Tonight I had dinner with Joel Denver. Joel and I were in radio first in Charlotte and then in Philadelphia back in the 70s. We became friends, but as is so often case, we moved and our lives changed until we fell out of touch.
Joel’s company, AllAccess.com, is located on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Around 40 miles from where I’m staying, I gave the trip an hour.
I headed up the 405, through the Sepulvada Pass and past the Getty Museum. You go under Sunset but over Wilshire, as Century City fills the view to the left. From the 405 I moved to the Santa Monica Freeway and finally whipped north onto the Pacific Coast Highway.
Malibu is like no other place. Much of what’s here has changed since the 50s! It is among the most beautiful and most dangerous places in the world to live.
Inland, homes sit on canyon walls. Most likely, one of your neighbor’s homes is below you! Homes are often lost to fire or slide, usually with minimal warning.
On the ocean side, where the homeowner owns to the high water mark, lots have been maximized. As homes are rebuilt, the ocean side often ends up mainly glass. Lots of homes have decks, extending the property closer to the water.
PCH passes by municipal beaches, open space, shopping and thousands of tiny, mainly rectangular, homes. Often they are plopped on lots with little room to spare.
Driving north on PCH it’s hard to separate one house from the next. They are that close. With few garages or driveways, the curb lane is filled with parked cars. These teeny homes all are well over a million dollars apiece.
I passed Cross Creek and then Webb. This is the real glitz area of the Pacific Coast Highway. The Malibu Beach Colony is in this area where PCH moves farther from the shoreline.
Joel’s office is in a small office building just off the highway. I parked on the street and walked in. It was chilly tonight.
He looks like he always did. His smile is there. His laugh is there too.
Back in the 70s, I was single. Joel was married. He’s still married, just not to the same person. His wife Ria seemed very nice.
Joel and I left for dinner. It was a sushi place a little farther north on the highway.
We had lots to talk about. Both of us had been in radio. Joel was still connected with the business, but no longer on-air.
Both the sushi and conversation were good. I enjoyed hearing a little about his business. Joel realized the Internet was the right place to publish back in 1995. He was able to anticipate the market.
As is often the case with new media, his success has come at the expense of old line printed pages. His site can get the info out sooner and with less cost and hassle.
I’m often amazed by the number of my friends who have done well. Here’s another one for the list.
I’ll have to go back and spend a little more time next time.