Tuesday, August 5, 2014


THEY CALL IT THE CITY OF ANGELS  New Fiction By BUREAU Editor Joshua TRILIEGI Each Chapter is Written in a Twenty - Four Hour Period without Notes Published Consecutively  SEASON TWO / EPISODE FOUR / CHAPTER 26    PRIMETIME


New Fiction By BUREAU Editor Joshua TRILIEGI
Each Chapter is Written in a Twenty - Four Hour Period without Notes Published Consecutively


Jordan went primetime when he made a split second decision to get his Uncle's family heirloom from the pawn shop during the first few hours of the riot. He was on duty at the time, so the image of  a municipal bus driver looting a pawn shop, while on duty made news. Of Course, he was not actually looting at all, it was his guitar and he just didn't want anyone else to get his only sacred historical object: The Red Bass Fender from the early days of Soul and Rhythm and Blues. Many of the images that were broadcast during the first night of the riots were simply local and live, but Jordan's escapade had gone National. When Ted Koppel and The Nightly News ran with the image as the opening of that evenings news telecast, everyone across the nation picked it up. The image of Jordan running across the street with a Red Guitar in his hand and the streets ablaze behind him, eventually ended up on the cover of a popular national news magazine and he was forced to come out and tell his side of the story. His first statement was to a local newscaster: "I just would like to say that I do not condone looting, or this riot. What happened was wrong and the courts have made a bad decision, but my act of retrieving a family heirloom from a store that was being overrun was by no means and unequivocally unrelated to the acts of defiance we are currently seeing throughout the city. He reached into his wallet and pulled out the pawn ticket, I own that guitar and I was simply saving it from being stolen by somebody else, it's as simple as that."  But that is not how the Transit Authority saw it,  they promptly fired him. When his mother saw the image on television in a bar located in Detroit called, Cozy's Corner Corral, which had been a Motown hang out back in the early days, she recognized him immediately,"Thats my Boy, that is my son right there, you here me, that little f*cker is my Boy!" Nobody in the bar cared or believed her, but when the interview came on and his name was flashed across the bottom of the screen while he spoke, they couldn't deny her observation. "You see ? Just like his daddy, right in the middle of a m*ther f*cking riot, a goddamn revolutionary sonofabitch !"  She ran all around town borrowing every scrap of change she could find, packed up her few items in a single little pink suitcase, she told Shep up in that tired old apartment that she was leaving to see her, 'famous son' out in L.A. and got on the first train to Los Angeles. Baby never flew, she was more than 'Old School', she was what they now call, 'an original'. Her real name was Florenze, but because Jordan's dad had always called her 'Baby', it then became her official handle.  They were a real ruff and tumble couple back when Jordan was born. Factory people who graduated into power with the street politics of the time times. Everybody in Detroit knew Baby and Little Mac as they were respectively known. As a young child, Jordan never found it very comfortable having well known parents, every where he went, people had some idea of who he was, supposedly because they had heard this or that about his family. Mac had been rolling with some very heavy cats back then, Panthers and such. In and out of prison, community protection, food programs for the poor, big time black liberation people on the front lines of all sorts of activities for the rights of the people. They were very well respected for going to the degree with which they did for other people and for the community at large. Mac and Baby had a selfless attitude that gained them popularity, but it didn't do much for Jordan, whose spent most of his time at Uncles and Aunts houses as a kid, just regular factory folks.

Many of Jordan's people were third generation Muslims and although praying five times a day was often for survival, food, a new job or in hopes that a loved one would come home unscathed, they did practice regularly. When Wanda got pregnant, some of Jordan's stricter friends at the mosque suggested that the girl convert, so the child could be assured a place in heaven with Allah. Wanda loved Jordan and would do most anything for him, but converting seemed a bit much to her. Wanda was a middle class working girl with a flair for fashion. She had an earthy style that was very cultural, but more in a reggae style rather than a strict way of living and eating and dressing. Jordan said it would be good for the family as a unit, but Wanda resisted.  Some of his friends at the mosque suggested that he bring Wanda for a visit on a day when many of the ladies would be having a sale of all kinds of fashions for Muslim women, lots of scarves and accessories for the modern muslim woman. Jordan agreed that he would try. Soon enough, he had persuaded her to visit. Wanda met other muslim ladies, they ate, talked, welcomed her.  Jordan bought Wanda a few new outfits with scarves and the plan seemed to be working. But then the guys at the mosque said that if Jordan wanted Wanda to be certified officially that she would have to make a statement that Allah was god publicly and then she could be given a piece of paper from the mosque stating that she was Muslim. Jordan knew that this was going to be difficult. Wanda believed in a heaven on earth, in the grand Rastafarian sense, that, like the Jewish people who were chosen, so too were the Rasta and that returning to Africa was equivalent to visiting Mecca for Jordan. "Why can't our baby be part Muslim and part Rasta ?", she wanted to know. Jordan laughed so hard that he fell off the couch, he rolled on the ground roaring. She was so beautiful and funny and sexy and smart and dedicated that he actually didn't really care what she was: this woman was giving him a baby and he was so damn in love that he was giddy. "Half Rasta and half Muslim ? Whats he going to do smoke all day and pray all night ?", Jordan joked.  "Thats not funny, the Rastafari pray by their actions of righteousness.", she replied, "Yeah, but neither eat pork and I see you eating baby back ribs whenever possible.", "Jordan you a punk sometimes. You know that ?" He just shook his head, "I love you. I'm in love with you. I will do anything for you anytime, anywhere. Can't you just say that Allah is god and we can get on with our lives. You don't have to wear a scarf every day or change your fashion. It is just a symbol of unity between you, me and the baby." Wanda looked at him, "You just don't give up do you?", "Not on you I don't and never on this baby."  They looked at one another for a long time, neither spoke, finally, Wanda said, "Yes", that she would visit the mosque and say the words. But she wanted him to know that the baby was going to have to decide for his or her self what to believe. Jordan agreed and the negotiation had ended. The day that Wanda had made the official statement, she had met more of the families of Jordan's friends. Several of them lived just a few blocks away and they had assured her that they would be  there to support Wanda through the pregnancy and that one of the friends sold organic foods and would it be all right if they periodically dropped of fresh fruits and vegetables to the house?  "Yes, of course, you are always welcome in our house", Wanda had said, trying to be kind and considerate of their offer. All of these events transpired over a period of time just before the riot. When Jordan  went primetime with his Uncles guitar, everyone at the mosque was surprised at his actions and when he lost his job shortly thereafter, things looked even worse. Wanda thought it was embarrassing, but she also realized it was typical of Jordan.  There was something slightly funny about it. The fact that he pulled the bus over, ran into the shop and then hopped back on the bus with his, 'family heirloom', as he put it, or as the guys in the band called instruments, 'his Axe', was downright humorous. But when Ted Koppel and other national news shows ran the image, she was hoping he could handle that kind of exposure. After all, Wanda had minored in journalism and when the station called for Jordan's side of the story, it was Wanda who helped him write his official statement. When the station wanted to conduct the interview in front of the burnt out remnants of the pawn shop, Wanda said no. Jordan eventually had made his statement in Leimert Park instead, with a group of Jordan's supporters and a group of people protesting  the unjust decision that actually caused all the problems to begin with. It came off like a civic statement, instead of some ghetto style interview that normally was presented and the community rallied behind him.

Wanda was several years older than Jordan, she had been in this neighborhood back when the riots of 1965 happened and it brought back some terrible feelings. She had forgotten that Summer and now some of the memories were creeping back into her consciousness.  Terrible images of racism, hatred, destructiveness and that feeling of simply being helpless. She remembered looking up at the adults and realizing that they weren't actually smarter than her, they weren't doing the right thing, they were hurting themselves and everything around them. Now the actual smell of ash and soot and wood and rubber and asphalt and sulphur mixed together began to make her nauseated. She remembered thinking that, back then,  it was somehow her fault that the riot had started. Her parents had been quarreling over wether to visit relatives out of town or to stay in town for the summer. If they left town than none of Wanda's friends would be able to come to her birthday party. So, she made a big scene while her dad was out back burning trash. In those days most homes had a place to burn your trash, it served as a bbq  on holidays and an incinerator whenever leaves or trash needed burning. After her little burst out, Wanda had ran off down the block to the park in tears, she had been spoiled by her mother and adored by her daddy, so these little outbursts were common. Like most kids she was easily distracted and had a large imagination, so when she got to the park, several hours passed quickly. When it was time to go home, Wanda found road blocks obstructing her usual path home. Police cars and firetrucks were everywhere. The entire block was going up in flames and smoke was everywhere. She stood on the corner while two big policemen began talking, one of them sat in the passenger side of the car with the door open, while the other stood on the sidewalk attending to the road block "So, what's this all about ?" the cop standing asked. "I'm not exactly sure.", the cop in the car answered, "But It looks like some crazy bastard got pissed off and decided to burn his own f*cking neighborhood down."  Wanda heard that and ran as fast as she could to her Aunts house, which was a few blocks down. She had heard her Mom  call her Daddy a 'crazy bastard' a whole bunch of times, so she knew for sure who them two cops were talking about. Wanda  ran into the back door and into the kitchen, "Auntie, Auntie, help, help, my daddy's burning the neighborhood down cause mama don't want to leave to the lakes on account of my birthday. Help, we gotta put out the fire…", She collapsed into her Aunts apron and Uncle Milt walked in, "Whats this all, about ?"  Aunt Mae just shook her head and said she didn't know, but that Milt better call over to the house and find out. Milt had been watching the beginning of the uprising on television and he and Wanda's dad talked about it a while, "Terrible Ain't it, gonna set us back a few years this kinda thing…", he handed the phone to Aunt Mae. Then Uncle Milt turned to Wanda, "Your Daddies house ain't on fire, sugar, were in the middle of an uprising girl." He picked her up and they watched the television coverage together. Aunt Mae came in a few minutes later and said that little Wanda was staying the night and that they was gonna be baking a peach pie together, "How does that sound ?" She just shrugged. Aunt Mae's patience only went so far, "You get your little butt upstairs and wash that face for dinner right now young lady." Then she added, "And by the way, your mother wanted me to tell you that you will be having your birthday at home this year. Wanda finally smiled, ran over and gave her Aunt a hug. All these years later, Wanda wished there was someone like that to hug right now, the doorbell rang and her wish came true. One of those, 'Watch - what - you wish - for' moments.

