November 11, 2006 Veterans Day (U.S.) Memorial Day (U.K.}
November 11th, 2006
Got mentioned today in the Hollywood Reporter discussing the various animated feature films chances for Oscar gold this year. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/features/e3ieS%2F5i28d8%2FvLhllFrZWIvg%3D%3D
Friday Filmmaker Kevin Bash and his family came to the house to interview me for his film about the Hotel Norconian near Palm Springs. The Hotel was one of those grand art deco palace resort hotels, like something out of the Shining. Since it opened in 1929 it hosted many celebrities like Johnny Weismuller, Buster Crabbe and Marge and Gower Champion. They came to talk to me about the famous Walt Disney crew party in June 1938. Many stories were told of the young Disney artists running wild, partying hardy and scandalising the Old Man. One drunken animator brought a horse up to the second floor and galloped down the hallways.
Walt and Lillian Disney checking in
In later years the Hotel Norconian was a military hospital, a Navy weapons stash and now a prison! You can still see the art deco frescos and guilt under the institutional grey paint. Although the building has been declared a monument, no attempt so far has been made at restoration.
Kevin Bash is on a one man crusade to bring attention to this lost piece of Hollywood history by making a documentary and book about the hotel. We wish him all the luck. If you know anything about the Norconian or have any anecdotes about it or the Disney party, please contact me and I'll pass it on to Kevin.
Birthdays: Abigail Adams, Alexander Borodin, Fyodor Doestoyevsky, Gen.George “Blood & Guts” Patton, Pat O’Brien, Kurt Vonnengut, Rene Clair, Carlos Fuentes, Jonathan Winters, Stubby Kay, Calista Flockhart, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore is 44, Leonard DiCaprio is 32
Today in the Middles Ages this was "Martinmass" the feast of St. Martin of Tours, patron saint of France.
1918- ARMISTICE DAY- World War One ended. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the guns of the Great War fall silent. It sounds poetic but it was just a coincidence, the opposing sides had been negotiating since the 8th.In a strange kind of salute when the word went down the battlelines that the ceasefire would take effect at 11:00AM, one minute before thousands of cannons on both sides fired one last round simultaneously. One German machine gunner fired his last belt of ammunition at the allied trenches, stood up in front of everyone, bowed like an actor, then turned and walked away.
This also marks the turning point of the old world into the Twentieth Century: ethnic republics and socialist states arose out of dying monarchies. The British and French colonial empires were fatally wounded. Independence desires stirred in 3rd world colonies and the United States became a major global power and world financier. Soldiers came home speaking of Screaming Mimies, shellshock and wearing trenchcoats, as Thomas Burberry’s rainproof overcoat became known in the trenches. Meteorologists would from now on refer to large weather patterns as Fronts, from the days when weather predictions effected military planning.
1925- Louis “Sachmo” Armstrong did the first recordings of his band the Hot Five. These records lift him from a local talent in Chicago and New Orleans to international stardom.
1926- Route 66, the first interstate highway built for automobiles in the U.S. is started. (it will get finished in 1932) The World's first road exclusively for automobiles was opened in 1927, the Via Fiore Imperiale in Rome.
1938- The first day of shooting on the film 'The Wizard of Oz". Judy Garland met 125 little people hired to be the Munchkins. Judy's energy was fading under the heavy work schedule so L.B. Mayer ordered her put on Benzadrine (speed) every morning and Valium pills to sleep. June Alysson, another young MGM actress at the time said: "The studio nurse would give it to you and tell you it was vitamins." Judy Garland became a heavy drug addict and died of an overdose in 1969 at 47 years old.
1940- The Birth of the Jeep. The army introduces its first General Purpose vehicle-G.P. or Jeep, a name coinciding with a character in E.C. Segar's Popeye cartoons.
1941- On the night before mobster Abe Reles, alias Kid Twist, was due to testify what he knew of the Mafia, he was thrown out of a Coney Island hotel window to his death. He was under Federal protection but, in 1962, Joe Valachi testified mobster Frank Costello had raised $100,000 to bribe the cops to do the deed themselves. A popular toast around Brooklyn those days was: “ Here’s to Abe Reles, a canary who could sing but not fly.”
1978- The renovated Hollywood Sign is unveiled. The second O was paid for by rock star Alice Cooper in memory of his idol Groucho Marx.
1980- 'Heaven's Gate" Michael Cimino's $44 million dollar flop opened. Cimino originally said he could do the film for $8 million. Critic Pauline Kael said: "It's the kind of movie you want to deface. You want to draw mustaches all over it."