A group of actresses

Though I must admit Harlow, Johnson and Brooks could very easily sound like a firm of solicitors!

In truth, there are very few places left in Hollywood that you could trace back to their days in town, but yesterday I managed to visit two of them, though one is no longer used for the purpose that they knew it for. Oh, and I passed a couple of others too, the Chinese theater, and Musso and Frank’s being the famous ones.

I always planned to visit the Hollywood Museum on this trip, seeing they’ve got a special Jean Harlow display this summer, and yes, its really good, if you get the chance, which I suspect a lot of my readers wont! Back then of course, this was the Max Factor building, the man behind the movie make up of many famous actresses, and judging by the pictures there, a few chorus line dancers too! Its a well known fact that Harlow would have gone there, and ‘supposedly’ thats where the platinum blonde look was created. That I’ll question, but anyway…? Kept going, quite possibly. Created, hmm?

In truth, I always assumed that Factor only did the make up for the stars, but yesterday I saw a few pictures of chorus line dancers, waiting their turn to be made up by him, and thoughts turned to Clara. Was she one of them, who knows? Did she at some point have her make up done by Factor, seemingly almost certainly. One thing is for sure, they wouldnt recognize the building today. Not just because of the change of nature of the building, it lost its front seemingly when Highland Avenue was widened.

There is one seriously wonderful helmet type thing, that was seemingly used to measure imperfections in faces, which I would love to have used on me, but it would find plenty of imperfections lol.

Oh, one fun moment, signing the visitors book in my name, especially given who the main display was about, though I doubt they even look!

The evening was spent in the company of the last of our trio, Louise Brooks, at the Egyptian Theater, which is 5 years short of its centenary! I wonder if you’d told Grauman that, back in 1922, whether he would have believed you that it would happen? Looks very different in places now, to then of course, but so much remains, though mainly restored, but all the same…

I found out shortly before coming here, that there were 2 of her films on last night there, neither of which I’d seen before, beyond glimpses of one. Beggars Of Life is probably one of the better known Paramount ones that survives, with ironically Louise playing a girl pretending to be a boy. Some of the shots were amazing, especially when you think there was no CGI back then!

The other was the second film she made in Germany, Diary Of A Lost Girl. I’d seen brief scenes from this, but that was it. Personally, for all the fuss made about Pandoras Box, I found this the far superior movie. The cast seems stronger, in deeper roles, and benefits from that. In modern eyes, its amazing how much censorship was used on this film originally in US (Yes, I saw a restored version), as some of it is daring, but not extreme. But its not hard to imagine that in 1929, things were seen very differently to that. Oh, and the ending is delightful.

So yes, yesterday was a look back to Old Hollywood for me, this afternoon I’m off to see some new, at a female playwright festival. Just watching, nothing more, unless…? No, I doubt it somehow! More on that in next blog, I suspect.

The video. Well, I couldnt think of anything more apt on a California Sunday Morning. Cant believe there will be many who know this already.

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I should have just been hanging round

Fine, today I proved to myself why I dont bet, and its because I’m a lousy gambler. More on that shortly.

Yesterday, the first target was to turn my little phone into an active one, by getting its umpteenth new Sim card over the years. Basically, they last 90 days, and apart from 2 occasions, everytime I travel to the US, I need a new one. And so, choices, choices…

Because I wanted to go back to Pasadena at some point on the holiday, and there was an AT&T store near the metro station there, I went over there to do it. I could have done it locally, but it would have needed a fair walk, so fine, excuse made. Pasadena is a lovely place to visit, except for this weekend, when I gather it will be chaos there, with pop concerts, museum tours, and roadworks, all adding to the racing at Santa Anita, so yes, glad its done.

After finishing there, I did the opposite to the Pet Shop Boys, and went East. The line has been extended eastwards to Azusa, so I took a chance to travel on it. A bite of lunch, then back to Pasadena for the bus journey home. Apart from 4 people each travelling just one stop (one may have had health issues, the other 3 definitely didnt), it was a fairly dull affair.

This morning is when I gambled, and got it wrong. I walked down to the Metro station to get a train downtown, to find that an ‘every 10-12 minute service’ wouldnt be along for 21 minutes! So fine, I thought, I’ll walk down, get the bus to Santa Monica, and get the train back. Yes, another new line I wanted to go on. Oh fine, I picked the crazy bus, clearly! So yes, with all the delays with those folk, I could have waited over 20 minutes for the train downtown, gone back out to Santa Monica, and still have been quicker!

I did my stroll around town, stopping off for a coffee, before heading to the biggest Santa Monica landmark, the pier! Which supposedly is the end of Route 66, halfway down its length, according to the sign. I strolled to the bottom, said my close up farewell to the Pacific, in case I dont go down there at Pacific Palisades, though I will see it as I fly out, but thats not the same thing. Lunch on the pier, then finally I got that train I could not miss, back to LA.

In truth the most memorable bit of the journey was 2 teenagers being ‘tough’ until some guy actually stood up to them, and then they quietened down! They had reminded me why I’m not a fan of modern music at least!

Tomorrow evening, is dress up time, as I’m off to the movies at the Egyptian Theater. I know, I dont have to, especially nowadays, but it will be fun to put a dress on, so I will. Sunday afternoon, a Women in Media event, so a chance to try and sell my talents, maybe? Other than that, I’ll see what the morning brings!

I’ve given a couple of clues to the video, so hopefully you know what it is, without looking!

