Miller Time

Austere Hedonism

UNITED STATES—Austere hedonism. It’s an approach that springs from my morning espresso. Alone, beautiful, black and biting. More often than not that single espresso is enough, more than enough, though I balked at it as a caffeine-swilling kid. Take it back; serve me a real cup of coffee—that was my attitude. Now what a difference! That little cup when...

After The Party

UNITED STATES—Even as the memory of the Christmas feast and the goat pit-barbecued in the driveway warmly lingered, I got new lessons in human nature, or at least a lesson in the nature of one human, named Mac Murphy, in the aftermath of his arrest for the stolen street signs. I took Mac at his word that he hadn't done...

How It Ended

UNITED STATES—An offer from another chain store came for the drug store, and my parents welcomed it. Capitulating to one of the chains was still not the most desirable ending to 44 years of service. Then a young eager pharmacist, interested in taking over the pharmacy, reappeared. He would preserve the Johnson name, its independence and assure continuity. It seemed...

Happier

UNITED STATES—We all wish each other a Happy New Year and the post modern among us cringe at the conformity of the cliche. But what do we do about increasing happiness? What can we do about it? Here are a few ideas to chew on: 1. Learn to take a step back and let things ride. People are really wound tight these...

Race Card

UNITED STATES—Even with the rain, the streets are seething, something is on edge in people and a little precipitation isn't making a dent. On a recent rainy night, I took my dog, DeVille, who is kind of an insurance policy against madness and outbreaks of insanity commonplace in Hollywood out, but tonight his magic powers were a little off. I...

Guiltless Eating

UNITED STATES—The obituary for the celebrated Look-Life shutterbug, Phil Stern, whose lens caught scenes of war and froze iconic images of Marilyn and James Dean for all time, struck a dissonant chord when the scribe just had to chip in “Stern, a longtime smoker, had emphysema.” You know, maybe he died because he was older than the hills (he was...

Pliant

UNITED STATES—Recently, I had a houseguest who asked, “What do you have planned for today?” and I burst out with my ideas about plans instead of burying them in silence. “Well, I usually have plans for five things,” I said. I feel a bit on the spot when someone asks, “What do you have planned for today?” I feel more...

The Bitter End

UNITED STATES—Newton was in the mist of a siesta, recovering from a rigorous morning of sun and much traffic, dropping off a screenplay with his agent and doing a couple errands. He was just pleasantly drifting off. Max came and shook him by the shoulders. In one hand, he held the feeding bowl he had dug out, still specked...

Reseda

UNITED STATES—The property owner, Jim Wylie, was a gambler in a big way, but not in the literal sense. Jerry Segal, his colleague and fellow “slumlord” (they referred to themselves facetiously) thought Wylie the smartest real estate brain he’d ever known. Wylie could conceive mind-bogglingly complex deals, dazzling in their simple genius, and see angles where nobody else could....

Better Than TV

UNITED STATES—I have it easy now as this memoir progresses: the diary picks up, following the finish of my screenplay. “The Persecuted” is on its way to my screenwriter friend who is a big shot now and fame and fortune is about to roll my way. January 30, 1990 makes mention of a Mr. Stokely Reed, a record producer,...
Reach our newsroom now!