What a glittery, fabulous weekend we had, Bill and I, meeting up in LA.
The first thing we did was go to a beautiful wedding, stuffed full with incredible people, most of whom were old friends. It was the right sort of a wedding, a joining of lovers who are already good friends, nice people you know are going to be happy because they already are. Their vows were simple and exquisite; I openly wept. Embarrassing.
Carter Emmart was there; many others. Torrence Johnson told us more things we’d never heard about the Voyager missions, about Galileo. There was connection and reconnection, and lots of catching up.
On Bill’s list over the weekend was a stop at the fantastic Hollywood Forever cemetery, so we could pay our respects to Johnny Ramone.
While we were hanging out with Johnny, we happened on the fierce resting place of a man who might have been a Hollywood stuntman, or action hero (a list of films was carved into the rock). Regrettably, we did not look him up.
As an unexpected surprise, we bumped into the magnificent edifice glorifying the mortal remains of Carl Morgan Bigsby, rocket-lover. There is room next to him for his still-living wife, and on her empty space next to Carl (whose epitaph reads, “Retired By God”) she wrote “Too bad, we had fun.”.
I found a pyramid (unoccupied, it seems) that I would greatly enjoy occupying in life as well as in death. It sported an oculus in the back wall; I am a fool for an oculus, as you likely know.
I liked this picture because of the reflection of my arms, reaching, back into my head, past me into the pyramid.
After the cemetery (and a killer brunch at Eat This, on Santa Monica) we visited the life’s work of one of my heroes, Simon Rodia.
Simon hand-built the Watts Towers in South Central LA. Yesterday was the first time I had seen them in person. People marvel that he did it all himself, but I’m not sure why. It just took patience, and anyway, it’s a sculpture. Why wouldn’t he do every part of it himself?
About his beautiful work, Simon said, simply,
“I had it in mind to do something big, and I did it.”
We watched a short documentary about Simon and the towers in the visitor’s center, but there is a longer film I need to get my eyes on, and this is the trailer.
The trailer includes a couple of cuts of Buckminster Fuller talking about Simon, and the work. I discovered in a little web research that the clips from the documentary were filmed just a few months before his death; it was his last appearance.
While shopping for a jacket for Bill on Melrose, I hunted in my bag for the keys to this gorgeous ’60’s Stingray. You never know. Perhaps I had suddenly slipped into a dimension in which it was mine to drive.
Sadly I found no keys, and so I had to settle for licking it with my eyes. Vroom!
At the party we went to yesterday (our friend Steve’s 60th birthday) Martin Roy Mervel, architect of delight, took this photo of us.
Bill was wearing his new Ferry-approved jacket, and I’m wearing a clip-on bird from my holiday ornament box. I’m dressed as a velvet painting, in theme of the party, which featured a mariachi band and food from El Tepeyac.
I note that among Martin’s many accomplishments, he created the midcentury palace that was the lair of Dr. Evil in the first Austin Powers movie. This is excellent.
I imagine him approving as strongly as I do of the fact that the Priceline commercials finally revealed The Negotiator’s lair to be the fabulous Sheats-Goldstein house, by the fabulous John Lautner. When I saw Shatner in that living room, I was in heaven.
My moments bonding with that house (courtesy of Bette Cohen) are burned into me.