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The Ultimate Event

When I moved to New York I put everything I could fit in a blue trunk.  Naturally that meant my car, an old Oldsmobile beater, couldn’t go; I left it with my mom back in Miami Beach.  This is why, during my one month break from college (Pratt Institute puckishly called it ‘Winterim’) a year and half later mom offered to drop me off in front of the Miami Arena for a show.

My last 18 months in college, being in art school, and in New York; I strove to carve out an identity.  This path led me through the “good old days,” the Fifties and early Sixties and a stack of cassette tapes featuring Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra (I, like most discerning listeners, favored the Capitol Years).  I played them in my dorm as an ironic counterpart to the whining sounds of The Smiths emanating from my roomie’s boombox.  It was “Louder than Bombs” vs. “A Swingin’ Affair.”  But my interest wasn’t ironic, I was really into this.

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Pancho’s Giveaway

Pancho’s Giveaway is a status state.  It’s a metaphorical appellation given to unwilling LA County public school students by other very willing LA County public school students.  Pancho’s has been in non-existence at least since the early 70’s; maybe even longer than that.

It’s supposed to be a real place, but as far as anyone has known it has never actually existed.  Some kids claimed to have even been there, but they were lying.  Even today if anyone ever tells you they’ve been there or tries to tell you how to get there, well, they’re lying too.

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Year-Round School

Around February of 1981 there were some weird rumors flying around LeConte Junior High School.  The rumors had one idea in common; that the LA Unified School District (LAUSD) was doing something with the school schedule.  Stories ranged from the optimists’ “They’re adding onto summer vacation!” to the pessimists’ “They’re getting rid of summer; we’ll have to be here all year!”  Since this was Hollywood of the early Eighties, even among the 7th, 8th and 9th Graders, the pessimists easily outnumbered the optimists, probably about 10 to 1.

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