Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Walking Tour, Take 2

After our Jello escapade, Gil and I once again set out on the city streets to take in all the sights, sounds, and wonders. As we paraded ourselves down the very hip and predominant street of the NoHo district, I casually motioned across the street to an empty prommenade. "Gil, what do you suppose that is over there? I've looked at it numerous times . . ."

"Hm. I think it is a movie theatre. Or, a regualer theatre. See the busts? They are probably thespians." he said.
"I agree. I just wonder why they'd have busts sitting out? I mean, from here, it looks like iron horseheads . . .what on earth would they have to do with a theatre?"

"Well, let's go take a look!"

Since I'm all about sluething, I nodded in the affirmative, and off we went ~ to the nearest street corner, complete with a push button to signal our crossing. Keller kicked his feet happily in the stroller, content to be walking in the cool of the day.

What we found was nothing short of astounding. From our original perspective, a chain link fence surrounded the back of the property, and it appeared that the building was shut down, or under some type of construction.
We were completely wrong.

Finally snaking our way to the driveway opening to the theatre, we turned the corner around the building, and about physically fell over, as what we saw knocked our socks off!
Immediately in front of us stood this:

Nah! It couldn't be!!

I circled the statue, in an attempt to wrap my brain around the reality of what I was actually seeing. Up close and personal; totally unexpected:

It was true. The busts that we had seen from across the street (to the reader's right and depicited below the statue above) had been a mere sliver of indication that we were 100 yards from:

and, thus, the home of the Emmy's:

by this time, my mouth was gaping open. From my vantage point in front of the water fountain at the base of the Emmy Statue,

I could turn and look back over my shoulder, to see the neon sign of Aubrey and Israel's studio where they take class.

It befuddled me in a most profound way.

This industry of mystery, which we've since discovered is really discretion and a desire to maintain people's privacy, has imbedded itself into the city in such a way that one who would search for it must indeed dig for it.

Or, as in our case, stumble upon it.


Once I was able to close my jaw, I began wandering the premises. A sense of awe remained with me, as, at almost every frieze, every bust, a series of childhood memories came flooding into my mind's eye.

And, at almost every thought, my memory connected me to my Dad. My journey down memory lane bagan with this man: Alan Alda. Of M*A*S*H* fame (of which my LA journey had already impacted me!) sent me reeling to the nights of programming and reruns. Dad sitting in his recliner or stretched out on the floor; all of us taking in the comedy of the moment, most of it going over my head, while the fluorescent light from the kitchen made a rectangular mark upon the living room carpet.

Then came James Garner. The Rockford Files. Having an eerie similarity in appearance to my paternal lineage, I've always noted JG as a waymarker of sorts growing up.

Yet nothing, oh, nothing, prepared me for the wash of emotion as I walked up to this guy:

The quintessential marker of my Dad's sense of humor. Again, reflecting my Dad in stature, I stood nose to nose with Johnny Carson and wondered . . .how could it be? How could television of an era gone by have had so much impact on how I view my father? Why do I connect so many television actors, stars in their own right, to my upbringing? Specifically to the facial features and mannerisms of my own Dad?

It was uncanny, and intriguing; unexpected, and emotional all in one fell swoop.

Gil and the baby had moved on ahead of me, so as I continued my journey, stopping at each likeness, I allowed the reflection(s) to wash over me one by one.

Mary Tyler Moore.

Dick Van Dyke.

Walter Cronkite.

Barbara Walters.

Michael Landon.

Walt Disney.

Angela Landsbury.

Andy Griffith.

Lucille Ball.

and on, and on, and on.

Gil's voice, calling to me from across the way pierced my introspective solitude. It was time to go, if we were to pick up Aubrey on time. (Heaven forbid I leave her stranded, alone, in the alleyway behind the studio!)

So, a couple of quick pictures, just for good measure. Memories in their own right, completing the remarkable discovery we had just made.

Jim Henson and the Muppets.

George Burns and Gracie Allen.

Hmm. The power of television to shape a generation. A nation.

Food for thought, as the adventure continues . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! What an awesome discovery. :) Thanks for taking pics and sharing.

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