Sunday was Hanukkah and so a big day at the Skirball. Away in the Getty Gallery, at the far end of the venue, things were relatively quiet. We got the show moving on and made some good decisions as to how it could shape up from here. There were a lot of bright kids coming through with great questions and ideas.
On Mondays the show is closed but I still have two interviews and shopping to do before flying home. The first interview is in Santa Monica, and though I don’t get to see the sea it’s still a new part of the city to get a flavour of. I’m recording a segment for a cookery programme to be aired later in the week, fortunately I’m not asked for any recipes so all goes smoothly.
I particularly enjoy radio interviews; the challenge of making my answers concise with a clear start and finish, trying to say all that needs to be said whilst still addressing the questions. Ultimately trying to speak engagingly with energy and convincing listeners they may want to investigate the show a bit further. On the way home Mia explains that the radio is big in L.A. because everyone spends so long in their cars.
Trips away are always more relaxed once postcards are completed and in the post, more substantive trips, like this, I feel require presents. Jo’s tipped me of about a store that should do the trick. I spend far too long there, get stock blind, panic, pick up loads of stuff, much of it inappropriate, spread my horizons too wide, think “Christmas!”, fail to put anything down and assume the mighty pound will triumph over the feeble dollar. I spend far too much money.
My last duty is in Pasadena, a freeway trip in another direction. Pulling out onto Ventura a vast cream 4–Wheeler rears up out of nowhere and fails to slow. It’s going to hit us, the question is just where and how hard? I’m scared for Dorothy. It’s looking very bad before the swerve, in the end the blow is glancing, we’re jolted – no more, our front bumper goes spinning, plastic shrapnel flying and the cream tractor rockets on out of sight.
We pull over and get out looking bewildered unhurt. Bystanders stand by shaking their heads, “it’s a hit and run, you need to report him”. Moments later a woman pulls up in a slightly less vast machine, she’s on the phone and in fast verbal flow, talking to us in the gaps. She’s describing the car, which didn’t have plates, and is travelling East down Ventura. A black and white squad car shoots past with lights and a siren. A man pulls up and steps out wearing huge Dior shades. “I chased him for a bit but he was jumping red lights, and I lost him. I saw it all”. Now the woman has someone at her pitch to bounce back off. She was already on the phone to the police about that driver when hi hit us. She’d beeped him at some point I never quite fathomed and he threw water then a bottle at her and intimidated her physically. “you’ll hear it on the 911 tape, I’m saying “he’s a menace, he nearly hit two pedestrians he needs to be stopped” then I saw you, I say “OHMYGAD he’s just hit a car!” you’d hear it on the tape”. Dior shades leaves his number and goes. The squad car returns and pulls up, now we’ve got LAPD on the scene, though their enthusiasm for the suggested APB is less than luke-warm, just another incident in a long day to log. Dorothy’s too professional, I finally persuaded her that my interview really isn’t that important, she’s getting married in a few weeks and this is the last thing she needs. Before long all the paperwork is done, the LAPD have my cell number, the mutilated bumper is in the boot, the boot’s lashed closed and we’re off, shaken, to Passadena.