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 “Dream as if you’ll live forever.  Live as if you’ll die today.”- James Dean 

On September 14th, 1955 James Dean tells television viewers across America in a National Safety Council commercial, “remember, drive safely, the life you might save might be mine.” Two weeks later, James Dean has dinner at his favorite restaurant, the Villa Capri in Hollywood.   The Villa is the hottest restaurant in town. The Rat Pack is there almost every night downing martinis — Frank even has his own steak called ‘The Sinatra’ on the menu.  As he does almost every night, James Dean opts out of the festivities in the main dining room and comes in quietly through the back door.  Patsy, the owner of the Villa, knows James is shy and has a permanent table set up for him in the kitchen.  

He also knows that Dean is somewhat of a mystery in the Hollywood community.   Dean is a rising star who’s just finished filming his third picture, GIANT.  His second film REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE will be released next week.  Patsy’s heard all the rumors circulating about the young star.  He’s heard that Dean has a penchant for pornography, orgies, and prefers the company of young men.   But Patsy has trouble believing the rumors. The James Dean he knows is a shy and sweet young man from the Midwest. Dean sits alone at his table in the corner of the Villa Capri’s kitchen.

Patsy gives him a pizza to snack on as the kitchen staff serves him up a plate of spaghetti and meatballs covered in mozzarella.   James Dean is very polite to the staff, but he avoids eye contact and never says much. He finishes his meal, thanks the chef, thanks Patsy and leaves through the back door. 

The next morning, Dean puts on his red jacket from REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and sets out in his new Porsche 550 Spyder — nicknamed the ‘Little Bastard’ — from Los Angeles to Salinas. He is racing the car in the Salinas Road Race tomorrow.   As James approaches Bakersfield, he’s pulled over for speeding and is ticketed for going 100 mph in a 55 mph zone.  Not wanting to tempt fate and the law, James Dean stays at a consistent and legal speed of 55 mph for the rest of his trip to Salinas.     

Donald Turnupseed, a student at Cal Poly, drives his Ford Sedan through the intersection of route 41 and 46 just as the ‘Little Bastard’ comes around the corner.   James Dean sees the Ford Sedan crossing the road. He slams on the brakes, but there’s not enough space. His Porsche 550 Spyder rams into the side of Donald Turnupseed’s Ford Sedan.   Donald is thrown from his car and James Dean is thrown through his windshield.   Donald Turnupseed dies in 1995 and James Dean dies instantly on September 30th, 1955.

James Dean and The Little Bastard

  The Last Supper 

Pizza

Dinner Salad with Italian Vinaigrette

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Tiramisu

Espresso