the day I met archie bunker

hollywood-editI 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 .achie bunker

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 ?







Filed under humor

12 responses to “the day I met archie bunker

  1. Despite Archie putting me in the aisles with laughter, I used to really be impressed with O’Connor’s serious, dramatic acting too. I’m glad to hear he was a down-to-earth guy as well!

  2. I’m impressed. I think I would have been starstruck dumb. I saw Peter Ustinov at the cheese counter in a grocery store in Stratford Ontario. I gave the man and his Gouda some privacy.

    • I’m not one who adolizes (?) celebrities . The counter-story to this one is that once I delivered a package to another actor , a star at the time of Laugh In . He was a real jerk . I think people are people . Some who have achieved fame clawed their way up and developed a self- protective arrogance. Luckily , some maintained a humility and kindness , as I think Caroll O’Connor had .

  3. I’m not big on meeting celebrities, but Carroll O’Connor would be an exception. I really enjoy watching his work. I’m glad he turned out to be a nice guy, otherwise, I would have held it against you for bursting my bubble .

    I visited LA once, drove in, looked around, didn’t see anything and then continued south to Laguna Beach. I’m not sure your beaches are beaches, either.

  4. I’m impressed! Great post.

  5. Carroll was good as a kind of General Patton type in Kelly’s Heroes, a pretty good war comic film.

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