Topanga and its people
I loved Topanga, a little town I found, just 4 miles from the beach.
Well, that is to say, not exactly. I loved the topography, I loved the views, I loved the vast park – I created a home right alongside it – and I loved the ability to be private and oneself. I loved some of its amenities, especially “ELYSIUM”, a now, sadly, defunct affair, a place where I took my children.
Elysium became Topanga in many ways, where people could relax the way they were born, which is to say, naked. I met many wonderful people there, not the least being my friend Noel, a caricaturist, who drew that splendid picture at the top of my site. And by the way, the poor guy just suffered a mild stroke followed by a quadruple heart bypass. He’ll be O.K., he’s getting back to work, and I’d like people to know about it, maybe hire him. Check out “Noel’s Corner” on the left, where you can find his website.
Many actors, producers, lawyers, psychologists, court appointed child evaluators, and, yes, even judges, would hang out there. And no clothes to separate people or put them in their places or identify their ill-gotten societal gains. The vast community hot-tub was the place to be, hair really let down, and everyone completely equal. The soaring discussions could get to be amazing. I think the place is now owned by a hotel mogul, his private sanctuary.
But Topanga’s people. Hmm. First there’s a feel-good publication called The Messenger, owned by an ex friend of mine called Brodie, which steadfastly refuses to get into anything remotely controversial, like me, f’rinstance. Perhaps they’re afraid of making a profit.
Close friends I made there can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The rest are either 60’s dropouts, local blue-collars, rednecks, self-conscious artists, spiritually good people, real estate agents, and trendy professional newcomers who just don’t belong but can’t afford Malibu.
Did you see George Roy Hill’s last film, “Funny Farm” with Chevy Chase? That’s Topanga.

UPDATE, May 1, 2014

Well, I visited quite often, mostly to buy food for my 3 Rottweillers abandoned by my family. They’d been living with, and taken care of by my good neighbor Barbara. I gave her legal ownership, and delivered the food. We were all happy with the arrangement, and the dogs were able to stay in their beloved home, or close to it. Now, unfortunately, they’re all dead. Cost me more than ten grand, but I don’t regret it.

I keep in touch mostly by maintaining a sub with the local rag, The Messenger, delivered to my door every couple of weeks. I scan the real estate columns, to see if my old houses have been sold, and check on the activities of my old Real Estate enemy agents, Melissa Oliver and Jon Saver (mentioned elsewhere.) I see that one has gone, my guest house to the actress Cloris Leachman. My main house has been on and off the market. I think my fellow DGA director Mr. Michael Katleman may have difficulty selling it, for I put a curse on it. It was that, or burning it down upon my eviction. Any new resident will have bad luck.

So, I got thrown out, and many people helped themselves to the goodies at the trough of my leavings, courtesy of my ex-wife and the courts. So, correction to my first sentence.
I hate Topanga.

So what’s new in Topanga? I read the latest Messenger. Page 22, “Ongoing Meetings”. That should tell me something. This is what it says, in its entirety:

12 Noon, every Tuesday, Al-Anon meeting, Inn of the Seventh Ray.
8pm, every Tuesday, Community House, Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
6-7pm, every Sunday, Topanga Christian Fellowship Church, Alcoholics Anonymous Open Big Book Study.
7:30-8:30pm, every Friday, Topanga Christian Fellowship Church, Alcoholics Anonymous Step-Study meeting.
7-8pm, Tuesdays, Corbin Bowl, Ventura Blvd. Cocaine Anonymous.
7:30-8:30am, Tuesdays, Topanga Christian Fellowship Church, Debtors Anonymous BDA meeting.
7:30-8:30am, Mondays, Topanga Christian Fellowship Church, Under-earners Anonymous UA meeting.
7:30pm. Mondays, Community House, Narcotics Anonymous meeting.
7:30-8:45pm. Mondays, Woodland Hills United Methodist Church, Overeaters Anonymous.

There you have it. 12 years since I moved out. Topanga hasn’t changed one bit.