For this issue, we asked local folks about their first times. (Please see page 104.) In that spirit, I recall a few of my own firsts:
At my Soph Hop in high school, I was wearing a baby-blue tuxedo jacket complete with boutonniere and a pair of black 11D wingtips that had to weigh about 5 pounds apiece. After the dance, I was showing my date, Janey Bryant, my locker. One kiss is all it was, but it was a big deal to me, with The Association’s hit tune Cherish (the last song played that evening) still ringing through my brain. Oh, what a night!
First slap in the face by a date: One month later. I forget her name.
First time I got arrested: The same year I had my first kiss, to prove I was a caring big brother, I invited two of my younger brothers along with a couple of classmates to go ice sliding&emdash;an adventure sport that involved sneaking onto golf courses at night with blocks of ice and a flattened piece of cardboard we’d place atop to sit on. A classmate knew the highest point on a private course in Menlo Park. After several exciting downhill runs, we were greeted very coolly by the Menlo Park police, who carted us off to the slammer, where we waited until my father arrived at about 2 a.m. to take us home. Somehow, neither the cops nor my dad bought my explanation of expanding my younger brothers’ horizons.
First pair of Keds: Third grade, a black pair. I was so excited about them, their rubbery scent, that I wore them to bed. Honest.
First time I ate a garden-fresh summer tomato: Ten years old, midsummer, I discovered some bright-red orbs that had grown wild in our garden and bit into one&emdash;its warm, dusty-smooth skin, the delectable, acidy taste exploding in my mouth. I’ve been hooked ever since. (I hope my plants do well this year!)
First burger and fries: Rip’s Drive-In, on Hamilton Avenue in San Jose, in the late 1950s. My mother drove a station wagon full of us kids to Rip’s. We ate our first fast-food drive-in burgers and fries out of cardboard containers while crammed into that three-seater Ford. One bite into the spicy yellow mustard and steamy bun . . . well, today’s In-N-Out Burger offerings pale in comparison.
First live rock concert: While attending UCLA, two friends and I crossed lines, venturing onto rival USC’s campus to attend a concert by Steppenwolf, whose hit Magic Carpet Ride was giant then. My memory of the day is vague: a warm Southern California May sky and strange aromas wafting about as the gargantuan live, amplified music echoed across the campus.
First Magic Carpet Evening benefit: A future first happens Friday, May 2, at Mansour’s Oriental Rug Gallery at The Galleria at Roseville, where we’re hosting a very special evening to benefit the National Kidney Foundation. All sorts of fun is planned, including live music, a wandering magician, fortune teller, belly dancers and a live auction of fabulous rugs, jewelry from Hamilton Jewelers and an all-Audi weekend at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Enjoy wines from Renwood Winery and food from Crush 29, Fat’s Asia Bistro, Hawks, Ruth’s Chris and Il Fornaio. Join us from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $95. Call (916) 448-2200.