit!" on that.

Since it ended 12 years ago, I hadn't given it any thought since then and I should have.

The Sopranos  is a Fuck Fest from start (1999) to finish.  I wish I had a dollar for every time someone in the show uttered it with varying degrees of intensity.  I'd able to afford a new outfit or a $200 dinner at Abigaile's, Hermosa Beach.  

 It's usage was practiced with enthusiasm by all of the characters in the show (shunning only Father Phil, but then he was somewhat pre- occupied with trying to fend off Mrs. Soprano.)  

The superfluous violence truly appalled me.  Apparently a sucker punch and subsequent kicking of the greeter is Mafia custom.  These early shows totally favored kicking the shit out of perceived bad guys.  For no reason that I could see.  Where was mandatory Anger Management when so desperately needed?

Back in real life, when Ralphie,  the English-accent guy got beheaded in a bathtub, that was it for me.  So over the top as to never be credible at all.  That's when I picked up a book when the show came on.  

A practice I am thinking of restating.  

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Tribe Increases, Richie Writes a Letter, Humans and Pets

* My nephew Steve and his wife Gabriel had their first baby yesterday at 1:49 p.m. CST.  Alaina weighed in at 7 lbs. 12 oz.and Steve reported seconds later "Both girls are fine!"  

Out here we had been clock watching since we got up as we knew it was to be a C-section.  A happy ending for all and a great future to look forward to!  

*Richie favored the LA Times Sports section with this letter:

Beware, Marseilles, and all of France.  The flim-flam man is in town.  He has big plans, big dreams, but he stays in a hotel - sound familiar?

I bet he has his suitcase packed, ready to go.

On, no!  Jamie as ambassador to France - what a double header!  Hide your baguettes, croissants and your Euros!  
     Richard W Murphy, Redondo Beach 

* Humans and Pets - Our pets work for treats; humans work for face lickings and purrs!

Friday, April 26, 2019

A Summer Fun Idea

Near the beginning of May, we might not be considering a summer trip, but if you are still in recovery mode from a brutal winter (and some of you had one!) then that's a different story.

Browsing through an issue of the Brit mag Tattler, I discovered that the Aristotle Onassis heirs (what there are of them) clearly have come upon an unexpected loss of funding.  To recoup, they have apparently decided to rent out his old yacht (how funny is it to roll that around in your mind - "old yacht")  for the summer months.

The Christina O was retrofitted in 2018 to contain 17 luxury quarters en suite bathrooms  for some 34 guests.  The ship is 325 ft. long and carries a crew of 38.   The dining room comfortably serves 40 and for in-shore parties can entertain some 250 people.

The swimming pool that converts to a dance floor is still there, but no mention was made of the barstools purportedly made of the penis of a whale.  There's a garage sale item for you!    

Top speed should you tire of your present location is 19 knots/32 mph.

And how much for this forever memorable treat?  That will be 90,000 EUROS per day.

There are a number of yacht brokers that have it on offer which gave me an idea … you would have to bribe one of them - say 1,000 Euros a day (for  a savings of 89,000 Euros a day) - to tell all of the other panting brokers, "Oh, she's out for a couple of days on a customer's insistence on a trial run."  That should shut them up and you will spend $5.000 approx..

Let me know if you want in … at the moment, the month of August is full.  

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Birthdays ...

Today is mine.  Today's LA Times offered this bit of dubious comfort from Satchel Paige:

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?"

And I thought to myself (the cats weren't interested)  "And the older you get, the more it applies."

Thank you, Satchel Paige.

And to any interested parties, I'm shooting for 35.  Rah ha ha ha ha

Another way to describe birthday years:  How many times around the sun have you made?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

No More Garden Hose Up the Poop Chute!

Ah, most science is truly a blessing to mankind.  I am talking about the home colonoscopy test to explain the rather unusual heading of this piece.

My ob/gyn was looking through my chart and remarked, "Did you know that your last one was in 2004?"

