Beautiful Downtown Burbank, etc.

Share on

M  ike Hennigan’s father owned a hot dog stand off Victory Boulevard in Burbank. He had just invented the chili dog. No, I’m serious. He had us kids over to watch the 1949 Rose Bowl game on television. Northwestern, behind Art Murakowsky and Frank Aschenbrenner, upset Cal 20-14. Cal halfback Jackie Jensen went on to play outfield for the Red Sox. We ate our very first chili dogs, washed down with Nehi orange soda (sweet with medium carbonation).

When we got to Pisa in July 1952, my mother stood by the Tower and posed for a picture, leaning 45 degrees in the opposite direction. Okay, 30 degrees. We went on to Florence where I saw my first vision of Hell — a 13th century mosaic in the baptistery of San Giovanni.

How many wooden houses are there in New York City and where exactly are they? Do the research and answer below.

The 1949 St. Louis Browns weren’t the worst team in MLB history. They were? Well, they did their spring training in Burbank and all of us (kids) were there. And they weren’t fooling anybody. We knew they STANK but we went to most of their exhibition games. The Indians came to town with Larry Doby, Minnie Minoso and. . .wait for it. . .Satchel Paige.

Doby (as if you didn’t know) was the first ever black player in the American League. Minoso had midnight blue skin (I hadn’t seen many Negroes at that point) and Leroy Robert Paige was at least 70 years old. Ironically he was traded to the Browns in ’51. We saw the White Sox too. Luke Appling was even older than Paige. One night a bunch of us climbed over a fence and fooled around on the field with our bats and balls. Then some cocksucker of a night watchman SHOT AT US with a PELLET GUN.

I got hit in the leg, and that shit STUNG. Come to think of it, we often broke into places. We stole, too — mostly candy and sports magazines. One of the Warner Brothers back lots in Burbank had huge fake pirate ships. At night, we would ride our bikes to a hole we dug under their fence, squeeze ourselves through, and play pirates on the wooden facades. Errol Flynn was our role model. Captain Blood. How were we supposed to know he was a dirty queer and a spy for the Nazis?

Those were the days of Orange Julius — the one on Hollywood Boulevard. The original Julius recipe: 6 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice; 6 oz. clear water; 3 oz. simple syrup; 8 oz. shaved or crushed ice; and a secret magic powder (whole milk solids, egg white solids, corn syrup solids, sugar, and “flavor enhancers” — a touch of vanilla powder, though instant vanilla pudding mix will do the job.) The first stand opened in 1926 in L.A. by Julius Freed. “A Devilishly Good Drink.” (Now owned by Dairy Queen)

In a movie, Simon (1980), Alan Arkin rants about the simple things in life. At one point he screams, “What’s that white powder they put in an Orange Julius, and WHY ARE THEY KEEPING IT FROM US?”

At 17, just before we enlisted in the Air Force, Baron White drove me and another guy to Tijuana for enchiladas and tequilas and sex. The sex was mostly unsexy — a barracks full of “cribs.” It was clean, though. The other guy, Curtis, fell in love with a pretty teenager and didn’t want to leave. He fought us off so we left him there and he showed up in Burbank a week later, filthy and broke. The next year, he was killed in a car wreck in Tulare.

After basic training and a battery of aptitude tests, the Air Force promised to send us (me and Baron White) to language school in San Antonio for a few months, then, if we didn’t wash out, on to college (4 years, no uniforms) to major in an Iron Curtain language. I opted for Romanian, the only Eastern European romance language. I’d wind up either at Yale or Indiana. That’s why we enlisted. But during basic in Hayward, a treeless hellhole south of Oakland, I had a whopping asthma attack (ragweed, nerves) and, ultimately, received an honorable discharge (for medical reasons).

