Louis Perry had a long-ago success that’s now haunting him.

A lover of fine food, Perry, 49, has had a weight problem for most of his life. It doesn’t help that, as owner of Kadima Security Services Inc. in Los Angeles, he frequently has to wine and dine clients.

“I take a lot of them out to eat,” says Perry, who weighs in at 315. “I’m constantly meeting clients for lunch at great restaurants, so you put on a few pounds.”

It wasn’t always so. For one shining moment in 1989 he got down to an Adonis-like 195. That happened after Perry, then in his late 20s, went on a crash diet and exercise regimen that was so successful he landed on the Richard Simmons Show, a nationally syndicated fitness series hugely popular at the time.

The pristine physical condition didn’t last, but the old TV footage clearly did. It recently landed on YouTube, which has caused Perry some awkward encounters.

“A lot of people can’t believe that it’s me,” he reports. “They say, ‘Wow, what happened – you’ve got to get back on your diet!’ Then they invite me to go have some dinner.”

Mechanical Muses

When Jim Evans, the designer of music album covers and posters who owns Division 13 graphics studio, needs inspiration, he turns to his vast collection of Japanese toy robots.

The hobby began in the mid-1970s when Evans lived in Hawaii and became fascinated with Japanese culture. At the time, Japanese toy makers were producing complex metallic robots, the early predecessors of what later became the Transformers phenomenon.

Evans estimates he owns several thousand robots, some of which cost as much as $1,500. About 250 of the specimens sit in his Malibu office, where he claims they help with his work.

“A lot of men like toys, but I need inspiration,” he said. “The robots are an enigma to me. I don’t set them on the floor and have wars. I put them on the shelf. It’s almost religious – you look at them and see what meaning you can deduce from them without looking too deep.”

His favorite robot is Combattler, one of the most complex toys in the collection.

“He’s the ultimate robot because you can re-assemble him 10 or 12 different ways,” Evans said. “You can take the feet off and they become separate cars. The head becomes a flying vehicle with wings. Each leg becomes a contraption. So you have a small army based on one character.”

Staff reporters David Haldane and Joel Russell contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com.

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