Entries, 5/11-5/18   Leave a comment

Set pieces

Posted by vp19 on 2014.05.18 at 17:01
Current mood: artisticartistic

carole lombard 2554bI don’t have the specifics on this portrait of Carole Lombard fine-tuning her appearance on a soundstage, but judging from her hairstyle, it’s either from her Pathe period or early on at Paramount. It’s one of two photos of Lombard on the set; here’s the other one, definitely from later on in her career:

carole lombard 2553a

Both are stylish, and either (or both) can be yours from the same seller at eBay (neither photo is an original). Each measures 8.5″ x 11″, and each sells for $6.99 (as of this writing, two of each are available). For the first photo, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-CANDID-PHOTO-ON-THE-SET-Hollywood-1930s-Movie-Star-Actress-/121344344995?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c40afc3a3. For the second, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-CANDID-PHOTO-OnTheSet-Hollywood-1930s-Movie-Star-Actress-/380907056985?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58afd46f59.


carole lombard 06

Mission (apparently) accomplished

Posted by vp19 on 2014.05.17 at 04:57
Current mood: happyhappy

Will you settle for one happy Carole Lombard fan? It appears all systems are go for my move to an apartment in Los Angeles; all the remains now are the specifics (dates, etc.). While nothing will be finalized before I leave to go east today, I’ve been assured by the person overseeing the property that details, and things for me to sign, will be emailed in the very near future. All hurdles are more or less cleared.

A move of this magnitude marks a major change in anyone’s life, but I have faith I am doing the right thing — not just as a fan of classic Hollywood who enjoys researching the Golden Age in general and Lombard in particular, but someone who’s comfortable with LA as the American city of the 21st century, blending elements of the Pacific Rim and Latin America with traditional U.S. society. True, at times the city can be as exasperating as it is exciting, but that’s part of the process.

My last full night in SoCal for now was spent not in Los Angeles but in Orange County, watching the Angels take on Tampa Bay. It was my first time in the ballpark since the home finale in 1996 — the last game there before the football seating was taken out. Now, Angel Stadium has a classic ballpark feel to it…and in the distance you can see the Honda Center, where the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks were meeting Friday in a deciding game 7.

Neither home team had much to celebrate. The Angels’ offense was meek in a 3-0 loss, and on the ice LA stormed to an early 4-0 lead and never looked back in a 6-2 triumph over their arch-rivals.

More games in Anaheim may be in my future; we will see. For now, I’m…


carole lombard 05

My last full day in LA (for now)

Posted by vp19 on 2014.05.16 at 12:03
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

Much of my time in Los Angeles has been spent like Carole Lombard’s, except I’ve never had a luxurious dressing room and Carole never worked with a cell phone. I’ve been taking care of just about everything I can in order to pin down that apartment, because about 24 hours from the time I write this, I’ll be on a plane at LAX, minutes before take-off east. (I’ll spend a night in northern Virginia, then board a train home.)

While I doubt everything will be resolved before I leave Los Angeles, I have faith I’ve done all I can to satisfy whom I hope will be my future potential landlord. If everything is finalized, I then can begin plans for a move west — probably in two stages, sending some of the essential items west, then coming back east after a few weeks to clear out my old place and store some things in LA. It will be nerve-wracking at times…but it goes with the territory.

For now, I’ll just relax for a bit once my laundry is done and play tourist for a few hours. But no, I don’t plan to visit Paramount Pictures; on that tour, you never know whom you may run into (literally).


carole lombard 04

Ever so close, and closer, and closer…

Posted by vp19 on 2014.05.15 at 22:36
Current mood: anxiousanxious

Well, I’m nearly at the point where I’ll have something in common with Carole Lombard — a Los Angeles address. (But unlike the former Jane Alice Peters in that photo at the city Hall of Records in late 1936, I have no plans to change my name.)

I cleared another hurdle today as far as documents were concerned, and need only one or two more things taken care of before I should have an apartment lease approved. Will I be able to get them done tomorrow, my final full day in LA before heading east? We will see…but at this time, I feel in good shape.

Privacy reasons make me reluctant to give more details on where this potential domicile is located, but I will say it’s a bus ride away from the fabulous Farmers Market — which I visited for the first time today. It’s a quintessential LA experience. Imagine an open-air equivalent of such standout city markets as Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia or Lexington Market in Baltimore, then add some California and Hollywood flair to the equation.


That’s Ben Affleck and his daughters shopping there some months ago. I didn’t see them today (or any other celebs, for that matter), but I did have some tasty New England clam chowder along with a Pecific favorite, fish tacos, at Tusquellas Fish and Oyster Bar. Yummy. In July, the market celebrates its 80th anniversary, and at that time, we’ll go into more detail on the place. For now, provide some psychic support to make this California dream come true.


carole lombard 03

The waiting indeed is the hardest part

Posted by vp19 on 2014.05.14 at 23:38
Current mood: hothot

Tom Petty was right, so I’m guessing somewhere along the way he was sweating out whether he could move into a new apartment. (Today, of course, his holdings may well include a few apartment buildings.)The place I’m eying in Los Angeles as home base for Carole Lombard and classic Hollywood research is oh so close, but there are a handful of things that must be okayed before I can sign that dotted line for the lease. ago when he I think my chances are good, and the apartment manager is in my corner, but we’re not there yet. I should know more tomorrow. Send some positive psychic energy my way, please.

