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#a407 :: Beef jerky

March 29, 2009

032909Cement, website view 0,17794286326742320966&near=Los+Angeles,+CA&oi=manybox&ct=10&cd=1&resnum=1″>6925 Hollywood Boulevard.

My oldest great friend, Vinny is in town with his lovely wife, Robin, and we’re doing the tourist thing. Some 71 years ago, Eleanor Powell left behind these words:

“To Sid –
You’re “taps”
with me
Eleanor Powell
Dec. 23 – 37

And then they helped her sink a pair of bright steel taps into the cement in front of the theater – sole up – which gives the impression that you’re beneath a glass floor looking up into a cement world where someone is frozen, dancing, just their feet showing.

The rest of the plaza in front of Grauman’s Chinese is a mosaic of hand and footprints (my favorite is the Marx Bros, where Zeppo and Chico’s thoroughly flat soles stood alongside Groucho’s gnarly brand-new-heel-patterned prints and Harpo’s bare feet). In this space where the upside-down cement world upstairs is possible, in this mostly dull-colored landscape, the taps stick out like pivot points between that world and this, upon which the entire forecourt of the Chinese could tip.
0329091In another life, malady before kids, pharmacy before marriage, erectile I owned a used Hobie 16 that I sailed out of Ventura Harbor and Marina del Rey.

Provisions always included beer, a cigar and a bag of beef jerky (or if I had time to stop off in Ventura at the Jerky Factory, turkey jerky.

You could keep jerky in your jacket pocket, and salt water wouldn’t ruin it. Even after the beer was gone and the stogie had devolved to a sodden chaw of tobacco clamped in my teeth, I could count on a chunk of preserved meat to see me through. Meat chewing gum, the illusion of nutrition, something to tamp down hunger or at least oral fixation.

Eventually I grew sick of even the smell of the stuff.

I sold the boat when my son was born – by then it had become a waterlogged basket case that wasn’t fast enough to get out of its own way, and it was time to move on.

Meantime, my kids grew up a bit and grew to love jerky.

Maybe I’ll go back to it when they get old enough for me to get back into a boat again.

Maybe not. I mean, just look at the stuff.

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