My trip back to Los Angeles from Boston was mainly a pit-stop to collect the rest of my luggage, with the aim to hang out with family again. Additionally, on this visit to L.A., I finally managed to meet Jesús Salvador Treviño, the best friend of my Uncle Dan. I’d never met Jesús in person, but was aware he had a career as a very successful TV director, notably for directing episodes of most of the popular science-fiction shows from the 90s including the various Star Treks, SeaQuest and Babylon 5. Jesús was finally in town the same week I was and picked me up for lunch one day.
We had a beer each over lunch and it was fascinating to learn about his time spent working in TV directing and writing, I discovered his resume also included such shows as Prison Break, ER and Law & Order: Criminal Intent! After lunch he drove me around the neighbour and showed me the house where my mum and uncle grew up and told me stories about the life they led in Los Angeles during the 60s and 70s.
Most of all, it was great to hear about my Grandfather Sam Rubin from someone outside my immediate family. Jesús portrayed Sam as an inspirational figure who encouraged him to pursue artistic endeavours and was therefore an instrumental part of him pursuing an artistic career. Jesús took me on one last stop to his house where he gave me a signed copy of his autobiography and the opportunity to look around his house at the myriad works of art (one print by my Grandfather) and signed photographs of famous TV actors. Unfortunately, Jesus is now retired as a TV director so I won’t be scoring visits to sets anytime soon, but he is focusing his attention on a website called http://latinopia.com/ which has some great content.
The second significant event occurring during my visit to Los Angeles was to attend a genuine 4th July party (even though it was held on 3rd July) at the residence of my cousins Sam and Maria Stone. Sam used to work as a chef and is something of a cigar aficionado, therefore this was an event I was greatly looking forward to. Arriving early to help setup I assisted the Stones convert their backyard from a swimming pool and empty patch of grass to a fully shaded entertainment venue draped with American flags and streamers.
Not unexpectedly, Sam’s cooking didn’t fail to impress and his creations from multiple BBQs and a giant round Paella pan were outstanding. I don’t know what exactly to call the masterpiece that was the chicken and mango centerpiece, but it was damn delicious! A few mexican beers, followed by food, food and more food, finishing in the evening with a cigar and some Dewars courtesy of my other cousin Dave Stone topped off a fine day.
Alas, in the morning, my stomach had other plans. I certainly hadn’t overdone it with the alcohol as I was hang-over free the next day, but as I was on my way to the airport to catch my flight, I could tell something was up. Thankfully I had a direct Virgin America flight, bought for an absolute bargain (the taxi ride to LAX was almost as much as the flight itself)! As the flight was taking off, I could tell something was seriously wrong, my stomach was rumbling and some serious pain was resulting. Despite my best hopes that I had shaken it, the dreaded virus I had picked up in Boston was still lingering and had decided to re-surface. Several trips to the bathroom throughout the flight resulted, I’ll spare you all a graphic description of what was involved, but nonetheless it wasn’t pleasant.
When I arrived back in Boston I had two things on my mind, get back to my cousin’s apartment with my luggage as soon as possible and see some 4th July fireworks! I headed straight to the taxi queue and as my luck would have it, overhead an Australian accent mentioning the word “Cambridge”. As it turned out, an Australian lady and her boyfriend were heading to Cambridge in a taxi as well, which they were happy to share with me. The trip was quick, I heaved my luggage up the two flights of stairs to the apartment and collapsed. I awoke several hours later to the distant sounds of fireworks and contemplated going to the 4th July party I was invited to.
My stomach was still in pain however, therefore I decided instead of potentially infecting more people with the nasty virus I was harbouring (which as it turns out ended up infecting pretty much everyone in Boston I knew anyways), I pulled out my emergency medical kit that I’d bought for South America, took some tablets and went back to sleep. I had managed to glimpse some fireworks in the distance through my window and that was good enough for now!