"Er, no …" as I edged closer to the end of the exam table and began to stare steadily at the door...the wheels were beginning to turn - "Escape!  Red Alert!  Run!"

Giving me the eye, laughing, he said, "Good news - "  "My doctor is deranged?" I thought. And edged a little farther down the table toward freedom.

He said, "There is a home kit - non-invasive - it's 93 per cent accurate - and if you'd like, I can arrange for one to be sent to you.   They provide the packing and you sent it back postage pre-paid and that's it.  They send me the results.

"YOU BETCHA!" I replied.

It arrived in yesterday's mail.

 Much, much better, isn't it?  The brand is Cologuard and the results should be sent to my doctor within two weeks.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Home Sick but not dying? Amusements.

jigzone.com  Jigsaw puzzles - free - and you can choose from probably more than 20 varieties of things to put back together - Travel, Sports, Animals, Flowers … enough to whet your appetite.

www.itchyfootcomics.com   A cartoonist's take on international travel.  France:  open from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I also like to kick around in boredpanda.com  Weirdness of our fellow inhabitants on Planet Earth, unusual art skills, trending now - tattoos that look like they were embroidered …

Get well fast!  But while you do … see above.

Woe Is Me

Friday I began to exhibit signs of an Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) and Saturday went to Urgent Care for two prescriptions both of which are helping.   I finally have a little appetite back, didn't take any afternoon naps Monday and am clearly creeping along (on knees now, not just hands and knees) and hoping for the best and damned soon!

A catalog new to my acquaintance popped up Monday.  CatalogFavotires.com

These picks are for "funny" t-shirts -

The officer said, "You drinking?" and said, "You buyin'?'   We just laughed and laughed!    I NEED BAIL MONEY

I would like to thank my middle finger for always sticking up for me when I need it.

Sawdust is man glitter.

Pubs:  the official sunblock of Ireland

Just remember:  if we get caught you're deaf and I don't speak English

And especially for the Trump Deranged*- The Countdown To Trump's Last Day Clock-
2 1/2 x4, plastic, requires 2 AA batteries  $12.95

The face of the one shown reads:

662 days  23 hours  48 minutes 05 seconds

* Deranged because every single thing he does is immediately negatively commented on.  If he donated his salary to a ghetto primary school, the media would howl - "Trump Bribing Future Voters!  For himself!"

From the point-of-view of history no one single person can be guilty of ALL he is supposed to have done!  Think of Lucretia Borgia?  Machiavelli?

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A Happy Wish For Easter

If you're hosting. I hope everyone you invited shows up and that when they did, they don't bring along three or four more!

A gentle hint - plastic eggs that lie undiscovered don't smell ...

Thursday, April 18, 2019

What To Be Careful About If You're Cheating on Your Spouse in NY City

The Doorman where you live:  They notice when you have "gentlemen callers" and your legal mate is out of town.  Whether or not they'll rat you out may depend on the amount of your Christmas tip.

The Maitre'd - When you make a reservation at a restaurant that has one.  Especially if you made an off-the-books reservation or ask for tables in "Siberia" the wildly unpopular part of the restaurant and offer cash to pay the bill.  One maitre'd told Town and Country that he's trained staff never to say, "Nice to see you again!"   because the woman with him may start asking, "So?  Who were you here with? Hmmm"

The Concierge - tip-offs that you may not be with your spouse -  are … you want to pay the bill in cash.  You might argue about having to leave a credit card number for an incidentals incurred during your stay there.  You didn't bring any luggage … what if someone at home noticed your overnighter was missing?

The Florist - The wife gets the higher-priced bouquet.  You sign the card with just initials (presumably yours) to the sweetheart.  The mistress gets lower entry flowers (but possibly with a bit of jewelry tucked among the blossoms to make up for it.)

And finally, the most unlikely to happen - the Real Estate agent - with whom you negotiate a lease on quarters for the mistress.  Please!  Guys still pay apartment rents these days?  I don't. think. so.  Of course I'm not in the running for a mega-million beaux either.

