It was the picture from (all those) years ago that caught my eye. If I have learned anything at all about time it is that it is relentless! It is the only thing I know off that absolutely never takes a break.
I remember a trip I made with my beautiful wife Lynda on the way back from my oldest daughters wedding in Modesto California. We stopped in Burbank California and got a motel room downtown. Lynda wanted to go to Disneyland. Neither of us had ever been there. It is amazing how the decision process can effect your life in the context of time, sometimes it has a dramatic effect. I was contemplating a jaunt out to the land of Mickey Mouse and goofy when I looked out the window of the motel room. Across the street was an old Bar. Bars are always a fascinating site in the eyes of a drinking man. I could not help but wonder what was going on in that place. I turned and looked at Lynda and said Hun, look right across the street. I saw bold letters across the front window. There were big red letters in white outlined in blue "OLDEST BAR IN BURBANK". That's all I needed to see! I had to go into that place and check it out. I said, Hey babe, lets go over there and
see what is happening.
Lynda liked to hang as much as I did. She got dressed up and we went across the street.
It was a rock n roll bar, more to the heavy metal genre than anything. We sat at the bar and had a few beers absorbing the atmosphere of which there was plenty to go around. It was an old stale beer stench from all the beer in the carpets the stools were old red plastic cracked from many a drunken soldiers asses sitting for hours and staring into their favorite beverages. The band was playing loud and there was a lot of dancing and yelling at the bartender.
I only remember meeting one person there. I heard his name once and it stuck with me for the rest of my life. I was sitting at the corner of the bar and Lynda was right next to me but on the other corner kinda catty wampum I suppose. A guy sit right down next to me. I didn't pay much attention, except he was wearing a Raiders cap turned around backwards! He ordered a shot of Tequila looked across at my wife and stared at her a minuet or two. He looked at her intently and said to her as he slammed his shot glass down after having drank the Tequila and tasted the salt and lime to got the bitterness out of his mouth. "You my dear, are a very beautiful girl, exceptionally so, but you know what-you are going to get old and you are going to get ugly!" He then got up turned his hat around with the bill to the front and walked out the back door staggering as he went. It took me a minuet or two to digest what I had heard him say. Another fellow sitting next to
him looked at me and said, you know who that guy was and I said no idea! His name is Reb Foster (short for Rebel Foster). I looked at the guy and said I still don't know who he is! He said to me, in the sixties Reb Foster was the #1 DJ in LA. He partied with Jim Morrison and the Doors, the Beatles and you name it he was there at all the parties. He got all the left over girls that the rock bands passed on and they were a lot of beautiful girls he had been with. He is now washed up and basically a drunk who comes in here every night and drinks himself into a stupor then goes home by himself on most nights.
I looked at Lynda and how beautiful she was and how beautiful she had always been and kinda blew it off as I couldn't imagine her other than anything but beautiful. I couldn't however shake what I had heard and Reb's words haunted me from that moment on.
I came to realize recently I suppose that time is a cruel task master. While being the most valuable asset we have it is also very fleeting and slowly robs us of all our best aesthetic value. Looks can take you places that nothing else can. It can be your ticket to fame and fortune. Like Reb who road the DJ thing into the arms of not much love, but beautiful girls who were there for the Rock Bands and drugs, they were all gone now. The new young beautiful girls were no longer interested in Reb and he knew better than anyone that looks, coupled with youth and beauty are only a mask we wear until time like Tequila with a little salt and lime only tastes good until you sober up. It is however just a short ride we are being taken on like a roller coaster at the county fair.
Anyway I was just looking at a picture of me and Lynda from (all those) years ago and thought about Reb Foster and the day he and I met.
Time is the most valuable asset we posses but someday in the deep darkness of eternity..... it will turn on you and the only thing that will matter when it is all gone is how you spent your time.
By Almon Gerald Harris