Tuesday, November 22, 2022



Just kidding… I am in Southern California, freezing my tail off for the past three weeks and fearing more of the same for the remainder of this trip that will take me through year’s end.

Family, the holidays, the return of my wife’s Studio City pied-a-terre from a long loan-out, old friends, and the chance to see my USC Trojan football team in person are the reasons. Good as all those motivations are, they cannot compete with my Island paradise… especially at these temperatures.

The lyric goes, “Hates California, it’s cold, and it’s damp…” Well, anyway, it is cold. The damp part you cannot prove by me, as my skin feels like dried parchment and my nose bleeds at least three times a week. It is the desert, mon… and, from what I can see, mother nature is trying to reclaim it as such, even faster than she is attempting to turn my adopted Florida into a modern-day Atlantis.

I continue to be asked for suggestions about what to watch on TV or the premium platforms. Sorry, but what with watching football and trying to keep the fireplace stoked, there seems little time to stream much of anything. The Motion Picture Academy site has allowed me to catch up on a documentary featuring songwriter Leonard Cohen (Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song) and the mega movie hit, Top Gun: Maverick. On HBO, I screened the Willie Mays documentary (Say Hey, Willie Mays!). All three are worthy of your attention… or, at the very least, qualify as being somewhat entertaining.

Another distraction from the silver screen: an overriding sense of self interest had me accepting an invitation to spend an afternoon on a fascinating tour of the USC school of gerontology. Worms, I learned, normally have about a 20-day lifespan, but the young geniuses at my Alma Mater, have those 20-day-old beasties cavorting as if they were only two or three days old. Their work shows great hope for mankind and the quest for longevity. Still, as I near my 85th birthday, I suspect I will have a totally different relationship with worms long before the scientists at USC or anywhere else are ready for this vertebrate.

I’d also like to blame the LA dining scene for my diminished screen time. They say my old hometown has become the restaurant capital of the USA. I have yet to discover that to be true. My old haunts have either gone out of business thanks to COVID or have become truly substandard. I am going to have to rely more and more on whatever still-ambulatory locals I can find who might take me to some of the places that have given the City of Angels reason to make this claim.

As to the upcoming holiday: my family is gathering for Thanksgiving in the Southern California desert about a dozen miles east of Palm Springs. A new country club… the Fisher Island of the California desert is how my kids bill it… is where we will give gratitude for all we have. I will withhold judgment until I have seen the place. In the meanwhile, lest it go unsaid, I am very thankful to be in their company and must take this moment to thank the readers of these missives of mine for their attention and kind comments.

All told, I have been here in “the southland” for almost three weeks. With no distractions, such as good weather, a beach club, or the spa at Fisher Island to fill my days, much of my time is spent negotiating LA traffic between lunch dates and working on the writing of my memoir, Conversation with My Daughter.

This wannabe book is very long and could just as well be called Cagney & Lacey… Before and After. It covers almost 85 years with the kind of detail only someone with my outsized ego could conjure. I am composing it with the conceit that the reader has already read Cagney & Lacey… and Me and so, in this latest tome, little of that ten-year saga is included. As to whether it will ever be published, or if anyone besides me will even give a damn… who knows? I can tell you that I find the whole thing fascinating… but then, if not me, then who?


Barney Rosenzweig

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