Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Pests Recaptured

"'I haven’t heard any thank-you-Pierre’s for putting your mug on our newscasts last night,' the TV entrepreneur was saying at brunch the next morning. We were at his 'special' table at Farmer’s Market on Fairfax, within shouting distance of a group of usually rowdy and frequently funny writers who seemed to enjoy sending insults his way."

That's Leo Bloodworth telling us about his (very) Geraldo Rivera-like client in Dick Lochte's lovely story DEVIL DOG in Robert Randisi's fine new collection HOLLYWOOD AND CRIME: Original Crime Stories Set During the History of Hollywood, just published by Pegasus.

Lochte, an ace reviewer and crime novelist (Bloodworth first appeared in the memorable SLEEPING DOG) knows the Farmer's Market writing scene well. He was one of the original members of the Suicide Club, which met monthly on Saturday mornings in the Market, right in front of a Cajun restaurant where he could ingest his native po-boy sandwiches. I was a member; so were John Shannon and the much-missed (do they have e-mail in Heaven?) Bruce Cook. Other Suicide Clubbers (the title comes from a Robert Louis Stevenson story) Gary Phillips and Gar Anthony Haywood are also included in the book.

What I call SOS (Sons of Suicide, but others find that a bit creepy -- and as my wife says, "Why are you naming it after a scouring pad?") is meeting on Jan. 26th. Send me an email at and I'll give you the details. That's Lochte at the bottom right at my 70th birthday party in our lemon grove, and Shannon and his companion, the swell dame Charlotte Riley, just above him.

(Photograph by Dan Adler)

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