into the canyon, surrounded by the ghosts of Prohibition.

darlings

we had appointments near-the-beach several hours apart from each other yesterday, and, if you know Anything about Traffic in this part of the world (and you are clearly well-informed so probably *nodding* right about now with a sympathetic head-on-the-side-smile which we Do appreciate), it is (downright) Foolish to drive back and forth.

so we stayed.

and hid out in the canyon with a collection of essays by Ms. Marian Keyes (delightful) under the shady caress of a *saidvaguely* very nice set of trees.

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did you notice the sign “Uplifters Ranch”?

well.

There’s a story and no mistake.

The Los Angeles Times has much to say on the subject:

In a corner of Rustic Canyon below where Sunset Boulevard slices past the former estate of Will Rogers, the ranch is a lush, almost rural, residential sanctuary washed by spring fogs and cool ocean breezes.

Its centerpiece, the former clubhouse, with its shaded, plaza-like grounds, has been a park since 1953 when a wealthy socialite bought it from a Greek shipping tycoon and donated it to the city. The tycoon, who had bought the clubhouse from the Uplifters, had tried to operate a private racquet club there after World War II.

The war, growing debts and shifting social attitudes led to the club’s demise in 1947, closing the book on a playground of the privileged, where the right crowd could play polo with Walt Disney and Daryl F. Zanuck or swap yarns with Harold Lloyd and Busby Berkeley.

Today, the ranch remains a haven for writers, actors and others.

Aldous Huxley lived and wrote there for a time. Earl Warren spent his summers there. At different times, Meryl Streep and Wilt Chamberlain rented the same shingled cottage.

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it seems the clubhouse was a place of naughtiness.

during Prohibition.

we will gloss over what might have transpired there (but it probably involved a Toga Party or two – those were Very Big with the boys at our 2nd boarding school in the Upper VI) and it seems even Tarzan himself was often doing laps in the pool (still there, but drained for the *winter* season so we did not take a picture)

The boys played at the stables, flew kites on the polo field, patrolled the creek. And in the afternoons they lolled around the clubhouse pool, where Johnny Weismuller, a.k.a. Tarzan–who lived across the street at 2 Latimer–often swam.

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another resident of the surrounding leafy canyon was the Man from Oz himself, one lady, still living there, remembers this:

Her father, Lloyd Moultrie, was a lawyer whose clients included many of Hollywood’s early stars. Some were regular visitors to the family’s distinctive English-style cottage at 44 Haldeman Road. The first movie she ever saw, a silent version of “The Wizard of Oz,” was projected against a bedsheet in L. Frank Baum’s garage.

“I couldn’t have been more than 3, because I remember toddling up to the screen and trying to grab the little dog, Toto,” she said.

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you can just picture the Toga Parties can’t you?

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so here we sat.

and read for a long while.

while slowly eating a tangerine.

what’s that?

oh!

good point – it’s a public park now, managed by the splendid Parks and Rec people at the County. 

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and then we drove to the Pacific Ocean and stood for the sunset. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand upon returning to teamgloria towers, we *whooped* with joy to find some Post from Abroad (Switzerland, actually – isn’t that glam?)

life really is delicious and Very engaging.

 

7 thoughts on “into the canyon, surrounded by the ghosts of Prohibition.

  1. George Kaplan says:

    Ah, gorgeous sunset. I hope you are enjoying the merriest of Christmases (tho’ not too merry as that can bring on not-so-merry gronky side effects!) and looking forward to a glorious annee nouveau, Mme Sophia.
    Yours, George

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