Mitchstory at the Mansion

One of the reasons I’m still here is to document and share my life experiences with those, especially family, who come after me. This includes experiences that may be good (or, sometimes, otherwise). And it allows me to relive and share some “Mitchstory” – remember, the combination of Mitch, mystery, and history… kinda catchy, huh? 🙂

Some of these life experiences which I, personally, thoroughly enjoyed may not float your boat, for whatever reason. No worries. That’s totally cool with me. Feel free to disembark for this post if need be, because we’re going sailing where some folks might not like the water. You’re always welcome back for the rest of the voyage.

So… where were you on June 17, 1994?

Just your random Friday night. Nothing major on my social calendar. So for a lack of anything else to do, I just happened to be hanging out with my smoking hot fiancee (I mean, check out how incredible she makes that dress look, wow!) at none other than the Playboy Mansion.

Yes, that Playboy Mansion.

Yes, with Hugh and some of his ‘friends.’

And, yes, in an unbelievable quirk of coincidental timing, the very night of the OJ Simpson/White Bronco low-speed chase.

At the time, my company was one of the largest independent distributors of satellite television programming in the country. I wasn’t Ron Burgandy-level kind of a big deal, but I have to admit the position did provide us with some fantastic opportunities to have some really amazing experiences.

In this case, we were invited to the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as a private reception at the Playboy Mansion the night before the event. So, being a team player, I took one for the team and attended. 🙂

Seriously, we were hanging out at the Playboy Mansion, surrounded by peacocks freely roaming the grounds and a significant number of real-life bunnies (rabbits and otherwise) 🙂 – all while watching the OJ dilemma unfold before our eyes. As if it was not surreal enough for us to be aimlessly wandering around the Playboy Mansion – a setting beyond the comprehension of my rather simple dreams – but doing so on that specific night took it to an entirely different level.

All of Los Angeles, and people around the world, were glued to the event of the day… the Chase. It’s been estimated that nearly 100 million people watched as the situation played out. And we were * checks google maps * approximately three (!) miles from the epicenter of the action. In fact, on our way to the Mansion in Beverly Hills, we had taken the 405 – just as Simpson would eventually take that same night to his Brentwood home. As we mingled with guests at the Mansion, we collectively watched the chaos devolve on TV, amazed that the helicopters being shown on-screen were circling, real-time, above our heads. Again, simply a surreal evening.

Having survived the frantic Friday, the next evening we headed to the famous Hollywood Bowl for the Playboy Jazz Festival. As an infrequent jazz listener (although I love the vibe), I’m not qualified to determine the greatness of the event; but wow, the event was great! Some big names… Wynton Marsalis, Lionel Hampton, and, uh, well, the emcee was Bill Cosby. Note: I’m preferring to believe that my enjoyment of his comedic performance at the event that night is based on my Fat Albert/Cosby Show interpretation of his character and not so much the “other stuff” that came about later.

Regardless, what a weekend.

So yes, in a roundabout way, I spent the weekend hanging out with Hugh Hefner, OJ Simpson, and Bill Cosby. Not necessarily three dudes I’m having in my next golf foursome, or guys I’d bring to my family’s Christmas dinner. But for one glorious weekend, my life crossed paths with three very (very!) different people; famous, infamous, and each with a story much different than mine.

More importantly, 28 years later, even though I may not have their mansions or millions, and even as I face the finality of a terminal illness, I can honestly say I’m incredibly happy with where my story took me.

And isn’t that really what this life voyage should be all about anyway?

So judge me all you want for the who, the where, and the why… but walk a mile in my shoes first – preferably around the grounds of the Playboy Mansion. 🙂

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend