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Fortress Lido

My homage to Stephen King

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What To Believe In The Land Of Make-Believe

     Hollywood has always attracted talented people trying to get into the business.  It has also always attracted the B.S.er, the poser, and the conman (I was gonna say wannabee, but for some reason that sounds too harsh).  There is no six degrees of separation for these guys, it’s either two degrees, or, if they can get away with it; one. Or none.  Early on if you live there and mingle with the locals you learn you have to be able to filter out the real from the “oh-please!”

   

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LeConte 101

As I sat in an empty classroom at Hollywood High reading the LA Times story of the death of John Wayne, I anticipated my own entry into Junior High a few weeks later.  I had no idea how different going to school in Hollywood could be.  I was tagging along with my sister Laura as she embarked on an accelerated curriculum that had her attending school in the summer.  To my 11-year-old mind there was literally no difference between the attendees of Hollywood High and that of any adult walking around free and not in school.

In my mind these guys had it made.  Though I stuck close to my sis and avoided other kids/adults on the school grounds, everything and everyone seemed normal.

 

Junior High Babylon

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Photo from Griffith Observatory to the Hollywood Sign

My back yard, sorta.

It was really fun to get to walk around in what I considered to be my back yard, though I didn’t live up in the hills I’d head up from the entrance of Griffith Park.  I never saw any of my friends or other people from school here so it was like going on a retreat.  I heard about Peg Entwistle jumping off the ‘H.’  About James Dean filming the knife fight scene in “Rebel Without A Cause” right behind where I was standing there.  I didn’t know it but the Hillside Strangler probably did some of his work right around here.  By the time I moved to LA they had just replaced the deteriorated old ‘Hollywood’ sign with a brand new one.  These hills have alot of stories, like we all do.  But also like us, not all of them are happy.