My Corner, Your Corner: Lots of familiar faces live on the West Coast

My Corner, Your Corner - Tony Callaio | September 2nd, 2016 5:39 pm

Living in Northeastern Pennsylvania and, in particular, Greater Pittston, there’s a tendency for people not to see this area for what it really is. I’ve heard it a million times: “There’s nothing here.”

Nothing here? You have to be kidding me.

Last week, I traveled further west than I ever have to Los Angeles to visit some friends.

I’ve been to major cities in the United States, but L.A. is like no other.

I couldn’t get over the fact that people can wash their cars and keep them clean for days. If anything, people have to wash their cars because they get dusty. Like the song says, “It never rains in Southern California.” I don’t know about never, but hardly ever, from what I understand.

Speaking of cars, exotic is the word. I saw my share of Mercedes, BMWs and a ton of Porches. It’s not every day I see a Lamborghini flying by me, or a multitude of Ferraris.

Los Angeles was a place I always wanted to visit, but there was no real reason to go other than to see the sights. I’m not much of a sightseer, but I thought I’d better see a few landmarks, like the Hollywood sign.

On my last day in L.A., I finally got to see the Hollywood sign. Sherman Williams Paint Company just completed a paint restoration of the sign’s 90th birthday. Each letter in the sign is 45-feet high, and the letters were clean, bright and white.

Getting a closer look at the sign is nearly impossible because residents who have homes in the hills do not like tourists in their neighborhood driving around looking for a better view. I don’t blame them. The streets that weave in and out in the hills are fairly narrow and not conducive to heavy travel.

I got to see the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Walk of Fame and even the theatre where “The Jimmy Kimmel Show” is filmed. As a matter of fact, when driving by the theatre, everyone was cued up to get into the show for the evening.

Kimmel often features people dressed like superheroes like Superman, Spiderman and even a Transformer. And there they were, all dressed in their glory, posing with people. It seems that part of the city is one of the more heavily toured spots.

I had a chance to get on the lot of Paramount Studios where my friend’s daughter works. That was a cool experience and, even though I didn’t know it at the moment I was there, former Wyoming Area Secondary Center teacher-turned-actor Dale Pavinski was also on the lot working on a project. If I had known sooner, I could have texted him to tell him I was on site.

Speaking of Wyoming Area, I had a lovely visit and dinner at model and actress Amanda Booth’s home. She and husband Mike Quinones, along with their 2-year-old son, Micah, were great hosts. I hadn’t seen Amanda, a 2003 Wyoming Area graduate, in a few years so it was great catching up.

Amanda is doing well with modeling jobs and taking on acting jobs and classes. She really wants to focus more on acting for her career choice.

When not acting or modeling, she is a fierce advocate for children born with Down syndrome, as her son Micah was born with the condition. Micah is a very happy and smart 2-year-old.

A few years ago, Amanda’s mom MaryAnn left New York City to help Amanda and Mike raise Micah while to the pair carried on with their careers. While I was visiting, MaryAnn was back in New York filling in at her previous workplace while a former co-worker was out. I first met MaryAnn many years ago when she worked at a law firm in West Pittston.

Pittston resident Kitty Bruce was in town to promote the re-release of her late father, comic legend Lenny Bruce’s book, “How to Talk Dirty and Influence People.” Kitty did several interviews including CNN and Dr. Drew Pinsky. She also spoke at a book signing that went very well. Proceeds of the book go to the Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation.

I’m sure I will go back to Los Angeles. There are plenty of places I didn’t get to see, including the Hollywood Bowl and Forrest Lawn Cemetery, the final resting place of many celebrities.

Quote of the week

“The road to success is always under construction.” – Lily Tomlin, American actress/comedian.

Thought of the week

“The ‘what should be’ never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no ‘what should be,’ this is only what is.” – Lenny Bruce, American comic.

Bumper sticker

“The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more.” – Kin Hubbard, American humorist.

My Corner, Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at