Monday, August 13, 2007

Manhattan Beach Follies

Manhattan Beach Follies My father loved sports. He was a sportsman, an "old sport" as it were. When he wasn't tending a bar, he worked as a bookie. Our living room television seemed to always be turned on to some kind of sports. I tried to become interested in his wide world of sports, but I found sports, team sports in particular, repetitious and boring, an ultimate waste of time. As a kid, I'd rather play sports than watch sports, but overall, I'd rather read a book or watch a movie. Maybe it's because I somehow felt my father enjoyed watching sports more than spending time with me, but I've never had the patience or drive to spend time on sports.

Now, I do like horse races. One of my Aunt Ruth's husbands was a profession trainer named Vic Fulton. A nice guy who took us all to Del Mar each summer and took me behind the scenes at Hollywood Park. As a kid I met Jimmy Durante, Desi Arnaz, and Lucille Ball at Del Mar. At Hollywood Park, I met Jack Klugman and Vince Edwards. I shook hands with jockies Johnny Longdon and Willie Shoemaker. I loved going to the track and I feel like I grew up there.

I also like cards. I'm not a fanatic. I just went to Vegas in April, but I hadn't been there in 17 years. I grew up in Gardena, which was once the card playing capital of Southern California, and I saw a lot of people throw their money down the toilet at the card clubs. Like I said, my father worked as a bookie, so I've always known you can't beat the house. But I've enjoyed my alumni reunion poker games and I like watching celebrities play on television.

Now I must confess I receive great pleasure from watching women's beach volleyball. But I will also confess that it is not the sport that I like to watch. I like the costumes. I like the floorshow. I like the girls. My father and me would have that in common.

LAist AVP Manhattan Beach Photo Essay

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