"From the Desert to the Sea, to All of Southern California." - Jerry Dunphy

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Bachelor in Paradise Film Locations

Bachelor in Paradise was a Bob Hope vehicle from 1961 in which he played an author doing research for a book on the love life's of American's in suburbia. It's a typical Bob Hope movie full of gags and off hand remarks. Lana Turner co-stars as his love interest.

What is of interest to me are the film locations. The movie was shot around the San Fernando Valley. In the movie Hope is set up in a new housing development which is actually in Woodland Hills. I believe it is just west of Topanga Blvd. in the foothills. I used to have the address but can't find it now. Locations also included the Corbin Bowl on Ventura Blvd. and a Hughes Market at 8231 Woodman Ave. in Panorama City. For those familiar with that area it is across the street from Kaiser. It is no longer a Hughes market but the building is still there. The scenes shot inside the store are a trip down memory lane for those of us who grew up in the 60's.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Frank Sinatra Jr. Kidnapping, a Valley Connection

The Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Saturday December 14, 1962 reports two big news stories. The first about the Baldwin Hills Dam break and the other reporting details of the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. The latter is our concern for this post.

December 8, 1963 Frank Sinatra Sr. received a call at the Harrah's Club Motel in Stateline Nevada that his son, 19 year old Frank Sinatra Jr. had been kidnapped from Harrah's Lake Tahoe by 2 men and being held for $240,000 in ransom. Sinatra Sr. returned home to his ex-wife's house in Los Angeles where negotiations were arranged between the FBI and the kidnappers. During negotiations Sinatra Jr. was being held at a house in Canoga Park California at 8143 Mason Ave. (The house pictured above is as it appears today with Google Street view). It was decided a courier would be sent to Los Angeles International Airport. The courier chosen was an FBI agent. At the airport telephone booth the agent was instructed to proceed to a service station about 8 miles from the airport. The FBI agent left the ransom money at the service station and the kidnappers were captured two days later.

For more details on the story follow this link: http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/gangsters_outlaws/outlaws/frank_sinatra_jr/1_index.html

Monday, March 22, 2010

1962 North Hollywood Plane Crash

December 14, 1962, North Hollywood CA. A plane belonging to the freight airline Flying Tiger Line crashes in North Hollywood, East of Laurel Canyon between Vose Street on the north and Hart Street on the south. The investigation found that the pilot had a heart attack and slumped over onto the controls on the final approach to Burbank airport.

My Dad worked for Flying Tiger Line and that night he was playing cards with a co-worker. I remember them hearing the news and going out to the crash site. Years later I went to work for a company on Vose Street just a few feet from the crash site. Vose is right under the landing path to Burbank airport. The first few weeks I was there I would flash back to that night every time I saw or heard a jet on final approach.

One day I was talking to a co-worker and we started talking about the airplanes overhead and I related my story of the crash to him. He told me his father had also driven out to the crash sight. That night when his Dad returned home from the crash sight he died of a heart attack.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Brady, Blake and North

Friends and relatives who came to visit were always surprised by the location of famous TV and movies sites. Everyone thought the Brady Bunch house was in the hills when in actuality it is north of the Hollywood Hills which are north of it. If you head west on the same street about 7 1/2 blocks you arrive at the infamous Mata Hari Ranch, the former home of actor Robert Blake. The house is now gone but I used to drive by it on the way to visit a friend who lived a few doors down from it. And next door to my friend lived the mother of actor Jay North of Dennis the Menace fame.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Builders Emporium

Radio Rat just sent me a group of pictures of Lancaster Ca in the past. This picture caught our attention as it shows a Builders Emporium Hardware store in Lancaster. Radio Rat and I worked at Builders over the years. There are not a lot of images online of any of the old stores. Radio Rat has shared his Builders experiences in an older post on this blog. His Mom worked there for many years. We have joined a Facebook group for former Builders employees. We hope to see you there.