Have Beeper Will Travel

Hospital security guard
This could be me at the start of my graveyard shift
with beeper locked and loaded.

Like most New York actors who think a move West will magically revive their fortunes, I find the trajectory of my L.A. career to be somewhat less than meteoric. In fact, 1981 finds me working as a security guard in Happy Valley Hospital just outside Los Angeles. It sounds like a “funny farm” but it isn’t. You’re thinking of Camarillo State Hospital – the insane asylum that housed Charlie Parker and other jazz-junkies. That’s where Parker wrote his tune Relaxin’ At Camarillo. 

Security guard sleeping on the job
This could be me in the middle of my graveyard shift
with beeper locked and loaded.

My job at Happy Valley entails walking around in a pretend-cop uniform to reassure people of something or other while carrying a clipboard, jiggling a few doorknobs and reading a few gauges. I have no idea what the fuck I’m reading but I tap the gauges with my pen, nod sagely and pretend to write something on my clipboard. I also have to raise and lower the American flag. This duty is taken seriously by the numb-nut who trains me to be his replacement. He’d been in the National Guard and knows a thing or two about flag raising and flag lowering and especially flag folding – “Now, do it agin and git the triangle-fold tight this time.” He is a Moron First Class.

Boy Outa Brooklyn a murder memoir by Jack Antonio 
Image: the smiling face of Steeplechase Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn
Available as a paperback and eBook
amazon.com
amazon.co.uk
And as an eBook here https://books2read.com/The-Boy-Outa-Brooklyn
 
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