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July 21, 2008:

TRAFFIC

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I was going to begin today’s notes with a good old-fashioned BK rant about the out-of-control traffic in the city known as Los Angeles, but that would only get me agitated all over again, and I have had enough agitation for one night. To give you the Reader’s Digest version, I left last night’s screening of Midnight Madness at 10:10. I headed up La Brea and got a red light every single place I could. Add to that the ignoramuses who shouldn’t be allowed in a car and the agitation has begun. I finally curve around to Franklin and immediately come to another red light. The light finally turns green and the right-hand lane moves along. Unfortunately, I’m in the left-hand lane. No one moves. Everyone just sits there. I finally pull around and there’s a stupid motorbike that has ceased working and is now blocking the left lane. Just like that – right then and there. Brilliant. I then head on to Highland towards the freeway – at 10:20. I get to Franklin and can see that Highland is jammed, backed up all the way to Franklin. Why? Because the lovely Hollywood Bowl has let out. Brilliant. I wisely turn right onto Franklin and head over to Cahuenga to catch the freeway there. Unfortunately, so do twenty other cars. I finally get on Cahuenga and zoom up toward the freeway – that is until a light turns red. I stop. And, of course, they’re diverting the Bowl traffic over to Cahuenga and while I sit at this red light, about eighty cars go onto Cahuenga toward the freeway – had I not gotten the red light, I would have been ON the freeway already. Finally the light turns green, but the damage has been done and it takes another six minutes to finally get on the freeway, even though there are no red lights to slow anything down – people just slow down for no reason whatsoever. I get on the freeway and naturally it is filled with some of the most incomprehensibly stupid drivers ever put on Earth. And that is the Reader’s Digest version of my attempting to get home last night. I left out the part where I hurled a continuous stream of vile epithets at every car that came near me. Gee, I’m glad I didn’t rant. Speaking of rant, yesterday was otherwise a fairly nice day. For example, I got up. That was fairly nice. I then jogged, did some errands, and then came home and ate some tuna pasta salad whilst watching a motion picture I’d TIVOd entitled Crime Against Joe, a grade-Z picture about an innocent man accused of murder. It was directed by the legendary Lee “Roll ’em” Sholem – legendary because he never did more than one take and rarely watched the take – he just waited until he heard the last line of the scene and then immediately said, “Cut. Print. Over there” meaning over there to the next setup. Of course, one never knows just how apocryphal those kinds of stories are, but then at some point early in my acting career I was doing a TV program called This Is The Life, a series of filmed dramas with a religious substance – all the actors back then did them. My episode was directed by former actor Corey Allen. They’d shoot these things in two-and-a-half days, with the new episode starting to shoot as soon as the other show wrapped. So, I arrived at noon on my first day, just as they were wrapping the show they’d been shooting. And I heard it – “Cut. Print. Over there.” I turned to someone and I said, “Is that Lee Sholem directing” and they said it was. Anyway, Crime Against Joe was clearly an independent show picked up for the bottom half of double bills by United Artists. At only seventy minutes, it was perfect for that sort of thing. I enjoyed it because of the two leads – John Bromfield, who I always liked in his short-lived series, Sheriff Of Cochise, and a very young Julie London as “Slacks.”

I then headed over to the New Beverly Theater to meet up with Mr. David Wechter and family and friends for the Diablo Cody-introduced screening of Midnight Madness. The film is a favorite of hers – she grew up watching it on cable. She seemed very sweet and was very gracious to David. Two cast members were there – Eddie Deezen, who looks exactly the same as he did back then, and Alan Solomon, who looks nothing like he did back then. I’d actually never seen the film in a theater before, so that was fun. There was a small but devoted audience and it got a very nice reaction. Sadly, the print on view had almost no color left. Way back then, I’d actually read for the lead in the film (the role that David Naughton did – and did a very good job with) because David Wechter’s co-director, Mike Nankin had seen me in my musical Stages and really liked me a lot. Naughton was much more of a leading man type than I was, so I totally understood why they cast him. It’s a very interesting cast, actually – it’s the film that gave Michael J. Fox his start, and there’s also Stephen Furst, Eddie, my old LACC schoolchum Maggie Roswell, Debra Clinger, Dirk Blocker, John Voldstadt (in a tiny role – John understudied me in the play I did at the Taper, and he went on to play one of the Daryls on Bob Newhart), and the wonderful John Fiedler (every time I see him it reminds me of my father’s last years – they lived in the same building), the wonderful Irene Tedrow (who played my grandmother in a CBS pilot I did), the wonderful Marvin Kaplan and Charlie Brill, and many others. The film has a really fun musical score by David’s father, Julius (arranged by Bob Florence) and David and his dad wrote three songs for the film. After the film, they did a brief Q&A and that was fun, too.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below and hopefully we won’t run into any traffic while we go to the next section.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, jog, do errands and whatnot, do some writing, and finish a song. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s everyone’s favorite game, The Initials Gameā„¢. Remember, you’re on the honor system – no looking things up. You must know the person of whom you’re thinking (if you come up with a name and want to double check that you’re right about what they do, that’s fine) – celebrities, sports figures, fictional characters from books, plays, and films, cartoon characters, all that kind of stuff. One name per post, please. Now, with today’s initials comes a rule, which I’ll explain carefully. Today’s initials are B.M. Here’s the rule – no Bills, Bobs, or Bobbys for William or Robert UNLESS they were really known by Bill, Bob, or Bobby – i.e. billed that way, or were written about that way or were known that way by everyone. Here’s an example: Bill Holden doesn’t work, because he was never billed that way and wasn’t known by the general public that way – hence only William Holden would work. Conversely, Bobby Kennedy would be fine, even though he was written about both ways – as Bobby and as Robert F. But Bobby was the more popular way of writing and talking about him by everyone. So, with that in mind, let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I try to calm down about the traffic that I had to endure.

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