Looking forward to laughing at fair My number one...

December 28, 2003

Looking forward to laughing at fair

My number one choice for the type of acts at the Pacific

Amphitheatre would be George Lopez, the comedian, for opening day.


Costa Mesa

Celebrating the holidays, El Nido style

I hope you all had a nice Christmas. I thought I'd try something


new this year because first, I am an old Navy man, you know, and I've

traveled the globe.

Going back through my memories, I've spent Christmas in Spain

cheering for the bull in the rain. I've spent it in France, loaded

with cognac, trying to do the Can-Can. I've spent Christmas in Italy

trying to climb the muddy slopes of Mt. Palermo in Sicily.

And dodging furniture being tossed out of upper-story windows in

Naples on New Year's Eve -- which is the tradition. I've spent

Christmas in Greece, drinking "oozo" and eating Octopi and many a

Christmas on the briny, deep blue seas.

But I have not spent Christmas alone with pneumonia before so,

decided to try it this year. Not as much fun as I thought. I couldn't

eat or sleep for more than three days, and as I lay there, in the

middle of the night, I gasped for breath and begged God to put me out

of my misery.

In my delirium, I thought I heard him say:

"I just want you to know that just because you can walk 20 miles,

I am the one who is the immortal. I see that you have survived all

the trials I have chosen for you, but I also see that you're going on

76 years old and you have never tried my Pneumonia, so it is another

experience you can log in your memories book.

If you don't like it, set your mind not to get it again. Besides

it's still better than the Grinch Christmas, you all had last year at

El Nido Mobile Home Park. And you're not out on the street yet."

With that, he showed me how merciless he can be, and he let me


In fact on Christmas Eve, he sent me an "angel" in the form of

Karen -- the daughter of a friend of mine -- who took me to the

emergency room.

I guess God doesn't want me with him yet, as he's been sending

"angels" to help me for 75 years: through three wars; engine room

fires; near drownings, five major hurricanes, several major floods

and other tragedies. I guess those were just for my memory book.

Still, this Christmas was better than the last, for the folks at

El Nido and Snug Harbor mobile home parks, seeing as how we all spent

the last holiday season in fear that we would be out on the street

for New Year.

No one, not the city or the park owners, had enough care or

compassion to ease our fears for the Christmas holidays.

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