los angeles, august 1958 “incognito” part of an archival project, featuring the photographs of nick dewolf
“Well, if your goal for the evening was to look like a doper, then, mission accomplished!” Melinda said, with the knowing smile of one who was hepped up herself. She and Bernie had smoked some reefer and popped a few bennies…maybe a little more…and had moved on to the highballs at the Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach in anticipation of 1959. The new year had already arrived in New York, but in LA the night was young.
Bernie smirked and adjusted his Ray-Bans. “Whatever do you mean, lamb chop?” he asked. “Why, I’ve never looked so debonair!”
Melinda lit a smoke and ran a hand across Bernie’s crew-cut. “Yes, I suppose you do look too sharp to be a dope fiend. Say, I know! You look like a narc!”
They both cracked up, and Bernie hailed their waitress for another round. What a great night it was! The end of a lousy year, Gerry Mulligan about to blow the baritone sax at the Lighthouse, good friends and beautiful California. Bernie and Melinda had been going steady for a few months, and things were going well. They were both excited to start off a new year together.
They had the table to themselves momentarily, as the rest of their friends were outside on the beach, soaking in the warmth and the last rays of the year. “Well, dearest, Mr. Mulligan should start playing soon,” Bernie said, moving over next to Melinda and running a hand up her inner thigh under the table. “What say we get in a little necking first?”
Melinda grabbed Bernie’s face in both hands and said, “kiss me, you fool.” And he did.