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THURSDAY, MARCH 16, 2017
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The Rockaway Times
BREEZY POINT DERMATOLOGY
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Phone: 646-421-6064
Fax: 646-843-4701
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Email: info@flatirondermatology.com
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Most Insurances Accepted
Joseph A Otton
Tax & Accounting Services
240 Beach 116th Street
Rockaway Park, NY 11694
tel:
718-474-3770
fax:
718-474-0232
Open Year Round
It's Tax Time!
Nationwide Insurance
Fischette Insurance Agency
Park Service Bureau
Licensed Motor Vehicle Services
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Craig Fischette
Registered Tax Return Preparer
Tel: 718-474-3135
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114-15 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Park, NY 11694
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FRIEND OF BILL
By John Sica
In 1979, Rita and I moved
to Venice Beach, California. I
got a job as a cook in the Rose
Cafe. On my first day, I was in
the kitchen cooking, listening
to a new band called the B52's.
A waiter came into the kitchen
and said, "Is that the B52's?"
A friendship was started, and
Rita and I became best friends
with him for the next two
years we lived there, spend-
ing all our off-hours together
partying and listening to mu-
sic. A few weeks ago he passed
away, Bill Paxton.
At the time, Bill had just
recently eloped with a girl,
Kelly, from his hometown of
Fort Worth. Her family was
not happy that she had run
off with Bill, just a waiter and
a dreamer. He had studied
acting and was determined
to make it in Hollywood, like
so many other waiters. In the
first few weeks that Bill and I
became friends, she had an
ailment that hospitalized her.
I forget what it was, I remem-
ber it wasn’t life-threatening,
but she was in the hospital for
about a week. It was a week
that would change his life.
Bill loved her and wanted to
make her happy, so he asked
me to help him tile the en-
tranceway to his apartment
in Santa Monica so he could
surprise her when she came
home. One morning that week
though, her two little dogs got
out and ran in the street and
were killed. When he told his
wife, she decided to go back to
Texas to “rehabilitate” on the
advice of her family. She nev-
er returned and he was devas-
tated. Rita and I became his
California family. And he was
more determined than ever to
succeed.
I remember when he got his
first part in a movie, I believe
the title was, “Night Warning.”
It wasn’t a big movie and he
had a small part, but he want-
ed to stand out. His first day of
shooting was a night shot and
he was nervous, so I convinced
him to split a pint of Jack Dan-
iels with me. The next morn-
ing when I asked him how it
went, he was bummed out.
He said the director was fu-
rious with him and told him
if he ever showed up to work
like that again, he would nev-
er work again. He told me in
his scene he was supposed
to be angry with someone,
so he took it upon himself to
jump up on a table and make
a scene. The funny thing was,
two days later the director
came up to him and told him
he was watching the “dailies”
and that scene was brilliant.
He was friends with Bill
Mumy from sci-fi series, “Lost
in Space.” They were both
from Texas. Mumy had a band
called Barnes and Barnes and
they made a goofy song called
FishHeads. This was before
MTV was ever invented, but
Bill had a vision to make a
music video to the song. I be-
lieve we made the first music
video ever. I remember when
he started losing confidence
in the project, I would moti-
vate him. I had the key to the
restaurant I was working in at
the time, and we would sneak
in, in the middle of the night,
to shoot the scene where the
fish head was “floating in the
soup.”
In that scene, I had to lick
the fish head. I remember Bill
for weeks had a collection of
five-day dead fish heads in a
bag in front of his apartment,
and his neighbors were not so
happy. He would go to the fish
market once a week and they
would give him the fish heads
for free. They had no idea
what he was doing with them.
Eventually we finished, and
he got the video on Saturday
Night Live through his perse-
verance.
Meanwhile, his other career
as a waiter wasn’t going so
well. One day some custom-
ers gave him a penny tip so he
followed them out to the park-
ing lot and threw it at them. He
was fired. He wanted to start a
tile business with me, but we
weren’t very good at it. He got
a paper route, which worked
out well for him. He started at
3 a.m. and was finished by 7
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