Mom in Hollywood




Mom was a big fan of the movies and so when I lived in Los Angeles she came for a visit from Michigan with her sister May. (Short for Matina. A good Greek name.)

I took her to many of the standard L.A. haunts but I think she got the biggest kick when she came to the SILA art show. I had three pieces of art in the show. After looking at my art and many of the other great pieces in the show, my Mom taps me on the shoulder and says: "Mike, is that the actor from Animal House?"

A little perplexed by that question, I turn around and look where she is pointing and I see the actor who played Dean Wormer (Quote from the movie: "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.") actor "John Vernon".

In my mind I'm thinking "WTF is he doing at an SILA art show" but I say to my Mom… "Yeah, it is! How about that? We never get movie actors, at least none that I've noticed before."

Mom says, "I'm going to go say hello to him."

And before I could pull her back, she's off in his direction.

I turn to my Aunt May and she gives me this look and say's "You know how she is, you wouldn't have been able to stop her. Let her have this."

I give an assuring nod to my Aunt and we resume looking at the paintings.

Next thing I know, I get a tap on my shoulder and it's Dean Wormer (aka John Vernon) and he says: "Your Mother tells me you've got several pieces of art in the show young man."

I turn with this totally shocked look on my face and mumble, "Yes I do, would you like to see them."

"Indeed young man, indeed. I was just talking with your delightful Mother, who adores you, and she was telling me what a young up and comer you are."

Embarrassed as all hell, I say, "uh, ok,…"

I shake his hand, which is not easy from his perspective because he has two of the most beautiful women in the room attached to each arm.

At that point my Mom goes on to tell him where I've taken her and May since they've been in L.A. and how cool my art studio at Group West was. 

"It's way up on the 12th floor in an office building on Wilshire Blvd you know."

He raises his eyebrows and looks in my direction, indicating approval and acknowledgment that it seems like a big deal.

This goes on for a while and eventually Dean Wormer (aka John Vernon) announces that he must be on with things and gracefully excuses himself and his dates and walks away.

My Mom is all smiles and looks at me and says, "See, I knew he would be ok with me talking to him."

Aunt May rolls her eyes.

(There is more to this story and it is one of the last few times that I saw my Mother alive.)