By then I decided that the whole plan had been a mistake. Baron White (who would name their kid Baron?) thought so too. He got out, I forget how. While they were preparing my papers, I had time to kill and finagled a weekend pass to San Francisco. This was Fall 1955. Dave Brubeck was at the Black Hawk —the quartet with Desmond, Dodge and Bob Bates. I got there just as the Virgil Gonsalves Sextet, the opening act, finished their set. I ordered a coke (I was in uniform but I was 18) and nursed it for what seemed like forever until the quartet took the stand.

They went right into “Lover” and gassed me for an hour. Clint Eastwood, age 25, was there. I split and walked through the Tenderloin to the YMCA where I was staying. I hadn’t gone very far on Turk Street when all of a sudden I was sitting on the curb with blood trickling down my face. Some creeps had cold-cocked me with a bottle. My wallet was missing. Not much of a loss. And not much blood, but a classic cartoon bump on my head.

I’ll be in Paris for a few days in August. It’ll be empty. Haven’t been there since 1980. I’ll re-visit Square Rapp for Art Nouveau, an impasse off Avenue Rapp with a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower. I’ll eat at Polidor. I’ll go to the puppet show in the Luxembourg Gardens. I’ll buy some socks. I’ll go to the little island in the lower lake in the Bois de Boulogne with my bread, cheese, chocolate, wine and notebooks. Canal Saint-Martin (Hotel du Nord). Chacha Club. Shseido in Palais Royale for perfume.  Musée d’Orsay. Apollinaire’s grave.


Larry Fagin is of Hungarian-Russian-Polish stock. He has lived in Hollywood, Salzburg, Vienna, Wiesbaden, Paris, New York, San Francisco, and London. He edits Adventures in Poetry books and was the founder and artistic director of Danspace at St. Mark’s church-in-the-bowery in Manhattan. His latest books are Dig & Delve (Granary Books) and Complete Fragments (Cuneiform Press).


Share on

162 Comments

  1. There are 2 houses made of wood in NYC??

    Loved your story!

  2. After looking over a number of the blog posts on your website, I honestly
    like your technique of writing a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark webpage
    list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Please visit my website as well and let me know what you think.

