I knew it would be a futile journey and if Thursday hadn't been the day of the appointment with Metzger I might have been tempted to make an excuse. But Unc was giving me an out. And anyway, I couldn't refuse him. I didn't know when I would see him again. It was fate. Unc had gotten me on the Grand Dragon kick and now he was getting me off.
"O.K.," I said. "Look for me sometime in the early afternoon."
Don Sutton lives in Calabasas, northwest of Los Angeles. Uncle Arbria and I found out what Southern California rush-hour driving was all about. It was almost a two-hour drive from Chino.
My plan was to drive to Calabasas, stop at a store or a gas station, and get directions to Don's street. But no one in the filling station at the turnoff exit had ever heard of the street. And there were no stores.
Calabasas was definitely affluent—upper middle class at the least. Horses grazed on the grounds of the older estates. We drove along a road until we came to a dead end at what appeared to be a riding stable. On the way back, we saw a man and a boy walking a dog. The man had never heard of the street we were looking for, but by the sound of it he thought that it might be in a newly developed area nearby.
The boy noted my uncle's cap. He was wearing one like it.
"Did you get it at the World Series?" he asked.
My uncle shook his head, his dark face beaming. "No sir, I got this cap in Atlanta, Georgia. From Mr. Don Sutton!" He took the cap off and handed it to the boy for inspection. "You can't buy a cap like this. This is what the players wear!"
The boy examined the cap and handed it back to my uncle. "Too bad they lost," he said, perhaps not knowing what else to say.
I thanked the man and headed for a new, expensive housing development that rose high up into the hills. We drove around for 10 or 15 minutes without finding the street.