Sad to hear the news that Sir Roger Moore passed away. My first recollections of Sir Roger are from watching the TV show "The Saint" with my Dad. We both liked the show quite a bit. And of course years later he became James Bond in the movies. Like most fans I saw all twelve of his Bond movies. I guess my favorite s "The Spy Who Loved Me"
All the talk about James Bond in the wake of Sir Roger's death reminded me of a Valley memory from the 1960's. I forget the year now but it was during the Sean Connery era. A car dealer, I think it was on Van Nuys Blvd but I am not sure, had the Aston Martin from the movie Goldfinger. I haven't checked but there might have been more than one used for the movie. Either way it was a Bond car.
My Dad and I always went to see the latest James Bond picture. Along with the Matt Helm series with Dean Martin and James Coburn in the Flynn Series.
I remember I got a James Bond briefcase for Christmas one year. Along with 007 powder and cologne. I wish I still had those. Somewhere I have a picture of me with the briefcase gun. But I still have the memories.
I read that Sir Roger said his career after Bond was not as successful as Sean Connery's. He said Connery was a better actor. He sells himself short. Moore was fun to watch, entertaining and a decent actor. Be it a TV show or a film, he helped take you away from the world for a few hours. That is a great service and contribution. I wish more actors would realize this and just act and not try to save the world. I have one Moore movie and it is not a Bond picture but Moore in "Sherlock Holmes in new York". I think I will go watch it now. RIP
Last week I was talking to an old friend when the subject of the infamous Los Angeles club called "The Hung Jury" came up. I met her back in the 1980's. She was a fountain of interesting information, much of it sex related. Yeah I was young and I might have had an inordinate amount of interest in the subject. She told me about the club and her experiences with it. She even gave me a newsletter from the club. As I recall the club was based in North Hollywood. Hence the Valley connection. The club was dedicated to men whose appendage was at least 8". Men and women belonged. There was a mistress of measurement who made appointments to verify a guys claims before he was able to join the club.
Since we spoke last week I checked out the internet and there is very little on the club and its founder Sam Frank (Real name?). I did find this YouTube entry below.
Years later I worked at a place that was two doors down from the Sex toy company Doc Johnson. Also in North Hollywood. The Valley's reputation might have been as a dull sprawling suburban place but it's place in the sex industry is and may still be legendary. I also worked at at another place in Canoga Park that was right near an office/studio for Larry Flynt (Hustler Magazine). I used to see models in the parking lot when I drove by on the way to work. I was not a fan of the man or his magazine so I never checked it out.
In a past post I mentioned that i used to work a few doors down from Frank Zappa's "Joe's Garage" recording studio. I neglected to mention another work neighbor a few doors down in the other direction, across the street from where I worked. The business is called "Doc Johnson" They are one of the main manufacturers of Dildos and sex toys.
Their first shift go to work early as we did. We would watch the neighborhood women walk to work on many mornings. being an almost all guy work environment where I worked I will spare you all the jokes and remarks.
One day years ago Doc Johnson had a fire or some kind of accident, I forget exactly what now. The result was the small street we all shared was flooded with latex and other materials used in the manufacture of dildos.
Of course we had a copy of their catalog. It usually surfaced when we explained to a new employee what Doc Johnson was.
At that time you could go over to their small showroom and purchase their products. No one there ever did, or admitted they did. Once in a while a well known porn star would arrive at Doc Johnson. They were there so they could make a mold of their prominent endowment. Word always got around the neighborhood.
The following picture is courtesy of Tom Cluster, Valerio Street Elementary student from 1955 to 1958. Tom also attended Robert Fulton JHS from 1958 to 1961. Tom says Valerio and Fulton were adjacent (7426 Kester) to each other. The picture below is from Valerio's first year at its new location, 15035 Valerio.
In the staff picture below principal James Harris is in the middle of the top row. Carl Lipari is a 5th grade teacher immediately behind the sign in front and Evelyn Mrgudic a 6th grade teacher is at the far right on the top row.
56 years ago this month we arrived in Van Nuys CA from Wayne (Detroit) Michigan. Already gone Hollywood with the shades and hat. 13760 Sherman Way. The Apartment building is still there last time I checked Google street view. The red house in the background is long gone. As is the '59 Plymouth.
Van Nuys and Valley Connections:
Hazeltine Ave. Elementary School, Cohasset Street Elementary School, Robert Fulton JR. High School
Birmingham High School, Los Angeles Valley College, Van Nuys Demolay, Butler Brothers Department Store, Nahas Department Store, Builders Emporium Reseda, Black & Decker, Makita USA, GM Mupro North America, West Coast Mgr Teal Corp.