What they’re forgetting is, this is 1922

I know, I know, its actually nearly 100 years on from that landmark, but you’ve guessed this blog is going back to the Flapper era, havent you? And if you havent, why not? Yes, this event appeared in my mail box this morning.

http://www.flyingscotsman.org.uk/events/lates-roaring-20s/

I know, and free too! Unfortunately for this poor, broke flapper girl, it costs a bit too much to get there, and back, especially as I would get back to Huddersfield after the buses had stopped for the night. And no, at the end of April, I am not walking up from town, wearing a flapper dress, and heels, at my age! I could get a taxi, but that all adds to the cost, and its all money I havent got! About £40 ($60) at a rough guess, there, or thereabouts, even being a good girl at the party, and not spending too much. Add in that I’d probably want to get my hair done 20’s style, and fine, its not going to happen. But yes, it would be fun. Only blessing is, because its free, I can keep it on my list, as a maybe, until its too late anyway!

Unless some “Mr Hearst” (or indeed Ms Hearst) wants to take, or treat this poor little “Marion Davies” to the party, and then…

Funnily enough, this time last year, I was getting ready to party in the past, too. An era slightly more recent, and somewhere a lot warmer than here! Yes, a year ago tomorrow, I first went to Hollywood for 10 days, in a hotel. Of course, I’ve since had 4 weeks in an apartment, but back then, a hopelessly excited lady was getting ready for her dream trip. And on that first Saturday, I headed to the Egyptian Theatre, for the most amazing 40’s night. It was a wonderful present, from 2 dear American friends, and I had a wonderful time. The only less wonderful thing? I ended up walking back to my hotel afterwards, in high heels, nearly a mile! I had never done that before, and hopefully never again. I can do it, but my knees truly hate it, so…

Of course, if you’d told me back then that finding a job, after getting back, would be nearly as hard as during the Depression, for a Flapper, I might not have been so excited about it all. But back in those glorious days…

Oh, one last thing, given the last post here was about LA, and the last post on the other blog was about special friends…One dear friend, who I met through Facebook, and who was responsible for one of my real delights of the October trip, the visit to The Magic Castle, posted this on my timeline, when she saw my praise for Mr Scully

I miss you, beautiful.

Ignoring all comments about me, and being beautiful, and needing glasses, you have no idea how wonderful that remark was, Eden. Yes, believe me, I’d rather be there too, at the moment.

Fine, the video. You can guess the song, surely? Not Julie Andrews, though, but Sutton Foster, who played the role on Broadway, I gather. PS, the music only lasts 4 minutes, not as long as it looks!

Dodgers, a party, 40’s style, and an afternoon at the museum

OK, and now for part 2, the long weekend, Friday through today.

Friday started off with a tour of the city, on one of those open air tourist bus things. Alright, all the stars homes they were taking you to see were the modern ones, not those from the golden era, but lets face it, I’m the awkward customer on that front. As one of the guys doing the trade said to me today, there are people on those trips who dont know who Eddie Murphy was, let alone Jean Harlow, Clara Bow and Myrna Loy!

But it enabled me to get a good view of the Hollywood sign, to be able to get down to Beverly Hills with ease, and other things, so was well worth doing. On my return, I managed to get in front of the Chinese Theatre, and find this

Digital Camera

I tell you something, I havent got large hands, but compared to hers…as to her feet, well, miniature isnt the word!

Friday evening was my baseball fix, down at Dodgers stadium. I went down by standard bus, thankfully the stadium is well signposted, so I knew where to get off. Quite a haul, up a hill, but anyway, I got there. Game was good, and at least I can now say I’ve seen Kershaw pitch, even if I was pretty much up ‘in the gods’ to do so. I thought I’d be clever coming back, and get the special bus into LA, and then get the metro out of town, far easier. Well, it was until we hit a road blocked off, and chaos ensued. But eventually, I got to Union Station, found the metro, and got home.

Saturday morning started off at the same point where the big event of the day would happen, the Egyptian Theatre, with a guided tour around the building, and the surroundings. Then a film about the history of Hollywood followed that. Well worth doing, should you get the chance.

Yesterday teatime, I went to a salon, just across the road from the hotel, and had my hair curled, 30’s style, by a delightful woman named Elizabeth, at the EA Salon. Then back to the theatre, for the evenings big events. The film had a wonderful twist at the end, that I certainly didnt see coming, though it wont be winning any awards. But it was only recently restored so that the public could see it, much appreciated.

Then to the party, which was great fun, and I had a wonderful evening. OK, for those who want it, a picture of me dressed to the 9’s!

Digital Camera

Apologies for the quality, but I didnt take it, obviously.

At the end of the evening, I did a crazy thing. I was in high heels, and it was just under a mile back to the hotel, so I walked it! Yes, my feet complained (especially as I had been on them, in heels for nearly 6 hours) but I made it, quite easily.

Today, I got to meet up with someone who I’ve known on Twitter for quite a while, but never met, a delightful lady named April. Together we went to the Hollywood Museum, and she showed me around the many Harlow mementos stored there. Oh, and the Max Factor rooms where her hair, and make up was done. I hadnt got this photo, so very quietly I took this photo of Jean, at home in bed

Digital Camera

This is her, actually at home, not from a film shoot.

And now at least, you’re up to date. Tomorrow, the plan is to go up to Forest Lawn, and pay my respects, as close to Jean as I can, which depending on how fortunate I am, might be very close, or nowhere near! It seems from reports to be very pot luck as to who you get, but fingers are crossed!

Lastly, the video. Well, the film last night was called The Guilty, so this came to mind