Out and About a romp through August in a lighthearted way part 4
Out and About
On a trip to a retreat in Brighton.
I’m afraid I’ve given in to the modern world , I’ve betrayed my precious Zycling precepts, so what have I done that’s so terrible ? I been and got a mobile phone!!. Sure it’s the simplest model , you have to say “ahoy ahoy ahoy” to activate . Why did I do such a thing, I bowed to pressure from my family and friends. My poor doctor had been trying to contact me whilst I was out and about. It’s all very well for me a retired octogenarian swanning around without a care in the world , and those who love and care about me haven’t a bloody idea where I am , what I’m up to and whether I’ve got clean underwear . Things had to change so I went into EE my new broadband provider , and with a heavy heart and closed eyes joined the overspeakable world. I say that because I don’t intend to make calls just receive. How long will this last ?
Anyhow I arrived at the bus stand in bright sunshine with plenty of time and I noticed a broken bottle and glass all around. The toilet cleaner was busy nearby so I asked him for a brush and pan , but the elderly man with advanced Parkinson declined the offer of help . Chatting , he told me he was off to Atlanta Georgia next week to stay with a friend also with the handicap, though it doesn’t seem to bother him .
As he shuffled away my eyes wheeled up , goodness it’s only just gone 7am
About. ( this retreat was good enough to have its own blog.)
I arrived at the retreat centre a little early , so I had time to take my bearings.
I used to live in Brighton and in the 70s ran a vegetarian cafe which was a fairly new thing then . But Brighton has often been in the vanguard of fashions. There certainly are a few Buddhist groups.
Our teacher for today is a Buddhist monk from Amerverari the sister to Chithurst and also the retreat centre in Hertfordshire, Bante Sukhacitto and he really knows his stuff .A German born senior monk he taught INSIGHT DIALOGUE from the teachings of Gregory Kramer.
We worked with partners, using silence and pausing . In fact the Zycling precepts “There should be no sense of Urgency “ was very much to the full.
A highly recommended workshop
Tea time at the Mock Turtle
I met up with son and friend at the place that a Danish /English couple had set up , and both myself and wife shared a job there.after we sold Three Rooms our friends also found a buyer for the turtle eventually.
So we ordered from a silver cake stand .
I left them and rode along the seafront to Hove station and just missed a Chichester train and waited over half an hour and the train was full of high spirited football supporters .arriving at the nearby bus stand I find that the schedule has changed , and I have over an hour to wait. But the good news is that there now is a 1018 pm to Midhurst , no more staying overnight for the meditation group.
Supper at Witherspoons was now possible to fill,in time . It was packed so the fastest food was sausages and chips which were the best . So I caught up with the internet
My life in Hollywood
I met someone who recommended me to go east as they Knew the manager of a resort owned by the UAW and Reuther happened to be staying, it’s in the Poconos mountains in Pennsylvania . Though the place had lots of potential for a fun summer i with many others got fired. But I had made friends with a young college undergrad, most of the waiters in these resorts were working their way through college.
He invited me to stay with his family in Connecticut. His mother was a delightful liberal Catholic and dad had a senior post in a PR company in Manhattan.
So I experienced the life of the east coast middle class for a while. Cruising to beer joints along the Darian Turnpike , something like that
After a week of hanging out , we got jobs in the New York Catskill mountain resort of Jewish hotels, my one was the Waldemar , entertainers such as Jack Benny and Danny Kaye started their careers in these places.
But that job was short lived , I didn’t have the desperation to work hard to make the money that these kids needed to complete college and get on the careers ladder. The boss called me into her office and declared .”tony I love your accent but I’ve got to let you go”
So I jumped into my trusty VW and drove back to, California, breaking down at Mount Rushmore, with the president mocking me for my lack of toughness.
- One of my more interesting job working as a waiter was at a Hungarian restaurant on Fairfax Avanue in one of the Jewish Areas of LA.
- Actually before i tell you about that experience I ought to explain a bit about my spiritual search . When I arrived in LA I joined the First Unitarian Church whose minister was the famous radical Fritchmann a powerful speaker . I started to make friends but unfortunately I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate these kind gentle people so I moved on into the shallow end of the LA pool.
- So most of the customers were Holocaust survivors with the camp numbers on their arms . It was a nice job run by the family who must have escaped from Hungary , but I was dissatisfied with the servitude necessary To be a good waiter .
After a time I decided to get a proper job and moved house. So I applied to Western Airlines , the .LAX based carrier, as a PSR , that’s a passenger service representative. I took the test and before you could say all aboard ( no that’s the trains stupid) I was standing behind the counter in a smart,uniform selling tickets to Hawaii, Minneapolis, Phoenix,Las Vegas San Francisco, Seattle, Portland,......shut up and get on with it.
And I moved to an apartment on Venice Beach, named such because in the twenties a developer dug canals put up some cheap huts and called it Venice. Just in front was Muscle Beach workout cage.
In those days the area was considered for the poor and along the promenade
Elderly Jewish women still showing concentration camp numbers on their arms chatted with friends in the warm sunshine , whilst their men played chess and dominoes in purpose built shelters.
By the. Auditorium yoga classes were available and wonderful sea food cafes kept it all going
Into this paradise I stepped and found a two room apartment to share with my fellow PSR Andrew a gangly Young polish pedigree with a triumph Bonneville
I had also acquired some nice hardware , a BMW 1600 which cornered like a skater. And a white Vespa Super Sport to take me to work not that far away.
I had also met Dee with her two beautiful boys who lived with an English couple in long beach . I had another not romantic blond and beautiful Californian girl friend with whom I went to Rock Concerts . ( I want to go back )
I had joined a meditation group in West Hollywood run by an Indian Sikh sage called yogi. Bunjan. During this period I was exploring many eastern religious practices most were phoney . On Melrose Avenue was the Bodhi Tree bookshop .A wonderful place with every spiritual book and frequent live talks from the latest guru plus tea and all free.
Like other periods in its history LA is a magnet for religious teachers , charlatans and all manner of hustlers And in the 60s you could find them in spades. To be continued
So let’s leave it at that for now I hope you’re enjoying the format PLG Tony