Friday, July 06, 2018

Blind Item #12 - Elegant Degradation – A Himmmm Blind Item Story – Part 5


Located in "beautiful downtown Burbank", is one of the true secrets of the Los Angeles area.  Built in the 1950s, it looks like any one of thousands of motor inns to dot the landscape of America.  Back before interstates and strip malls.  But what makes the Safari so unique is it's art-deco neon sign and motel design.  Still looking like a time capsule, it has been featured in films and television shows including Apollo 13; CSI; Coach Carter; and plays a prominent role in the film True Romance (as the motel where James Gandolfini's mobster hit man nearly beats Patricia Arquette to death).  Many non-L.A. people may assume the motel is in Hollywood proper, near the strip.  In truth, it is located over the hill in Burbank – next to Warner Bros. Studios. (Close to where "Bo Duke" once had a Lamborghini dealership back in the 1980s.  I swear.  Only in Burbank would a Dukes of Hazard actor own a Lamborghini dealership).

It isn't just The Safari's location that has given it the name "The Warner Annex" or "The Annex" over the decades.  It is because of a shared history.  One that includes many secret rendezvous; clandestine business meetings; or even just a home-away for actors, artists, and executives when working at the studio.  Unlike the posh Beverly Hills Hotel; or the Beverly Wilshire – anyone can drive right up to the Safari Inn and grab an affordable room for the night.  Or even (like many hot-sheet motels) for an hour or two.  An entire generation of us who "grew up" as "studio brats" have carried on the traditions of using the Safari as a place to party or to host poker games.  This includes all four of us original Himmmms.  That pool and deck have also been an inspiration for many screenwriters.

Our traveling party rolled up to the motel in the wee hours, but the party arrived early.  Being on a first-name basis with management was great (but the large tip/insurance bond was even better).  In fact, not a single tourist registered a complaint that night (because we'd paid to book the entire motel which in no way was as extravagant as it sounds.  In fact, it was Duke's gift to me to cover the motel cost.  Our bar tab was higher than that).

Looking like a leftover from the Sinatra era, we took the "Poker Suite" that Ben and I had used to host many all-night games.  Already rocking was some great DJ music, drinks, and skinny-dipping from the braver souls.  Ben was on the upper pool deck, explaining to Sara and Jessica about this incredible new film that just wrapped.  It was sort of a teen horror-comedy by Wes Craven and starring Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox from Friends.  It was called "Scary Movie", but Miramax was looking at other titles like "Afraid", and "Scream".  Craven was currently editing it in post that same night.

While Ben drank and geeked on the girls, my actress friend Gillian and I sat up on the pool deck, having a "smoke" and relaxing.  The more we drank, the more weed I smoked until I was perfectly in tune with the music playing.  Duke had brought this new CD by our friends' band "The Wallflowers".  I coaxed Gillian into a swim – it was technically my birthday – so we didn't worry with details like swimwear.  When Jakob Dylan began singing "One Headlight" – a perfect new L.A. anthem, every sense in my body began to warm up at once.  Gillian and I embraced and sort of drifted in the cool water together…letting in the music as the neon of the big motel sign washed over us.

"Happy Birthday, goofy" she whispered to me with a kiss.  "Thanks, goober" I replied.  I noticed her staring for a long time with a sort of silly perma-smile on her face.  When I asked, she said she was just thinking about when we met the first time.  Not even 10 years ago, but a lifetime prior.  Several lifetimes prior, or so it felt.  The miles, colleges, relationships, work, fame…all down stream now.  Somehow, we'd re-connected and still felt like kids.

"What did you think back then when you first met me? When we were teenagers, on set of the night shoots?", she asked.  I couldn't believe she asked me that question.  I smiled. "I thought you were the most gorgeous girl I'd ever seen. I thought every night I saw you felt like New Years' Eve just looking at you", I said.  Before I could say another word, she took her finger and put it over my lips to stop me.  She wrapped her legs around me under the water, and leaned close to kiss me.  After a lifetime of soft kisses, growing more passionate, we never separated for air.

There we began making love in the night-time pool as (the then-new CD) of Dave Matthews' Band's "Crash Into Me" began playing.  We kept time with the music, and each other, my back against the pool wall.  After what seemed like an entire extra year, I noticed most of the party had moved indoors.  "Good", she smiled back to me.  I asked her the same question she had earlier asked me…about her first impression of me all those many years ago on a film set.  She fixed her gaze very serious on me.  "I thought you were the most arrogant guy alive", she laughed.

I dunked her.


yepthatsme said...


Lurky McLurkster said...

Reds 0 Cubs 0

pkelly491 said...

Wallflowers, Early Dave Matthews, and Scream. How 90s.

sandybrook said...

Fuck Belgium! Fuck European futbol teams!! (Until I have to root for England once Brazil loses today, technically I guess England is no longer part of Europe, they dumped the rest of them to be Brexit?)

cheesegrater15 said...

Holy shit. I don't care who wins I just want Russia to lose.

Enthusiasm Quotes said...

Great Quotes
Fitness Quotes
Success Quotes
Best Quotes
Positive Life Quotes
Images Bank
Future Quotes
Motore Elettrico
اقوال وحكم
حكم واقوال
حكمة رائعة

Missy Bigbritches said...

Who is Gillian? The first post said C+, so it can't be Anderson and Jacobs is too young. Hunh.

Motörhead said...

You guess right ha ha

Chase said...

So Ben is David Arquette?

HeatherBee said...

Some of my best memories would definitely have a DMB soundtrack

VikingSong said...

No, Sandybrook, we are still very much a part of Europe. England left the European Union which is a trade bloc. We didn't leave the continent. That's impossible. Norway isn't in the EU either, but they're still European.

Sara, Making It Work said...

No. Ben is a very famous filmmaker who has appeared in these big Himmmm blinds before. I don't think he was in any way involved in Scream. But he just knows everyone and maybe saw a rough cut.


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