What Happened on Old Malibu Road, Stayed on Old Malibu Road

I wonder how I can write any story about this time without the sex and drugs, but let me try. I first moved into an apartment on Old Malibu Road with my boyfriend. When we split, I moved girlfriend roommates (Wendy, Diana) in and out so I could stay on the beach, but still be able to afford the pad. We partied a lot. But in our own homes. You see, several of us that were friends were scattered across the beach in different places. And we would float from one house to another. A lot.

Friends that would come visit me would wander to one of the boys’ homes and then might not come back until the following day. I’m not saying who or with whom. And I won’t implicate myself except to say– the name Heidi Fleiss comes to mind. Don’t get the wrong idea, I was never paid for my “matchmaking.”

The other friends who had apartments on the same beach I will name. At least, I will give you first names. Billy, Ricci and John.

always a party on my deck!!!

One morning, someone was knocking on my door at the crack of dawn. I answered it very sleepy since I had probably only just nodded off. At the door were these two teenaged girls that I had recently met. They liked me and kind of wanted to be my friend (this is before Facebook), so they dropped acid and slept on the beach outside my house. To this day, those girls are still the best of friends and one of them is one of my closest girlfriends.

I said it would be hard to tell the story without the sex and drugs. I mean most of this time in the 70’s was about sex, drugs and rock and roll, a cliché, but the truth.

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Another time capsule moment would be when my friend on too many Quaaludes decided that he needed to carry my extra- heavy redwood chaise lounge down my flight of stairs because he thought he needed to be right on the sand and not on my deck. He and the chair fell the whole way, tumbling over each other and miraculously — maybe because he was “feeling no pain” — got right up and placed the lounge in its proper direction, facing the ocean, and spent the rest of the day crashed out and burning/tanning in the sun.

Ben and Jane, party in 70's for my birthday

My dad used to like to come and hang out on my deck on weekends to “watch the scenery” as he said. Which really just meant, not the waves but the half naked chicks running around the beach.

There was this guy from Hoboken, New Jersey (the word you was always plural, YOOZ) and he lived with one of my girlfriends. Everyone was sort of in awe of him, and by awe, I mean afraid. He was very street. He seemed tough. And, he kind of was. But to me, he was a teddy bear. And he was a little in awe of me, and by awe, I mean respectful. When I would leave town, I would ask them to housesit for me. I needed them to watch my cat Cosmo. I was quite obsessed with my cat. I called him Smush or Kazh (short for Cosmo). The night before I left New Jersey dude in charge of my cat, I told him how to coax Cosmo back in at night. We stepped outside and I called for my cat. In my highest cat whispering voice, I called for Cosmo and hit the side of the can of food with a spoon. I then handed the can to this truly street guy and said, “Okay, now you try it.” He did, but sounded like Tony Soprano. “Hey, Coz, over heeeah!” he would say in a low ghetto voice. “NO, that’s not it, try it again (high-pitched, enticing ) Cozh, Smush, Cosmo.” Suddenly, Al Pacino in “Dog Day Afternoon” started calling my cat. And he was so not going to come to this guy. Me: “Let’s try this again.” It’s now becoming an elocution lesson—think “My Fair Lady.” Finally, he raises his voice an octave “Cozzzzhhhh!” and I say, “YES!!!!! Good job!!!!!” I sort of loved that he kept rehearsing with me. It was so out of character for him to have this little short broad pushing him around.

New Jersey dude with his brother and Italian immigrant parents

Living on Old Malibu Road in the 70’s was something! Sorry you missed it if you were born too late. Condoms were not a big part of our vocabulary like they are for you, the born- too- late crowd.

I would often eat at a restaurant at Cross Creek called Beecher’s Cafe.  They had the MOST amazing pecan pie, served warm with fresh whipped cream.  The restaurant is long gone so I am going to re-post my mother’s pecan pie recipe which is the best in the world!!!!

Evelyn Duke’s Pecan Pie

click twice to enlarge recipe

On second thought, I am adding more food to this story, scroll down to the pecan pie recipe.

John’s Garden.  Right there in the same park area at Cross Creek where Beecher’s Cafe was.  I go there at least twice a month for well over 20 years (can you say creature of habit?.)  I often complain about this way of eating but for some reason here at John’s Garden it works–standing in line, placing an order, waiting for it and eating outside on picnic tables.  I can and do make the sandwich that I order and share with my husband.  Avocado and jack cheese with sprouts on wheat bread.  They are VERY generous with the avocado, you might want to scoop some of it off your sandwich and dunk your potato chips in it.  There are tons of sandwiches and salads to order, all good.  And of course, there is the dude that has been there a lifetime and he will say to you after you pay your bill “You have a nice day now!!!.”

me and my friend Nick, eating lunch at Beecher's Cafe

Pecan Pie recipe

Tommy and Steve on my deck at 254181/2 Old Malibu Road

boys on my deck, people in and out all day and night!!!

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11 Responses to “What Happened on Old Malibu Road, Stayed on Old Malibu Road”

  1. Ben says:

    I remember it well…… Kind of! Is there i reason picture comes up after the falling down the stairs story? 😉

  2. simon says:

    As we all know, the seventies was when the sixties really happened, and although I was in suburban London at this time, I was reading about this West Coast stuff, and now I feel like I was there too. The scenery was different, but the story was not too different; play it again, Fredde, I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue.

  3. gari smith says:

    fabulous~i loved it~felt like i was on old malibu road~actually i had a few experiences of my own on old malibu road~

  4. Mumy says:

    Ahhh, volleyball at your beach pad! Sunburns and stories… As always, Ms. Duke… bravo.

  5. Augie Duke says:

    ugh so jelous………..

  6. Diana Boos says:

    And the hits just keep on comin…:-) Wow do ALL these pics bring back floods of memories. I remember the little toaster oven we had that you used to make your tuna melts in. I loved Beecher’s. Back then I used to get the triple decker tuna with jack cheese and sprouts! When can we go? I was living there with you from 76 to August of 77 when I left for my crazy year stint in KC. Think I was working at the Trancas Restaurant back then. What a ride we had on Old Malibu Rd. Thanks for letting those of us who had the pleasure of being there with you, go down memory lane, and for the rest…to feel as if they were there. Another fabulous story. Tks for Evie’s recipe…xoxo

  7. pauli says:

    Wish I had been there, done that, etc. etc.

  8. Christel Chesney says:

    Double ugh….so jealous.

  9. TJ says:

    Just stumbled on your archive post. I was a waiter at Beechers from 77 to 78. What a lot of great memories.

  10. Gary A says:

    I lived at 25338 up until 71, when I was 19 or so. At first there were no streetlights or city water, it came from malibu lake and was awfull. One of my friends there was a kid named Greg. We both god Dave Sweet surfboards from santa monica, but as you might know; there isn’t much surf there. They filmed the first beach party movie a few houses down, so my friend, Gary had a brief clip of him surfing what was there. I partied alot later, since my folks left it in a divorce, mostly empty.

    Great memory, and slighty before the mid 70s popularity. Greg’s younger sister was named Christie. Funny group of little kids, we were.
    They all moved away before me. thanks

  11. bob percival says:

    Wow, such fun memories of Malibu. This is such great readings. I worked at Beecher’s for a couple of years, with great people, and times. Malibu was such a wonderful place and good times. Pray to all!

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