Leroy in the Gold Pyramid

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Chapter 29

The Gold Pyramid

     In 1999, tragically and unexpectedly, my friend Dick Latvala had a heart attack, fell into a coma and died 10 days later. I was living in Carol's house next door. He had lots of friends in the music world that would visit him there in his living room in Petaluma over the years. Among them was Kirk West, the road manager for the Allman Brothers Band. He had met Dick during one of the ABB collaborations with the Grateful Dead. He would find time to come up to visit whenever his band played the Bay Area.

     As it happened, the Allman Brothers were playing at Shoreline Amphitheater in the South Bay and Kirk was in town. He came rushing up to Petaluma when he discovered what was happening. In the living room, a hospital bed had replaced the couch and Dick was lying comatose. As with the many heart-wrenching scenes that took place that week, Kirk's grief flooded the room.

     In a few hours, Kirk had to get back down to Shoreline, and was getting ready to leave. He had long admired the Gold Pyramid, and we promised to give it to him if we ever got tired of it. Now he wanted it to remind him of Dick. A few months later as the house was being readied for sale, I packed it up and sent it off to Macon, Georgia. Kirk lived in a Victorian that's part of the Allman Brothers history. Today, it's a museum for the band, the "Big House." That's where the Gold Pyramid ended up, I think, in Kirk West's backyard.

     Carol is my best friend, housemate, best landlady I ever had, astrologer, and cohort in our comic lifestyles and bizarre adventures since 1970. She encourages each of us to tell the story that we alone can: the tale of our unique path through this plane, seen through the prism of our individual being.

     That's what I'm trying to do here. It's hard because of how much I have to leave out. So I've narrowed down this telling to the thread of skateboarding. Then I have to figure out where to stop, because these adventures continue to this day. Coming soon is the thirtieth anniversary of The Animal Chin premiere May 7. 1987. That will bring the whole thing full circle once again.

Gold Pyramid

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