Tag Archives: Beverly Hills

Old Guy Memory:When Liz Taylor Cussed At Me

Wouldja believe it? I infuriated Liz Taylor! It happened in opulent Beverly Hills in the mid-1950s, a wild encounter with glamorous movie star. Before I explain, let me tell how that shocking incident happened.

After Navy service in World War II and college, I’d just completed two more active duty Korean War years. A native of Philadelphia, I hated the lousy weather there, so I opted to find a job in sunny Southern California. I was hired by the Beverly Hills Citizen newspaper, now long gone. It was owned by Will Rogers Jr., and he was turning it from a weekly freebee to a daily afternoon subscription newspaper to be delivered by local kids.

When on active Navy duty, I’d been earning more than $200 a week, plus free food and lodging. This job paid $75, with no benefits. In addition to covering news events, one of my duties was hiring delivery boys.

The subscription cost customers $30 a month, and the kids got $10. I visited wealthy Beverly Hills families to make pitches for Junior to do after-school deliveries. After being admitted to the home, sometimes by the butler, I had to convince rich Mom and Dad that it wasn’t the money. Junior would get valuable business training for when he grew up to be a movie mogul like dear old dad.

One day, after some parent interviews, I was driving in a section of Beverly Hills where new houses were under construction. I saw one that would soon become a beautiful mansion, but so far mostly just wooden framing. Curious, I parked on the driveway and strolled through the open first level.

After a minute or two, I was startled by a very loud, shrill voice from behind me. “What the hell are you doing here?” I turned to see a small woman. She was wearing a head scarf and big dark sunglasses, but as a movie buff, I immediately recognized the Liz Taylor voice and figure. It seemed to be her reciting Maggie the Cat screeching at husband Brick in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Remember?

When I just stood there confused, Liz took off the sunglasses and flashed those famous violet eyes at me. Another angry outburst. “What business do you have in my house, you son of a bitch?” I managed a few confused “Uhs …” and “Ohs …,” but couldn’t say anything intelligent. I tried to smile, but it made her even more furious.

“If you don’t get your sorry ass off my property right now, I’m calling the police!” she hissed. With as much dignity as I could muster, I backed away, fell over some boards, got back up and staggered down the driveway to my car.

After returning to the office, I was told she had surprised trespasser me at her soon-to-be new home with then-husband Mike Todd. He produced the original “Around the World in 80 Days” movie in 1956. He died several years later in a plane crash, and Elizabeth Taylor sailed on through her brilliant career … and another four husbands.

Los Angeles CA: Most Homeless City In The USA

Just a short distance from the posh beaches of Malibu, glittering streets of Hollywood and rich mansions of Beverly Hills, more than 5,000 homeless live on the sidewalks of Los Angeles.

I see the wanderers on daily walks along busy Santa Monica Avenue, where they trod east to downtown LA or west to Pacific Ocean beaches. At night they rest on the sidewalks, on park benches, and in makeshift tents.

Many of the homeless are veterans, some from the most recent wars in the Middle East, as well as elderly vets of earlier wars. Wouldn’t it be a happy miracle if our government decided to spend less money preparing for the next war, and use it to to decare war on the poverty in its streets.

Photo Essay Of My Wandering Day In May

Along with shoppers, tourists, families, pets and strollers, I encounter others on my daily wanderings through West Hollwyood. Along the sidewalks, just a few city blocks from the glamorous Sunset Strip and posh Beverly Hills, there are the wanderers. Carrying everything they own, they stop to rest and hope kindhearted passers-by will offer cash.

Of course, the money may be used to buy booze and drugs. But maybe some will provide meals or a safe place to spend the night.

My Roaming Camera Captures Sad Scenes

Just steps away from the glamorous Sunset Strip and wealthy Beverly Hills mansions, these wanderers attempt to find peaceful places to rest on their endless journeys. If you’re considering volunteer work, spend some time with lost souls who need your encouragement and compassion.

Hints for helpers: your local church, Salvation Army, Red Cross, homeless shelter, HUD Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS).

Beverly Hills CA: Nate’n Al’s Deli To The Stars

No, no, there are no monsters in the eatery that’s famous for it’s monstrous corned beef on rye sandwiches. It happened in the early 1950s when your now-elderly travel4seniors.com editor wrote for the Beverly Hills Citizen daily.

I lunched there regularly with other writers, and sometimes the big guy in the photo joined us. The scene depicts young James Arness made up for his movie part as a space creature. He showed up suddenly one day in full make-up and scared the hell out of the deli diners. Later, of course, he became famous as Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke.

At the time, the deli’s famed corned beef on rye cost $1.95. Today the huge sandwich is a bargain for $20. Also, then my weekly editor’s check was for $75, and Jim Arness, fresh out of the Army, was a member of the 52-20 Club. Translated: newly-released GIs were paid $20 a week for a year to help them get started in civilian life.

A short list of the many celebs who dined at the deli include Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle, Carol Channing, Groucho Marx, Doris Day, Jay Leno, Tony Curtis and Larry King. Frank Sinatra was there shooting deli scenes for his movie, Pal Joey, in 1957.

If your travels take you to or near Beverly Hills, stop by for a delicious breakfast, lunch or whatever. Nate’n Al’s Deli, 414 N. Beverly Dr. nateenal.com