Lisa Schwab, owner of Cantalini’s Salerno Beach restaurant in Playa del Rey, shares her fond memories of the late Dr. Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers owner who passed away Feb. 18 at the age of 80. His teams won 10 NBA Championships since he became owner in 1979.
“I am so sad to hear of the passing of Jerry Buss. Not only do I have wonderful memories of Dr. Buss and his amazing contribution to sports and entertainment, I will greatly miss seeing him around the neighborhood. I loved that he personally called me when he wanted a table, and he was so nice to the staff; such a warm, down-to-earth guy.
“I have many fond memories of Dr. Buss at Cantalini’s, and loved how he let my mom flirt with him (they knew each other well from her days at Chasen’s). I remember this one Valentine’s Day when I saw his limo pull up outside, and the driver asked if I could find room for a party of 12. We did and he came in with a group of kids and their families.
“He told me on the way out that he had met these kids through a program serving ‘at-risk’ youth and was very impressed with them, so he decided to treat the kids and their families to dinner, which I thought was very cool. I suspect he was a pretty amazing role model and he certainly proved to be generous.
“We have had the pleasure of seeing many members of the Lakers organization around Playa del Rey, but it was a distinct honor to have Dr. Buss in the house. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Buss family.”