The Count

Sunday, June 30th, 2002
The Count of Monte Cristo has to be one of my all-time favorite novels. I have the book as well as a large collection of movies which have been made based on this story. My favorite version is the 8 hour French miniseries (in French) with Gerard Depardieu.

On our honeymoon, my wife and I stayed in rented castles in France. (Think bed and breakfast, only these happen to be castles where you can rent a room or a wing for the night).

Back to Dumas, I took my new bride to the Chateau D'If just so that I could show her the room where a young and innocent Edmond Dantes spent so many years of his life.

Of course, Kathy has a completely different take on the whole experience - that of having to suppress bodily function for hours,  for lack of proper "Western" rest-room facilities on the island. I explained that the holes in the ground had been used for centuries and that they were authentic. She said that they looked and smelled authentic and managed to survive until we got off the boat in Marseille to more civilized facilities.  She has no desire to return.

Wrestling on the Island

Tuesday, June 11th, 2002
Here's a chance for me to share an interesting opportunity I once had -- something, which may surprise you.  I was into championship wrestling.
Image:Wrestling on the IslandImage:Wrestling on the Island
Before I got into computers, I was into video using 1/2" B&W reel to reel video tape. Remember that? In the late 70's, I had built a small video production studio. I landed a cushy job for a year, video taping -- of all things -- championship wrestling in Barbados. I got to fly to Barbados every two weeks, videotape a match and return to LA to edit the tape. The tapes were apparently shown in places where the promoters could not stage live events.

We were not on the tourist side of town. I was probably one of 3 white guys I saw on the island each time I was there. My client, Joe Osborne, a native of Barbados, invited me to stay at his home there during each trip. We became friends and I was welcomed as part of the family. The people I met on the island were the nicest I had ever met. I never felt uncomfortable being the lone white guy in fact I felt more welcome than I do in LA. I made many friends during my visits. It was a wonderful experience.

As far as the wrestling goes, I had a blast. I had never really seen [or cared about] this type of wrestling before. It was amazing to see a stadium full of people who took it so seriously. Fortunately, I met a young bejan (SP?) boy who taught me all the tricks of how to know who was going to do what move when. I'm not going to say that it was rigged but...

I met some of the wrestlers of the Caribbean wrestling circuit such as  Carlos Colon, Abdulah the Butcher, Gorgeous George, and a guy named Mill Mascaras, the man of a thousand masks.

It was a special time in my life, and I am thankful for the new friends I made.