When I was young I had the same fascination with California as much as anyone from grey and cold Cleveland. My first time there was when I was 15 and I met my brother out to watch a college basketball game between his alma mater of Ohio University and arguably the best college team of all-time, the UCLA Bruins coached by John Wooden.

It was magical to be in 72 degree temperatures in December. On the trip home the plane I was in developed engine problems (my second flight ever) and headed back to LA. By the time I reached Chicago for my connecting flight it had left so the airlines put me up in a hotel.

So, here I was, in the Windy City alone in my swanky hotel as stewardesses brought me dinner.

My second trip was in 1979 with four of my best friends and I believe the pictures are from when we were in Santa Monica. I remember at one point being on the freeway and listening to the LA premiere of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” and thinking how cool I was. Heh.
The third was when I was attending a conference and had the best fish taco I’ve ever had at some joint in the hills. The one good story was I dressed up one night and went to the Derby (the bar for the final scene in Swingers) and met two people from Dallas and then two days later saw the band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy there. Weird.
The last time I was there was in 2000 for another conference and I remember whizzing through Bel-Air in my rental car with a fairly good drink on.