I don’t want to brag , but I grew up in Hollywood , and Hollywood is full of movie stars .
Well , putting any questions aside for the moment of whether I have in the end grown up at all or not , I will be frank and say that I didn’t actually grow up in Hollywood . I want to be honest . Hollywood is about ten miles from where I grew up , I think . But still ………..
I remember the host of some long -past entertainment show standing in front of the Santa Monica pier and beginning the show with the words : ” Here we are in the heart of Hollywood . ” So you see my point . Hollywood was once Hollywood , but is now a state of mind .
I lived in the actual Hollywood once . For ten years or so . Hollywood isn’t actually a city now ; it’s a part of Los Angeles ( since 1910 ) , the City of Angels , the huge metropolis , the megalopolis . I feel sorry for unsuspecting people who come to Los Angeles and expect to find a city. Oh , there is one there somewhere , but …………..
Or Hollywood. There is a Hollywood , but …………..
A Swiss guy , the friend of a friend , stayed with me for a few days once when I lived in Hollywood. He took the bus to downtown Los Angeles , thinking that he’d see Los Angeles . He came back depressed and disappointed . Well , what did he expect ? Los Angeles is not Los Angeles . Get real !
Hollywood isn’t Hollywood either , for that matter . My friend Ivan brought his girlfriend over for a visit once and he asked me to give her a tour of Hollywood . The three of us spent the day touring Hollywood. When we returned to the house , somewhat exhausted , she thanked me for the tour , but said : ” But next time maybe you could show us Hollywood. ” Oh . What had I been thinking ! She wanted not the real Hollywood , but the state of mind. I should have known that morning before we left , I suppose . I’m a bit slow . Always was .
Yet , and I mean yet . There are those forces who are bound and determined to make Los Angeles a city once again , in the world-wide sense of a big city . Young people have moved downtown and trendy new restaurants have sprouted up around town . Old buildings are being re-fitted to house the pioneers who don’t mind breathing the downtown freeway soot and aren’t put off by the endless competition from homeless residents . There are artist lofts in previously abandoned floors of classy old structures .The Disney Hall and a new Cathedral were built. Things are indeed changing .
Anyway . However . This post is not about downtown Los Angeles . This post is about film stars and me . So , let’s get to it so you can be awed and impressed .
When I was in high school I worked at Redman Van and Storage in Santa Monica . That’s a long story which I don’t want to go into in detail here . After a couple of years on the job , I was assigned to go around and collect appraisals on items that the company had damaged during transit , and to take items around to be repaired . I will say in passing that it always seemed a little odd that the one item broken by the company in the move was often a priceless family heirloom ; but , hey , it is what it is . An heirloom is an heirloom .
One day I had an address in Santa Monica canyon , a lovely tree-covered area of expensive and somewhat secluded houses . I was to return an item to this address and I rang the bell and waited .
This was at the height of the Archie Bunker All In The Family TV show popularity . And , who do you think answered the door ? Yeah . Archie Bunker / Carroll O’Connor .
Nicest guy you’d ever want to meet . He asked me inside . He wanted to know a little about me , what my goals in life were , things like that . I was impressed with how down-to-earth and friendly the man was . That’s all .
End of story . So , maybe you’re impressed ? Awed , at least ?