There’s a megalomaniac running the antique store across the street. “Roberto” of “Roberto’s Antiques.” Beto wasn’t happy with just one clock…he had to open an entire shop of clocks! (who buys clocks?). Clocks, schmocks…he thought…so he took over the “Antique shop” that was run by the lady who made empanadas in the back. It was okay he thought, ‘Cecelia basically stuffed her shop with her comadres’ garish garage sale goodies’ But Beto was gonna sell good stuff! On Beto’s open house, I personally, found things like: “a Raggedy Ann and Andy and The Fat Policeman lamp” with a garish and un-matching (but no harm), Barney shade attached to it!! SCORE!!! No need to ask about provenance here! As I chatted up Roberto, he made mention of his sister who was a chola who was “getting her head together” and who had run with the Maravilla gang. “Raggedy Anna” was her “nickname” I recognized it. I was privy to her artwork on my way back from the paintball field I had dropped my son off at, and the entire reason I was perusing this corner of the world. To kill time and explore. Raggedy Anna worked there on Saturdays, Beto was feeling altruistic and I feared a little controlling. I managed a squinty untrusting smile, feeling totally uncomfortable but trying to hide it. I shook off the “sad proud creepies” and couldn’t believe my eyes! Right in front of me was probably the best example of a 1960’s T.V. artifact! a table RIGHT OUT OF MARLO THOMAS’ APARTMENT!!! “That Girl!” was my favorite show and THAT RIGHT THERE…was the table she and Donald sat at and argued back and forth as he shook his head wildly!!! How I LOVED that show! I always had to run and get a hat from my mother’s room and be back quick enough to sing the song and throw my hat at the same time as Marlo in that mysterious street in New York! I just knew I would be just like her! A single independent girl living in her dream, her life all planned out, just one big series of planned out steps to surmount! a cool apartment in New York! A Donald! a hat to throw every week!! What a life!!! ….Yah right, back to reality. The closest I ever got was, “A Steve” (who mark my words is actually 1000 times BETTER than “The Donald” and a house in L.A. which is pretty great too, i must say… But on closer inspection, “The Donald Table” looked as though “Donald” “got up on Marlo” (if you know what I mean) in fact, quite a few times! and sadly bent one of the legs! I took the table anyway, thinking, ‘hey! this may be a bit of hollywood’s erotic history? what else might I find to add to my “Erotic Hollywood Furniture collection?” The bed that Demi Moore and Robert Redford uneasily made love in for “The Proposal?” My mind was afire with potential finds. But my pristine memory of Marlo and Donald was nonethelses besmirched by the introduction of the idea that the two had premarital sex. My virgin eyes! How could this be? Well here was evidence . There was even a bit of clothing snagged on one of the phillips screws attaching the metal tube leg onto the underside of the lined metal rim going ’round the length of the table. I dared not visualize what THAT could be! So I expect after closing shop on one of those manic selling days, Beto, The Power hungry “Luche Libre Lion of Bloomington” probably sat in his rusty Jetstream parked in the Bloomington junkyard (I know cuz you could see it from the 10 freeway), strategizing like that evil burlap doll out of the movie “9”. No doubt he figured out how to take over that 99 cent “water store” and adjoin his “antique” store to it, cuz that’s just what he did. With much elation one day, after again ditching my kid, not wanting to watch the paintball practice, I again felt the call to peruse the junk (er…quality second life merchandise)…sorry…I actually spotted a ‘john travolta LP in one of the bent up cardboard boxes! (the Marilu Henner days)… …and as if this tattered box wasn’t enough of a ‘gold mine,’ I spotted another masterpiece! The hairest angel in tenor vocal history!….Mr. Barry Gibbs! Oh! I was all aglow, spotting his rough and tumble mug on The Bee Gees’ “Children of the World” L.P.!!! I was two for two, things were really going my way! The planets were aligned until the moment I pulled the vinyl out to inspect it… it was sadly…. scratched to HOLY OBLIVION!!! . I would have to sniff out deals another day. Little did I know, a month later, I chanced upon an article about my “Short on stature and high on real estate, “Luche Libre Lion of Bloomington.” ‘Why…that mini-mogul had bought the third space!’ I said out loud at the Starbucks I was visiting with one of the PTA ladies from my son’s school. Wow…to think on that little cracked block that reeked of depression, fish tacos and spoiled horchata, my friend, El Rey de Bloomington, or as I called him, “La Luche Libre Leon de Bloomington might need a top hat, a tux and a cane soon. Like “Rich Uncle Pennybags” from the game Monopoly! If I could give him a “LOL CATS” caption…It’d say: “I’m wanna be Moguls kay?” Noticing my surprise at the article I was reading, my friend Anabel said, “Oh, what’s that your reading? You’re laughing, I’m curious, what is it?” So I began to explain the terrain of that lovely stretch of stank some call Bloomington, and who “La Luche Libre Leon de Bloomington” was after all. I may have been too poetic about the entire year I perused the Junk in that stretch of town, just for fun, for stories and as a way to waste time. Roberto took properties by storm not unlike a Mexican Nazi War Machine… but of course alot nicer. I told Anabel about the place with the “high art” across the street from Roberto’s, (a little bar “with a fresco on the front that virtually advertises mamacitas potentially available for sexual harassment and a few games of friendly pool). I let on about the fact that El Rey, the iconic Bloomington “faux-tique” dealer had his eye on buying that bar, but it was virtually untouchable for “El Rey.” He explained the speedbump to me one day, ‘it belongs to two brothers, Manuel and Danny and their pretty good dudes” he said. “they’d never sell.” Roberto could only call it his watering hole and a place to pick up some “mamacitas”and play some games.” as he called them. No matter how bad he wanted to resume his game of risk and “be the Ottoman empire”…this place was OFF LIMITS!!! It’s cool…hey… where else can an hombre rope a mamacita in Shakira pants, a crop top and HUMONGOUS………… earrings! (check the picture, she has enormous earrings). I went on to tell Anabel about my personal perseverance in a sea of used CRAP just to escape the dust and four hours of testosterone and expletives. ... I did make sure she knew that this “El Rodeo” bar was not place to to cool your heels or “ride a bull” but the the best place to BECOME A PIECE OF ASS!! if you’re not careful. ...especially when El Rey de Bloomington – announces quitting time and….. let’s already let Raggedy Anna go home for the day.