Latest Issue



My family and I just got back from Southern California. It was a short trip to see my rents in West Hollywood. My folks moved out six years ago. They help raise my two beautiful young nephews. Los Angeles is a very busy place. Gorgeous people and fancy cars are everywhere. All walks of life. Everyone is happy. Great vibes. We have done all the sites and prefer to hang at the stunning beaches. We spent a few days at Venice and Santa Monica. I kept my shirt on. Teach and I came back a few days early while my son stayed with his grandparents.

Jensen is at a fun age. He wrapped up his freshman year at WAHS. My son loves his music, and he continues to sing. Jensen also plays hoops for the Millionaires. Grandpa Jim wanted to get him out to California for a UCLA basketball camp. Dude? A once in a lifetime opportunity. Jensen would play and practice at Pauley Pavilion. One of the most historic venues in the entire country. Goosebumps. The Bruins claimed 11 NCAA Division 1 Basketball Championships. They were unstoppable in the 60s and 70s. Coach John Wooden was the best in the business. UCLA won titles in 1964, 65, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73 and 75. A true dynasty. UCLA won 88 consecutive games at one point. Big names like Lew Alcinder (Kareem) and Bill Walton. They played their games at Pauley Pavilion. Dude?

We dropped Jensen off a few minutes early. I was hoping to sneak down for a few pictures. Grandpa Jim doesn’t believe in following directions, and we struggled with parking. The campus of UCLA is absolutely stunning. Clean and well kept. Gorgeous. A very diverse setting. Green and exotic. We arrived at the doors of Pauley. The usual. A massive building with very tall glass windows. Bronze statues of their heroes. We walked in with awe. Vibrant blues and yellows. Fancy displays and giant posters. Amazing history. Off the charts for us basketball junkies. Utopia. A nice young lady greeted us. My name is Jensen. I am from Pennsylvania. Another lad escorted us down a long stairway. He opened the doors, and I almost fainted. Wow. Just incredible. My son and I were on the floor. Pauley Pavilion. The lights. The sounds. It was amazing. We looked up to see all 11 of the NCAA Division 1 Championship banners. The retired jerseys. I walked back upstairs to watch our son shoot a few jumpers. Mom and I were both worried. He was all by his lonesome. Eventually, he found his way and started making new chums.

Pauley Pavilion is the mecca. It was constructed in the early 1960s. Coach Wooden and the Bruins were coming off their very first National Championship. They wanted and needed a larger venue. The BO BARN, or Student Activities Center, only held 1,500 fans. UCLA actually played most of their games off campus back then. The current capacity is a shade under 13,000. It is home to the Bruins men’s and women’s hoops teams. As well as the men’s and women’s volleyball and women’s gymnastics squads. Fancy.

The facility opened for the 1965 college basketball season. The first game was an exhibition on November 27. It featured the UCLA VARSITY and the UCLA Freshman. First-year players weren’t allowed to compete in the NCAAs back then. Freshman Lew Alcindor scored 31 points and grabbed 22 boards to help shock the number 1 team in the land. Crazy. Imagine Pauley served as a major venue. The Grateful Dead performed there six times in the 70s. It was also home to many of the events of the 1984 Summer Olympics. Anyone remember Mary Lou Retton? 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice. Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti, Phish, Neil Diamond, Guns N Roses, Metallica and hundreds of other concerts.

Jensen had a blast at the UCLA camp. He met many other kids his age from all over the map. He will remember this week forever. I am very jealous. What a great opportunity! I am glad that we were there to take some photos. Bucket list. Cheers.