How To Deflect a Bribe

ValeriusMaximusManius Curius was the most rigid model of Roman frugality and the most perfect example of courage. When the Samnite envoys were brought in to see him, he was sitting on a rustic bench beside the fireplace and taking his dinner from a wooden bowl; you can imagine the kind of meal it was from its presentation. He thought nothing of the wealth of the Samnites, but they were amazed at his poverty. They had brought him a huge amount of gold presented by their state, and speaking kindly they invited him to accept it, but he burst out laughing and said at once, “You have been sent on a pointless, not to mention stupid, mission; tell the Samnites that Manius Curius would rather rule over rich men than become a rich man himself; take away that expensive gift, which was invented to do mischief to men, and remember that I cannot be defeated in battle or corrupted by money.”—Valerius Maximus, Memorable Deeds and Sayings

Cemetery Blues

Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City

Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City

Today, after doing a half day of tax work (on a Saturday!), Martine and I went to Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. Today is the first anniversary of the death of our apartment manager, Tony. Not that we liked him very much, but we liked his mother, who died twelve years ago; and believe that, although his son grossly mismanaged his own life, he deserves to be commemorated—not for what he was, but for what he could have been.

Once again, I thought to myself that, when it is my time to go, I do not want to be embalmed and buried—not anywhere. My wish is to have my remains cremated and dispersed, preferably in the ocean. If that’s not possible, on the surface of the earth will be almost as good.

Since we had a little extra time, we did a little Hollywood celebrity grave search. We found out where Bela Lugosi, Jimmy Durante, Rita Hayworth, Zasu Pitts, Bonita Granville, John Candy, and Fred MacMurray are interred.

Then we went to Dinah’s Family Restaurant at Centinela and Sepulveda, one of Martine’s favorite venues for fried chicken.