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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014 3 years ago

Louis Roney: Here and there

I always stayed in the Hollywood Hotel and once had a room looking down from the second floor and on New Years Day could enjoy the whole Rose Bowl Parade from my window.
by: Louis Roney Staff Writer

•Obamacare: “Fathom the odd hypocrisy that Obama wants every citizen to prove they are insured, but people don’t have to prove they are citizens.” — Anonymous ... Great world huh?!

• I don’t know if b.w. is getting bored in her marriage to me, but yesterday she brought home a crossword puzzle book. Anyway, that seems to me to be a bad sign.

• Sent by a patriotic reader: “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency … The problem is deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama who is a mere symptom of what ails America … The USA can survive liar Obama. It is less likely to survive the multitude of those who made him their president.”

• “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” — Thomas Sowell

• What’s in a name? Will the fact that his last name is “Bush” be a positive or a negative influence on the success of a prominent man who may be asked to run for president? What about another “Clinton ” who might/or will run?

• The first movie stars I ever saw up close were Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard when I was on the set of a movie in Hollywood called “Reap The Wild Wind” — a relative-unknown was also in the film, his name was John Wayne.

One summer a friend of mine and I hitchhiked out west and walked all the way up to the top of Pikes Peak: 14,110 feet. We were so dizzy from the altitude that we had to lie down on the ground for about a half hour before we could start back. Soon after that, we walked down into the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We hitchhiked out to Malibu and made a stab for the first time at swimming in the Pacific Ocean. We were used to the water at Daytona and the water at Malibu was so cold that it stopped us at our knees. We went to places in Hollywood like the Brown Derby and Coconut Grove that we had heard about on Louella Parson’s radio show. There was always a scattering of familiar film stars around who were used to being gawked at. Humphrey Bogart was my favorite actor and I saw him fleetingly.

Many years later, when I had become a concert and opera star, I shared a TV interview program with Bogart at the Top Of The Mark in San Francisco. Ditto, with gangster star Edward G. Robinson who had just gone through a disastrous divorce where the court awarded his wife all of his treasured collection of paintings. I surmised that there must be quite a juicy story behind that award.

I always stayed in the Hollywood Hotel and once had a room looking down from the second floor and on New Years Day could enjoy the whole Rose Bowl Parade from my window. Bob Hope once gave me two 50-yard-line tickets to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena where I sat with great singer John Charles Thomas and movie actor Edmond Lowe, the latter of whom I had seen in movies with Victor McLaglen when I was a kid. I also met the seductive Dorothy Lamour, so often in the “Road” movies with Bing and Bob. She sold “sex-appeal,” which was little in evidence at the studio canteen where we had coffee. I wonder if the famous Hollywood studios are still in existence and if many films are still being made there?

Through the years one of my most favorite places to visit was Fort Worth, Texas, where I had gotten to know many friends when I sang opera there, and who entertained me royally. All things human are, alas, temporal, and at my age I discover more and more people that I knew and cherished, have long since passed from the scene.

But it sure was fun.

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