Wednesday February 13
8:00 AM: Special lady friend Tammi Jo and I make a beeline for the airport and Trans-Illinois Airlines Flight 1313. Destination: Palm Springs, California, home of exotic above-freezing temperatures and Palm Springs' annual Modernism Week. We sneak our way through security and onto the mighty Piper Turbo-Flathead. After dusting a few soybean fields, the plane circles west and we're on our way over the Rockies to the land of sun... the land of fun... the land of EEGAH!
12:05 PM PST: We alight at PSP and head for the rental car counter. Plying my world class negotiating skills I score a double upgrade to a slick late model midsize Hyundai. From there, a quick hopskipjump to Hotel Zoso where we meet Mr. Coop and his own special lady, the lovely Ruth Waytz. First order of business: chili dogs! Second order of business: alcohol! For me, the Orbitron (two fingers of Patron Silver over ice with tonic and lime). Tammi Jo is looking a bit peekid, but bravely carries on through her Sapphire & Tonic. After sunset and a quick freshen-up, we reconvene at a nearby steakhouse for giant slabs of cow, crustaceans, and more tequila. World Affairs and the weekend agenda are discussed, including a Friday trip into L.A.
Thursday February 14
9:00 AM: I've got a reasonably good hangover, but my ills pale in comparison to Tammi Jo who is now battling a full-on case of the Ukrainian Tubercular Croup. I walk to Rite Aid to score her a jumbo economy pack of Mucinex. At the checkout I realize it's Valentine Day, so, being the incurable Romeo that I am, I buy her a deluxe 99c 4-piece Rite Aid chocolate assortment in the heart-shaped box. It bears a cartoon train with the Wiggumesque inscription "Choo Choo CHOOOSE me." We meet Coop and Ruth for petit dejeuner in the hotel eatery, and say our so-longs. They head back to L.A. where we are scheduled to meet them on the morrow. 30 minutes later they call from the 10 freeway to report a major freak snowstorm outside Yucaipa. We are blamed.
1:30 PM: Weather is crappy, struggling to hit 50 degrees, and snow and fog has collected on the San Jacinto peaks. With nude sunbathing out of the question, we hop in the Hyundai and go out to case Palm Springs' famously Midcentury Modern neighborhoods. Among the shacks spotted include the Peter Lawford house, a swank Rat Packian getaway where Sinatra et al. once played and where Lawford's brother in-law Jack Kennedy is rumored to have trysted with Marilyn Monroe. Our path also took us past the Richard Neutra-designed Kauffman House, the winter home of the Pittsburgh family who also commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. And my favorite house on Planet Earth. (And for sale, if anybody wants to buy me a thoughtful birthday gift.)
Here's a humdinger: Elvis Pressley's honeymoon hideout, the Alexander-designed home where E supped on fried peanut butter 'n' nanner samiches and deflowered his young bride Pricilla right afore the '68 Comeback Special. Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love, baby.
Some more random shots from our wanderings:
It was dark before we had a chance to see my second favorite Palm Springs residence - Elrod House, where Bambi and Thumper momentarily kicked Agent 007's ass in 1968's Diamonds Are Forever:
7:30 PM: Still ailing, Tammi Jo requests a bowl of matzo ball soup for Valentine's dinner. Which, eerily, happens to be the Bolus Ball of the Day that day. So I escort my little goyishe shiksa over to Sherman's Deli for a hot bowl, where we are cheerfully seated despite being under 60 and not wearing track suits. We have a nice conversation with the Weinsteins, who are in from Baltimore to see their son, the gastroenterologist in Santa Monica, who never calls.
Back to the hotel for vigorous quietude and shuteye, for tomorrow L.A. beckons.