Has it been
only a week since I last wrote to the loyal troops? I'm experiencing
the displaced time-matter phenomena with which we are all familiar.
Last week was a month ago. I look back at a distant time when
Laree and I packed the car with our excess of baggage and muttered
that we were off to a late start. Late, we discovered, was very
good as we maintained breakneck speeds clear through the usual
traffic hot spots and arrived in Marina Del Rey in six short hours.
Just in time for bed.
at Maxwell's we cruised the World Gym, which has most recently
emerged at the unlikely congested intersection of Washington and
Lincoln Blvd. in Marina Del Rey. Curious, fifteen years ago I
made a similar journey down the coast for the grand opening of
the World Gym in Venice. To be fashionably late for the affair
and not liking to eat at parties where cameras abound (Flex
Mag gossip... here's Dave with mayonnaise all over his
face and his fingers in his mouth) I delayed my arrival by feasting
on a steak and salad at a Sizzler Restaurant. In time, The Sizzler
fizzled and Joe Gold bought the building and adjacent properties
to relocate his famous World headquarters. I now stood on the
gym floor and noted that where the rack of dumbbells lined the
wall I once sat eating my protein and roughage. In its incongruity,
nothing changed and everything remained the same. I was caught
scratching my head.
an unpretentious affair, is small compared to the fitness palaces
blighting the neighborhoods these days; pint-sized, comfortable,
functional and popular. Cool. My kind of place: shoot the treadmill
and turn on the gravity. Tomorrow I plan to be doing crunches
and leg raise where the Sizz salad bar was positioned a lifetime
ago. The Pre-Laree Age where hungry dinosaurs roamed aimlessly.
With our Day
One embracing of old buds at the gym completed and plans for a
workout and the dubious gathering of stars the following day set
in motion, Laree and I took on the L.A. freeways and headed for
the Weider Offices. Amazing. Less than twenty-five minutes and
we were standing before tall glass doors under a colonnade of
marble and granite. An inconspicuous louvered brass plate imbedded
in the wall scratchily asked us to state our names and our business.
"It's the Bomber to see Joe" apparently wasn't clear to the little
brass plate so Laree, Miss Smarty, reworded our introduction and
we gained access to the Citadel.
We were greeted
by more marble, a broad staircase reaching the heights of a bold
balcony, ornate chandeliers providing light for a city, austere
bronze busts and statues of muscular beasts in action and life-sized
painted portraits of bodybuilding champions framed in garish gold.
A pair of girls with ample shoulders agreed we were legit and
said Jeff O'Connell, the Muscle & Fitness features editor,
would be down momentarily. We paced the opulent interior reviewing
the art and wondered where the hounds and men in armor were staged.
We felt safe but weren't sure from what. Jeff came down in street
clothes and escorted us upstairs where the sight of a sea of soundproof,
uniform cubicles put everything back in perspective.
shared his office space and his most recent projects, one of which
was the completed proof and artwork of an article called Holiday
Blues in the January issue of Muscle & Fitness in print
this month. I think you'll recognize it…and the author. We then
made a large loop around the remarkably quiet offices and stirred
up the hive of writers and editors of both M&F and Flex.
At one point we stood together gabbing as if a team collaborating
on ways to review, excerpt and editorialize Brother and Sister
without unprofessional overlapping. These very nice and good
people welcomed us as insiders. The trample of bureaucracy that
kills never reared its ugly face. What privilege.
ourselves to the freeway system and flew again like eagles. Some
days just go that way. Scary. We were back in twenty-five minutes
sitting at Kinko's reading our email and IronOnline. The world
is round and wears a smiley face. We went to the movies and later
we slept like babies.
running long and late. Till another good day, bombs away. Drapes
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