"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



The Former Playground Of The Stars

Back in The Swinging ‘40s and The Nifty ‘50s
you couldn't move along Tahquitz Canyon Way
without bumping into the likes of
Bing Crosby, Humphrey DeForest Bogart,
Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks Jnr or Judy Garland.
They came here to play golf and to sip cocktails.
They came here to escape the glare of the West Coast spotlight.
Al Jolson, Wladziu Valentino Liberace
and that arch-reclusive Greta Garbo too.
The Chairman Of The Board and his Rat Pack
came to Riverside County to play high-stakes baccarat
around a swimming-pool shaped like a piano.
Elvis and Precilla came here for their honeymoon in 1967.
Steve McQueen and his Porsche 356 Speedster
visited so many times during the early Nineteen Seventies,
that they knew the tarmacadam of Vista Chino Drive
and Avenida Caballeros like the backs of their hands.
Known more these days as a haven for senior citizens
and those of the gay-and-lesbian persuasion (33%),
Palm Springs averages 354 days of sunshine per year.
Now, that’s one hell of a lot of sunshine, let me tell you.
354 days of glorious sunshine and less than 6 inches of rain.
Date Palms thrive in that kind of climate. Which is lucky for them.
It helps their fruit develop high glucose, fructose and sucrose content.
Unfortunately for me, I’m not a Date Palm. I’m nothing of the sort.
I'm busy melting out here. I can feel my brain oozing from my ears.
Little wonder former mayor Sonny Bono enjoyed skiing so much.
The Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians
survived in the harsh desert for 500 years
without the need for Starbucks coffee houses
or used-car dealers or steak houses or casinos.
Their original name for the area was "Se-Khi",
which roughly translates as "The Place Of The Boiling Water".
Today, its 110°F in-the-shade, so it’s something
of a blessed relief that the cinemas are air-conditioned.
Less blessed, is the fact that most of the films
I've seen at this year’s Shortsfest blow so hard
they're in danger of coughing-up their own sigmoid colons!
Mad dogs and English short film-makers anyone?

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