As I prepare for the move next door into my renovated beach bungalow (Project 137), I’ve started getting stuff together, going through the necessary items, and chucking, eBaying or Craigslisting the rest.
As part of the meditation, I came across my version of a time capsule: my wallet from my senior year at Aviation High School, 1979.
30+ years later I carry less plastic than I did as a home-based 18 year old, but I defend my vintage plastic with its connection to my spiritual home on Oahu, and an early understanding that establishing credit was a good thing. Keep I mind, this was the pre-ATM card era. I’m not sure what the Buffums card was doing there, but I remember the Liberty House card well. Long since sold and rebranded as Macy’s, Liberty House was a Christmas-in-Honolulu right of passage. Last-minute holidays gifts or something locally sourced to woo a hotel hottie kept the Liberty House card as my plan B.
While at first blush the Gucci business card feels wannabe status seeker, I remember trying to convince the local Beverly Hills store manager that a UCLA freshman would be the perfect stock boy with designs on the sales floor. When I couldn’t close that deal, I headed across Wilshire, I proudly peddled Bottega Veneta and Judith Leiber handbags to Beverly Hills doyennes sporting blue- and apricot-tinged hair, just having it “did” upstairs at the salon.
The 1979 prom picture requires a deeper dive and a little more discussion. While I’m not sure who the dude on far left of the photo is, front and center was my dear friend since Grand View Elementary, Gino Polizzotto. Gino and I were thrift shopping, garage sale’ing, and trolling Aarrdvark in Hermosa way before it was fashionable. We were always looking for vintage surf gear, competition jackets, hang-ten boardies, and rayon Aloha shirts (if we still had these Hawaiian shirts, they’d be bringing big bucks from Japanese collectors at Bailey’s in Kaimuki). Luckily we were all prescient enough to identify black as the only color choice for a $15 tux, although I did own a bitchin’ shawl-collared off-white dinner jacket. Unfortunately, you can’t see my shoes, which were thrift-shopped English pumps, which required some explaining to other prom goers, but were damn cool. Gino’s choice of pre-Luxotica Wayfarers also pre-dated Henley’s “Boys of Summer” homage to the de facto Manhattan Beach shades. Gino made a career of his personal style, first as a Beverly Hills hairdresser, then as an architect/developer. I do like our unknown buddy’s Cazal–esque goggles, which, while pre-Run DMC, exhibit great élan with the choice of the brown tint.
I wish I could find the pictures with our dates from that night, not sure who Gino took in our white stretch limo, but I was definitely with high school GF, Tammy Heath.