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MONTEBELLO PARTY

There’s a sleepy, perfect little town just eight miles east of downtown Los Angeles and it’s called Montebello. My very being was crafted from it’s rich, fertile soil, water, and air—for this bad boy the party started at Beverly Hospital, where a nurse gave me my first gulps of libation, from a bottle, not a breast unfortunately, but I was a happy boy all of the same. I met Richard Zinman at Camp Montiqeua, while playing on the fire engine at Montebello Park—Ilene Rossoff introduced us and we’ve been hanging out ever since, forty-one years and counting. After Richard the friends piled up into a unique sculpture of souls–Walter, Christian, Randy Kubota, Damien, Richard Ramos, Albert, Zano, Pauline, Deane, Lisa, Peaches, Chris, Julie, Evette, Norik, Munoz, Lucy, the Garza’s Gary, Dennis and Kathy, Lori (my first) Robin, Susan Robinson (Oh Susan) Suzy Ross, Mike Smith, Andy Franco, Larry, Gabby, Andrea, David, Natasha, Ronnie, Mark, Lillian, Geri, Laura, Dennise, Dennis, Stacy, Eddie, Edward, Sergio, Leonard, Tony, Aram, (Mike Valdez, Mike Markarian and Craig Pike, may they rest in peace) and the list goes on and on and on—souls, perhaps not all as misbehaved as my own, but all with an appetite for fun equal to or exceeding that of my own. In short, for some reason a hell of a lot of the coolest people on earth landed in one little place, just east of East LA—at the same time!

Oh my friends, so many years, so many good times. Can the party still go on?

There are two words that should bring a smile to any earthly inhabitant’s face “MONTEBELLO PARTY”…Or for those who suffer the misery of not having grown up in the place of my most fortunate birth, THERE’S NO PARTY LIKE A MONTEBELLO PARTY!!!

I looked in the mirror and thought, “I’m forty-five and I can’t believe I’m still this good looking…Thank you Lord…And I think I’ll start going to the gym again one of these days just to make things even more ridiculous.” I headed down the stairs; every step reminded me of the groin pull that had relegated my love life to inactive status for weeks. “Oh, I need a good party,” I thought to myself. “What if I never have sex again?” I shook my head to rid the horrible thought and grabbed a bottle of Jack and a bunch of other booze, which I tossed in a bag and headed for the door—Montebello folk don’t show up empty handed!

Rosemary’s house is all of three blocks from my own so no need to drive. And then like music to my ears the air was filled with those familiar voices. I didn’t bother to knock, and then the hand shaking, hugging, drinking, drinking, drinking, eating drinking, eating, eating, eating and real conversation with real people began. And no Hip Hop crap played, just the 80’s finest…I felt like doing some lines, but of course I didn’t because drugs are illegal. “I’ll suck your dick or give you a hand job—I’m serious.” I won’t say who made this offer…Lisa grabbed me by the arm, hey do you want to go to J & S and get some bean and cheese burritos. “I can’t drive,” I muttered back. “I can,” said Lisa. Continue reading