Archive for September, 2013


Saturday, September 21st, 2013

mom, tits, modeling

My mother had a lifelong, deep obsession with everything Mexican.  I mean, obsessed.  Is there a word for it?   I looked it up just now and it’s Mexicophile.

We never knew where my mother’s fixation stemmed from.  Perhaps, her Texas roots.   She was raised on a small farm in Sweetwater.    Or, could it have been the Spanish house she was so proud to own?   My mother would wax poetic about every detail of my childhood home.  The beamed ceilings.  She could stare for hours at their beauty.  The stained glass window.  The tiles in the foyer.  The black wrought-iron railing leading up the tiled staircase.  The big bay window.   Her pepper tree.  Even the French doors were, to her, so very Mexican.  Trust me, this woman was so proud of her two story, 3,500-square foot Spanish house you might have assumed she was the architect.

She was WAY ahead of her time in this Mexican love because these were the 1950’s and 60’s.  Mexican Americans were not as ubiquitous as today, where every other Californian seems to have a Latin background.  I just heard on NPR that in the 1700’s the first settlers in Los Angeles were Mexicans.   My mom would have been in Mexican heaven, had she stayed in L.A.  And, of course, had she not died so young.  Today, she’d be all over the immigration law changes. (more…)

May I Have This Dance?

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Barnaby limo cropped 2

When I hear wheels spinning, a grinding sound, and the voices of little boys, I have a Pavlovian reaction — I turn my head and think it’s my own skateboarding child.  Only it isn’t.  Not for many years now.   I knew all the terminology.  Doing an ollie.  When I took Barnaby to New York, he ollied off of all the Lincoln Center stairs. There’s a kickflip, a nosegrind.   Barnaby spent most days at various skate parks on the halfpipe, mega ramp or quarter pipe.   On trips, I might pick up a new deck for him as a gift.  But then he would still need the hardware, like the trucks and wheels.  The joke in our family about Barnaby’s physical activity and fearlessness was that he wasn’t from our family, nervous, not-too-sporty Jews, but from the Winter family (gentile).  The Winter kids don’t think twice about jumping off high rocks into water many feet below (or sometimes no water) as only one example.

Each September, for several years, we were lucky enough to score four tickets to the Emmy awards.  We have five kids, so the ones interested, took turns dressing up in their finest and joining us that night.   It was always exciting, and one year, it was my step-daughter Emma and Barnaby’s turn—to go with Michael (nominated twenty years in a row—not one win) and me.   Barnaby, twelve, but looking nine, spent the whole morning out with friends skateboarding, coming back just in the nick of time, that board grinding to a halt in front of the house, Barnaby drenched in sweat.  He took a quick shower and put on a suit and was fully out of character.  And yet, totally thrilled by the limo ride. (more…)