February 5, 2023

I’m always torn about saying where I grew up – my emotionally struggling parents started out with good intentions of having their kids grow up in a Southern California mountain town but then seriously lost the thread and dragged us through hell before I managed to get back to where childhood had seemed normal just in time for 8th and 9th grade – then right on the verge of having the freedom to truly be a Southern California resident with a car and access to beaches, Hollywood, L.A., and the car driving capital of the world – I was yanked up and dragged to deep red Redding in far the far northern bumfuck regions of California. So, while technically, I at least partially ‘grew up’ in Southern California, I never had the opportunity to be a mobile adolescent here. And quite oddly to my mind – I’d never really been to Hollywood. How did that happen? I guess my parents thought ‘we’ve been there, done that’ and their colloquial view of it at the time, as I remember, was that Hollywood was filled with queers and prostitutes – two demographics, by the way, that I later discovered I thoroughly enjoy being around.

So, here I am – on a father-daughter trip with my awesome 10-year-old child and of course, when she said “Can we go to the Hollywood sign?” I was all in . We didn’t do the full list of tourist attractions, hikes, tours, or anything else – but we did what I considered to be the Big-Three of Hollywood. We took selfies with the sign, found some of our favorite stars on Hollywood Blvd, and had lunch while looking out for stars who might be walking by. Along the way we got to see lots of homeless camps, get stuck in more than two hours of traffic (an essential LA experience if there ever was one) and saw a few super tall and glamorous 1) actresses 2) cross-dressers 3) prostitutes or 4) all of the above. I couldn’t tell, to be honest – they looked great any way about it. We laughed about how they towered over us and their very exaggerated sashay.

This was a strictly daytime excursion – and we had a blast. A tasty burger and fries from Hollywood Burger rounded out the afternoon. I feel a little sad that I missed out on having a chance to enjoy the night time Hollywood scene in my twenties and thirties – but this is fine for me at fifty and for my daughter at ten.

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