It smelled different. It felt different.
I felt at home.
Dad was living in an apartment at – I will remember the address forever – 7267 Hollywood Boulevard.
Peyton Hall was a lovely garden apartment property at the corner of Hollywood and Fuller, just west of La Brea Avenue. It featured beautifully manicured sprawling grounds and walkways, interspersed by white bungalow-style buildings boasting four units each. I don’t remember if every building had the same layout. I don’t think so because some units were singles – bed-and-bath affairs – and I assume there were two-bedroom units available. Dad’s place was a one-bedroom.
His rent? $225 per month.
Just up Fuller was the parking garage. It seemed ancient to a ten-year-old – like it could have been an old stable or something. I could imagine early-model cars parked there back in the day, way older than my dad’s 1967 Chevy Impala. According to an ad I found online, a parking attendant once worked in there.
I thought his Impala was ancient, too, but it was only seven model years old. What a difference a little perspective makes…
Behind the garage was an Olympic-sized pool, said to have been built for aquatic MGM star Esther Williams. The pool was a huge feature at Peyton Hall. It was textured with small square tiles, most light blue and some black to mark the lanes.
Even as a youngster, the magic of the place was not lost on me. It was palpable.
Strolling east down Hollywood Boulevard was a journey of discovery for me and for my brother. This was a world we had not known in Miami, although that place, especially Coconut Grove, holds an altogether different treasure trove of memories.
Bookstores like Bennett’s, Cherokee Bookshop, Pickwick Books and Bond Street Books were awesome places to score old comics, lobby cards, posters and even slightly used shooting scripts. The movie theaters were mind-blowing – the Chinese, the Egyptian, the Cinerama Dome on Sunset…
Swimming in that awesome pool and being shushed by McLean Stevenson…
And the sign: “We don’t swim in your toilet. Please don’t pee in our pool…”
More to come.
If you enjoy stuff like this, be sure to check out the podcast I have with my twin brother, Chris – The Yale Brothers Podcast.