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The Wizard of Westwood

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4.64 / 5.00

Jul 9, 2010 | 10:38 AM EDT
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800 x 1000 px
130.4 kb

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Author Comments

For many, the late, great Coach John Wooden, will always be thought of as the 'Wizard of Westwood', however, there was another. He was a homeless man, with eyes like psychedelic whirlpools, a huge ratty beard, shitlocks, a full wizard costume fashioned out of garbage, a "power" staff, and a smell that could induce paralysis.

As far as I could tell, he lived in the bushes around the North Campus Student Center at UCLA. He loved to talk, so much so, that I used to hide from him, for fear that he might unleash his most powerful spell: Halitosis Maximus (a noxious stench of rotting teeth, cheap booze, and decomposing half-eaten fast food). Still, whenever he did snare me in his trap, he always regaled me with world class insanity. I wish I had recorded him. A typical conversation went something like this:

"Last night I was visited by a glowing torus in the sky, that harnessed the moon's electro-magnetic field to teach me the instructions".
"Instructions for what", I inquired.
He looked at me with a face that seemed puzzled by my inability to comprehend.
"Instructions for a magic radio to talk to Nicola Tesla, of course"
"Ahhh. Of course" I replied. "Did this torus have a name?", I asked.
"Dave. He's from Proxima Centauri, but don't tell his lover Polaris. They're gay, and Polaris is a jealous lover.", he replied.

He was lucid, but batshit crazy. After a few conversations, I really started to more closely examine the stratified layers of his wizard costume. There were all sorts of fascinating things on it. Wire coat hangers crafted into dodecahedrons. Legitimate physics equations. Ahnks. Origami unicorns. Voodou dolls. The most interesting pieces of the costume were these ID badges he had from previous jobs. They were all over him, and they really had his picture on them (from a more sane time). One was from NASA, circa 1968. Another was from Skunkworks. Another one was from McDonnell Douglas. One was from Dow/Corning. One was from Raytheon. Then it hit me...this is what Los Angeles of the late 60's did to brilliant engineers. It turned them into Gandalf the Crazy.

To his credit, he never once asked me for money.



Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

looked over your comment

Any proof that any of that really happened? Its a really cool story, but it just seems to "perfect" like something you'd see on tv or in a book. Sorry it just sounds made up, I could be wrong though.

Nice style by the way.

doctormario responds:

It's not bullshit. He was very real. I'll never forget the stench. I'm sure others around Westwood during the early 90's know exactly who I'm talking about. :)

Thanks for looking at it.


Rated 4 / 5 stars


comes with its benefits if you're a magic-user. He looks powerful, with all those symbols all over the place.

doctormario responds:

He was a really freaky dude. Still the fact he was homeless, and not asking for money, was the thing that really freaked me out the most.


Rated 5 / 5 stars


Looks like gandalf finally cracked!

doctormario responds:

Yeah he definitely slipped on a banana peel somewhere in the past. Either that, or he did too much of the brown acid. :)