Baby was able to scrape up a one way ticket and enough money to get her hair done, buy a dress and a new pair of heels. When she got to Los Angeles, she already had Jordan's address from the Transit Authority, having lied and said his father was sick in the hospital. She hadn't seen Jordan's father in years, he could have been in prison for all she knew. By now, military soldiers were camped out everywhere, but the damage had already been done. Baby stopped into a local grocer who had somehow survived the uprising and picked up a big gallon jug of red wine, a large bottle of Southern Whiskey, a bunch of collared greens, peas, potatoes, a giant rack of ribs and a chocolate cake. When the cab pulled up to Jordan's, his Mama payed the driver, but asked him to wait until the door opened before he drove off. Just in case her 'famous son' was not home. When Wanda answered the door, Baby waved at the taxi driver and said, "I'm Jordan's Momma, Baby, and you are… ?"  "I'm Wanda, Come on in, it's Florenze right ?", "People call me Baby." She walked right into the kitchen and started unpacking the groceries as if she had been living there her whole life.  "What a pleasant surprise, Jordan is always talking about you and his daddy." Baby replied, "He may be talking 'About' us, but he ain't been talking 'To' us for quite some time."  Wanda just let that barb go and helped to unpack the groceries. "Then, I don't suppose you knew that we are expecting."  She held up her shirt and exposed a tiny bump of a tummy. Baby just looked at it and said ,"Girl, you better get to eating if that kids gonna have a fighting chance. I am going to cook up the best damn southern style meal you ever had in your life. But first I need to rinse off a thousand miles of railroad tracks, if you don't mind. Feel like I just went to town with John Henry himself. Wheres the bathroom honey ?"  Wanda led 'Baby' into the den and suggested she put her things in there for now. She gave her a quick tour of the place and started a bath. For the next few hours Baby was holding court, playing music from their collection, making her original recipes and telling Wanda all those stories that mothers like to tell about their kids. Though, there weren't too many to tell, since Jordan had mostly been raised by Aunts and Uncles. Baby smoked cigarettes on the patio and continued to tell her stories without missing a beat.Talking through the screen at Wanda, who by now was falling into Baby's routine comfortably. Wanda hadn't consumed any alcohol in a couple months and decided to pour herself a glass. Baby was drinking whiskey on ice pretty regularly and continued to play Jordan's extensive collection of rare jazz, blues and soul records. "The kids got great taste in music, thats for sure." then she added, "I think he got a lovely lady here too." And she gave Wanda that hug she'd been wishing for. The two women were having a time. Wanda got tipsy from the wine, the music and all of the energy coming off of Jordan's Momma, who hadn't stopped talking since she walked in the door. As evening set in, Jordan came walking down the block from having recently visited a lawyer about his being fired, he decided to fight it on principle. As he came down the block with a bouquet of flowers, several of his friends from the mosque stopped to ask him how everything was going and they talked a bit.They had a box of fresh food for him and Wanda and Jordan immediately invited them over. The men, several dressed in traditional garb, hats, scarves, beards all discussed Jordan's recent response on television as they walked down the street toward the house. They were both excited and proud of the way he had handled himself on camera. Some of them were saying that maybe he had the type of leadership skills that could be good for the community. Jordan opened the front door to their place and the men walked in to find the two women dancing to James Brown and singing, "…Stay on the scene, like a sex machine, the way I like it, is the way it is … Get up, Get on up, Get up, get on up …".  In her right hand, Wanda held a giant baby back rib, in her left, a glass of wine, she was wearing a bra and an african quilted skirt while dancing about the living room. Jordan's Momma had a cigarette dangling from her lips and was pouring a tall glass of Whiskey on ice. By the time James Brown was, 'Takin' it to the bridge', the two ladies turned to the front door and Baby screamed out, "Oh My God, theres my goddamn little revolutionary", Jordan stood there in the doorway, holding the box of organic vegetables in one hand an a bouquet of flowers in the other, his friends stood behind him: aghast. "Fellas", he said, "This here is my Momma." The men all looked at one another, the music stopped and Jordan's show had just gone primetime.


Published at BUREAU of Arts and Culture Sites in: New York City, Los Angeles, San  Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Santa Barbara  and   Bureau International Literary Site   
Written by Bureau Editor Joshua Triliegi Every day Monday to Friday AUGUST 2014
Fine Art Paintings by New York Painter David FeBLAND featured Interview SUMMER EDITION at :


Each Chapter is Written in a Twenty - Four Hour Period without Notes Published Consecutively



Fred had hired a lawyer, one of the best, to help negotiate a deal for the boy. He felt he owed it to Sam, to look after the family now that their father was dead. Most anyone else, including Fred's many friends and associates in the community  would have simply let the boy, who was actually a young man, simply do the time and possibly be prosecuted for a much larger circle of crimes, even though the boy had nothing to do with the others. Fred was beginning to lose faith in the system.  Because of the events that were about to happen in their lives, many of his fellow business owners and pals from the old country were about to feel the same. Although not all of Fred's friends had come from the same country as him, most had experienced the same type of history. A civil war, followed by or even precipitated by a larger abuse of power and sometimes several or many years of bloodshed and actual fighting on the ground in a country torn in two by two larger countries, then a reconciliation and finally an offer to immigrate and start anew. It happened that way in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia. Now it was happening in Fred's own life, with Sam's family and the boy attempting to burn down the place.     Thanks to Fred's lawyer, the boy had been released and due to his behavior early on in life and a few incidents at school, Fred's lawyer was able to claim that the boy was not working with a full deck of cards. Several forces in authority would have been glad to throw the boy away for several years, local, state and federal branches had all been looking to find the person or group who had been responsible for the Palm Tree burnings. The fact that Fred's lawyer claimed the boy was slightly insane did not necessarily exempt him from prosecution, it just meant that he might not have to do time in the penitentiary. Sometimes a plea like that could actually work against the defendant and suggest to the jury that the boy had done the crime and might have done others too. Fred had been to Sam's family house on several occasions since the incident and his lawyer had assured them how lucky they were to have a man like Fred on their side. He was now looked at by Sam's family and by many in his community as a very honorable businessman. But the recent events had taken their toll and Fred was feeling wiped out. On his own accord, he had begun to investigate the man responsible for his daughters death, ever since his release from prison. The results were worse than not knowing anything at all. When he called the prosecuting attorney at the time, who had become a broken man, both morally, financially and otherwise, he was given a file that had facts in it that only brought revelations of sorrow. He discovered that his daughters boy friend Ryan, had been smoking marijuana the night the accident happened. He also found out that Ryan's car was not street legal and the fact that the height of the cars rear was not regulation, may have caused or helped facilitate the accident. As he delved further into the case, he received the address of the man who was prosecuted and when he parked out in front of Junior's house, he saw, of all things, Officer Chuck of the local police department drive up to the house and enter with a key. How could that be ? Chuck had never once mentioned that he was actually married to Cecilia, the sister of the man who the courts claimed was responsible for his daughters death. Fred started to get paranoid. What if they were out to get him ?  As he looked into the case even further he found out something that he wished he hadn't. Josie was three and a half weeks pregnant when she died. It was right there in the autopsy report. Someone had withheld that fact to protect Fred and his wife  from more pain than was already inflicted, but now, for Fred, the pain was only delayed and amplified. 

Fred went to visit Ryan's parents, but only Ryan's younger brother was home. It had been fifteen years, but the young man recognized him at first glance. "Your Josie's Dad", He said immediately upon opening the door, "Yes, I'm Fred."  The brother welcomed him in. "I'm Ryan's brother.", he said without mentioning his own name. "Come in, please." Without even asking he went to the fridge and open to cans of beer, handed one to Fred, and took a drink. They walked into the back patio and then into the yard. Instead of a grass lawn, there was a traditional asian zen garden with the sculpture of a Buddha near the back and pebbles and rocks placed accordingly. Fred was surprised. "Yeah, my parents were always into stuff like that.", he paused, reflecting  on the past, "Sometimes I think thats why Ryan and Josie had gotten along so well. She loved it back here. I really liked her. I don't mean like a brother is supposed to like his future sister in law, I mean I was just plain in love with her. But, I think a lot of people were. She was really very special, not just beautiful, but kind, funny, respectful. Ryan would be in the garage working on his car and Josie would be out here laying in the sun. I adored her to the point where Ryan would have to tell me to go and play. I was just a kid, but there was something magnetic about Josie. She was so laid back and easy to talk to …" Fred began to drop tears underneath his sunglasses and Ryan's little brother said he was sorry for bringing it up. "No, its ok, I actually came here to talk about it. Did you know that Ryan smoked marijuana ?"  "Yeah, everybody did, in fact, most of my brothers friends were doing a lot more than that sir."  "Josie and Ryan were total squares compared to the rest of their friends, they would sit here in the garden doing their homework, while everyone else what out doing who knows what." Fred continued, "Did you know that Josie was pregnant ?"  Ryan's brother just looked at the man and had trouble responding, "Yeah I did, but I thought I was the only one who did know that. In fact my parents don't even know about that. Ryan told me that he was trying to convince Josie to marry him, but that she was afraid to tell you and your wife, so they had quarreled about it for a week or so. Look, if you talk to my parents, don't mention that will you? I don't think that would bring them anything but pain. Ya know Fred, 'knowing' is not everything it's cracked up to be."  "Thats a very wise statement young man." Ryan replied, "If you promise not to say anything, I want to show you something", he led Fred into the hallway and opened a door that had been Ryan's room, everything had been kept as it was for all those years, just as Fred had preserved Josie's room, they had preserved Ryan's. Hot rod posters, snap shot pictures of Josie that Fred had never seen before, albums, books and images here and there that Fred identified with his now dead daughter. When he had seen enough, they closed the door and walked back into the living room. The door bell rang, and a girl that looked a lot like Josie walked in, "Hey, I thought you were coming over ?", she said as the door opened. "I was, but… an old family friend came by and we got to talking about the old days."  Fred just looked at the girl, he was stunned by the resemblance, frozen in time. "Fred, this is my girlfriend", he didn't mention her name. "We have our own band and we are rehearsing for a gig tonite, Hey, were allowed to have guests, can we put your name at the door?"  Fred, just stood there and stared at the girl. "Yeah, I know she's a knockout, huh?"   The girl became embarrassed and excused herself. Fred said that he had to go now, he was sweating. "Wait a minute. If you ever need someone to talk to, I want you to call me. Ryan and I were close, very close, not a day goes by where I don't think about him. I know what your going through and you just have got to let it go, not forever, but just right now, let it go." He led Fred into the back yard to sit, then walked back inside and explained to his girlfriend what was going on. After a few minutes, the two entered the patio to join him. The girl sat next to Josie's Father. "It must be terrible to lose someone like that, so… young. Just because they're gone doesn't mean they're not with us. He never stops talking about Ryan and somehow, that means that Ryan is still here. Right?", "Yes", Fred replied, They got up and walked back into the house and toward the front door, as Fred exited, The young man handed him and invitation to their gig, Fred turned and asked the girl, "By the way, What do you do, in the band ?", She replied matter of fact, "I'm the singer, but I also play guitar".  Fred just smiled and shook his head in the affirmative, as if to say yes of course. He waved and walked away. 

When Fred got all this new information, he was reeling. He got home, called his new lawyer exclaiming that he wanted to know why he had originally not been informed of all of this to begin with?  The lawyer was surprised by Fred. "Did you request any this information at the time? The lawyer began to bulletin point for the sake of clarifying the situation. "One: The autopsy would have had gruesome pictures that you and your wife probably had avoided for obvious reasons. So you were never informed about the marijuana or pregnancy. Two: Ryan's car was not regulation and your lawyer did everything he could do to prosecute the other boy because that was his job. Fred, the American legal system is not a perfect system, but, sometimes it works and that depends on a bunch of factors that are difficult to pinpoint. What are you gaining by digging  up all this past information ? What has it done for you so far, realistically ?"  Fred thought about it, then replied  "Its made me dubious of everything. I don't know who to blame anymore."  "Well, maybe thats a good thing. What if the kids were actually to blame for what happened that night ?"  Fred sat quiet, the lawyer continued,  "Now you have information that leads you to believe that a boy who went to prison for fifteen years may have been innocent. And here we are in an attempt to save another young man from doing time for something we know that he actually did do, simply because he was your partners son. So is this about justice or is this about right and wrong or is this about using the law to your advantage ?"  Fred sat quietly thinking. The lawyer added, "I have a feeling this whole thing is going to blow over and we won't even end up in court. Its just a feeling in my gut. Some thing much larger and more important could put this whole thing to the wayside."  Little did either of the men know that something larger was about an hour away from making the Palm Tree burning look like kids stuff compared to the kind of devastation that was about to bust loose. Fred got off the phone, he had been listening to a traditional language station that featured music, news and sports concerning people from his country here in Southern California. He was about to relax, when news reports began interrupting the usually scheduled programs. Shop owners all along the corridor where Fred's Liquor Store was located were put on alert. Fred jumped into his car and headed up to the store, by now it was evening. He had no idea that anything was happening in regards to the recent high profile court case. Fred had been so immersed in his own personal dramas that he had no time to consider the larger issues involving the 
city and it's reaction to another bad legal decision. 