This is the thing about Town and Country … they go along nicely and then they throw in something so patently absurd that you can't do anything but laugh.  It's the only reason I pay $12 a year to get it.      

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Ladies! We Have a New Idol!

As opposed to the #Me, Too trash, we have a genuine female to emulate and adore.

Yesterday, I had the annual 30,000 miles inspection at the Ob/gyns.  Dr. J and I have been friends since my first appointment with him in 1987.    We have lived through his first engagement -she dumped him and broke his heart, but he proved to be resilient and found another.  They married; they had two sons (now 27 and 23) and she magically turned into an alcoholic.  Onward we went through a long and extremely vicious divorce.   I say "we" to indicate my total support.  Dr. J is as a lamb to the slaughter in some instances.

Then his mother died; a lovely obit in the local paper, so I got out my monogramed note paper (possibly the last of this means of communication in North America) and wrote him a condolence note.

Yesterday, he pulled it out of my file and thanked me for it.  He said that she had been 94 and we agreed that was a good run.  I asked about his father (to see how old he could be) and he said, "Oh, he died 15 years ago."

"How sad for her," I said to be alone all of that time and at that age.  He grinned and said, "Oh, she wasn't alone - she had a boyfriend!  A doctor."

Awed, I said, "A doktuh?"  And he replied, "Yes, a doctor who liked to sit on his wallet!"

Unimpressed now, I said that they're all cheap (never having dated one anyhow;)  You should have gotten her a lawyer!  They spend like crazy!"

To which he said, rather emphatically, "Sure - because they're all drunk all of the time!"

I replied, "And you say that like it's a bad thing?!"  

He grinned and said, (wait for it) Her boyfriend was 10 years younger!"

"OMG!" I nearly screamed - "She's my new idol!"

To any men who may have strayed into this column, all of my married female friends have said, to a woman, "If something happened to my precious (insert name here) I would never remarry.  Never!  It was too hard breaking in the first one."

So comfort yourselves, gentlemen, your wives all plan  to be more or less faithful to your beloved memory.  And most of us wives have urged them to remarry if (tragically you may be sure) we pre-decease you.  I even have the perfect candidate picked out for Richie!  I did ask though that he not propose at the graveyard as a small courtesy.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Already With the Jokes

As the shock of the Notre Dame fire begins to wane; the heartening news that it will repaired - and already two fashion labels have pledged $100 million and $200 million Euros for this project-  one comment about it.  

"They interrogated Quasimodo; he didn't say much, but he did say he had a hunch."

(author unknown) 

Monday, April 15, 2019

No Eggs Were Harmed in the Making of These Easter Dishes

This is a recipe I've used for years because it's an excellent side dish with a ham.

1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar, cream together
Beat in two whole eggs
Add one 19 .oz can crushed pineapple
Pour over 5 cups cubed white bread (air bread is especially good) and let it all soak together evenly
Season with ginger or all spice or (ta dah) Pumpkin Pie Seasoning, which is made of:
ground cinnamon
lemon peel
cloves and cardamom.
Bake at 350 until golden-colored and bubbling.

1/4 cup minced red onion
3 large peaches, skinned and diced or chopped
2 T olive oil
2 or 3 T lime juice
Garnish with sprigs of cilantro

Mix it all up and serve as an addition to a slice of ham.

