Sunday, I got antsy and zipped to Beaumont. I left Highland and crossed the wash and made a beeline for the Record Gazette office.
Thought I’d finally learn where it is.
But my wanderings led me to the Beaumont Swap Meet. I couldn’t resist.
My late friend Harvey Cohen (pen name Kahn) sold there. He was also the sports editor of the Yucaipa News-Mirror.
The thought of Harvey warmed my heart.
Entry was 50 cents, but Mentone oranges were $10 a bag. “Thanks anyway,” I said.
Next I found a Julian Edelman Patriots’ jersey and inquired.
“Five dollars,” the vendor said.
“Cuatro,” I replied, summoning my inner Harvey Cohen. Fits like a glove.
Next stop was a jewelry stand run by folks from the desert.
The vendor wanted a 10-spot for rosary beads and eight for a necklace.
“Fifteen for the pair,” I said, and another deal was struck.
Dude named Derek Aab from Beaumont was peddling Pokemon cards. I paused to chat.
“What’s your real job?” I said. “Porn star,” Aab quipped. We laughed.
On I went, camera and notebook in hand. Then I spied an ancient iron owned by charming Mario Gomez of Garden Grove.
“Five dollars,” Mario said. “I found it under my grandmother’s house.”
Hmmm, What Would Harvey Cohen Do? Negotiate, of course. And I got it for four.
It was all great fun, and the last stop was the best. Hombre in the corner had a 49ers’ jersey and I’m a fan.
So I parked my butt on the back of his car and checked it out.
“Yeah?” he yelled from around the bend. “What do you want?
I foolishly tried to chat him up, but he was curt.
“Look, I’m trying to sell right now and you’re really bugging me, so why don’t you get the hell out of here,” he roared.
I laughed and laid a twenty on him, and suddenly I was golden.
“Say hello to the family sir,” he said. “And drive home safely.”
John Murphy may be reached at email@example.com.