By the time he even got close to the store, he knew there was trouble, stores, cars, trashcans were on fire all up and down the block, cars were racing in and out, people were running across the streets without even looking, not just across the streets, but at all angles, with hands full of merchandise of all sorts: radios, televisions, toasters, even toilet paper. Fred had never seen anything like it except when he was a little boy and witnessed a battle on the streets of his little village. All that helplessness he felt back then, he now felt again. As he got closer to the store, he could see a truck pulling out of the parking lot with boxes and boxes full of stock from the store, rival looters tried to grab at the contents of the truck and the man sitting in the passenger seat, got out a pistol and shot towards those in the lot. When Fred pulled into the lot , people were streaming in and out of the place with anything they could get for free, bottles of vodka,  chewing gum,  toothpaste, potato chips, a six pack, he recognized some of his regular customers taking things that they normally purchased on a daily basis. The little girl that he sold a daily popsicle to for 50 cents walked out with a box of a dozen popsicles. They had pried open the steel gates, busted the front windows and eventually, drove a truck straight through. He called the police, waited a half hour, there was no response. When he walked to the back room, he noticed that his pistol was not in the holster. The men in the truck must have taken it. When there was nothing left to take, someone threw a flaming bottle into the store and a fire burst in its center. Fred reached for the extinguisher, but it was gone. He went to the back room grabbed his business reports, his license, his insurance and original personal papers of ownership and on the way out looked up at the image of him and Sam, it was partially in flames. He jumped up onto a shelf, ripped the frame off the wall and ran out the front door. He watched in dismay as a firetruck pulled into the lot, unravelling  water hoses and for the next hour proceeded to put out the fire. Fred sat in the lot holding the picture, just holding it to his chest while the entire business became a pile of molten earth. As the fire died down, a car came by and  shot towards the fireman on the ladder, he was hit in the shoulder and without even getting off the ladder, they dropped the hose and pulled out of there in less than a minute. Fred stood in the lot alone. The little girl, who normally bought her daily popsicle walked back up to the front of the store, her dress was now soiled with syrup. She looked at Fred and reached her hand out, when she opened it up, two quarters sat in the center of her tiny hand. He stood there, unable to let go of the picture. Tears were running down his face, he looked at the little girl and bowed. The girl put the two quarters on the ground and ran home just as fast as she could. She knew something bad had happened and that she had been a part of it. Shame was something even a child could understand. Fred waited another hour, but no police responded. He then had no other choice but to get into his car and drive home. 

Fred was now in shock. His hands were cut and burned, his face was scratched, he had lost it all. He entered the house, went straight for Josie's room and looked around, there on the dresser was a picture of Josie and Ryan, in the corner, her guitar. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the invitation that the kids had given him, "The concert.", he said out loud, "I have got to get to the concert."  He got cleaned up, put on a fresh suit and hat as he had whenever attending Josie's recitals in the past. He looked at the invitation and recognized the address, it was a popular spot that had been around for years. As Fred walked up to the theater, he could here the music playing and a girls voice say, "This is our last song, we want to thank everyone for coming out tonight." Fred walked into the club, it was packed. He walked right up to the front of the stage. The young man added, "We also want to say that we hope that everyone in this city can find a better way to settle our differences, theres some real insanity going on out there right now…",  the girl looked down and saw Fred standing in the front row. She looked directly at him and grabbed the microphone, "This song goes out to a very special man who is with us tonight and to two other beautiful people that couldn't be here, but their presence is felt."  Then they broke into a slow and soulful rendition of a classic Beatles song that Josie had in her record collection, It was a song called: In My Life. The girl on the stage, who, as far as Fred was concerned, was his daughter Josie, began to sing, "There are places I remember, all my life, though some have changed, some forever not for better, some have gone and some remain, all these places have their moments with lovers and friends I still can recall, some are dead and some are living, in my life I've loved them all… ", Then she played a guitar solo and continued , " …But of all these friends and lovers, there is no one compares with you, and these memories lose their meaning when I think of love as something new, though I know I'll never lose affection for people and things that went before, I know I'll often stop and think about them, in my life I love you more.", The young man who in Fred's mind was Ryan played a piano solo, then the girl continued, "Though I know I'll never lose affection for people and things that went before, I know I'll often stop and think about them in myyyyyy life I Love You More." Then the song ended, the audience applauded and the lights in the theater came on. The girl raised her hand to her brow, looking in Fred's direction, but by then, Fred was long gone. 

Each Chapter is Written in a Twenty - Four Hour Period without Notes Published Consecutively


R I D E  

Charles had gained some serious peace of mind in the past decade out on the road, along the highways, in the parking lots and alleys and subways and parks and open spaces where homeless people are known to dwell. His health had faltered a bit, he wasn't as young as he once was, but neither was anybody else. He had missed out on a lot, some of it was well worth missing and some of it was a lost treasure: watching Cally grow up into a woman for instance.  No amount of effort would make a difference there, except to be present now that he had returned, and that he did. The long lost tradition of Charles making breakfast for anyone and everyone in the house had returned. In the old days, Charles the Roady was also Charles the Chef. He had been minding his own business one early morning up in Northern California during one of those big monster festival tours with ten different bands : The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Cream, The Band and a bunch of early blues bands from The South, John Lee Hooker and all of that. Charles got up to make breakfast for himself and suddenly, Dylan walked into the kitchen for a glass of milk, he asked Charles what he was making and said that sounded good, could he have some, then Robbie from The Band heard Dylan playing with his harmonica and he became hungry too, all of the sudden, Charles is making omelets for Jerry Garcia, poached eggs for John Lee Hooker, hashed browns for Cream's drummer, how could he turn them down ?, he was the roadie who had quickly become much more than that. When they discovered his drawings on little pieces of scrap paper, he designed album covers, tattoos, and began his art career. The big breakthrough album being his cover for Janis Live. Since then, Charles had become the family chef and his breakfasts were epic. He learned how to cook for an entire band, their crew, the girlfriends, groupies and sometimes even the teamsters, depending on where and when the tour was happening. So, when life off the road became a normal activity, Charles cooked breakfast. Upon his return home, that role was quickly expected and he fulfilled it. For Moon it was buck-wheat pancakes with blueberries and Cinnamon. For Cally and her new girl friend,  who went by the initials 'J.D.' and had just moved into Grandma's room with Cally, so they could save money for their new salon, it was yogurt topped with berries on wrapped crepes with cream cheese and maple syrup, for Maggie, his estranged wife, it was a no nonsense cafe throwback: two eggs over easy, toast with jam. But this toast was made from fresh bread and the jam crushed from fresh organic berries. Even the most basic stuff was made special in Charles' kitchen. Mickey was not a morning person and often missed out on all the illustrious A.M. activity. Charles was often back to bed after serving everyone, he tended to be a nite owl, so his morning cooking sessions were usually after staying up all night, in the old days with the band and now simply reflecting on life, or a long walk or maybe reading an old paperback all night. He was happy to be home, back in Venice, where he was loved, respected and admired by most.

 If anyone had asked him where he had been all those years, why he went homeless and what was it like to be back, there is a good chance he would not have an answer readily available. It wasn't really a drug drop out or a financial fallout or even a relationship failure, with Charles' situation it was more about the big f*ck you. It was a simple : I quit. And what a perfect time to do so, especially for a counter culture guy like Charles, he had practically missed the entire nineteen - eighties. The music, the fashion, the values were in complete opposition of every thing he and his generation had stood for, everything they had rebelled against and much of the artifice that his parents had presented resurfaced and was celebrated: materialism and the all mighty dollar. Charles had  experienced the 1950's as a boy and besides rock & roll and motorcycles, he hadn't much use for the rest of it. When he first started drifting into homelessness, he had been touring with a band in Amsterdam and the lead singer had become such an asshole that Charles simply walked. One of those Rock & Roll Revival show Tours with seven bands in seven different countries within seven days, it was, by then, a joke, he noticed that the whole scene had become a parody of itself and he couldn't stand to see it slowly die, so he walked. He bummed around Europe for a while. Word got out that Charles had quit and he was eventually approached by some of his old partners who set up a post office box for him in several different locations. He was in good standing, had delivered on many occasions whatever was promised and more. He took an early retirement is how they put it whenever discussing Charles. The fact that he took the fall and saved a multi million dollar tour some years back had put him in a heroic category to much of Rock & Roll's real true royalty: Dylan, Jagger, Bowie, they all knew Charles. When he dropped out no one thought about it more than once, the drop out rate for members of the rock and roll underground was in the majority, thats what makes those still in the game so valuable to begin with. Back at home, he was missed mostly by his son Mickey, though his constant life on the road had helped take out the sting. The thing about Charles was that his presence was strongly felt wherever he was and upon his return from any such tour, a sort of St. Nicholas type of ritual would ensue. He would bring back outrageous objects of all sorts. Often at the end of a tour,  someone like Dylan would say, "Hey Charles, lets go to Turkey, I know a place in Instabul that has the best steam bathes in the world, we can scrape this tour off and get back to our lives, how 'bout it ?" or Jagger would invite him to India and so by the time Charles got back home, he would walk in with strange artifacts for everyone at home, exotic dresses and shoes for his wife Maggie, whom he always referred to as Sally. He brought home all sorts of games and foreign pastimes like backgammon and musical instruments from Australia. Once he even brought Cally a Shetland pony after having toured with Dylan and The Rolling Thunder Revue, she was five years old and ecstatic. Charles had always been magic to Cally, a ghostly figure of a man, an earthy, bearded, father time type who seemed to show up at the most opportune times in her life, gone enough to not be authoritarian and present enough to be the kind of father she could talk to about anything. So when he returned, they immediately discussed her latest plans to create the hair salon for 'girls who like girls' and he agreed to help her establish the place. Cally was a gorgeous redhead with long legs and a sharp nose, like Charles' mother. Her girl friend was chocolate brown, with big green eyes: both were girly girls. Charles had simply asked, "So, Girls huh ?", "Yep" she replied and that was that, he said no more.       