Ham Hint
If there are only four or five guests expected at your table you don't need a whole or half ham.  What I did last year and will do again this year, is swagger over to the Deli section of our supermarket and buy a pound and a half of Black Forest ham, sliced 1/2 in. thick.  It's just as expensive as a whole ham, but no bone, no waste - just pure ham which I will coat with brown sugar and Pumpkin Pie Spice and bake so that the top of each slice of ham will have glaze/crust.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

If You Invite Them, They Will Come

Sanctuary States  where illegal aliens are welcomed are:

California (where else?)
New Jersey (Mafia members?)
New Mexico

For all the rest of the residents of these states, who disagree with this, our hearts and prayers go out to you.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Mike Aliotta's Florence Street Italian Restaurant

Real name of this excellent Italian restaurant is:  Alliota's Via Firenz, located at 4485 Torrance (corner with Anza, Torrance.)  310-371-9555

Chef Mike Aliotta opened it in 1999 and it has clearly flourished ever since.  "Best Italian Restaurant" several times and so forth.   They are open for lunch and dinner.

Richie wanted a celebratory dinner for my recent and surprising brush with minor fame.  I am always open to "eating out."

Italian meals - if eaten in the classic  food order - salty snacks, salad, then pasta, then main course and if you're still upright in your chair and not face down in the entrée, dessert should take what?  Four hours?  We didn't want to miss "Jeopardy" and another appearance of the professional sports gambler who is clearly going for $1 million in prize money.  His instant replies - and the right ones - amazes me.  he is one smart dude.

So we went straight to an entrée each and the wine list.  A split of sparkling prosecco for me; a glass of red for him.  The first thing that came to the table was a basket of warm, sliced Italian baguette and little puffy rolls with the saucer for mixing balsamic vinegar and olive oil together in which to dip pieces of the lovely bread.

I ordered Don Mike's Scampi which is seven ginormous shrimp, wrapped in prosciutto with a Sambuca Romano cream sauce.  $30 for the seven big shrimp.  It comes on a bed of creamed spinach which I loathe so I asked if it might be possible to have angel hair instead? and our server murmured reassurances that, of course!  He was very affable, an older man of great charm and warmth.

Richie ordered the Vitello Saltimbocca,  veal scaloppini topped with prosciutto and mozzarella in a sage wine sauce.  $29.  He liked it so well that he departed from tradition (eat half; take home the other) and ate the whole thing.  Last night he had to look enviously at my leftover shrimp (4 - I said they were big) and the rest of my pasta.

Two glasses of red for him; two splits for me and the tab came to 117.16 before a $25 tip.

Friday, April 12, 2019

From my thank you note ...

To  reporter Michael Hixson and photographer Chuck Bennett …"Otherwise to remain newsworthy (and sell more books) I have about decided on a pole dancing as a new career.  "78 year old woman dances  at the Kiss Kiss Kitty Kat Klub.  "I didn't know you could do that with a walker!" cooed Miss Better Naked Than Dead."

When PR Works - Payday!

This week's coverage and how I got it.  Sudden stardom only occurred due to very good luck indeed.

#1  the estimable Jim Mueller, producer of the South Bay Stories Show, invited me to be a part of this year's fifth show.  The invitation was issued in January for a March 30-31st show date.  Blithely I signed on, thinking to myself, "Hell, we may all be dead by then; no worries" and skipped off on my merry way.

As you have noted no obit notices for cast and crew.  Appearing by myself on a vastly empty stage nearly killed me, but that's old news.

This is the key to today's fantastic personal news.  The pre-show stories gave me a big boost and an editor at the Long Beach Press-Telegram asked Michael Hixson, the reporter for both the Beach Reporter and the Daily Breeze to re-interview me with an eye for additional mention of the Long Beach Grand Prix.  All the papers + nine more are owned by the same company.

Thus today, I saw:

front cover, above the fold - Daily Breeze with a jump to 5
front cover The Beach Reporter with a jump to pages 16 and 17
the Press Telegram
Los Angeles Daily News 

Meanwhile a reporter at Spectrum News 1 saw the article and invited me to do a video blog.  Previously covered here. )

Ah, when PR works... bliss.  

