Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Peek into Hollywood: Made for TV

Marie Osmond-Grand Marshal
Marine Corps Color Guard from San Diego
Living here in Los Angeles brings the Hollywood Scene rather close and personal, so I decided to peek inside. The 80th Anniversary Hollywood Christmas Parade was the perfect opportunity. This parade is televised every year and being behind the scenes and sitting in the grandstand, of which there was a price, was a treat. The grand stand is the audience for this televised event. The other option is to be lined up along the streets hoping you can see over those that so often ease their way in front of you.[/caption] Marie Osmond was the 2011 Grand Marshal, but in light of the political climate, the Marine Corp Band from San Diego was the real highlight at the start of the parade.   Marie may be a celebrity, but these Marines were the true stars, the true heroes, and I think that they could feel the love from the crowd, by the standing ovation from the band stand and the cheers from the crowds on the street demonstrated that love and gratitude. The band was led by the Marine Corps Color Guard also from San Diego, California.  ColorGuard from San Di

Kate Linder, Daniel Goddard, and Christian LeBlanc from The Young and The Restless
Laura McKenzie and Eric Estrada
 Erik Estrada and Laura McKenzie were the parade hosts, these  two introduced all of the parade participants to TV land  and to us in the bandstand. It was an experience that I will never forget.  Listening to the two of them repeatedly read the teleprompter was disappointing and embarrassing. These re-takes added time to our sitting there waiting for the parade to continue, while they got it right for the cameras.  Many of those sitting around me were shocked because more is expected from  these trained professionals.  This is what they do for a living so the lack of preparation was shocking.  At one point I was beginning to wonder if Erik Estrada could read at all, he had to repeat three sentences from the teleprompter 12 times before getting it right.
Elmo's Handlers
         There were so many politicians in the parade until it started to feel like a rally.  Appreciating the mayor of the city is one thing but there was one councilman who picked up his mike to speak and I felt like I was on the campaign trail.  It was quite annoying and really showed me just how phony Hollywood is.   The first time seeing a 6 foot balloon reminded me of all the years I watched the Macy’s Parade on television.  Looking down and seeing the red carpet laid out in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard along with the warm temperature reminded me that I was in California     

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. and Judith Hill
Vivica Fox looking stunning in Pink
 Judith Hill is the singer that was hand selected by Michael Jackson to be a part of his last World Tour, but with his sudden passing she performed at his memorial service.  In the car with her is Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. from Americas Got Talent.  They performed a compelling duet. The power in these two voices was captivating.                   

Friday, December 9, 2011

Westward Migration

Finally I worked my way to the Autry Museum and it was well worth it. I have been fascinated with the natural landscape of California every since I arrived here.
This exhibit shows the importance of the contribution of women in the development of the west along with many African Americans. There was something that I read in the museum's brochure about a female doctor named Justina Ford. Dr. Justina Laurena Warren Ford was the first African American female doctor in Colorado, and was still the only female African American doctor there when she died in 1952. She demonstrates perseverance and dedication to her dream as many pioneers have and did not let the obvious roadblock deter her. Her home in Denver has been moved from its original location, and is now the home of the Black American West Museum. I was quite surprised in the number of African American Cowboys there were in thiswestward migration. I  now realize that one-third of the cowboys were black. They had established all black townships, and owned a great deal of prime real estate. Information that is not in our history text books. It make me angry that so much of our history is omitted as though it is not American History. There is also a beautiful exhibit throughout of the American Indian and their contribution to the westward migration of the cowboy. There are more photos of the exhibits here.