Charles had been born in the Midwest, he was a country boy, hadn't seen much of America before he did a tour in Vietnam. Thats where he got turned on to music and drugs and life on the road. He was the perfect Roadie, due to his experiences overseas. When he came back, music was the very thing that had helped him survive and he wanted to be around it as much as possible. Had he been a writer or a musician himself, because of his situation, there is no doubt that he could have been another Doctor John or ZZ Top or Country Joe, but he was a Roadie and a damn good one at that.  Maggie or 'Sally' as Charles like to call her had always been an independent person. They had what people call an open relationship that had gone along with their lifestyle in the early days. Traveling with high profile personalities had a heightened reality that they were both well aware of before they even entered into their lives together, so there was none of that, learn as you go stuff, they knew what could happen on tour and they accepted that whole heartedly. They both had a keen awareness that none of what they were doing was going to last, and they looked at one another as a place to go once it all ended,  They had the kids and the house and that was the anchor. When Charles disappeared, went A.W.O.L. Maggie seemed to take it in stride, on the one hand, he had not been pronounced dead, on the other hand, he had not resurfaced with anyone else, he was missing in action, so she filled her time with  others and kept up her usual intense work schedule working with bands and raising the kids, caring for her mother and the bookstore. When Charles returned, Maggie was glad he had not died somewhere, but mad as hell that he had not attempted to communicate during those past years. The doctors said that he was healthy, but may have experienced some kind of medical condition they were calling Post Traumatic Stress, from his several years of sleeplessness, his prior drug use, coupled with his traumatic experience decades earlier in Vietnam. "Bullshit, That's a bunch of bullshit.", she was pissed. When Maggie complained about Charles not raising the kids, Mickey and Moon just looked at one another, Mick felt that he had raised himself and they both knew that their time with little sister Cally was practically like an Uncle and Aunt. But after a while, the complaining stopped and seeing the kids in the kitchen with their dad was always a good thing. When Charles agreed to help the girls build out the Salon, Maggie completely loosened up and finally felt that he was stepping up. She looked at him sitting at the table, his full set of longish hair slicked back wet, streaks of grey in between the light brown and reddish tone. His long beard and mustache, recently trimmed by their daughter, "Damn that man looks good", she thought to herself. Ten years on the streets and he came back trimmer and more peaceful than he had been before. She couldn't understand how he could do that ? The guys she had been seeing had been gaining weight, losing their sense of self, they were more like boys than men. Charles was a solid gentlemen type, old school mid west country boy with a barrel chest and a solid, healthy laugh that shook the beams. She knew then that no matter what, she had chosen the right man to love, even if he had been gone all that time, he was a real man, he was sensitive and brash at the same time, had all those rebellious qualities wrapped inside a warmth and gentleness that she had always loved and admired in men. He had pissed off all the right people through the years, people Maggie knew were phonies, fakes, fools. She had never let any man cook her breakfast except Charles and as she got to the bottom of the steps she ordered her usual, "Two Eggs, Toast and Jam. Sir." 

Cally and J.D. had been dating for almost a year before they decided to move in together. Having tested the waters on their own, they were now living with the family to save money for the salon. When Charles asked Cally what the initials J.D. stood for, she said, "Jezebel De Simone, but don't call her that. She hates it."  "When I was a kid, J.D. meant Juvenile Delinquent."  Cally just smirked and rolled her eyes.  Sometimes she called him Charles. "Charles, when you were a kid, if you brought home J.D. and claimed she was your new girlfriend, what would have happened ?"  He just looked at her and smiled.  "Well, my parents would have flipped their lids, but all my buddies would have been jealous. Don't forget that the year you were born, your mother and I were on Tour with Mick Jagger and Ike and Tina Turner, your mother and I didn't have to march on Washington, we were on the front lines presenting mixed race musical groups all along and that made a difference too. We took some heat for that on the streets and at the record companies, everybody freaked when that happened and then suddenly, it was normal.", he sat quiet for a minute, "The day that Frank Sinatra claimed that the only genius in out Industry was Ray Charles was a day I will never forget. I don't know why but, that just meant something to us in rock & roll."  Cally just looked at him and smiled quietly. They talked about the salon and Cally explained that because it was a hair and nail Salon geared towards girls who dig girls that they had decided on a discreet location that was not on the main thorough fair, sort of like a private club or a speakeasy, it was once a garage for cars, but had all the right codes and was just around the corner from a popular bar where a lot of the girls frequented. Instead of a big front window, they decided on skylights and privacy for clientele, "Not every girl who digs girls is 'Out' if you know what I mean ?", Charles countered, "Hey your pretty hip for the daughter of a bunch of white, jive - ass - hippies."   "I'm serious, we have a great location and I want you and Mickey to help us put in a bunch of little sinks and we want to buy some vintage barber chairs from the 1930's and have them redone. This is gonna be cool, it'll be a family business that you will see a return on."  Just then, J.D. walked in like a cat at dinner. "So whats going on here ? "  Cally replied, "My Dad was just saying that he thought you were a delinquent and that Jezebel is beautiful name and you should go by 'Jezz', he said its got a nice ring to it. Did you know that Charles here and Tina Turner had a thing going back in the day ?"  Charles just sat quiet enjoying his daughters repartee. J.D. looked at the two and saw the resemblance in the eyes, nose and lips, she walked up to Charles and said, "I love this daughter of yours and I want to thank you for creating her as beautiful as you did." She kissed him on the cheek and then she took Cally's hand and led her upstairs. Charles cracked a  knowing smile and laughed to himself. 

Charles looked at The Bike in Mickeys shop out back and  realized that he hadn't ridden a motorcycle in several years, he sat on the bike, turned the key, started the ignition, kicked the lever twice, on the third time it turned over, that unmistakably all American, one of a kind rumble created only by a Harley. The smell of gasoline and the vibrato, got to him, he pushed forward the stand and the bike was now on its wheels, he revved the motor, it was a beautiful and familiar sound, he put the machine into gear and turned his wrist a quarter of an inch and the bike began to move forward. Charles took a ride. In the old days, Charles and his Biker pals had routes they frequented with stops along the way.  Biker bars, biker friendly cafes, he had about a dozen spots that he had known through the years in Southern California that were part of the ride, but most of them were Sunday biker type of places and today was a week day. He hopped on the freeway and ripped East going way above the speed limit, this bike was fast, he was proud of Mickey for learning so well. When he got downtown he exited and headed east on Third, went over the bridge and parked it in front of a place that was once called Cisco's. It was an old bar and cafe with a dance floor in the back. An old factory lunch place back in the forties and through the years had different owners, but had often kept the same workers who were locals. Charles  pulled up and the place was empty, he let the motor cool, ordered a beer and sat listening to the old time jukebox. The Television was on and a newscaster was reporting from a helicopter high above the city, people were protesting and it had the look of a situation in development as opposed to one that was ending. Charles had been to Vietnam, he could surmise pretty well what a building tension looked like from a helicopter, he could see when one group was outnumbering another, he could pinpoint a soldier in distress and he didn't like what he was seeing at all. If this was a live telecast, than Charles knew that L.A. was in for some real war. He got back on the bike and instinctively drove into the shit, as they use to call it. He took the back way South and then headed West along the streets and noticed that, here and there, little skirmishes were popping up, a trashcan on fire here or a car on fire there, isolated events, it was evening now and as he entered the hot spot, he could see a small lady in front of her shop, swinging what looked like a harpoon at a crowd of people in a circular motion, as he drove up closer it appeared that the crowd had already ransacked the shoe store down the way and had decided to take her place next. It was an ugly scene. Charles had seen this kind of thing before, a group of people harassing a single individual, not only in Vietnam, but also at concerts, he had been at Altamont when a group of people that he knew turned on a few individuals and things went bad, people died. When it was all over the band got in a helicopter and everyone else was stuck on the ground. He saw that happen more than once overseas and now he was seeing at home. Something in Charles went from curiosity to combat in a matter of seconds. He drove the bike into up into crowd, who were really just everyday people simply pushed to the limit with poverty and injustice and had decided somebody had to pay. The brave little woman with the harpoon, was startled, then she realized what Charles was actually doing and suddenly, she stood erect, defiant even. Charles took the chain from the back of the bike, and swung it three hundred and sixty degrees above his head with his left hand and with his right, he drove the cycle in circles around the woman, an impossibly beautiful act, he went from doing circles to figure eights and then larger circles until the entire lot had been cleared and the crowd cooled out, realizing there was another store up the block that was unprotected. When he made sure the lady was ok, and the storefront secure, he drove off up the street to another situation. If the news helicopter had not caught the entire episode on television and aired it live for all the world to see than Mickey and his friends, Moon and Maggie, Cally and Jezz would never have known. Charles returned home and by the time he drove the bike up into the yard, the word had already gotten out, for the first time in his life the decorated soldier from Venice Beach California received a heroes welcome. And from the look on Maggie's face, it appeared that he was about to ride again.

Each Chapter is Written in a Twenty - Four Hour Period without Notes Published Consecutively


Louis was beginning to see the light in a whole new way. All  day, things appeared different. Every object in the cafe seemed more colorful, he was seeing details and distance like never before. He stared at the chrome napkin holders, ketchup bottles, mustard containers, forks, knives, spoons and napkins as if they were sacred objects: studied their details, using his new found eye sight to take in the landscape. Why had he waited so long to get the operation ? If Junior hadn't returned, Louis may have never seen the light. He would have just slowly faded into the darkness with old age, maybe eventually seeing nothing but a clouded world of tunnel vision or worse: total blindness. It was Juniors idea to have the cataracts removed, he paid for the operation, Louis thought about all the years the boy had been ignored, all the years and months and days that nobody in the family, neither he, nor Celia or their extended family wrote a letter or visited. When Celia married Chuck, he had became the son, totally replaced Junior. Now that Junior returned, everything seemed to be changing. Louis was grateful to his son in a way that he could not describe. He seemed to care for the man in a way that was different than Celia or Chuck, he cared for the man in a direct way, not as some sort of responsibility, but because he loved him. Louis hadn't been loved since his wife died, really truly loved and cared for, he'd actually forgotten what that was like: to be loved. 

The Cafe was busy, the strike in the harbor was over, trucks were moving in and out, waitresses were working double shifts, when they asked if Louis could stay on a few more hours, he agreed. He had always agreed when his employers had asked for this, asked for that: How had he become so damn compliant through the years ? As a young man, he had fire in his gut, even a sort of bravado, a keen sense of rebellion. But that was long ago and when they asked, he did as he had done for the past twenty- five - something years, he answered, "Yes". Besides all the usual conversations like, "Louis, they need water on table seven." and his reply, "I Got It" or "Clear off the corner booth honey, I got a family of five waiting' out front" and his reply, "You got it." There wasn't a whole lot of talk in his daily routine. So, whenever somebody actually took the time to stop and converse with Louis, it was often a memorable experience that he would think about after the fact, at the end of the day or some time later. As things settled down that late afternoon, Louis was clearing a table along the windowed booths. Ma Fritters was a mid century establishment with big red booths along the front window and a counter to the rear with tables strewn all across the center and sporadically along the walls. A television was mounted above the counter, though it usually was turned off, on this day, due to the recent controversial decision in a high profile legal case and the controversy surrounding the decision by an all white jury, the TV was on, the volume was turned down. The Cafe was located just between the Harbor City Hall and adjacent to the truck stop port authority, so all types of people frequented the place. Gum shoe private detectives, lawyers, bailiffs, cops, an occasional snitch, or the recently paroled, or those who were proven innocent and plenty who were proven guilty and done their time accordingly. 