Meanwhile, I’ve been roaming between the Dodgers-Marlins game at Chavez Ravine and game six of the Kings-Ducks Stanley Cup series. Of the former, Vin Scully put it so succinctly a few minutes ago when he said, “If you missed the second inning, good for you.” It was brutal, all right, as Miami took advantage of shoddy LA fielding to score six runs and give the Fish a 6-0 edge after three innings. (Incidentally, the Dodgers’ flagship station, KLAC, is a Fox Sports Net affiliate. The mix of the erudite Scully with Fox “attitude” is like blending chardonnay with Cholula hot sauce.)

A few miles south at the other end of downtown, the Kings — needing a win to keep their season alive — lead the Ducks 2-1 after two periods. It has become one of the NHL’s best rivalries, as anyone who saw their outdoor game at Dodger Stadium in January can attest.

If you’ve been following the news, you’re aware of the heat and winds leading to fires in southern California, particularly around San Diego. But did you know that above-average temperatures in Los Angeles in the summer of 1963 led to one of Motown’s early hits? LA disc jockeys began playing the following record, and it became a national success. We’re referring to Martha and the Vandellas’ classic “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave.”


carole lombard 02

Keep those fingers crossed

Posted by vp19 on 2014.05.13 at 19:10
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

I’m hoping that in a few days, my reaction will echo that of Carole Lombard…because I think my chances are good that I finally am going to land an apartment in Los Angeles.

I won’t tell you much more right now — I’ve been wrong before about these things — but the vibes I’m getting from the meeting I had today are good ones. The person in charge of the complex was helpful, and told me not to worry about some of the potential hurdles. With some luck, and psychic support for many of you, my dream of relocating to LA well may be assured by the end of the week.

So while that’s being worked on, some news about what I did last night.

I went to Dodger Stadium and sat in the fabled top deck; it only set me back $10, with a spectacular view of the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. It’s something every baseball fan should experience at least once. The boys in blue beat Miami 6-5 behind a mammoth three-run homer from Cuban star Yasiel Puig. (His bobblehead is tonight’s giveaway, and the place will be packed.) At game’s end, the unofficial team anthem was played, Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” Here’s the original video, including the opening lines (only the chorus is played at the ballgames). It’s typical wry Newman humor — the person saying these lines is a typical L.A. booster — but Randy’s having fun here, and he probably believes in some of the lyrics, too:


carole lombard 01

Hands across the table, Los Angeles style

Posted by vp19 on 2014.05.12 at 13:07
Current mood: excitedexcited

Carole Lombard played a manicurist at a posh New York hotel in the 1935 romantic comedy “Hands Across The Table.” This morning, I was in that sort of environment, only in downtown Los Angeles. Not at the hotel I’m currently in, but in one Lombard knew well — the Biltmore, at Pershing Square:


That hotel, which opened in 1923, is where several Academy Awards ceremonies were held, including the 1937 event where Carole was nominated for “My Man Godfrey” the year before.

This morning, I needed a haircut to face the world (or apartment supervisors), so I looked for a place, and found the Visage Aveda salon. Men’s haircuts, regularly $40, were now $25, so I thought I’d take advantage of a bargain.

I got the haircut, but first waited for a charming lady originally from the Midwest, now living in Uruguay, while she got a pedicure and manicure. Then I was serviced, and the staff did a superlative job. Now, shorn of once-shaggy locks, it’s time for me to look for am apartment. Again, wish me luck.


carole lombard 07

Greetings from LA (again)

Posted by vp19 on 2014.05.11 at 18:32
Current mood: amusedamused

I have returned to Los Angeles to resume my apartment search; that’s the good news. The bad news is that my hotel, while wonderful (the room features a refrigerator and freezer, great for an insulin-storing diabetic), lacks wi-fi, and thus I’m typing this entry on one of two hotel computers; the other is as slow as molasses and features a mouse with a broken ball.The flights (I changed planes in Detroit) were comfy, and the Flyaway bus from LAX arrived at Union Station just as I was listening to Hanley Ramirez homer with two out in the ninth to tie the arch-rival Giants — and quite a few fans that already had boarded the Dodger Stadium express buses to Union Station were waiting to go home. (Were their parents among those who left Chavez Ravine early when Kirk Gibson homered off Dennis Eckersley in game one of the 1988 World Series? Check a video of that moment and you’ll see plenty of tail-lights in the outfield parking lots.) It serves them right that San Francisco scored three runs in the top of the 10th to win 7-4 and take three of four in the weekend series. (It’s a great time to be a SoCal sports fan, as the Clippers waged a phenomenal comeback to beat Oklahoma City and tie their best-of-seven series at 2-2. That’s the same status as the first-ever Kings-Ducks playoff series, in which the visiting team has won all four games. Game five is in Anaheim Monday.)

Carole Lombard’s mural greeted me at the Union Station Metro stop, and I hope she brings me luck this time as I seek a place to call home in her hometown. The search begins tomorrow, and I’ll keep you posted. Please send good vibes my way.

Oh, and happy Mother’s Day, while I still can say it. This is my first Mother’s Day without my mom, and I miss her.

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Posted May 18, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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