Upon awakening my first day in Hollywood, I did not even see this sad environment I was in. I only had one thing in my mind, most see everything — I must first get to know this city. So I put on some makeup and out the door I went! I walked and walked, and found myself not too far from Fairfax and Santa Monica Blvd. I kept on walking, and soon the passing cars honked their horns, men offering to pick me up. I totally ignored them and kept on walking until I got to La Brea and Hollywood Blvd, then to Sunset and La Brea. I kept on going west ( “go west young men” –I remember that from the western movies) so it looked prettier as I went west. The east looked poorer, and soon there they were all the hand prints of all the stars that I grew up with on my youth and dreams, in the sidewalk in Hollywood Blvd.!
I remembered the swing where I played as a child, imagining that I was already n Hollywood and meeting all those stars – Victor Mature, Errol Flynn, Barbara Streisand , Greta Garbo, Lucille Ball, Dean Martin– all those big stars from the 30s 40s- and 50s, and down there there are their hand and footprints! I stood in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater and just loved i ,. I am here now I scrammed my feet are stepping in their prints, but very carefully with love, I am finally here!
I kept on walking until night foll, I don’t even remember how I got back to the hotel. I only knew I needed to sleep! On the second day I took a bus tour to go on a reconnaissance of the whole city and find a more beautiful place to live. I was still spending the 1000 dollars William gave me and I had my morocotas of gold; now they could be of use if I needed to sell them.
Ah, now I can see, some beautiful places! Santa Monica Blvd. goes all the way to the Ocean Wow! Well, it is not so pretty, is totally different from the tropical Caribbean that I grow up with. There is no natural palm trees, the sand is coarse not fine and white, the color of the water is so different, it look to me almost dirty! Aaaaaaaaand this is the Ocean of the Pacific, that people back east and all around the country brag about and glorify? Saying your are lucky to go to California, the beaches are great , so beautiful!.. Well, it is still water an ocean and I needed the ocean, just to look at that immensity and infinity, and feel that space of freedom.
The bus was going on and on with no stops, so people can’t get out wherever they want; to get out they must go back to where they started the tour. I too could not get out where I wanted, as we passed by Wilshire Blvd. But at the railroad track the bus had to stop and open the doors . “Now we are entering Beverly Hills “ said the voice on the speaker. And what a beautiful street!, Linden Drive! So now, as the bus opens the door (I was sitting on the front row) with no hesitation I just jumped out and went away, with the driver screaming. at me no come back, I just turned around and said “no speak ingles thank you goodbye” and went on down that lovely street with trees. After I walked about half of block, I saw a little sign stuck in the ground, “apartment for rent.” It was a typical Californian court yard, with grass and flower plantings and a little fence. It was a two story apartment building around the nice water fountain on the center of it. O I love it, how much will it cost? I will just ask the manager, but how will I understand everything? We’ll see!
In no time I had paid for the telephone electric deposit, with that money William gave me, and I even had money left to go shopping. Just half a block down was the gorgeous Catholic school; I thought, this is great for my niece Vera, and there are stores in Wilshire Blvd. Rodeo Dr. was just 2 and half blocks away (of course I did not know what it was or meant?) sins for hiring people, were every where for the holiday season! This was September of 1960, and Hollywood was full of stars– Elvis , Marilyn, Elizabeth, everybody lived here in Beverly Hills or in Bel Air. And now me!