A familiar face sitting in a booth next to the table Louis was clearing sat and watched the silent television, a now, iconic image of a man being beaten by a circle of cops played on the screen, followed by images of four men in suits walking down a long row of steps, followed by angry groups of people screaming at the camera, then shots of helicopters and angry protestors who seemed to be standing in the middle of the streets, running wild. It's a shame whats going on down there, ain't it Louis ? He was referring to the television. Louis looked up at the TV expecting to see a football, basketball or baseball game of some sort. As he glanced at the screen, the shot of a man fleeing a pawn shop with a musical instrument, a red electric bass guitar flashed across the screen, followed by a group of people, smashing the windows of a liquor store, prying open the accordion metal gates and ransacking the place. Louis never payed attention to current events and hadn't been following the case very closely, so he was surprised to see the footage of what looked to be the beginning of a full on riot. He figured it was happening in another country or city, "Wheres that ? " he asked the customer, "Thats Downtown." Louis looked again. They watched a news reporter on the street, stores were going up in smoke. The sun was setting now and the color orange permeated the harbor. "Well, thats what happens when you got an abuse of power, at least thats what happens, some times."  The man gestured for Louis to sit down, Louis looked around, the place was empty, so he put down his white rag and bucket and sat with the man. "I heard Junior finally got out, hows he doing ?"  "Very well, he's doing good" he replied The man continued, " Its a god damn shame what happened to that boy, god damn shame." Louis noticed that the man was a little stoned, maybe drunk."That boy had everything going for him, he was handsome, smart, had a great little girlfriend, I remember that boy very well, very, very well."  Louis looked at that man, really looked at him, stared at his face, his eyes, listened to the voice and something began to click, something in the man's voice was suddenly quite familiar. " It was too bad that nobody had found out about that other kids car. You remember that other boy that night ? He was a good kid too, but the law is the law, and Junior would have never done time if only someone had reported the facts." Louis couldn't entirely understand just what the man was trying to say. "Ya see, the regulation on those cars are very specific, that boy was hot rod crazy, he had all kinds of unregulated gear on that vehicle. Now, it is  not illegal to have say, dual manifolds or even dual carburators, but if a car flips over due to the height of a vehicles unregulated distance from surface to passenger weight capacity and entry position than it is a fact of science and it can't be refuted. Did you know that in Juniors case the other boys car was three and a half inches higher than the regulated stock car height ? Furthermore  …", 

The man stopped for a minute and chewed his sandwich, Louis now realized that this guy was a lawyer of some sort, but he couldn't exactly pinpoint why he seemed familiar.  "Furthermore, it was noted on the legal evidence and recognized by all the officers and District Attorney's office that the boy who died drove a vehicle that was not street legal and may have had everything to do with the cause of those kids death. Why was that not brought up in the case ? Why ? You wanna know why?"  Louis looked at the man and nodded, "Cause I am, well, I was once, one of the best damn prosecuting lawyers in this port and I made damn sure that that little fact was not brought to the juries attention. But that was my job, thats what I was payed to do. Juniors lawyer should have done better, Juniors lawyer took a dive, they rail roaded that kid and all they had to do was mention the deregulated vehicle inspection forms and case closed, over, done with, end of the story. Every single cop on the scene knew that kid's car was not street legal, all of 'em. If people had known, they'd be doing exactly what there doing now, out there on the streets, they'd have been rioting for your kid."  Louis just looked at the man. The waitress brought over the check and refilled the man's coffee cup, Louis looked up at her but did not move from his seat, he turned back to the man. Now he realized who this man was, this was the rat bastard son of a bitch that prosecuted his only son. Threw him away, tossed him in the trashcan of life, the sewer for fifteen years. 'Cabron', he thought to himself. He stared at the man one last time, looked at his face, his cheap polyester suit, his wrinkled tie, his unshaven face, he smelled the cheap cologne, the years of unwashed bull shit that had surrounded the man's very aura and simply stood up, grabbed his rag and bucket from the table next to him, placed the plastic tray along side the edge of the man's table and cleared it entirely, except the coffee cup, in one complete gesture. The man blinked. Louis didn't say a word. He was not an important man in town, he wasn't worldly, he didn't speak the best english, he was one of millions of little men who worked hard every day of his life so that his kids and grandkids could have a better life: all of that was true. But this little man knew what trash looked like, this little man knew when the meal was over and this little man cleaned that table, wiped it down and walked away from that man's table like a professional and never once looked back. 

Junior had been told to get out of town and take a breather, no one expected him to leave the country. He hadn't been to The Ranch in decades & needed to see his home land. It had been his grand fathers farm back when Juniors father Louis was born there and his fathers before that and so on and so forth and on down the line. Louis had been renting it in a partnership deal that hadn't paid off in the past decade, he himself had not been to the ranch in over ten years, simply stopped visiting ever since his wife had passed away. It hurt too much to see that land. Originally, he had rented the plot to a man and his family who were simple farmers, the lease came with a dozen cows, an orchard of about 100 mango trees, a handful of goats, chickens, sheep, pigs and a couple old dogs. When Junior was a boy, every Summer from the time he was five to the time he was fifteen, he would learn things from  locals. He had learned to bullfight, he had learned to dismantle a cow, he had learned to irrigate, plant and even skin a pig. Junior loved the traditions of his heritage:  simply had farming in his blood and related to it deeply. At the end of each Summer, the boy would sit high atop a mountain just to the North of the property, they called it The Mesa, because it was shaped like a table top and he would cry. He did not ever want to return to America. McDonalds and Bugs Bunny and Coca Cola held no sway with his spirit. He was an Indiano Puro! He would tell his parents, "I want to stay here with grandpa, he needs my help, let me stay  please, please, the boy pleaded with his parents. But returned he did, every year. It was always a painful transition. He would dress his room in blankets, ropes, artifacts he had found on the ranch or nearby. Once he had been given a sacred bowl by a local Indian that had bears carved all along the sides. He would bring mangoes, a chicken, some corn to the Indian every day and eventually, the Indian repaid him with the sacred bowl. Recently, while digging through the garage, he found a box of things that belonged to him from the Summer of 1976, the year he had been sent away. Nestled in the center of the box was the Bear medicine bowl. Also in the box was an eight track cassette player with a bunch of the family music they had once listened to: Greatest Hits of 1976, Freddie Fender, Pedro Infante, Santana, Ritmo Latino, Novenas De Amore, Recuerdos Romantico, someone in the family had even taped the skits and early films of Cantinflas. They would load up the car and drive to The Ranch every Summer until the Summer of 1976, when everything had drastically splintered their lives into nothing at all. Junior installed the eight track player into his car. Loaded up the car with pillows to sleep along the way. He hadn't said a word to anyone about the trip and suddenly realized that he didn't want to go alone. Junior packed up a few of his fathers regular items from back then, his old wooden guitar, a foldable wooden lawn chair, a hammock, his fishing poles and a big straw hat as well as the Indian Bear Bowl. 

Junior drove into The harbor towards his dads place of work and noticed Chucks Patrol car pulling out of the parking lot as he was pulling in. Junior simply waved his hand and parked the car  right up front. Louis was staring out the window thinking about what the lawyer had said as Chuck drove off. And suddenly, Junior pulled into the driveway "Dad, I've come to take you home". "OK", Louis replied, "Are you hungry ?" "Lets get sandwiches to go." While Louis gathered his things in the back room, Junior walked up to the work schedule that was posted in the hallway and looked for Louis' name, he took out a pencil, and erased Louis' scheduled work days and scheduled in the other two busboys names Franky & Paulo sporadically during the week. When Louis finished gathering the sandwiches Junior was already in the car and the motor was running. When Louis got in, Junior said he had to go use the restroom, he reentered the Cafe, and shouted to the waitress, "Hey sweetheart, make sure someone calls Franky to remind him of the schedule changes." She looked at him kinda funny. He took out a ten dollar bill and thanked her,  "Your Dad don't have to pay for those".  "I know, it's for you babe.", he smiled and headed for the door, "Call Franky and Paulo, good nite." As he turned to the door she put the bill in her apron and headed towards the hallway where the schedule was posted. By the time they pulled out of the lot and up to the stop sign, he could see her pick up the phone. The eight track cassette began to play an old familiar ranchero they had often listened to while driving down South back in the old days. The song started with one of those fast mariachi style riffs with a big oomp-pa-pa base and drum line, a fast fiddle with a quick stop and suddenly the singer would howl like a Rooster at sunrise, "Aaahhhhh - Haaaaaaa - Haaaaaa - Haaaaaaaaaa" and suddenly the song would do double time into a frenzied pace. "Where the hell did you find that ?" Louis asked his son. Junior just smiled and turned the music up, he put the petal to the metal and they roared down the coastline. When they hopped on the freeway instead of the normal route home, Louis, turned down the music and asked, "Where are we going ? ",  "We are going HOME dad, home, our real home, were going to The Ranch. Junior looked at the kid and laughed. "Are you f*%+ing crazy?" He shook his head in disbelief, looked back at this kid of his, this beautiful boy who had endured fifteen years of captivity and simply laughed until the laughter stopped. Then he wiped a tear from his eye, turned the music back up and said, "All right then, Vamalos." 

Louis was thinking hard about what that lawyer had said, he kept stealing glances at Junior and could feel nothing but regrets. He suddenly thought about work, "But what about my job, I am on the schedule all week.", Junior assured him, "I spoke to the waitress back there, she's calling those other busboys right now with a new schedule. I knew if I told you ahead of time, you would never have come with me."  Louis looked at Junior and just shook his head, "Your just like your mother, you know that ?", "Yeah, I know."  Junior reached into the back seat, pulled off the Indian blanket, revealing Louis' things: His hat, fishing poles, chair, clothes, sandals and together they laughed all the way to the border. One of their traditions was to stop and fill up the gas tank as well as several other tanks with the gas on this side of the border and buy water and any other items needed while traveling. Junior decided that he should make a call and let his circuit know where he was going, he used a phone booth and said he was leaving town as directed. When he told them where, he was put on alert, given directions & an assignment while he was visiting. That was exactly what he didn't want to do, just wanted to visit the ranch, see the old property. What Junior didn't know was that every thing had changed and some surprises were up ahead, if he played his cards right on this one, there would be some serious rewards, if he did not, the results could be devastating or worse. They told him that when he got to the ranch, not to be surprised by any of the changes and wear a long sleeve shirt, buttoned from top to bottom. They had been trying to put the squeeze on the people who had been partners with the family that rented the ranch, they would toss Junior and his dad a serious bone if everything went well  He was also directed to be at the border exiting and reentering at a particular time and place, it was very important that he be there on that exact date and at that exact time, no matter what. They asked him if he understood and he did. Then they said he was to stop in at a particular spot with a very specific address and have his upholstery redone. When he told them that he already had leather seats in perfect condition, they told him that it was strictly business and he would be rewarded later. Junior agreed and understood what he needed to do, he listened intently as they explained in detail what was happening and what he needed to do to make sure that nobody was hurt and that they ended up with the profitable side of the exchange. By the time they hung up the phone Junior was completely sobered by the conversation. He also called his sister Celia explaining that he and dad were going fishing for a few days. When he got back into the car, Louis noticed his composure, "Is every thing all right ?", "Yeah, everything is cool. I just forgot to call Celia and let them know that we would be out of town for a few days and I wanted to make sure everything was o.k.",  "Well, is it?" Louis asked again. "Yes, every thing is going to work out fine." As they drove up over the border, they both noticed how different everything was. What was once a gateway with tiny wood kiosks strewn across an invisible line in the sand was now a chrome plated machine that looked like a giant row of appliances, the border had changed and so had they. They looked at one another and drove on in. Entering in the old days meant simply driving across, now they were asking questions and asking for identification sporadically, Junior grabbed a long sleeve shirt covering his ink from top to bottom. When they got to the borderline, Louis did all the talking, he was always good with people, especially his people. Louis answered several questions and then they struck up a conversation about a particular district they both knew of with an old fishing spot. Louis waved to the man in the kiosk and suddenly they were on their way. Junior understood spanish to a certain degree, but he couldn't follow everything. "What did he say?" Louis slapped his son on the back hard, "Welcome!"    

