Off-Ramp

Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Thanks for nothing, Powerball

Women pirates in costume pull a buried treasure chest from a hole they dug on the beach at the 1928 Pacific Southwest Exposition in Long Beach.
Women pirates in costume pull a buried treasure chest from a hole they dug on the beach at the 1928 Pacific Southwest Exposition in Long Beach. Credit: LA Public Library

This week’s newsletter does not come to you from the Peter Lawford Memorial Cabana at the Bel Air Hotel. Nor was it written from the front porch of a 10-bedroom “cottage” on Mackinac Island’s West Bluff. Not even from a little beach hut on the Cook Islands.

This week, I did not buy Grandma, Juan, and Auntie Mary a new house in Ladera Heights. I did not buy Julian and me a new house in Mount Washington. I did not start a non-profit finish carpentry training center in downtown LA. I did not give KPCC a $50,000 challenge grant for the next fundraiser.

I didn’t buy a first edition Hound of the Baskervilles. I did not give a random homeless man a hundred-dollar bill. I didn’t buy drinks for everybody at Colombo’s. I didn’t tell my brother James not to worry about his medical bills. I didn’t buy a Manuel Alvarez Bravo photo or a small newspaper in Northern California that I would have renamed the Picayune-Record-Citizen.

 I did not fill up the bathtub with Morgan silver dollars and dive in. I didn’t trade in my yellow 1980 Mercedes 300SD for a blue 1979 Mercedes 6.9. I also didn’t take a booth at Musso&Frank at 11am, start with breakfast and stay through lunch and past dinner, buying food and drinks for any Off-Ramp fan who answered the call on Twitter.

No, I did not win the $588-million Powerball jackpot. Next time, I’m buying a ticket. Or two.

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