A perfect piece for Valentine's Day! Radio Producer Joe Bevilacqua reads his essay--a true love story!
On February 12, 1996, an e-mail from rock legend Graham Nash's MAC laptop triggered a series of bizarre coincidences, which led to the meeting of Joe Bevilacqua and Lorie Kellogg.
The couple just celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary. Written, produced and read by Joe Bevilacqua, with sound effects and the music of Paul Salomone and Crosby, Still and Nash.
More "Joe Bev" Valentine's specials can be found at: http://www.prx.org/series/23013 This story was published in the February 7, 2008 edition of The Ellenville Journal.
You can read it below:
A Valentine From Graham Nash's MAC by Joe Bevilacqua Word Count: 1118 It was February 12, 1996 , two days before Valentine's Day when I received an e-mail from one "Lorie Kellogg, height 5'4", brown hair, single, living in Los Angeles"--with photo attached. It was an unsolicited singles ad from a women working for Graham Nash and sent from his MAC Laptop. I recognized her name immediately. Six months earlier, I had given up a good job as Senior Radio Publicist for WNYC, New York City's National Public Radio station, and was now living in the Beverly Hills garage apartment of Myrtis Butler, the widow of Daws Butler, the voice of Yogi Bear, who had been my mentor, to try my hand at animated cartoon voice-over acting in Hollywood. I was reading the Internet newsgroup la.wanted and saw a post from Lorie Kellogg, looking for a roommate. I e-mailed her that I didn't "need a roommate" but was "looking for new friends to show me around LA." One of the reasons I wrote her was her named, Kellogg, reminded me of the cereal company that had sponsored the original Yogi Bear cartoons. Maybe I thought she was heir to the Battle Creek fortune. (She's not.) Four months later, no reply from Lorie Kellogg. When I received the unsolicited ad, I remembered, "She's the one who blew me off!" I decided to punish her with an excruciatingly long e-mail with all the sorted details of my life, from my father beating me as a child to loving Buster Keaton movies. To my surprise, she wrote back. After a few nights talking on the phone, Lorie suggested, "Let's meet at My Father's Office." I thought, "We haven't even met and she wants me to meet her dad already?" It turned out "My Father's Office" was a micro-brewery and bar on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. We met on February 17, 1996. Lorie wore a yellow dress with pink flowers and turquoise tights and black leather sandals with a slight heal, her medium length wavy brown hair doted strategically with yellow, pink and turquoise plastic butterfly-shaped barrettes. I wore a pale yellow short-sleeved Izod shirt, cream-colored pants and sneakers, and sported a mustache and a lot more hair than I have now. We had our micro-brew and talked passionately about art, comedy, film, music, ecology, health, and other subjects we seemed to have in common. Lorie told me she loved Robin Williams and, as a child, sat, upside down, with her head on the couch and her feet in the air, after watching "Mork and Mindy." I told her when I was three, in 1964, I piled up the living room furniture cushions on the couch, in size order, so it resembled a tugboat, climbed on top and watched Cap'n Jack McCarthy present 1930s black & white Max Fleischer "Popeye" cartoons on WPIX-TV, New York's local channel 11. While Lorie was in the restroom, I thought, "This is the one." As she climbed into her car, she thought, "I'm gonna break this guy's heart." The next day, Lorie called and invited me to her house to watch Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" on video, which we did. Two weeks later, she invited me to watch Graham Nash rehearse. Well, sort of. Nash was performing on stage in Philadelphia and Lorie and crew were in a building on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, in "The Valley," as Los Angelians have dubbed it. Nash was performing an autobiographical rock concert in which he stood before a large screen composed of a number of smaller screens, and clicked a portable mouse to bring up images, broadcast over the Internet, of his childhood attic bedroom during World War II and other pictures of his personal past. Lorie sat at a bay of large Silicon Graphics computers, hand on her mouse, "in case" Graham's failed. (I'm sure she did a lot more than that. At the actual concert, a camera in Studio City was turned on Lorie and crew and they took a bow for the audience, who saw them projected on stage in Philadelphia.) After the rehearsal, the crew broke for dinner and were told to be back in an hour for a second run-through. Lorie suggested we find a place to eat down Ventura Boulevard. We chose a Moroccan restaurant named "Marrakesh Express" which happens to also be a song written by Graham Nash, and performed by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, on their 1969 self-titled debut album. No sooner had we pull up pillows and sat down on the floor when a zaftig belly dancer emerged to personally annoy me. I shooed away the wiggling stranger five times before she finally moved on to her next victim, leaving me to woo my new girlfriend. We returned to rehearsal to discover the second run-through had been canceled. "Wanna come back to my place?" asked Lorie. "Sure," I replied. Darkness fell over the Santa Monica Mountains as I followed, in my 1995 aqua blue Chevy Cavalier, Lorie's 1991 navy blue Ford Escort wagon, out of The Valley, over the Sepulevda Pass, to West LA. Inside Lorie's apartment, we did "the pre-kiss dance"--I stepped forward; she stepped back. I stepped back; she stepped forward, four or five times, until I leaned in for our first kiss. We "made out" on her couch for maybe twenty-minutes, when Lorie stopped, looked me in the eyes, smiled and confidentially announced, "OK. Here's the deal. You can either shave off your mustache and stay the night... or leave now." Without skipping a beat, I enthusiastically asked, "Where's the razor?" Lorie walked her dog, Duchamp, named after the French painter Marcel Duchamp (1887--1968), while I stared in her bathroom mirror. No sooner had I had shaved off the right half of my mustache, when I remembered that two days before, I had seen a live taping of a sitcom called "The Jon Cryer Show," in which Cryer's character had a beard. In the plot, his girlfriend worries that something is wrong with their relationship, she thinks it might be the beard and asks him to shaved it off, which he does. He comes out of the bathroom, they kiss and she looks at him, says, "No, it just must be you," and leaves. I bravely shaved the left side. Lorie and I fell in love and moved in together a few weeks later and we've been nearly inseparable ever since, all because of that Internet valentine from Graham Nash's MAC. To quote the recommendation letter Graham Nash wrote for her at the end of his concert tour, "Lorie is a rare combination of a mother hen and Einstein." # # #