Monday, October 19, 2020
Sunday, September 6, 2020
As always, we try to address the most pressing issues of our day: world hunger, global warming--and today, the location of Roddy McDowall's beach house.
To cut to the chase, 23560 Malibu Colony Road.
In 2011, several home movies shot by Roddy McDowall at his beach house in 1965 were uploaded to YouTube. They featured stars like Paul Newman, Natalie Wood, Rock Hudson, Judy Garland, and Julie Andrews.
But searching for the address of the beach house on Google always comes up empty.
So I viewed each of the videos to see if I could figure out where the house was.
First clue, of course, was Malibu. And it was directly on the sand.
Second clue was that several of the home movies included shots from the beach itself. Looking west, a continuation of houses along a curving sandy cove, eventually to a point of land jutting out to the south. No pier in sight, by the way. And no Point Dume in the background.
This narrowed the search to essentially two spots in Malibu where the land curves into a cove, and where there is no pier and no Point Dume.
Possibility #1 would've been on Malibu Road just east of Corral State Beach. However, (1) the video clearly shows houses stretching all the way around the cove, and there are few houses along Corral Beach; (2) Roddy's house opens directly onto the beach at sand level, while the houses on Malibu Road tend to be up on stilts; (3) one of Roddy's videos shows the road in front of the house; it is flat on the land side, unlike the hillier Malibu Road.
Which leaves possibility #2: Malibu Colony, also known in the old days as Malibu Movie Star Colony. The houses in the distance extend all the way along the cove. The houses are close to the sand. And the land to the north is flat.
So Roddy's house was likely located somewhere along Malibu Colony Road. But where?
The big clue was from a video featuring Julie Andrews and her daughter.
Roddy followed them as they left his house--out onto the street. Looking into the distance, you can't see the end of the road--so it is a ways off.
Julie and her daughter get into their car, which is presumably facing east. She starts the car, then backs up, turns around, and heads west.
That means the only exit was to the west. Which means they were to the east of the main road into the colony.
The best clue comes in the final seconds of the video--a car turning from the main road--the only intersection in the colony!
So Roddy's beach house was likely one of the first three houses east of that road--since replaced with larger houses.
Looking at the Google map, one can clearly see the brown house that Julie walked in front of on the north side of the street, the white picket fence next to it (which now appears to be brick), and the white garage and short driveway in which she turned around (which look exactly the same).
Sunday, July 12, 2020
1. When we went to pick up the rental car, the Hertz agent said, "Is a Mustang convertible okay?"
2. I talked the cop out of a ticket for entering a parking lot through the exit.
3. After I avoided the ticket, instead of being upset, Jo called me a rebel.
4. We went on the same 4-hour hike we went on three years ago for one of our first dates.
5. On the way home, Jo turned on Sirius radio, saw the Elvis station, and said, "Oh, how about this?"
6. On the West Side Highway, around the 95th Street exit, where it says "Bump Ahead," I accelerated and hit it full-speed, and instead of being upset, Jo said, "Weeee!"
7. BBQ takeout.
Thank you, Jo, for accepting me as I am and being a great wife.
Friday, July 3, 2020
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Today's task was to share our favorite quotes. We had everything from the Bible to E.B. White to Winston Churchill to Dr. Seuss to Katy Perry to Jane Austen to Public Enemy.
My choices, on this particular day:
"But it does."
--Galileo, following his apology to the Court of Inquisition for claiming the Earth moves around the Sun
Why I chose it: You can believe anything you want. If you're particularly powerful, you can make others agree with you. But it still doesn't make you right.
"There are 100 billion galaxies, each with, on average, 100 billion stars."
Why I chose it: The universe is really, really big. We are really, really small. That is good to keep in mind.
"A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on."
Why I chose it: The universe may be big, and we may be small. But we are not insignificant. This is not a pitch for having more babies. It's just a pitch for deciding for yourself what is significant about your life, what you've brought to the world, and how the world will be better because of it. You may have a different answer than me. But I have mine.
Thursday, May 7, 2020
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
So 100 orphans, along with 10,000 other Japanese-Americans, were shipped off to the Manzanar internment camp in the middle of the California desert in 1942, where they stayed until the war ended in 1945.
Tonight was a non-writing night, so I spent it reading about the orphanage at Manzanar and looking at photos with tears streaming down my face while my poor wife kept coming over to tell me to stop looking at depressing photos.
There are multiple layers of tragedy here, but there's also love and joy and hope. There are always good humans who find ways to help one another when the world takes a dark turn. I think about how much those people surely meant to these kids who were dealt such a crappy hand--abandoned, unwanted, declared the enemy. Like tiny flowers that bloom in the desert sand, love always finds a way to push forward, bit by bit by bit.