Thursday, March 19, 2015


Just between you and me? What is this - -secrets? Confessions, maybe?

I've had more than a few beers, so I'll apologize in advance for whatever I'm about to say.....


I've had favorable responses to my recent blog posts about my youthful adventures in California - - but I'm sure a few people have been secretly saying "Jon, you're living in the past. Nobody gives a rat's ass about your ancient Hollywood history."

And my answer would inevitably be "Aw, settle down and try to enjoy it. It's free entertainment."

I could get caustic and say "My past is probably a helluva lot more interesting than your past."
But I'm a sweet, sensitive, caring guy. I wouldn't even think of saying anything like that.

I've previously mentioned (on more than a few occasions),  that I have never thought of myself as being particularly special or interesting.......until I began to ponder my past.

One day - - while in the initially unintended process of profound pondering - - I realized that I've had an unusual life. The more I thought about it, the more incidents I remembered, and the more astounded I was. 

We are all multifaceted human beings. I like to think of each one of us as an enigma in progress. For some reason, I seem to harbor more enigmas than most: an over-abundance of multifacetism.  Don't bother to Google the word - - I think I just made it up.

I'm not drunk yet. Just a little tipsy.

My life has been filled with many incredibly conflicting chapters. My inner network harbors a myriad of confusingly diverse aspects, colorful contrasts, infinite contradictions. In retrospect I sometime have difficulty knowing exactly who I am, and I very often confuse and confound myself.

So - what's special about me? (besides good looks and charm). Hey, don't snicker. I learned from bitter experience that modesty will get you nowhere.

I don't have any fancy degrees (or pedigrees) to flaunt. I don't have any children or grandchildren to talk about. The bank isn't loaded with my money. I'm not impressively intelligent. I just said that to appear humbleBut my life has been rich in diversity and adventure.

Examples! We want examples, Jon.

I survived a dysfunctional childhood, my parent's extremely turbulent marriage, and my father's relentless violence and abuse - which nearly destroyed me (something even my own relatives knew nothing about and probably would rather not know).

I survived my explosive youthful years, when I was uncontrollably wild, reckless, filled with self-hate, and solely intent on self-destruction.

I was privileged to have indulged in the very best life has to offer and damned to have wallowed in the absolute worst. 

I had a promising start.
When I was eleven I wrote and illustrated my first book. It wasn't a good book, but what the hell. When I was twelve I was the youngest artist to have my oil paintings displayed in a popular art gallery in Orange County (California). I gave my first public solo piano recital when I was fourteen.

I had the privilege of studying piano and composition with some of the most renowned teachers in the country and was acquainted with some of the finest musicians in the world. When I was fifteen, I was awarded the Albert Rosen Award for one of my piano compositions (Rosen was an Austrian conductor). I performed a piano concerto with a symphony orchestra when I was twenty. 

I was chosen to play a rare three-hundred-year-old harpsichord at the L.A. Music Center......and I later played broken down pianos in sleazy bars that catered to the lowest dregs of society.

I had more golden opportunities than anyone would ever believe and squandered more of them than I would ever want to admit. I was incredibly reckless and careless and never learned to value my own self-worth until it was too late. 

During my early years in Hollywood I knew pimps, drug dealers, and underground porn producers. And I met a very impressive assortment of famous people, including some of the biggest celebrities in Hollywood. I've been on numerous movie sets and worked as an extra.

I was notoriously promiscuous - -  and willingly embarking on a one-way excursion into Sodom with no regrets - - I'm not proud. I'm just saying.

I've had a four-day sexual tryst in the Beverly Hills Hotel with a movie director. Ironically, on two other occasions I had been kicked out of the Beverly Hills Hotel - once for being drunk, once for wearing a cowboy hat in the Polo Lounge.

After the breakup of a particularly volatile love affair I went to Mexico and lived on the beach.

A wealthy, sophisticated young woman (whose father was famous) asked me to marry her ( I am not kidding - I've written about this before). ....and you thought I was exclusively gay, didn't you? After the end of that adventure, I got drunk and sailed a boat to Catalina - - solo and with almost no nautical experience. Thoughtless spontaneity was my specialty.

I was the editor of my high school newspaper and wrote for a local newspaper when I was sixteen. Years later, I had success as a widely published freelance writer. 

Then, in an extremely grim chapter of my life, I had enormous trouble and bad luck in Texas, which sapped all of creativity and forced me to abandon music and writing. This foul fluke of fate robbed me of my spirit, my soul, and my life savings. I'm still in the difficult process of recovering......

