Friday, May 04, 2018

Palooza Pt. 5: Santa Monica History Museum

Saturday morning began with breakfast at Toast Cafe in Hollywood, when I got to meet the newest addition to Kamy & Amanda's household, little Famous. Well, not so little, but still adorable (don't tell Willis I said that).

In a stroke of serendipity on the way home from breakfast I stopped for a quick photo when I noticed this mural of Marilyn Monroe by artist Alec Monopoly. The few unexpected minutes I took doing that caused some memorable encounters.

As I was heading up the stairs to go back to my room at the Chateau Marmont to "freshen up" for an event at the Santa Monica History Museum, a familiar face crossed my path. Shannon Laskey, the author of "Going to…," a series of three books on Disney Theme Parks that use my photographs just happened to have finished brunch at the Chateau with her friend. She calls me the official "Going to Guides" photographer. Although I have never met her and only corresponded with her via email, Shannon was exactly as I had imagined. Sweet, funny, cool, retro, and a blast to hang out with. As she and her friend raved about their brunch and how cool The Chateau was and what they had learned from the girl at the friend desk, I decided to "plus" their day with a personal tour of the property. First off was a visit to Room 33 where I was staying. They immediately fell in love with the retro kitchen.

The well-stocked (and overly-priced) refrigerator. I'm sure that's what the surprise looks were for when they saw what those items were selling for. DON'T TOUCH, LADIES!!!

And then came the moment when I knew Shannon and I were to be good friends. "Hey, would you mind taking a photo of me on your bed?" "Sure...why not?!?"

A trip to the gym up on the 7th floor thrilled them so much they had to call all their friends to tell them about it.

The best part of the tour happened on the elevator as I was escorting them back to their cars. One floor down the elevator stopped and a handsome gentlemen with tousled hair joined us in the cramped space. All four of us were like sardines. I took another look at this new edition and realized it was Matthew McConaughey. The girls were about to burst at the seams, which caused him to flash his trademark dimpled grin and say "You sure can get to know somebody on this elevator...whether you want to or not. Have a good day!" And with that, we parted ways. Yup...serendipity. And then it was off to the Santa Monica History Museum for me to attend a special event in commemoration of what would have been Shirley Temple's 90th Birthday. Of course Melissa (aka "The Colonel") was already there. Here she is posing with David Silverman who went out of his way to make this particular Shirley Palooza extra special.

Before the event began, the press were there to snap photos and get the story behind what was being unveiled for the first time in 80 years that day. In the background, David is presenting Shirley's son, Charles Jr., with his book on the history of the former Temple estate in Brentwood. It is quite a volume!

The tea party at the museum included special Shirley cupcakes and other assorted goodies.

Besides some of the iconic costumes that Shirley wore in her films, like this one from "Stand Up And Cheer"...

there were also some "new" items that I had not seen before, such as the 1 millionth phone from the General Telephone Company of California that was presented to Shirley on May 7, 1959. That's a lot of phones!

Two items that were given as gifts at Shirley's 1938 birthday party included this namesake doll and cool clock which Shirley herself very much coveted!

This vintage photo on display shows Shirley's birthday party from 1939:

In this detailed view, you can see Shirley's stand-in, Mary Lou Isleib, in the front left:

Shirley is barely visible in the very back of the shot:

If you want to know what the big reveal was, you'll have to come back on Monday!

See more Santa Monica History Museum photos at my main website..

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