Stacy-Keach-suffers-a-mild-stroke Today should have been a writing day. Had it all planned. But then my fellow castmates decided on a poker night. 12 hours, two separate games, one a winner-take-all tournament, the other a friendly night game with people coming and going. I lost the tournament to my old friend Scott Westerman, so I was walking into the evening $40 down.

We were just setting up for Texas Hold'em when Mr. Keach arrived, and suggested a different game – seven card stud high/low. The braver among us joined in, and for the next three or four hours we had a blast. When Stacy left (with a great deal of money, but none of mine – hah!), we didn't have enough players for that game to continue, so we joined the other table for Hold'em until 5 am. I came out $20 to the better, and happy at heart. I swear I have not laughed so much in years – literally weeping with mirth. I must thank Joaquin for the kind use of his apartment, and both he and Deitrich for their culinary creations.

This morning, Steve (who did not join us) pointed out what fools we were, and how we got off lucky. Stacy Keach, he reminds me, did three films with John Huston, and used to play cards with him – the same John Huston who used to play with Bogart. And Keach also played with Mickey Spillaine, naturally. He's right, of course – but next time we get together for cards, it won't be me saying no. Even at the cost of a writing day, the price of admission is far less than the worth of the show.