Kurt Simon and the Best Dim-Sum ever

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The best dim-sum ever

I first met Kurt in 1972 as a young student from Holland wandering through the States by Greyhound. The contrast between low budget travelling and prosperous Brentwood was pretty dramatic. Kurt showed great hospitality to his far away nephew from a distanced country – his father was the brother of my grandfather. Kurt invited me to stay with him for a couple of days. He treated me the full nine yards to make my holidays enjoyable: Disneyland, Dodgers vs. Phillies, Malibu, Venice and tons of Mexican food. I well remember his daily routine. Running at six, work till noon, hunting spare parts in the afternoons for his two T-Birds  1956 - crème and black - in Orange County and hunting birds of flesh and blood at nights. Even my ban to his terrace-with-the-great-view-over-LA was pleasant. That was the only spot where Kurt allowed me to smoke. Meanwhile he was telling me stories on the film industry. The one I remembered best were his views on Ronald Reagan: “Reliable chap; when he worked for me he was one of the few actors that didn’t drink.”

Almost thirty years later I paid another visit to West LA. Some things had changed. Kurt was married to beautiful Atsuko, he had a mustache and he drove a bourgeois type of van (not the black Bronco). But the hospitality was still there. Willemien, my friend by the time and me, had a short stay in the house.  Atsuko and Kurt took us to the Holywood Bowl and to a dim-sum lunch somewhere in Eastern LA. That was an overwhelming experience. Kurt parked the van at a huge lot in front of a massive Chinese  restaurant. The bad news was that there was a long line of approximately two hundred Chinese guests patiently waiting to go in. The place must have been quite popular. Surprisingly a Chinese gentlemen came out of the place and allowed us to enter instantly. My friend and me felt quite embarrassed. The four of us were the only non-Chinese persons inside. “No worries” Kurt explained, “I know the owner for decades. I helped him when he was still a waiter finding his way in the new world.”

 It was my best dim-sum ever.  

Jan van Cleeff

© The Macwhisperer 2018