If this baby blitz on the locals doesn't sell some books, I will be more than rather disappointed.  "And the Best Blog Is:  Word of Mouth" by Nina Murphy  amazon.com

Thursday, April 11, 2019

In Which I Reluctantly Turn Down A Video Blog Appearance

Imagine my surprise yesterday at receiving an e-mail from one Nic Kim, a reporter for Spectrum News1, which covers local news in depth and with great interest.  (spectrumnews1.com)  I noted on the site that they must have 30+ reporters with cameras roaming our fair land.  You can bet they're competitive and hungry for material.  

He asked if I would like to met him at the Long Beach Grand Prix, tour the track with me adding comment at the various turns with the addition of some of my old shots.  It would be him to interview and him as the cameraman.  He insisted he wouldn't get in my way as I shot the race. 

In the thrill of being invited to participate, I forgot the part about I haven't shot a race in 33 years.  I am long past the physical ability to stomp along the course in blazing sun, carrying a 25-30 lb. camera bag.  Pity that, but we do (if we're lucky) age and some skills depart forever.  Hanging up the rollerblades at 70; no longer fitting a size 10 … all fleeting but fun while they lasted.  

However, just because they can't have me, doesn't mean that you can't do something similar.  Say you're running a non-profit for a worthy charity.  Did you start it?  How did you get into it?  Why?  You may be sitting on a very good piece.

Did you invent something?  Have a good idea - why can't we do (fill in) this?  

They want "local" and they're all over the U.S. - New York, Chicago, and many more.  

  See yesterday's Comments with his. which explains more.  You're welcome!  

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Please Excuse Some Bragging ...

I've been lucky enough to garner some personal PR in the form of a lengthy news story tying me to the Long Beach Grand Prix this weekend because as a former freelance journalist, I shot the first one (1975.)

To see it - and the nine photos accompanying the article, go Google 

"Finding the sweet spot" + Nina Murphy

I am triply happy because it is running in the Beach Reporter, the Daily Breeze Web site and the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

If this doesn't help sell my book, nothing ever will.  As a thank you to Michael Hixson who wrote the piece and Chuck Bennet, who shot it, I probably should cut them in for 10 per cent of any royalties paid me.  First let's see if all of this hoop-la generates any.  10% of $4 would be 40 cents, so this is not exactly a windfall for them.    

Monday, April 8, 2019

Waiting for Survey Results To Trickle In

Recently - in fact it was yesterday -  I queried the five ex-pat Brits I know to answer this pressing question:

With Queen Elizabeth II in office, if you will, has this helped or hindered the elections of female Prime Ministers (of which so far there have been two)?

The first responder didn't address this, but did Brexit - which is running longer that sitting through "Gone With the Wind" twice.

I am keeping her response to see what the others might say and will then run them.

Since it's not my country, I am not allowed an  opinion about this subject, but even from a fairly distant connection with their doings,  it seems to this more or less dispassionate reader, that they took off on this idea, but didn't have even a vague idea how to do it once it was decided to do it.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Just Spell My Book's Title Right!

A desire to sell my book - "And the Best Blog Is:  Word of Mouth" - in case you've forgotten it - is the reason I was glad to accept the very kind invitation of producer Jim Mueller to appear on his South Bay Stories Show at the end of March.  It was January when he asked me about it.  "End of March?" I thought easily.  "This day may never come."

It did.  I conquered my terror largely through helpful hints from Jim - "They love you!  They want to hear you and what you have to tell them - Just think of it as reading your blog to a group of high school seniors!"   Cast members chimed in, "Pretend the entire audience is in their underwear/naked!"  "disquieting" to say the very least.

With this though came mentions for the book in the programs for the show and a lovely article in our local Beach Reporter which also made mention of it.

Michael Hixson's article interested an editor at the Long Beach Press-Telegram Grand because she needed fill to publicize the race, a very big deal in Long Beach.  "Could Michael interview me for a piece on working as a photographer at the first GP (in 1976)?"  You betcha! On both sides.

Last Monday we met for the interview and the first thing he did was whip out a tiny little tape recorder not much bigger than a Zippo lighter and flipped it on.  I looked at him,, I always used Gregg shorthand .  What a sissy.    

