July 25th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1

Woke up in something of a panic, thinking it was 12 o’clock.  Val rushed across the road to buy the materials for breakfast.  Discovered when she returned that it was just after 10.  Ate a marmalade butty, then up + in towards town.  Stopped off for coffee – I was suffering from a mild hangover – and 2 more big marmalade butties while sat on the plinth of a statue at Market + Dolores.  Caught the bus in, and looked around for a pair of sneakers for me – I’d left my boots in Hayward, and needed something for walking in.  Fortunately, happened to notice a shoe shop with a sale on, + got a good pair for $7.  Caught the good old 30 Stockton to Columbus, and it crawled thro’ the traffic, arriving there just about in time.  As usual, the class was very entertaining, tho’ both Val and I thought that we personally weren’t up to top form.  Finished off with some fun touching games + the usual group massage… a pleasant way to end our relationship with the Drama course.  Off to the bar afterwards, where I got mildly drunk + played crib + chatted.  (Val did all these too, except for the first.)  Then on for a meal.  The group split, which was a shame, but Val and I accompanied Jim and a girl to a Mexican restaurant.  The food was pretty so-so – we’re both indifferent to Mexican food – but Jim once again insisted on paying, so that was that.  We didn’t want to play gooseberry, so absented ourselves afterwards.  We walked down to the Little Fox Theatre, to see if there were any seats left for “Bleacher Bums”, a play that Bill Bonham, one of the class members, was in.  There were, for 10 o’clock, so we got them, and went off to kill 3 hours or so.  Were walking down to check out the library when we saw Arjan in a bar, but the music there was loud + brash, so we made our excuses + left.  Library was shut, so went across to the Tattoo Rose café, a place we’d visited before.  They were very good – we had coffee + cake, and read for about 2 hours, with coffee re-fills.  At about 9, Val played the piano for about 10 mins – a sort of payment.  The play was rather disappointing, tho’ there were some nice moments, + they threw free popcorn at the beginning.  Saw Bill after – he gave us a Seattle no.

Amazed to read that we weren’t keen on Mexican food, as it was to become our favourite for a while.  And it was good to part from Jim on a positive note.  Some six or seven years later, Val and I were in SF again, and I took the opportunity to call in on a class to say hello.  Without a beat to register surprise, he said “Hi Chris.  How’s Val?”  And a few years ago, our friends in California sent us a newspaper clipping from the SF newspaper, extolling Jim and his improv class, and all the people he had taught.  He can be seen (briefly) in a movie – Shoot The Moon with Diane Keaton and, I think, Albert Finney – in which he has a wonderful cameo as an affronted diner in a restaurant.

  1. Pamela J Blair

    I saw Shoot the Moon years ago–shot in northern Marin County, I think. Don’t remember the story or your friend. Maybe something about a couple breaking up?

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