Greater Egret

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Uncle cries uncle

My Uncle Norm, fairly frequent contributor to these comment pages, has sent me a letter telling me that he is through discussing genealogy with me. My incessant quest has apparently brought him to the snapping point. My octogenarian uncle would prefer to spend the time with his real passion, tanning the most intimate portions of his body with other like minded peers who share his proclivity for sun clubbing. Bravo to Uncle Norm. Sorry to have burned you out.

I found my whole genealogy file, once thought lost, assembled 16 years ago after  much painstaking research and realize that I have pretty much duplicated the effort and improved it in two short weeks, thanks to the power of the internet in this new age of ours. With the exception of the LDS warehouses of microfilm and the municipal archives in Poland, all the information is just, right there. Thank you Tracy.


I judged the Fallbrook Car Show once again on Sunday. Thought that it would get rained out and I slept in, but got the call that the thing was still on and managed to slide out of bed. It turned out to be a beautiful day, anyway.

First I judged the vintage European class, lots of nice Jags and Citroens. There was a lovely silver Mercedes gullwing and a real nice red Shelby Cobra, and a lot of other stuff. It's weird to me to have classes with Mark 5's and XJS's in the same class. I will take the Mark 5 thanks.

Anyway, I never had a big affinity for muscle cars but there were a lot of them at the show. 70's is in, god help us. Cool Subaru Sambar. Don't think I have ever seen one before.

I judged the vintage with Jim Swan and the woodies with my buddy Pete, who sells Nova parts for a living as well as surfboards and really knows his shit. Woodie people are a lot of fun. Head judge is a woodie guy and said that we were pretty spot on.

Skipping breakfast on the run, I made the acquaintance of the bacon wrapped hot dog at the event, quite good really. Even though it lacked kraut.

Speaking of hot dogs, the hot dog of my youth, has come to the west coast. As a kid, I survived on the Papaya King hot dogs from 86th street. Yorktown. I went to high school at 85th and Lex at Dwight York and then at Walden on 88th and Central Park West. Ate a lot of dogs.

Papaya King's motto was better than filet mignon. And they were. A nice snap, a nice smell, served one of two ways, with or without kraut. The right way. Hot mustard. Choice of fresh squeezed drink, I favored the orange juice. None of that sissy chicago stuff with a salad on a bun. No celery salt or cucumbers, thank you.

I rhapsodized about these dogs for years. My wife is from detroit, home of the coney dog. When I finally drug my wife in there about 15 years ago, she said, "You brought me here for this?" The dogs were actual pitiful, shriveled up wieners laying forlorn in their soggy buns. Not nearly as good. I guess you can't go home again. But I will try the new Papaya King in Hollywood, if only for nostalgia.


Speaking of New York, I read yesterday that a new law has been passed banning the making of music at Bethesda Fountain. This is sacrilege. I spent many a day at the fountain listening to the world's greatest rhythm section in my misspent youth. Unless you had the audacity to flip the beat. Big Mike from Gig Harbor reads the blog and once told me a story of watching a guy get stabbed who flubbed the beat. That will keep you in time.


We ended the evening dining with the Smiths at their palatial digs in the hinterlands. Simple and perfect. Tri-tip, asparagus, multiple mushrooms. A nice Cab and a cool pinot grigio. Leslie brought a fruit and dressed a green salad. All was faboo. Everybody was very chill.

Their dogs resemble ewoks, I think that they are all in on some weird alien breeding program.

California ranch living at its finest. Thanks for the lovely afternoon.



Anonymous said...

The author somehow forgot to mention the most interesting part of the evening...California Jean Skiing. It's the new snowboarding without the board and the snow. Just a hill and a man in jeans is all you need. GOOD TIMES!

Anonymous said...

Real nice! I judge a car show with you...10 minutes later you're takin a shot at my Chicago hot dogs! How could I expect you to know...never played a 16" softball game and followed it up with 2 Hasty-Tasty Chicago dogs and a quart of Dad's root beer!
Try a Portillo's dog and a grilled Polish in Buena Park. You won't want to burp up another soggy Papaya pup!
Your friend, I guess.

Anonymous said...

you need me to edit any new york references:

1- more important than banning of music at bethesda fountain (which this new yorker did not hear) is that as of 5-23-11 there is no longer smoking (against the law) in any city park (includes bethesda fountain and its environs) , any city beach or plaza ! And of course you know similiarly that if the police smell mj coming from your residence they can break the door down because you must be a terrorist!

2- also of note there is a closed/private group on FB "I survived the Central Park Bandshell in the 1970's" , yours truly is a member and it is sort of a free association of memories, recently we or I brought up papaya king (I did much business there), also the purple people, victor's cafe, capt nemo's, la cardidad, schaeffer concerts, and of course all of our dead brethren.


Anonymous said...


I haven't reached a snapping point--it is just that after thinking about the subject I realized that my genealogy really doesn't matter. I met some of my relatives, and even with common ancestors we are so different from each other that no one, unless I identified the person as a relative, would not identify us a "related."

Some day look up your cousin Edward Roberts on the Internet. He can be located on Wikipedia; also on mit.edu.

I never knew the family had a successful high-tech entrepreneur in the family.

So keep on "asking;" though I probably don't know. I will answer.

But in the event you are interested, I will send you a couple of pictures--including one of me suitably cropped.