The second thought flashed across my dormant mind, "He's interviewing ME!  I interview other people!  What is this?" and then I remembered...book PR and sat up straighter in my chair.

Tomorrow Monday (4/8/19) a photographer is supposed to come here at 3 p.m. to take photos of me for the article.  Michael said he's put his photo ask in their box and if no one shows, call him.

For this shoot, Richie dug my old camera bag out of the garage and I was amazed at how heavy it is!  I swear it goes 40 lbs.  And I used to schlep it all around a track all day long!  Then  I pulled out the non-motor drive Nikon and it weighed a ton, too!  I would imagine that the Nikon w/motor drive would weigh even more!  I think it wore out and I had to discard that camera; couldn't be fixed but it was used to begin with.

The dust of many a track is nestled in this heavy canvas sack.  A lot of shots came out of it.  And now to be used as a photo prop.  They don't make Kodachrome 64 or Ilford 400 anymore.  And I'm 'way too old to be out on a track somewhere shooting my butt off.  Tempis fugit.

Friday, April 5, 2019

The End - French Connection

I could get the press pass for a Formula 1 to take place in Bandol, France.  I could stay with Michelle and her family home in Bouc-Bel-Air.  Such a funny name - on a previous visit I'd asked her Dad what it meant and he replied, succinctly, "Goat's prick" and then insisted on drawing me a little goat to show me exactly.

In addition to food and shelter, they also provided me with a chauffeur who was trying to get into Formula 4.  He happily drove me to and from.  On his motorcycle. what else?  First photog - motorcycles and now this one.

We found each other attractive and fell into profound lust.  At the end of the day, at the house, they'd hear his motorcycle coming up the long drive, then slip into idle for a bit and then continue up the drive.  I would slip demurely off of the bike; he'd set the stand and join the family for dinner.

After everyone else went to bed, we'd slide onto the dining room sofa and start bangin' like a trailer park screen in a tornado.  Sometime in the early hours, he'd disappear, stealthily walking his bike back down the driveway.  I'd dash up to my room upstairs and muss the sheets as if I'd spent the night there.

About Day 3 of this charade, Michelle's Mom said to me as we stood in the open doorway to my room "Ah, Nainna - c'est ne pas necessaire ces (gesturing at the bed) nous sommes francaise et et nous savons a que vous; ve fait!"  (Ah Nina, this isn't necessary - we're French and we know what you've been doing!")

I must have turned most of the colors of a Mexican sunset before I saw the humor and the two of us had a good laugh, standing in the hall, pointing at the bed ad elbowing each other and then laughing even harder.  We were killing ourselves.

Who knows what old Giles would have thought or said, but had he been there I know my Dad and all of my cousins would have laughed like hell, too.      

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Part 3 - Le Connexion Francaise

Because I was always the only female photog at the track, I had to be smarter than the guys at getting an advantageous spot at the fences.  Once, at Pomona I inveigled the ESPN camera guy up on a platform to let me up there with him.   I looked down on the rest of them scattered along the right side of the track - blown engines throw to the left - and I thought, "Get these shots, guys?"

NASCAR had it's share of moments - Riverside - a guy coming out of the pits at speed lost a tire and I had to dodge rather hastily.  A pebble blew up from the track and just missed a bull's eye on a $400 lens.

About to walk into the pits at Ontario to get to the track, I was stopped by a NASCAR official who told me, "You cain' go in there, ma'am."  Annoyed, I pointed to my press pass and asked, "Why?"

"Oh, ma'am, yawl might heah some bad language."

Roaring with laughter I told him that I could outcuss a sailor, whereupon he drew himself up like a turkey, gave his wattles a shake and said, "Well then, ma'am, we doan' want you in our pits," turned and stalked away.

But I got even.  I shot a roll of NASCAR beer-bellied drivers struggling to get in through their car window.  

