Felix In Hollywood

A Blog for the Smart Set

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just Another Friday In My Neighborhood.

Ok, I'll be the first one to admit that living in Hollywood is often...different than life in other places.  I have examples of this:

Example A.  One day, while driving down Santa Monica Blvd., approaching Highland Ave., ahead of me I spied what appeared to be road kill.  Some poor squirrel, possum or cat had met an untimely fate.  It wasn't until I was practically upon it that I was able to discern -- it was a wig.

Alright, maybe that wasn't a definitive example, but it was funny.

Example B.  Until as recently as a couple of weeks ago when they were banned for unsavory behavior, it was a constant fixture here in Hollywood to see men and women dressed in character trolling the sidewalk in front of the Kodak and Chinese Theaters posing in photographs with tourists for the consideration of cash tips.  Therefore, I was never surprised to see Charlie Chaplin or Captain Jack Sparrow or Wonder Woman strolling up Vine St. at around 9 am in the mornings, wearing their ipods and carrying their Starbucks coffee on their way to 'work'.

This brings us to Friday.  In the morning I ran over to the historic Farmers Market to hang out with some friends over coffee and fresh danish.  I needed to be back home by 11:30.  My dear friend of nearly 30 years, George, is visiting from DC and I was taking him for a tour of The Sunset Gower Lot (the original Columbia studios).  At the market, I asked my friend Travis if he would like to come over to the house and meet George and he said he'd love to.  So in true LA fashion, by 11:15 there were three of us all headed to my house; in three separate cars.  I arrived first to discover this parked in front of my house:

Just kidding.  It was this:

Still kidding.  It was this:

Not kidding.

 A 1911 Willys-Overland!

As I was going sightseeing, I had my camera in my bag and started snapping pictures.

By now, both George and Travis had arrived.  I made a hasty and distracted introduction and soon they had there iphones out, taking pictures.  People walking down the street had stopped and there was now a small crowd gathered, taking in the magnificence of this antique beauty.  I ran to my next door neighbors house to tell him about it, and it turns out he had a visitor who was the owner of the car.  It also turns out that this is one in a collection of 11 classic autos the man owns!  It further turns out that he was nice enough to offer to take a picture of me sitting in the car!

Me, pretending to drive the 1911 Willys-Overland.

It was all very exciting and the three of us retired to the house for a much needed cup of coffee. 

Now if you think that arriving home to find a 1911 Willys-Overland parked in front of my house is the conclusion of my example on how life in Hollywood is different than other places that I've lived, hang on Bosco the story's not done yet.  Not...quite...yet.  About 10 minutes into our coffee, George looked out the window and exclaimed, "Jesus Christ, it's Mary Poppins!"  Cameras and iphones in hand, back outside we went.  An attractive English woman in, what appeared to be, her early forties who lives around the corner was walking by and spied the car.  Well knowing that she had just the outfit for the moment, and obviously not being a gal to turn down an opportunity, she ran home, changed clothes, grabbed a friend with a camera, came back, hunted down the cars owner and asked permission for an impromptu photo shoot, which was granted.

The rest of the day was spent with the usual, boring and mundane - looking at Harry Cohn's office and Rita Hayworth's dressing room...


Stephen said...

& I thought Portland was nutty!!!

The comment about the 3 cars reminds me of the scene in L.A. Story when Steve Martin goes to visit his lesbian friend by getting in his car & driving 4 houses away.

I loved this post & the photos.

I think you would be a really fun date!

jason said...

My god, it *is* Mary Poppins!
Too cool.

(That said, packs of stray wild wigs roam the streets around here.)

FelixInHollywood said...

I knew it! When I was typing the part about the wig, I thought to myself, "this sounds like Jason's neighborhood." I just never would've imagined entire packs of 'em!

mrpeenee said...

Actually, she looks more like Emily from Little Britain than Mary Poppins, but I wouldn't want her to know I said that.

normadesmond said...

hard to believe, but i had the very same thing happen to me. the only difference was the car belonged to rita.


MJ said...

Was it YOUR wig?

I notice you aren't wearing your usual hairpiece.

MJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
normadesmond said...

though it's distant, it is nice to see you....

Ask the Cool Cookie said...

MJ said...
Was it YOUR wig?

I notice you aren't wearing your usual hairpiece.

You mean his merkin?

Ask the Cool Cookie said...

Actually, and pardon my intrusion, but I believe that the car is an Overland, period.

Technically, Willys-Overland was the name of the Corporation formed when John North Willys (pronounced "Willis") bought the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company, Toledo, Ohio. The company produced the Overland brand, and then rolled out the Willys brand automobile. Through the end of WWI, Willys-Overland was second only to Ford in annual auto production.

The company had a prosperous run in the 1920s, but the Overland name was dropped - replaced by the Whippet brand name. The compnay hit rock bottom in 1932, and was reduced to one auto, a Willys. Willys resigned his Ambassadorship and rushed back to the US intent on saving his company, but died of a heart attack. The ugly little Willys trudged through until through 1938, when the Willys name disappeared and the Overland appeared for a two year run in 1938-39, then it was dropped in favor of something called the "AmeriCar". Despite getting the Government contract to build the iconic Jeep (using Ford's jeep design) Willys limped along until it was bought Henry Kaiser who folded it into his failing automotive empire. The final Willys in the US rolled off the assembly line in 1955, though the brand lived on for many years in Brazil.

As few as ten years ago, Daimler Chrysler had plan to roll out a whole new line of Jeep Overland models, but that came to naught.

Probably more than anyone cares, and certainly not as neat as the woman in the dress aboard the bright yellow car ;-)

savannah said...

these are the stories that make me miss la, sugar! ;~) xoxoxoxo

kabuki zero said...

it that chitty chitty bang bang? I know your penchant for interesting rides and stuff. And don't you have a dress jyst like the one that lady is wearing? how unusual.

Donna Lethal said...

And I believe you, having worked at S-G off and on for many years and now, working back in Hollywood again. A canary flew by my windshield this morning while driving down Melrose.