The journey to the ranch is a twelve hour drive, Louis slid the seat back and slept through the last six hours. When they got into town, they went directly to the property, but passed it twice because it was so unrecognizable. There was now a giant security gate, with an intercom and an eight foot barbed wire fence around the entire front section all along the highway. Originally the property itself was about ten acres split into thirds,: one part for cattle, one part for mangoes and the other for corn, livestock and living quarters. The original house sat to the North with an adobe to the West & another to the East, just after the hilly entryway. When they rang the buzzer, a voice answered that was unfamiliar to Louis. " Is Rafael there ?", he asked in spanish. "No, are you making a delivery?"  "No, I am the property owner from America, my son and I are here to visit the ranch."  The gate buzzed and it slowly opened inward, they drove the car up to a check point and immediately Louis was flabbergasted by the modernity of the place. Six visible silos, water tanks on every hillside, lush rolls of mangoes, machinery that he had never seen before, a large tractor the size of his guest house back home. Louis turned to Junior, wider eyed, "Take it easy, this is your place, your the American, your part owner, don't give away your power so easily dad. Were going to take a tour, then were going to talk business, I have some friends back home who told me all about these guys, don't worry about anything at all."  Louis said nothing, he just couldn't believe his eyes. "When it comes to business, you let me do the talking: yes ?" and Louis replied,  "Yes, son, absolutely, yes."  They drove up through the cattle section past a pack of beautiful cows, where there was once a dozen cows , there were now easily a thousand. On the hillside, grazing, were dozens of goats, in corrals, a half a dozen horses, in pens, dozens of pigs and an entire barn that had been modernized for chickens, easily a thousand. The original house was still intact and had been kept up, it looked as if the roof had been recently replaced. Louis was amazed at the entire set up, he was a very wealthy man and yet minutes ago had absolutely no idea how wealthy he actually was. By the time they got up to the main house and out of the car, several employees had come out to greet them. Rafael was no where in sight. "Welcome, a man with a cowboy hat and boots exclaimed. We've been waiting to hear from you for quite some time. How long will you be staying ?", Junior stepped in, extending his hand, he had been told to keep his shirt sleeves rolled down until the proper time. " I am Louis Junior, my father and I just came down to do some fishing and we have been so busy with our businesses in America that we have not had much time in the past few years."  "What kind of business are you in there ?" the man in the cowboy hat asked, Louis replied, "Comida". "Yes, my father has his own restaurant in the harbor and my partners and I are diversifying stocks." he continued, "The economy in America is going through some interesting changes and we think that Mexico is going to be in for a big surprise with some new trade deals on the table. But, lets not talk business so early in the morning. We just got here.", "Thats exactly right, lets have breakfast and we will take you and your Padre on a tour. Later, we will call up Rafael and we can discuss many things that will be of a concern to you and your fathers property."  They sat and ate one of the best breakfasts they had both had in several years. Everything they ate was made fresh on the ranch: juice, eggs, meat, tortillas, everything. Louis was simply amazed. Junior kept calm and played it cool, just the way he was directed. After all, It was this same kitchen that Junior sat with his grandfather every year. 

Louis and Junior took a grand tour of the property by jeep and when they returned Rafael was waiting at the main house. "Don Louis, Oh my god, it has been so long, what a wonderful surprise." The men entered the house and sat in the library, drinks were served. Rafael, the man with the hat, Louis and several other men sat in large leather chairs, several smoked cigars. Everybody imbibed except Junior. "I like your son's style, he's all business and has a great head on his shoulders.", he said in spanish. "Yes, he has learned of the worldly ways in America."  Rafael started in, "So, you must be wondering about the transformation of the ranch ?" "Yes, of course.", Louis replied. "Do you remember the old indian who lived on the other side of the Mesa ?" Rafael asked. "Yes, my son was very close with him. As child, Louis Junior felt a very strong natural affinity with the locals here."  He continued, "Well, one day, about ten years ago, he showed up at our door with a machete and said that he and his people needed food and that the owners of this property had always been helpful to the man and his family. He promised that if we supplied his family with food for the season, he would share many ancient secrets with us that would double and triple our fruit trees, our cattle stock and our vegetation. I had never been a real believer of such tall tales, but I felt sorry for the man and so, I gave him what he needed, when he needed it. He, in return did many things that somehow did seem to deliver his original promise and within five years we began to transform the property into what you see today. My own son went to University in Mexico City studying science, biochemistry and modern  horticulture, with his help and the help of a few of his classmates family investments, we have what you see here today.", "Amazing", Louis replied."  Junior chimed in, "Tell me more about the old Indian, what exactly did he do ?" "Well, this is going to sound crazy, but he and his family dug three natural water pits at the top of each hillside where the water towers now stand and then he simply danced for one week straight, I promise you, in the middle of a drought, it rained on this property for seven days straight, he then dug an irrigation canal and splintered the mango tree branches from single flowering stems to triple flowering stems, he trimmed the trees so they produced more fruit, he kept the cows away from the bulls until certain moon phases, he planted and picked on days that were specific and then just like that, he was gone, they all left, just like that."  When my son Rafi came home from university, we added many of the machines with the profits from what the old indian had provided the place. We now have some very wealthy investors and contracts with three major exporters."  Now, it was Juniors turn. He pulled the Bear Bowl from the inside of his bag and sat it in the middle of the table. "This was given to me by the old Indian. My friends and partners in America come from both the stock market and the streets and there is soon going to be a total transformation of the American export business in the next five years. Right now a plan is in force to bring American goods to Mexico that is going to make things very difficult for the local farmers. Junior slowly reached down, unbuttoned his left sleeve cuff and rolled up his sleeve, revealing a world of imagery that when read by the men in the room, seemed to give him the floor. He went on, "My father and I highly respect science, machinery and everything you have done with this ranch. But we have seen no profits in ten years, we know you have investment costs … ", he rolled up the right sleeve, which was equally as daunting as the left. These were not roadside tattoos, nor army or souvenir images, this was straight out, hard core prison symbology.  "So, we want to make it easy for you to continue everything your doing. But we are going to need to see some serious money as well as a renewed partnership as of now. We also want you to know that, although we have no intention to do so, at any time, we can take this property with the improvements you have made and end this contract within a ninety day period as per my fathers original agreement. Junior  looked out the window towards Mesa Mountain. "Funny how that old Indian just disappeared, aint it? His people had been living on that property for generations." One of the men took his cigar and ashed it into the bear bowl. Junior looked at the man from top to bottom. First he eyed the boots, they were un-scuffed, had never seen a horse or a dirt road in their lives. Then he looked at the man's hands, soft, no scars on the knuckles, he noticed that the man's shirts were pressed professionally. He knew what he wanted to do the man and instead, he lifted the bear bowl, walked into the kitchen, washed it out, walked back into the room, grabbed the handkerchief from the man's suit coat pocket, wiped the entire bowl clean, handed him back the soiled fabric and sat the bowl down in the center of the table. "Someone could make it very difficult to get trucks in and out of here if someone had decided to ever do such a thing." Junior then rolled his sleeves back down and began to describe a plan that was acceptable to both himself, his father and his partners in America. The man did not ash the cigar a second time and by eight o'clock that evening, a crisp contract was hand delivered by a hot shot lawyer arriving for Don Louis to sign then and there. In a single day the busboy had died and Don Louis had been reborn. For Junior this was only step one, he still had work to do. He hopped on a horse and rode to the top of The Mesa Mountain, there were no teardrops this time. He looked over the horizon wondering again about the Indian.  

Published at BUREAU of Arts and Culture Sites in: New York City, Los Angeles, San  Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Santa Barbara  and  The  Bureau International Literary Site August  2014 
Written by The Bureau Editor Joshua Triliegi Tune in Here Every day Monday to Friday for More ...

Fine Art Paintings by new York Painter David FeBLAND with a featured Art Interview The Summer Edition 


      Image: David BOWIE The ARCHER By John Robert Rowlands Courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago Illinois USA

Welcome to The SUMMER 2014 Edition of BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE MAGAZINE. We are very pleased to bring you a New Slate of Interviews featuring writer Luis VALDEZ of Zoot Suit / La Bamba Fame. Our Guest Artist is Philadelphia Painter David PALUMBO. This Edition features The Iconic David BOWIE Essay and the Musical Tour Art Exhibition. Terry RICHARDSON with a New Photographic Essay from Elvis Presley's GRACELAND. David LEVINTHAL with a sampling from his Fine Art Photography. An Essay on Sci - Fi  Screen Writer George Clayton JOHNSON. Various In Depth Interviews with Fine Artists:   John WESTON, Gustavo GODOY, David FeBLAND and Designer Andrew WHITMORE. FILM Interviews with The Directors of Billy MIZE + The Bakersfield Sound, Druid PEAK, Lake Los Angeles, Supremacy & The PLEASURES of Being Out of Step: Notes on The Life of Nat HENTOFF. Music Interview/Top Ten List of Very Cool Things by Kenny VASOLI Four Chapters of The New FICTION: " They Call IT The City of ANGELS " by J.A. TRILIEGI  David FeBLAND's Fine Art Painting Catalog is accompaning The New Fiction Projects. We Welcome SomeKindaWonderful of Downtown Records as featured Music at The Site: The LA Classic 'California'. 



By Joshua TRILIEGI  

Luis VALDEZ  changed The Entire Literature Landscape with his Fierce Hit Play, "ZOOT  SUIT".  Here in Southern California, The Play is much more than words. It is a personal and positive Idea that gave many people the inspiration to do something with the things they saw, not only in their homes and neighborhoods , but to reclaim what was happening in the media, to own the stories that they were being told and to simply reclaim what was rightfully theirs to begin with: Their  Own  Family  Stories. In This Interview Bureau Editor Joshua TRILIEGI and Luis VALDEZ discuss his career, his working process and the development of a powerful force that continues to inspire millions of  Indigenous People around  the World and teaches everybody else.

Mr Valdez went on to create The Film "LA BAMBA", which told the very important story of Latin Musician & Songwriter, Ritchie Valens. Fueled by the proliferation of 1950's Retro Nostalgic Films such as American Graffiti and its follow up Happy Days, as well as The Musical Biographical genre's popularity of projects like The Buddy Holly Story, Elvis and the like: LA BAMBA was the perfect project that entirely launched the energy and force of ZOOT SUIT into the stratosphere of popular media and culture, finally  a story that rightfully claimed, explained and honored The Latino Experience, or as Luis Valdez might put it, "The Chicano Experience" in popular music history. The film itself touches on the family paradigm in both mythical and real circumstances.

A beautiful & entertaining film that holds up today just as it originally did upon its creation. In the same way that Zoot Suit gave us the career of Edward James Olmos, 'The Chicano Bogart', La Bamba gave us a multitude of talent in front  of and behind the scenes: Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Los Lobos & Others.

Since then, Mr Valdez has continued his influence as The Worlds Leading Latino and Chicano Playwright traveling everywhere, all the time, sharing his great wealth of knowledge and experience with a world thirsty for truth, experience & entertainment.WE are very proud to bring you Luis VALDEZ, unexpurgated, uninhibited and unbeaten. 

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Documentary Film maker Davis L. Lewis  speaks  with  Bureau  Editor Joshua Triliegi 

The new documentary, The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step  Notes On The Life Of Nat Hentoff  features music by Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane  and Duke Ellington. The film focuses on an interesting story and the career of one of America's leading Music Critics and Independent writing voices in last few decades. An authentic and personal film with a an up - close look  at  a  very  outspoken  writer.

BUREAU: NAT HENTOFF is quite an interesting character: we enjoyed the film. How did you come to choose this subject as a feature documentary and tell us about the journey from impetus to final release if you will ?