SCORE Off-rod Baja 500 and 1,000 were always a lot of fun.  They involved early hours.  At 5:30 a.m. I was walking through town (Ensenada) headed for the motorcycle start line because bikes always went out first.  There was no one else on the street except for me and a squad of uniformed and heavily-armed Mexican Navy men marching alng.  We nodded, but didn't smile.

The Long Beach Grand Prix officials ejection of photographers inside the Queen's Hairpin turn caused us to riot, thrusting our cameras in the air like a bunch of peasants with flaming torches, yelling our heads off.  The officials decamped; we didn't.

Tomorrow  - part 4 and The End

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Part 2 - La Connexion Francaise

My next encounter with a photographer came at Laguna Seca when I wanted to cross the track and asked a guy abut it.  He yelled back something snotty so I looked carefully and ran across the track, 25 lb. camera bag bumping across my butt.

On the plane home, he was across the aisle from me so I gave him a dirty look and he laughed his butt off.  He taught me a lot.  So much that I decided to see what four-wheel racing was all about.

Pit Pictures …
NHRA drag racing:
English teacher turned top fuels Connie Kalitta when I asked about Christmas.  "Sandy Claws ain't comin' this year" (mournfully.

His former girlfriend Shirley Muldowney on live TV (wagging a finger) said, "And if you quote me on this, I'll deny it!"  On live TV.

Linda Vaughn, 39-23-39, Miss Hooker Headers, Miss Hurst Golden Shifter confided to me that when all of this Miss This and Miss That was done, she had a fall-back career.  Wait for it - as a dental hygienist!  And I thought wryly, "Only if your tits don't get in the way  ( remember that' 39-23-39?) or maybe they're an advantage?" (shrug)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Since You Missed It ...

I'll run it here in segments …  South Bay Stories Show, Sat. night and Sunday afternoon.

La Connexion Francaise

When I was a kid, my Dad and all of his relatives loved to poke into the family's history.  Our main ancestor, Giles Vermillion came to America in 1698.  They said he was running from the French Huguenots.  They said that he married and had six sons who also married and had sons and then (triumphant shout)  "He's the reason for everything in this country that's named Vermillion!  Lakes, rivers, towns and everyone alive today with that name!"  Dubious news at best, but we all loved it!

Now interested in France, I learned to speak French in case I ever got there - where I expected to see monuments and so forth to Giles.  I made a lifelong French friend, Michelle, who was a flight attendant for Air France, traveling the world.  She's 11 years younger, but easily 11 years wiser.  She gave me one of her old boyfriends while simultaneously warning me that he really wasn't much good.  A discovery I made for myself much later on.

He was a photographer for a French motorcycle magazine.  He didn't have a car.  I did.  He was too cheap to rent one.  I went to a lot of motorcycle races that summer.

I'll always remember him asking me, "Would you like to know the story of the Battle of Wounded (rhymes with rounded) Knee (sound the K)

He took off for Brazil with another photog and that was that.  But he did re-awaken my old love for photography.

Part 2 tomorrow

Monday, April 1, 2019

I Thought This Was Just an April Fool's Joke

"America would run out of avocados in three weeks if Trump closes the border"

Steve Barnard, president and CEO of Mission Produce, a major fruit and vegetable importer, went on to say that the California market won't be ready for market for another month.  Adding to potential avocado deprivation syndrome.  To which I say, "Huh!  If this were Super Bowl season when the avocado demand hits peaks there'd be riots in the streets."  I would add that fern-y  restaurants would burst into floods of tears if they have to take Avocado Toast off of their menus.

As bad as all of this is, the border shutdown may curtail tequila coming in.  Just before summer margarita season.  Virgin Margaritas?  No!  No!  The horror! Wine instead of tequila is an abomination to the Gods of Bacchus!  Ban them!

I have an alternative plan - every would-be immigrant has to bring an avocado and a bottle of tequila with  them.   And THEN bust'em and send them back home.

The more I look at this, the more I suspect it IS an April Fool's Day joke.