We have been busy packing and getting ready to move. I’ve cleaned up and packed, but my wife has dealt with setting up the movers, listing things on Craigslist and turning off our utilities. That is her story.
My story is more about the life and the people I will leave. Reign Training Center, the MMA gym where I trained for years in Orange County closed down at the end of April. I went down to say goodbye to all the fighters I had trained with a long time. It was a fitting end for my time in Southern California. It felt funny because I was sad. I had that empty feeling inside, even though I had been training and teaching at another gym for the last few years.
Then it came time for me to let everyone at my new gym know that I would be leaving. Anyone who knows me knew that I wanted to move out of Los Angeles and into open country. Those that didn’t know me well were shocked. I was not expecting some of the people to even care that I was leaving, and I was touched that they did. Me? I am ready to go!
We went to the Greek Theatre to see Jason Bonham and the Led Zeppelin Experience. My wife planned it as one of my birthday presents. It was a great show, and the Greek was an amazing outdoor setting for a warm spring night in Hollywood. The songs brought me back to earlier days in California, it was a kind of soundtrack of my life. It was “hell week” and I was on the field suited up for Pop Warner Football and one of the guys older brothers was blasting music out of his truck, when they broke the radio music with the news John Bonham passed away. That was September 1980. The concert brought all those memories back. Funny how music can trigger memories. When we were leaving I ran into a man I’ve known 30 years but hadn’t seen in a few years, which was another fitting way to close out my LA life.
Monday, June 1st was my birthday and I had lunch at Cecconi’s West Hollywood with some friends and then headed to Sony Studios for a meeting. When I walked on the studio lot I thought for a second about whether I would miss this kind of stuff. Then I thought of the wide open country and those thoughts were soon part of my past.
I was on time for my meeting, but like everyone in Hollywood, I was waiting in the waiting area reading a magazine. A studio executive was walking out telling a writer to go ahead and write a script but that all the bad guys had to be white Republicans or Hillary Clinton supporters. They got on the elevator and I just shook my head. Will I miss Hollywood? Lunches at SoHo House? Meetings at studios? I don’t think so.