Letter from Los Angeles: The Head Butler Fan Club

By Mad Dog
Published: Mar 26, 2012

It was Spring Break for The Child. That means two things. 1) Go somewhere warm on 2) Jet Blue. Los Angeles was anything but warm last week, but my mother and brother joined us, so it was at least cozy. And fun, especially the Wax Museum and the Getty (do NOT rent the taped audio guide, which will take you to furniture and sculpture but not to anything as un-correct and astonishing as James Ensor’s Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889.)

For me, the high point of the trip was a brunch given in my honor by The Head Butler Fan Club. You may wonder how there came to be a HBFC. Like this: A friend wrote about a show at her gallery, some Butler readers dropped in, they compared notes and, suddenly, they had an impromptu group. Cool for them. For me, this was an out-of-body experience. Like John Cheever, I write for "unknown friends" — that you actually exist is stunning to me. This crew not only existed, they presented me with a lovely wood sculpture of a butler, told extravagantly amusing stories and let me ride shotgun in a black Porsche. A thrilling event for unworthy me and — even better — an eye-opener for The Child, who was convinced I’d be the only one to show up at the brunch.