California, the big, the beautiful, the strange

My wife and I flew to California over the weekend to see my son, Ran. Besides being an audience coordinator of “The Talk,”  he designed the cover of my novel After Isaactown. Flying in we saw snow on the mountains. A gorgeous spring day followed at Malibu where we stopped for lunch. A movie star sighting, Kate Hudson with small child at her side, another inside from the looks of her sleeveless top, ballooned at the waist. After lunch we went to the beach, watched porpoises bob up and down. In the far distance where the coast curved some hazy buildings, Santa Monica, Ran said. Back to the car, we drove to the Malibu Country Stores, an outdoor mall that seemed anything but country with its Rolls Royce and Bentley convertibles.  We drove from their to Studio City, where my son lives, within biking distance to the CBS set of “The Talk.” The CEO of CBS is married to Julie Chen, the show’s moderator. I read in the Times that he, the CEO of CBS, visited Charlie Sheen recently and told him he had to go into rehab. Sheen refused, said he’d do it at home. The CEO left, unable to insist, because Charlie Sheen’s contract did not contain a requirement of this sort, having been removed by him, through his attorney. The kind of clout a money maker of Sheen’s size can deliver to the chin of even the mightiest of media moguls. Back at Ran’s apartment, small but modernly decorated, their little Maltese scampering here and there, my son helped me do what I couldn’t, link my computer to a radio station in Santa Barbara where I’m scheduled for an interview. An opportunity to talk about After Isaactown not just in the Santa Barbara area but all of LA County and areas southeast, Palm Springs and other places rich people go. And Australia, the Queensland area, I was told by my publicist. We flew on Southwest back to Houston. My wife seated next to a woman whose twenty-eight-year-old son would’ve died of a heart attack had he not been seated next to a trauma surgeon, a perfect stranger during a concert. He now has a defibrillator, as does my wife, who also would have also died had she not fainted on a plane from New York to Houston. Later tests revealed scar tissue on her heart. One of those coincides that happen, make you feel damn lucky, in mine and this lady from Philadelphia’s case, to have someone you love, still alive.