  3. It is really a great and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and great style and design.

  5. Pingback: Celebrity
  6. Pingback: pure design
  7. Pingback: Boutique Fixtures
  8. Pingback: apply for tax id numbe
  9. Pingback: abortion pill online
  10. Pingback: Tourisme à Mayotte l’île AUX PARFUM
  11. Pingback: Regal Assets Reviews
  12. Pingback: Online Chat
  13. Pingback: The Language of Desire
  14. Pingback: Medical Marijuana Card
  15. Pingback: bitcoin bot
  16. Pingback: acquire learning
  17. Pingback: Boston Luxury Condos
  18. Pingback: Downtown Boston Condos
  19. Pingback: Free Android Apps Games
  20. Pingback: Mandarin teachers online
  21. Pingback: image hosting
  22. Pingback: Chat-Cairo
  23. Pingback: Weight loss
  24. Pingback: Trey Songz type beat
  25. Pingback: Heater Repair
  26. Pingback: the weight destroyer discount
  27. Pingback: Whey protein
  28. Pingback: www.guiamulheres.com
  29. Pingback: Fiesta Kia
  30. Pingback: wedding dresses Ireland
  31. Pingback: izdelava spletne strani
  32. Pingback: cazare eforie nord
  33. Pingback: Supplements online Australia
  34. Pingback: chi generators
  35. Pingback: pralonzet
  36. Pingback: The Best Social Network
  37. Pingback: j john sebastian attorney
  38. Pingback: j john sebastian attorney
  39. Pingback: pefume pacakage
  40. Pingback: cheap wedding dresses
  41. Pingback: iconcox supply phone gps tracker
  42. Pingback: Hemoroid tedavisi
  43. Pingback: film gratuit
  44. Pingback: restaurant pagers
  45. Pingback: Parker Pen refills
  46. Pingback: social networking business
  47. Pingback: best wireless dog fence
  48. Pingback: Illinois
  49. Pingback: Sean Darcy
  50. Pingback: GTA 5
  51. Pingback: tattoo designer
  52. Pingback: rpg
  53. Pingback: Berita Terbaru Penyebab Air Asia Hilang Kontak
  54. Pingback: Binary Options
  55. Pingback: annual flying star 2015
  56. Pingback: pure natural forskolin
  57. Pingback: Singapore Property
  58. Pingback: Epicure Consultant
  59. Pingback: online shop
  60. Pingback: Fifa coins
  61. Pingback: womens rights
  62. Pingback: How to make more money
  63. Pingback: Cleaning Services Mount Laurel
  64. Pingback: Gift ideas for kids
  65. Pingback: Milan Rubenstein
  66. Pingback: AddBuild Complaints
  67. Pingback: thank you signs
  68. Pingback: housekeeping robot
  69. Pingback: Preview March 2015
  70. Pingback: vollara reviews
  71. Pingback: Plumber Robina
  72. Pingback: Workers compensation attorney raleigh nc
  73. Pingback: acn wireless
  74. Pingback: Spiral Dryer Fabric
  75. Pingback: reading strategies
  76. Pingback: damage factory review
  77. Pingback: cream walet gold
  78. Pingback: Learning Arabic
  79. Pingback: pots and pans
  80. Pingback: Forex Trading Related
  81. Pingback: Billig tannlege oslo
  82. Pingback: Comcast
  83. Pingback: Brooklyn party space
  84. Pingback: Tannlege Oslo
  85. Pingback: National Wealth Center
  86. Pingback: Best iOS game
  87. Pingback: Annual Upscale Getaway
  88. Pingback: Jailbreak
  89. Pingback: Makeup Tips For Oily Skin
  90. Pingback: Scuba Diving
  91. Pingback: Art Paintings
  92. Pingback: uberraschungseier
  93. Pingback: natural cure
  94. Pingback: Women's
  95. Pingback: Passive Fire Protection
  96. Pingback: Metal bed
  97. Pingback: Palm Beach Pressure Washing
  98. Pingback: Sign of Infidelity
  99. Pingback: cerrajeros 24 horas zaragoza
  100. Pingback: www.cerrajerosbarcelona-24horas.es
  101. Pingback: producer
  102. Pingback: Social Media Speaker
  103. Pingback: surprise toys
  104. Pingback: Lorne Marr
  105. Pingback: visit my website
  106. Pingback: get Social Lead Chief 2.0
  107. Pingback: news articles
  108. Pingback: Digital Clock
  109. Pingback: Cheap Graphic designer in Birmingham
  110. Pingback: Prepaid Debit Card
  111. Pingback: hack facebook account
  112. Pingback: dinningroom furniture
  113. Pingback: Grosir Kosmetik Murah
  114. Pingback: check out the video
  115. Pingback: food crisis
  116. Pingback: Spice Infused Chocolate
  117. Pingback: Regal Assets financial 401k Review
  118. Pingback: Social Media Jobs
  119. Pingback: Short Cocktail Dress
  120. Pingback: HERITAGE GOLD AND SILVER GROUP
  121. Pingback: Buy over the counter Viagra
  122. Pingback: Viagra Online
  123. Pingback: Video Motion Pro Review
  124. Pingback: Book cheap air Tickets
  125. Pingback: how to train a dog
  126. Pingback: Sexy Prom Dress
  127. Pingback: Funnel Flux review
  128. Pingback: poll daddy votes
  129. Pingback: total life changes
  130. Pingback: Slliming Belts
  131. Pingback: desarrollo web
  132. Pingback: Male Prostate Massager
  133. Pingback: Moneygram dandenong
  134. Pingback: Security Camera
  135. Pingback: Security Camera
  136. Pingback: Crochet Headbands
  137. Pingback: ASPHALT NASSAU COUNTY
  138. Pingback: Bed Table
  139. Pingback: Omega
  140. Pingback: Life Insurance hampton roads Virginia

Comments are closed.