No need to say where you spent the last moments of 2013. Most of you were undoubtedly counting down to the new year at Long Beach’s fabled Time Square, the mini-mall at the corner of Spring and Clark (see photo). Only a matter of time before Ryan Seacrest switches the locale of his New Year’s Eve show to this city.
• Ever wondered where Santa’s helpers go after Christmas? Well, I’ll tell you anyway. They’re shipped off to a facility in Torrance, as local writer Rich Roberts once told me.
• Long Beach hasn’t received the greatest treatment from Hollywood. Films showing off this city include “Gone in 60 Seconds” (about a master car thief), “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” (about a dinosaur munching on the old Cyclone Racer roller-coaster), and “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopping Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies” (‘nuff said).
Reader Charlie Nicholas recently caught an LB film with a more sunny outlook, “Golden Christmas 3,” about a young woman who dreams of being a Broadway director.
“Lots of gondola scenes, Belmont Pier, Naples, etc.,” Nicholas wrote. “The city looked great!”
Not a dinosaur or zombie in sight.
• Nicholas was impressed that one of the characters in “Golden Christmas 3” refers to one neighborhood as “Belmont Shore.” When you hear someone say “Belmont Shores,” he pointed out, it’s “a sure way of spotting an outsider.”
• If you’re anxious to start filling in your 2014 pocket calendar, don’t forget to circle May 16-17 ‑ the dates of the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival in Fruita, Colo.
Older Long Beachites feel a kinship toward Mike because the critter often appeared in freak shows at the Pike.
Mike’s fame was the result of the bad aim of Fruita farmer, Lloyd Olsen. On Sept. 10, 1945, Olsen attempted to lop off Mike’s head for dinner but left one ear and most of the brain stem intact.
Mike was spared and went into show biz, living another 18 months.
“Mike’s will to live remains an inspiration,” says the Headless Mike festival website. “It is a great comfort to know you can live a normal life, even after you have lost your mind.”
• Before we bid adieu to 2013, allow me to share a big moment of last year for the Harvey family. It was my opportunity to pose next to a star for Steve Harvey on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame (see photo). It’s possible the star refers to another Steve Harvey but why quibble over details?
Steve Harvey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His twitter handle is @sharvey9.