July 20, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Brentwood Beat: Giving Some Brentwood Thanks on the Fourth of July

As July 4th approaches, we should be thankful to live in America.  

Sure, our country has its issues, but immigrants who arrive here rarely want to return home.  

And why is it so many immigrants want to come to America in the first place? We must be doing something right. 

I want to start off by thanking a guy named Omar, who works at Coral Tree. My wife and I go there fairly often, and we’ve come to know Omar pretty well.  He always takes good care of us.

Recently, we were sitting out on the outdoor patio at Coral Tree, and a guy sitting near us got up and left – but without his hat and water bottle.  

He left through the restaurant and I thought he was headed for the parking lot, accessible through the back door. 

I jumped up and followed him inside.  As it turns out, he wasn’t leaving.  He was just pouring himself a cup of water from the big water jug inside.  

He could sense me approaching him, and he suddenly turned on me in a very menacing way. 

“Back off!” he insisted.  

Of course, I immediately did.  

I explained to him that I just didn’t want him to forget his hat and water bottle – and that I was just trying to be helpful. 

But it didn’t stop there.  

He continued to growl at me as we both went back to our tables, which were, unfortunately, quite close to one another.  It was pretty clear he didn’t like me. 

We started getting into it, and it felt like there was potential for violence, even.  

He kept saying he was a Marine, and I figured maybe he was a patient over at the VA, getting treatment for PTSD or something.  I really don’t know what was triggering him.  I kept apologizing, telling him I was only trying to be helpful. That wasn’t doing the trick. 

Omar, inside, could tell something was wrong on the patio, and he came out to investigate.  He quickly positioned himself between our two tables.  

The guy continued his growling and Omar, in a rather quiet, persistent and diplomatic way, talked the guy down.  Within a minute or two, things were reasonably calm again – although, by this time, I was pretty rattled. 

Omar offered to get us a table inside the restaurant, but we were getting ready to leave, and we did.  Something like this has never happened to us at Coral Tree before, and I doubt it ever will again. This was a one-time situation, I’m sure.  

But still, I really appreciate how Omar – I don’t even know his last name – handled this situation.  I contacted Coral Tree via its “contact us” form and pointed out Omar’s heroism.  I hope they give Omar a raise or a promotion – or both! 

I also want to thank the Marine for his service, and I hope he finds peace.  If he suffers some kind of combat-related trauma, we need to remember that what he did, he did for us.

Changing subjects a bit, I also want to thank Marsha Bartenetti, who contacted me recently after watching a documentary about the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson.  

She said at some point toward the end of the documentary, someone read an excerpt from an editorial I wrote in the Brentwood News back at the time (1995), naming me as the author. 

I remember the editorial.  I wrote that I thought OJ was guilty, and people thought I was crazy to write that because OJ had just been let out of jail now that he was acquitted.  

Now he’d be coming after me, my friends thought.  

I was just saying what nearly everyone else in Brentwood was already thinking.

Anyway, thank you, Marsha.  I’ll be sure to watch.

What are you thankful for?  Anything else you’d like to discuss? Get in touch: jeffhall@mirrormediagroupla.com.

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