Jamis waiting for customers

When I was a kid my Aunt Eunice worked at a drug store in Encino. I somehow thought she was named for the town and maybe she was. I might have been seven or eight when we once went to see her and she told me that she had waited on Roy Rogers the day before. Roy Rogers! This event made me feel truly connected. I actually had a close relative who had not only seen Roy, but sold him a two boxes of Milk Duds and a Life Magazine. This made my aunt sort of famous and, by association, moved my own status up one notch lifting me from the common clay.

I lived off the event for years and each time the glory faded some new connection would take its place. In High School I had a letter printed in the L A Times. I dated a TV actress in college and she got me a walk on part on Gunsmoke. I had a couple of one-man shows at art galleries in NYC. As the years passed I really enjoyed these microscopic brushes with notoriety and, like most people, I thought that happiness could certainly be found on seeing my face looking back at me from the cover of Time. Well, in the end, it turns out that other values supplanted those early cravings for fame. Family, friends and kind strangers seem much more interesting then the adulation of unknown millions could be.

So, having come to terms with this, I was particularly amused yesterday when a woman came into Buck’s to ask if she could take my picture and get my autograph. She said she had read about me in the June issue of QG Magazine. This is clear evidence that the western world is fast approaching the apocalypse. This, and the fact that Dennis Hopper has taken up golf.

It’s a fun world. “Hey, want a Milk Dud?”