Davis L. Lewis: I’m glad you enjoyed it! The initial impulse was complicated but basically boils down to this: As a journalist myself, I’ve always loved the “war stories” I heard in the newsrooms and bars where we tend to congregate. As I got older, and as the digital age crept up & then roared over us, I began to realize that we are losing a generation of journalists who made their lives in the printed word. We are very good about telling other people’s stories, but not so good at telling our own. I felt an overwhelming desire to preserve some of that history. There were lots of possible subjects, but Hentoff presented a particularly intriguing one because of the jazz. I was never an aficionado, and only had a vague awareness of his earlier work. So the chance to learn more about the music was big draw. I remember how hard I worked to prepare for the interview we did on jazz — and how nervous I was when we sat down to do it. Afterward, I asked him how we did, and he said, “At least you knew the right questions to ask.” That was a big relief! I’ve worked all over print and broadcast journalism, but this was my first feature-length film, my first large-scale independent project. The creative challenge as the director was to try to get past the usual bio-pic documentary formula and create a film with its own aesthetic that helped us tell the story. I think we did pretty well at that, although I’m sure not all the critics will agree. As the producer, the biggest pleasure was putting together a great team that helped me keep up the creative momentum over the length of the production. The biggest challenge, of course, was finding the resources to get it all done. 
BUREAU: A Documentary like this usually takes some time. Averages of 60 to 85 hours often paired down to 90 minutes is always rather challenging, What was your ratio and discuss how you went about ' finding ' the shape of your film ? 

Davis L. Lewis: If you include all the archival material available to us, that ratio is pretty close, probably a little short if you count the music too. We had to make pretty careful choices about what to shoot. We based our decisions on what we thought we would get out of it and that process worked well for us. The problem is the man is so prolific. We knew there was no way we could tell it all, so we had to make narrative choices as well. We tried to keep our focus on the thematic thread that unifies the whole film, which is the relationship between free expression as a creative value and a political value, and the relationship between those values and the ability of an individual to create an identity. We chose an unconventional structure because we wanted to show the connections between those values in Hentoff’s life, and the connections between the people and ideas that popped up at different points. We spent a lot of time in the editing room moving those pieces around, teasing out different themes and association and making sure the connections were as clear as we could make them. We also had to leave a lot of stuff out, but maybe we’ll have some nice extras on the DVD.

BUREAU: The blend of MUSIC, ART & POLITICS  symbolized by the single opinion of an individual, in this case, Mr Hentoff, created quite a controversy. When did you first become aware of Mr Hentoff and now that the film is completed, what have you learned about Documentary Film making ?

Davis L. Lewis: I came of political age in the '70s, a particularly awful time in American politics, and I first became aware of Hentoff through is his work at the Voice, which presented such a strong counterpoint to the corruption of that era. He is always outspoken, but it seemed to me that he was rarely a blowhard. At his best, he puts a lot of thought into his work and comes by his conclusions honestly. So even if you don’t agree with everything he says, you can respect him for saying it. I think he would be horrified by someone who agreed with everything he says, or at least he would find that person boring.

The most important thing I learned about documentary filmmaking is patience. It took longer than I thought it would, but I think our focus on quality and depth helped us get to the end. And I learned to always work with the very best people I could find, but people who believed in the project. Because it takes a sustained effort to follow through to the end on a project like this, and it’s hard to sustain that effort if the people you work with don’t believe in it. And you want them to be satisfied with the work at the end as well. I met a producer early on who I wanted to work with, and she turned me down. But she gave me a great piece of advice. She said we had a mature project and that quality work always rises to the top. I always remembered that, and it helped me through some of the tougher stretches, and helped me to be patient. And I hope she’s right. We’ve gotten this far. I would ask her to work with me again. 

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 Illustration Portrait By BUREAU of Arts and Culture Magazine  Guest Artist David PALUMBO

 100 Must Read Books Compiled by DAVID BOWIE

  1. The Age of American Unreason, Susan Jacoby, 2008
  2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz, 2007
  3. The Coast of Utopia (trilogy), Tom Stoppard, 2007
  4. Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945, Jon Savage, 2007
  5. Fingersmith, Sarah Waters, 2002
  6. The Trial of Henry Kissinger, Christopher Hitchens, 2001
  7. Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, Lawrence Weschler, 1997
  8. A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1890-1924, Orlando Figes, 1997
  9. The Insult, Rupert Thomson, 1996
  10. Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon, 1995
  11. The Bird Artist, Howard Norman, 1994
  12. Kafka Was The Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir, Anatole Broyard, 1993
  13. Beyond the Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective, Arthur C. Danto, 1992
  14. Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, Camille Paglia, 1990
  15. David Bomberg, Richard Cork, 1988
  16. Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom, Peter Guralnick, 1986
  17. The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin, 1986
  18. Hawksmoor, Peter Ackroyd, 1985
  19. Nowhere To Run: The Story of Soul Music, Gerri Hirshey, 1984
  20. Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter, 1984
  21. Money, Martin Amis, 1984
  22. White Noise, Don DeLillo, 1984
  23. Flaubert’s Parrot, Julian Barnes, 1984
  24. The Life and Times of Little Richard, Charles White, 1984
  25. A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn, 1980
  26. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole, 1980
  27. Interviews with Francis Bacon, David Sylvester, 1980
  28. Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler, 1980
  29. Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess, 1980
  30. Raw (a ‘graphix magazine’) 1980-91
  31. Viz (magazine) 1979 –
  32. The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels, 1979
  33. Metropolitan Life, Fran Lebowitz, 1978
  34. In Between the Sheets, Ian McEwan, 1978
  35. Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, ed. Malcolm Cowley, 1977
  36. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes, 1976
  37. Tales of Beatnik Glory, Ed Saunders, 1975
  38. Mystery Train, Greil Marcus, 1975
  39. Selected Poems, Frank O’Hara, 1974
  40. Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s, Otto Friedrich, 1972
  41. In Bluebeard’s Castle : Some Notes Towards the Re-definition of Culture, George Steiner, 1971
  42. Octobriana and the Russian Underground, Peter Sadecky, 1971
  43. The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll, Charlie Gillete, 1970
  44. The Quest For Christa T, Christa Wolf, 1968
  45. Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock, Nik Cohn, 1968
  46. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov, 1967
  47. Journey into the Whirlwind, Eugenia Ginzburg, 1967
  48. Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby Jr. , 1966
  49. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, 1965
  50. City of Night, John Rechy, 1965
  51. Herzog, Saul Bellow, 1964
  52. Puckoon, Spike Milligan, 1963
  53. The American Way of Death, Jessica Mitford, 1963
  54. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea, Yukio Mishima, 1963
  55. The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin, 1963
  56. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess, 1962
  57. Inside the Whale and Other Essays, George Orwell, 1962
  58. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark, 1961
  59. Private Eye (magazine) 1961 –
  60. On Having No Head: Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious, Douglas Harding, 1961
  61. Silence: Lectures and Writing, John Cage, 1961
  62. Strange People, Frank Edwards, 1961
  63. The Divided Self, R. D. Laing, 1960
  64. All The Emperor’s Horses, David Kidd,1960
  65. Billy Liar, Keith Waterhouse, 1959
  66. The Leopard, Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, 1958
  67. On The Road, Jack Kerouac, 1957
  68. The Hidden Persuaders, Vance Packard, 1957
  69. Room at the Top, John Braine, 1957
  70. A Grave for a Dolphin, Alberto Denti di Pirajno, 1956
  71. The Outsider, Colin Wilson, 1956
  72. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955
  73. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, 1948
  74. The Street, Ann Petry, 1946
  75. Black Boy, Richard Wright, 1945
  76. The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker, 1944
  77. The Outsider, Albert Camus, 1942
  78. The Day of the Locust, Nathanael West, 1939
  79. The Beano, (comic) 1938 –
  80. The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell, 1937
  81. Mr. Norris Changes Trains, Christopher Isherwood, 1935
  82. English Journey, J.B. Priestley, 1934
  83. Infants of the Spring, Wallace Thurman, 1932
  84. The Bridge, Hart Crane, 1930
  85. Vile Bodies, Evelyn Waugh, 1930
  86. As I lay Dying, William Faulkner, 1930
  87. The 42nd Parallel, John Dos Passos, 1930
  88. Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Döblin, 1929
  89. Passing, Nella Larsen, 1929
  90. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence, 1928
  91. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
  92. The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot, 1922
  93. BLAST, ed. Wyndham Lewis, 1914-15
  94. McTeague, Frank Norris, 1899
  95. Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual, Eliphas Lévi, 1896
  96. Les Chants de Maldoror, Lautréamont, 1869
  97. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert, 1856
  98. Zanoni, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1842
  99. Inferno, from the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri, about 1308-1321
  100. The Iliad, Homer, about 800 BC



Mr Palumbo is a prolific painter working in a multitude of styles. David has an ongoing series of works including: The Tarot, The Portraits, Fantasy illustration, Gallery Fine Art and his sexually charged, if not controversial Quickies. The later available in publication as well as for purchase individually. Once familiar with David Palumbo's work, each style or series is immediately identifiable and interesting. The Quickies definitely push the envelope and raise the bar as well as the blood pressure on sexually charged and inspired figural art work. 

David Palumbo is that rare breed hybrid of working illustrator, fine artist and individual creator who is pushing the envelope on what can be done with an image. Mr Palumbo's portraits of well known personalities such as Sidney Poitier, Mathew McConaughey, David Bowie and Jane Fonda capture the essence of the person and also stamp his own style and interpretation accordingly. David Palumbo has what we might call a painterly style: excessive brush strokes, textural experimentation, impressionistic via the materials. Schooled as a classical figural painter with a keen interest in cinema and raised among a family of artists has led him to be commissioned by a wide variety of publications and we are very proud to have him as Guest Artist for The June/August Edition of BUREAU of Arts and Culture Magazine & BUREAU of Arts and Culture . com & Community Sites On Line. 

The David Palumbo Sci-Fi or Fantasy illustrative work is not only exciting, bold, striking, sometimes scary and even gory, but also imaginative, humorous and always services the story being told. BUREAU readers may remember Mr Palumbo's artworks affiliated with the Fiction project in the recent June edition of the magazine. David's work brought an entirely new & fresh approach to telling the story and we noticed right away how accessible and welcoming as well as supportive his work is to the text. The dark humor involved in his fantasy illustration harkens back to the American comic books from the nineteen sixties and even further back than that, some of his themes relate back to early 19th and 20th century illustrative technique's of the English variety: Sherlock Holmes and Jack The Ripper. With the resurgence and popularity of Vampires, Zombies and a new form of sexually expressive  
literature, art and film in today's current creative landscape, we are sure that the popularity of Mr David Palumbo's artworks is on the rise and we are glad to introduce our readers, as well as allow Mr Palumbo himself to describe his process and share a top ten of his favorites. We spoke with David Palumbo about his career, his education and his approach when it comes to making Art for a living and who he keeps an eye on when it comes to inspiration. Enjoy The David Palumbo Interview and many Artworks dispersed throughout. Rather than censor the artist, we give you full warning now, this is Mr Palumbo un - edited.

BUREAU: Please suggest a list of ten artists that our audience should know about and why.

