The Den - 6/11/75

The punk on the Naugahyde Stratolounger in this Polaroid shot is my high school chum Mike McDaniel, age 18. Born, raised and educated in Burbank, he still lives there and, indeed, works for the city. (In the City Hall, a building of epic WPA-era design and decoration - we used to call it "Hitler Hall" because of its obvious wartime architecture.) Mike has also worked with the Burbank Historical Society on a number of projects. At our 20th anniversary Burbank High School reunion we were both awarded special watches: I for having traveled the farthest to attend (Springfield, Virginia - 2,500 miles) and he for having the largest number of kids (five).

When this picture was taken we were in my bachelor pad planning the evening's activities, which normally included driving out in Mike's '66 Lincoln Continental to Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard for LP's, then to Jack-in-the-Box for their detestable onion rings, fries and hot lemon turnovers. (I included a cup of coffee, which dubbed the meal "the Indigestion Special.") That concluded, we'd cruise around the hillside neighborhoods. ("The Cruise," as we called it, is more fully described here.)

I put this photo in this collection for two reasons:

1) I promised Mike I would to give him and "The Cruise" a sort of Internet immortality, and
2) It illustrates two more of Dad's decoration ideas.

When we first moved into the house, Dad wedged a couple of small pieces of wood between the bricks in the fireplace and erected (shaky) shelves to hold our mug collection and other bric-a-brac (you can see it in earlier photos). I don't remember where we got those toby mugs, but Mom got rid of them when she moved and retired in '89. I'm sorry she did - I kind of liked them.

Anyway, Dad found a Frederick Remington print he liked - a Pony Express rider on horseback - and framed it and hung it up. The whole fireplace wall was illuminated with a string of white, orange and red Christmas tree lights hidden behind a wooden ceiling beam in a sort of poor man's indirect lighting scheme. (In our house, it was always Christmas!)

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