The Magic Castle, The Eagles, Pizza, and Graduation

It’s not an answer to a Jeopardy question; it’s the series of events from the past week. First of all, Betty and I left last Friday for Hollywood, California to meet with our friends, Rick and Josette Burr to have lunch at Musso & Frank’s. Later that evening, we met up with Mark and Nani Wilson, Mark Nelson, Tim Mannix, and Mark and Nani’s son, Greg, at the Magic Castle, where we had dinner and celebrated Nani’s birthday. We enjoyed the shows and our visit and before we knew it, it was time to head back to our hotel to get ready for the next day’s Swap Meet.

Although the Swap Meet officially opens at 9:00 AM, I always try to get there at 8:00 to be first in line. I was completely surprised as I rounded the corner to see that a long line had already formed. The doors finally opened, and I began my ritualistic search for the unusual, collectible, unique and hard-to-find items. This Swap Meet did NOT disappoint. There were more people and vendors than I have seen in many years there. A couple of the really cool things I grabbed were Channing Pollock’s Cane to Table, Billy McComb’s Hot Ball and some of his other personal items, and a John Gaughan Zig-Zag illusion. After all my shopping was done, the hard part was fitting it all in the back of my Jeep. Below is my car with half of it already unloaded:

It took almost half the day Monday to unload, catalog, and check everything in. Mike and I then went through all the items and have been listing them on the web site, and most are selling as fast as they are put up. It’s going to take several more days to finish listing and photographing them, so check the Private/Estate section for updates!

After the Swap Meet was over, Betty and I drove over to Universal Studio’s City Walk to do a little shopping and have lunch. Back in the car and back to the hotel to rest up for our evening with the Eagles. I’ve driven by the Hollywood Bowl several times, but I had no idea just how big it actually was. We stopped and asked one of the attendants just how many people it seats. I was shocked when she answered, “22,000.” The concert was great, the Eagles are just as good now as they have ever been, and I even entered a contest and won an Eagles CD. The concert ended around 11:00 PM and it was back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.

The Hollywood Bowl by day

The Eagles concert in progress

While we were gone, on Friday afternoon, my son Cole participated in a pizza eating contest at the accounting firm he works for in Northern California. A little background on the contest: Every year on April 16th, the day after taxes, their office celebrates by having a party and ending with this pizza eating contest. The auditing department has been the undefeated champions. Now Cole works in the tax department, and due to the fact that he’s 6.5 feet tall and stands heads above all others, he was instantly chosen to challenge the auditing department. Team Cole t-shirts were made and the trash talking began 2 weeks in advance, but it was Cole who put his mouth where the pizza was and dominated the competition by consuming 4 pounds of pizza in just 8 minutes. Leaving just a few pieces of crust and the auditing department in his wake. For the first time in years, the tax department took home the gold! The funny thing was, Cole said he could have eaten more!

Cole and his manager

Team Cole t-shirts

The entire office celebrates their victory

The pizza eating trophy

And finally, last Saturday, my daughter Renee graduated with her Masters in Counseling with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from the University of Phoenix! Both Betty and I are so proud of Renee and her accomplishments. Renee has already begun her internship with a local Resource Center for Survivors.

Cap and gown and ready to go

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for Renee’s day of celebration

It’s official!

Whew! So there you have it, an encapsulated version of the entire weekend and week’s events all crammed into one blog post. This weekend, I’ll spend some alone time in my garden getting ready for the rest of the upcoming graduation parties I’m hosting and more!

Until next time,



One Response to “The Magic Castle, The Eagles, Pizza, and Graduation”

  1. nate nassif Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I am saddened to learn that your medical challenges haven’t been totally resolved…I think I understand your pain and discomfort and frustration…our prayers go out to you.


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