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Hollywood Boulevard
09-11-2013, 04:35 PM
Post: #1
Hollywood Boulevard
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I've noticed comments at different times here on the forum about Beth Short "prowling" Hollywood Boulevard. I have always felt she was just a kid in a candy shop, enjoying the magic of Hollywood in the post war era. I'm not old enough to remember that time, but I've always felt it was different than the Hollywood of today. I read a book called Hollywood Remembered, by Paul Zollo. It's about the town, not the movie industry.

In the book, Johnny Grant, the Honorary Mayor of Hollywood for many years, said it all went down hill during the hippie era. Grant moved to Hollywood in 1947 and said, "It was a very clean community. No graffiti and that kind of stuff. And safe. You could walk the streets at night with no worry."

Another long time resident, Don Farquhar, was married in Hollywood in 1947. He said, "On a Saturday night my wife and I put the two kids in a stroller, and we'd walk up Wilcox to the Boulevard and we'd walk down to Vine Street, cross the street, go down to Highland, cross the street, and come back and walk back down Wilcox and home. And you never had a problem. You never even expected a problem. You could walk anywhere in those days."

I'll bet Beth felt at home just as she did in Medford. Hollywood was a small town then, friendly and fun to explore.

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09-11-2013, 04:49 PM
Post: #2
RE: Hollywood Boulevard
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I've never said Bette prowled Hollywood but interesting thread. If only streets were safe today.

Elizabeth, Valued member of BDiH since Jan 2013.
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09-11-2013, 07:57 PM
Post: #3
RE: Hollywood Boulevard
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(09-11-2013 04:35 PM)Jorum of skee Wrote: Guests cannot see links in posts.I've noticed comments at different times here on the forum about Beth Short "prowling" Hollywood Boulevard. I have always felt she was just a kid in a candy shop, enjoying the magic of Hollywood in the post war era. I'm not old enough to remember that time, but I've always felt it was different than the Hollywood of today. I read a book called Hollywood Remembered, by Paul Zollo. It's about the town, not the movie industry.

In the book, Johnny Grant, the Honorary Mayor of Hollywood for many years, said it all went down hill during the hippie era. Grant moved to Hollywood in 1947 and said, "It was a very clean community. No graffiti and that kind of stuff. And safe. You could walk the streets at night with no worry."

Another long time resident, Don Farquhar, was married in Hollywood in 1947. He said, "On a Saturday night my wife and I put the two kids in a stroller, and we'd walk up Wilcox to the Boulevard and we'd walk down to Vine Street, cross the street, go down to Highland, cross the street, and come back and walk back down Wilcox and home. And you never had a problem. You never even expected a problem. You could walk anywhere in those days."

I'll bet Beth felt at home just as she did in Medford. Hollywood was a small town then, friendly and fun to explore.

I doubt that Beth was a prowler. And LA back in the pre-hippie days was corrupt and dangerous. It was safe? Ask all the murder victims. Louise Springer, Kerns , Bauerdorff and all those that we have never heard of would not agree that LA was safe. Saying LA was safe is a bit like saying blacks never had much of a problem in the U.S. What those people are talking about is nostalgia for a time that never existed. Just like nostalgia for the "good old days" in the U.S. Good old days if one ignores the lynchings, mobsters, murders, bank robberies, homeless people, assassinations, etc.

BostonRob, Valued member of BDiH since Jun 2012.
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09-11-2013, 08:00 PM
Post: #4
RE: Hollywood Boulevard
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Some streets have always been pretty safe. Others have not. That has been true throughout time. "All streets are safe some of the time. Some streets are safe all of the time. But, all streets are not and never have been safe all of the time." Abraham Lincoln said that.

BostonRob, Valued member of BDiH since Jun 2012.
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09-11-2013, 08:13 PM
Post: #5
RE: Hollywood Boulevard
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Guests cannot see quotes in posts. (09-11-2013 04:49 PM)Elizabeth Wrote: Guests cannot see links in posts.I've never said Bette prowled Hollywood but interesting thread. If only streets were safe today.
Some streets have always been pretty safe. Others have not. That has been true throughout time. "All streets are safe some of the time. Some streets are safe all of the time. But, all streets are not and never have been safe all of the time." Abraham Lincoln said that.
I have to disagree. Hollywood was always a small town up through the 1940's. Los Angeles was the city. My family lived there in Beth's time and talked about how safe it was and how everyone walked around Hollywood after dinner. My aunt worked on the boulevard and walked home after her shop closed at 9 pm. It's not just nostalgia on the part of the old timers.
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09-12-2013, 08:26 AM
Post: #6
RE: Hollywood Boulevard
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I think being "safe" in LA and Hollywood was all a matter of perspective. I do think it was probably safer to a degree in the 40s but you also had the gangland wars during the 50s and obviously the 1949 grand jury report talks about how the city was going to pot, even back then. So its not like violence was non-existent during those years. I'm sure Hollywood was safer for white people back then in general but LA was never the safest place in the world.

Danny, proud to be a member of The Black Dahlia in Hollywood Forum since Jan 2010.
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09-12-2013, 01:08 PM
Post: #7
RE: Hollywood Boulevard
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I think it's important to remember that crime never takes a holiday, but small town living wasn't obsessed with it. Hollywood in the 1940's was a place where people didn't lock their doors when they went to bed. Men tipped their hats and took them off in elevators. Newspaper racks didn't have locks. You simply dropped a nickel into the slot and removed the paper. The honor system was in effect.

Shops offered credit accounts for people without a background check. Renting an apartment did not include first and last months rent and a security deposit. If you knew the local butcher or grocer, he would let you pay when you had the money. Families sat on front porches and talked with neighbors and took a stroll around town after dinner.

Young people went roller skating or played ping pong on weekends. Parents dropped their children off at the Saturday matinee without worry. This was life across America. Including Hollywood.
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09-12-2013, 06:16 PM
Post: #8
RE: Hollywood Boulevard
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That was my life in the '50's. Life was much better back then. My brother and I were dropped off at the Roxy Theatre to watch scary movies all day on a Saturday. Sooo much fun.

sherry, proud to be a member of BDiH since Jan 2012.
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09-12-2013, 06:34 PM
Post: #9
RE: Hollywood Boulevard
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It sounds amazing.

Elizabeth, Valued member of BDiH since Jan 2013.
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09-12-2013, 07:24 PM
Post: #10
RE: Hollywood Boulevard
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I agree with you,sherry.''Life was much better back then''. As baby-boomer, you are lucky! But the society during the '50's was more conservative and rigid...

Larrynice, proud to be a member of BDiH since Mar 2011.
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