DAVID PALUMBO: Hmmm. Ok, I hope some of these are already well known, but here are ten artists I’m currently really digging:
Mead Scheaffer - I don’t know much of his story, but damn can he paint.  Scheaffer was an illustrator in the first half of the 20th century who was brilliant with design, limited color, and something about his brush calligraphy just kills me.
J.C. Leyendecker - Another early 20th century illustrator, Leyendecker was so bold with shape and silhouette that I’m often looking to him for inspiration.  His stylization of figures adds such elegance and drama. Precursor to Rockwell.
Jeremy Geddes - an Australian contemporary painter who has transitioned from illustration to fine art.  His work is so moody and stark.  I love the illustration and gallery work equally.
Antonio Lopez Garcia - a Spanish painter, still active I believe, who is known for his immense cityscapes and incredibly life-like interiors.  The depth and tangible quality of his work is unreal, especially if you ever have the opportunity to see one in person.  
Sam Weber - a contemporary illustrator based in Brooklyn who’s done mostly editorial and cover work.  Sam’s look has been evolving since I first became aware of him.  Back then it was very graphic and stylized, often monochromatic and minimalist.  Recently he’s been turning more hyper-realist but still with a strong graphic punch and terrific mood.
Alex Kanevsky - a contemporary fine artist who does very abstracted depictions of figures and such.  I’m endlessly fascinated by how far he can break the lines and planes while still showing a clear representation of the figure.
Robert McGinnis - an illustrator who did a ton of crime novel covers with sexy women in the 60s and 70s.  Think of Bond girls and you’d think of McGinnis.
Sanjulian - a European illustrator who did absolutely brilliant 70s gothic and horror (and romance) book covers.  Wonderful 70s texture and amazing montages
Greg Manchess - a contemporary illustrator who does genre and mainstream work with a very painterly hand in the spirit of the Pyle school. Wonderful chunky strokes and incredible compositions.
John Harris - an English illustrator who does beautiful painterly space scenes rich in color and emotion.  Almost nobody can get away with loose atmospheric takes on SF like Harris can.

Mr.  Palumbo's worked has been showcased in: Ace Books . Blizzard  Entertainment . Centipede  Press . Dark  Horse Comics . Daw  Books . Heavy  Metal . Lucas film . Marvel Entertainment . The  New Yorker . Night  Shade Books .  Pyr  Books .  Roadrunner Records . Rolling  Stone .  Italia  Scholastic  .  Science Fiction Book Club . Simon and Schuster . Scientific American . Subterranean Press . Tor Books . Wizards of the Coast and In the collection of: George Lucas . Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art . The Association of Fantastic Art he has Numerous Awards Including :  Chesley Award - best game related illustration (2013) / Spectrum Gold Medal - book category (2013)  / Spectrum Gold Medal - book category (2011)  / Spectrum Silver Medal - comics category (2011) 

INTERVIEW: Director  Deon Taylor 

Deon Taylor Directed, Supremacy, a new Film Starring Danny GLOVER & Lela ROCHON 

We spoke to Deon Taylor about his experience developing and directing this New Drama.

BUREAU: Although this is a wholly original production based on a true contemporary situation, did you look at crime dramas in your research within the genre ? William Wyler's The Desperate Hours with Humphrey Bogart comes to mind. 

Deon Taylor: During the process of preparing for the production of "Supremacy" I worked very hard to stay away from films that lived in a world of containment or hostage situations.  I wanted to test myself. I wanted to shoot from my heart and have no pre-game plan. I felt the story was so unique and had so many layers that, creatively, it needed me to be a blank canvas. On another note, I love "The Desperate Hours." Classic!
" This film taught me to live in the moment      and simply be true to the story. " 

BUREAU: What particular challenges did you face in entirely switching modes here and taking on high drama ?  

Deon Taylor: There were always challenges on this film. Personally, the biggest challenge was staying true to the family. The film is based on a true story and I wanted to be sure to stay in tune with the tragic events that took place that night. This was a challenge simply because, as a creative filmmaker, you’re always looking to see how you can make something bigger and more effective. This film taught me to live in the moment and simply be true to the story.

BUREAU: Working with Danny Glover is a godsend for any director, once you knew he was on board, discuss with our readers how the rest of the film fell into place.

Deon Taylor: Danny Glover is a godsend! Danny was my first call after reading the screenplay. I don't really have the words to explain how I felt once he said “yes” to the project.  Danny has always been one of my favorites and represents so much to me. When I think of his career and his body of work, it's beyond amazing. You're talking about one of the first, Black, action heroes that had success globally. From "Silverado" to the "Lethal Weapon" franchise to "The Color Purple," how do you top that? Without talent like Danny Glover and Sidney Poitier, there would be no lane for incredible talents like Jamie Foxx, Will Smith or Denzel Washington. So when I go back to the call and hear the words, "Yes, I'm doing your movie," words cannot explain how I felt. It was simply a blessing and I am so grateful for him and the opportunity he allowed me to have. It is very hard to believe that Danny Glover has not been nominated for an Academy Award over his 40-year-career. He is Academy-worthy in my book and I love him.

BUREAU: Eric J. Adams wrote the screenplay for this riveting drama, when did you first read the script and what made you decide to take this project on as a director ? 

Deon Taylor: I first read the script two years ago and everything in my body said, "Go make this film." As a 100 percent independent filmmaker, the challenge then became, "How do I raise the money needed to make such an important film?" I felt strongly about this film as my entire family has had dealings with race-related issues. I truly believed through film I could shine a light on ignorance.

BUREAU: Several dramatic scenes in the film depend highly on pitch perfect performance. Sparse dialogue and situation force some of your actors to find a certain tone: Lela Rochon rises to the challenge beautifully. Could you talk a bit about creating a  
creative atmosphere on the set for your actors.  

Deon Taylor: Lela Rochon is amazing! Her spirit is beautiful as well. When setting the stage for "Supremacy," I had to find the perfect locations in which the talent could immerse themselves.  For high-energy characters like Lela, Joe and Dawn, I found myself talking to them constantly, building layers for their characters and creating backstories. This process was the key ingredient in grabbing these amazing performances.

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BUREAU: Tell us about your relationship with creating imagery: When & how did it start? 

David FeBLAND: I began creating imagery in my head long before its physical embodiment on canvas. I didn’t even think of myself as an artist until I reached my 20’s, and I began to create wholly self-expressive work only as I reached the age of 40. I was a 6 year old child growing up in the bucolic countryside of Southern England when suddenly my family relocated to Coney Island, Brooklyn. It was 1955, during the ebbing but still raucous era of side shows and bawdy entertainments of a working class seaside town. The giant spatulas hadn’t yet been affixed to the front of the Sanitation trucks, better to evenly tan the Unfortunates who fell by the wayside.  That was coming but still in the future. My new neighborhood was a lively place where Freak shows were commonplace, and the people who worked them for a living went about their local errands after hours. My first explorations in my new country included quotidian encounters with The Hairy Lady (full mustache & beard), The Leopard Girl (skin half black, half white), The Fat Man (at 400 lbs, a real standout rather than today’s next-in-line at McDonalds), Mr. Pinhead (don’t ask) and a supporting cast of dwarves, simians & fire-breathers. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. This seminal experience gestated for a long time before finding its way into art as I engaged in a variety other life pursuits, but it formed my view of public life forever. I never really took my eyes off the street again, and l believe that at that early age my interest in human interaction with our physical surroundings was set. However unconsciously, my lifelong determination to cast the world around me as dramatic narrative was established. We carry a few essential ideas into and through our creative lives. We go back to them again and again in a process of refinement. Our craft improves, we discover new methodologies and media, but they always support a nucleus of what I would call essential truths that we form early in our experience.

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 Bureau Media Partners:  Downtown Records .  First Run Features  .  Indie Printing  



In the late Summer of 2013, The Editor of BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE Magazine Announced a New Experimental Fiction Novel all about Los Angeles. Mr Triliegi wrote a chapter a day for several few weeks, working without notes or any preconceived structure and posted the results daily at various BUREAU Sites that regularly showcase Art, Theater, Music, Photography Cultural & Community events. Part One of The Series lasted all of 22 Chapters and was a resoundingly successful, accepted Literary Art Work. Mister Joshua Triliegi will again repeat that process for Part Two beginning on August 1, 2014. The New Chapters will be published daily M - F at our different community sites and can be translated into a multitude of languages for easy reading.

" I thought it would be a good writing exercise to simply write about what I see and hear everyday on the streets of the city. To simply create a chapter a day based on the people and things going on in Los Angeles. Since we all come from so many variable back grounds, styles, cultures and languages, I decided to structure the multi character novel to represent all of Los Angeles. I simply write a chapter a day by allowing the characters to unfold and the story, as well as the structure to reveal itself ."

" Its a challenge to simply introduce a character and follow the creative line as it flows into something structured and complete. I usually know the beginning and the end of each Chapter and simply let the middle fill itself out. I like the daily discipline as well as the audience being in on the process. In this particular case, I do not take any written notes. I just start with an idea and let it flow. This is not a normal novel by any means, but it is a new and interesting challenge for both the writer and the readers. It's been a lot of fun. I hope the people of Los Angeles and the world will follow it out as it reveals itself. As the writer, in this particular case, I am just as curious as the reader as to what will happen and how things will go. The cool thing about this project is how quickly the characters began to take on a life of their own. I am curious to see what they do next"

Here are four Pinnacle Chapters near the very end of Part One of the Fiction Project. The entire Part One is available on our Site BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE . Com as well as our Community Sites in L.A. / N.Y.C / S.F. / Santa Barbara / San Diego and the New International Literary Site with links to Publishers, Book Stores and Literary Events. This particular Excerpted Version is accompanied by the Fine Art Paintings of  Contributing Artist David FeBLAND represented by George BILLIS Gallery in LA and NYC. 

The Paintings existed and were created without knowledge of the Novel Project, though we felt their presence here allowed for a visual narrative that compliments the Series well. Read The Chapter A Day Novel Project Monday through Friday beginning on August 1, 2014 On Line.

MARNI ZELNICK:  Film Director
BUREAU Editor Joshua Triliegi talks with Marni Zelnick about her most recent feature film.

TRILIEGI: DRUID PEAK is a wonderful film. Tell us about your earliest interest in this particular subject and how you went about developing the project. 

MARNI ZELNICK: A lot of the story elements that eventually became part of Druid Peak were things that had been germinating with me for a long time. The effect external geography can have on our internal selves; the almost haphazard but devastatingly permanent way life can be lost when you’re a teenager; the fact that people so rarely ask the right questions of each other; the power animals have to communicate without speaking, and how their vulnerability can move even the most stoic heart. I think every writer has those things. But the immediate catalyst for the film was a $100,000 production grant offered by the Sloan Foundation for a script dealing with science or technology.  Funding for first features can be incredibly difficult to find and I knew I wanted to apply for the grant. I went to their information session and they were probably no more than fifteen minutes into it when the image of a kid running alongside a pack of wolves streamed through my head.  It was the unification of a million things I cared about.  All of those ideas I mentioned plus Jackson Hole, Wyoming—a place that had been significant to me both as a teenager and an adult.  The story kind of grew out of and around that image.  

TRILIEGI: The Film starts out with a common problem facing much of the youth of today: Urban Dissatisfaction. Your lead character, Owen, goes through a slow and steady transformation, discuss the arc of this character. 

MARNI ZELNICK: You know, I would say it a little bit differently.  I would call it environmental dissatisfaction, rather than urban dissatisfaction.  I think it would have been easy to make Owen an urban teen and for the conflict to simply be urban versus rural life.  But as a film with an environmental subject, I wanted the issue to be more complicated than that.  I specifically set Owen in West Virginia because it’s a place as potentially beautiful as Wyoming, but we’ve used the land very differently.  The town we shot in, Mt. Hope, was an old coal town where the seam was mined to exhaustion.  The land was depleted and the town never recovered. So a potentially very beautiful place had been used in a way that left its inhabitants with very little, both visually and in terms of opportunity.  Owen is a smart kid who feels crushed by the claustrophobia of the place.  There’s nothing there for him.  He may not be self-aware enough to articulate it that way, but he’s stopped trying to make anything of himself or his life because he doesn’t see where it could lead—what the point is.  His arc is a lot about realizing that there are still choices to be made.  He can choose a different place, a different life, a different self.
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