Why am I saying all this?
Because there's no doubt that I've had an  interesting life. And I haven't even revealed a fraction of it. My secrets could fill a book.......
Why keep it to myself? Some day I'll croak and no one will ever know.

Writing about my Hollywood days in this blog is a pleasant diversion and a preliminary exercise for what I plan to write (elsewhere) in the future. 

Public blogs are really no place to reveal deeply private confessions. I'm usually careful about what I post here - for many reasons. 

I sure as hell don't know everyone who's reading this blog. 

There are a lot of private lurkers - who visit regularly but never ever bother to reveal themselves. Hey, I love them, I appreciate their interest - - but their purposeful anonymity is perhaps just a little disconcerting. 

My relatives occasionally read my blog - I have to force them but I know they're here. I love them, but I don't want to shock them. Well, not too much, anyway.
I can just hear them gasping and whispering Wow, we always knew Jon was peculiar and eccentric, but we never realized he was this crazy........

And all those sweet, kind, fellow bloggers - whom I truly adore. The majority of them are innocent people who've never cruised the streets of Hollywood or sold their souls to Satan. They understand me, or at least politely tolerate me.

I've come very far from my old days and wild ways. My turbulent past is safely behind me. I'm a little older and a lot wiser.
Or perhaps a lot older and a little wiser?

Lately, the only excitement I have in my life is when I fall on the ice during unexpected blizzards, or deal with broken water pipes, or drive twenty miles one-way on perilous mountain roads to get groceries.

Okay, I'll finally admit it:
A shameless sense of exhibitionism compels me to excavate my past and resurrect these stories. It helps me get through the day. And it makes me happy to know that perhaps you enjoy reading them.

I've had too many beers and I've written FAR too much. I'm going to hate myself in the morning.

Well, it won't be the first time.


  1. I have lately learned from replies to a recent post ("My Sixties", 3/18) at "Invalid's Workshop" that the past is how we orient ourselves in the present. I am having to do a lot of that these days. Certainly past episodes, learning experiences, present a difficult curriculum to those of us examining it for instruction. Some of the past is just awful. I do admire your ability to diffuse it some with a few beers. Me, I yell, "Norma, get the ball-peen hammer and knock me out; I'm remembering too much!" She doesn't comply, so I have to deal with modern problems as they come in the mail. However, the wise folk who read our blogs kindly remind me that good things happened too. Have to go buy beer now.

  2. Jon,
    I understand why you blog, for many of the same reasons I blog. Self-examination, therapy, and just reliving our very individual and very interesting lives. Although some may see in your blogging an imperfect, flawed individual I see a very good human being. I think many other of your blog followers see the same thing I see, a good soul. I've always enjoyed a good adventure book. Following your blog is a real reality show, always something interesting. Nothing contrived or phone, but real. Just like you Jon.
    I hope to follow your blog all my life and maybe someday some of us fellow bloggers and followers will meet in Lotus Land. I've met fellow bloggers in the past (Bloggerpalooza) and I have to tell you there are few thrills that exceed that first meeting. It's like meeting a celebrity. And one thing that is constant, all of the bloggers (and followers) that I've met are all really nice people just like you. Men, women, gay, straight . . . . doesn't matter. All fine people. I am privileged to know you Jon as I am sure many of your other blog followers will agree with me. Believe it or not Jon, you are blessed and I don't mean that in a religious way.

  3. Jon,

    I found your blog via Ron's, time to come out of the wood work I guess. I enjoy your posts more than I can say. My life is quite boring compared to yours, retired from the worlds largest beverage company before it killed me. My only claim to fame are the many years I spent writing to kids and adults with cancer. Hence the "Postcard Cindy", I was known for my many postcards. Love your cats, guess I could be called a cat lady with two inside cats and then the many strays I feed outside.

    Cindy from Sonoma

  4. An "enigma in progress"? Love it!
    You've such a gift for weaving ordinary words into 'wow-isms', Jon ... they literally stop me in my tracks.
    'Glad to be along for the ride!

  5. You are a good writer. I think as I age, I find I have basics in common with most. Find it admirable that you sell a house and move on a whim. Enjoy Arkansas, I think it is a hidden jewel of a state.

  6. When we meet new people, we see them only as they are today, and only see the "who" they choose to project in the present world. One of the joys of long-time relationships is seeing those people through many decades of changes and challenges. Your blog posts about some of the things in your past give us the privilege of experiencing the real you through your past changes and challenges. It's the next best thing to knowing you for a lifetime, and besides, it's a lot cheaper than therapy!

  7. Great writing, interesting stories, keep it up


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