Hollywood Walk of Fame

Day Two- Olvera Street

 

 

 

 After the reception, we went up to our hotel room and rested.  I blew up my air mattress and luxuriated on it.  Pat, Ginger, Kel and Lise decided to go a bit earlier than the group that was leaving at six.  The six o'clock group was going to get there just in time for dinner at seven, but several others wanted to go earlier to shop on Olvera Street.  I had planned on waiting for the later group to give my poor mistreated back a bit more rest, but by the time the others had gotten ready, I felt rested and thought a ride in Ginger's car would be better than a ride in the Metro. 

 

                                       Looking toward the older part of downtown.  Those baby boomers amongst us will recognize that one building from the old Dragnet series.

 


With me as the navigator, (oh, oh, is anyone out there cringing at that phrase?), we headed to downtown Los Angeles.  Like New York earlier this summer, I was fascinated by this glimpse of something that seemed almost otherworldly.  The buildings grew taller, the streets more confusing, but when we arrived at the Olvera Street area, it was like a time machine had been set up in the middle of an urban explosion.  We parked in a lot nearby and journeyed to the tiny piece of Los Angeles history, walking through the courtyard of an old church.  Candles sat outside the doors, messages were posted on wooden boards, and a sign in front of the church gave some history to this center of the old pueblo.  We crossed the street and across from a group of huge old trees lay the center of the city.  Olvera Street is blocked off to traffic; it is strictly a walking street, where vendors have set up their wares in stalls.  We saw others who had also come early.

 

 Such a charming place this was.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  (Thursday evening.)

 

This is looking down the closed off streets.  There are stalls on both sides, along with restaurants and a few historical buildings.

 

 

The first stall I saw was the most intriguing.  It was a leather shop and the smell was so very heady.  There is nothing like the smell of new leather. (My mother's hobby was working with leather.) They had belts and purses, hats and key chains.  I saw a fox on a belt buckle and had a sudden whim to get it.  Of course, I had to get a belt to go with it.  I had never bought a belt buckle before and, uninitiated as I was, I had to have the young man put it together for me.  I loved it.                                           

I found the old buildings on either side of the 'street' charming.  Other vendors were selling dresses, and jewelry, toys and scarves, candy and boots.  There were some absolutely exquisite outfits, but they were a bit rich for my blood.  I looked some more before realizing the time and hurrying to the restaurant where everyone had gathered along five or six long tables.     The Golondrina restaurant was in one of the oldest buildings in Los Angeles.  In fact I think someone mentioned it was the oldest brick building in the old pueblo.  (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)   It was crowded and I kept wondering if  the outside customers thought there was some kind of family reunion going on.  I guess in a way it was a family reunion.

 

 

Dinner was superb, but I got so involved with visiting and with the 'floor show' that I didn't finish and they took it away when I wasn't looking. I was too excited to mind.  A guitarist, who played beautifully, serenaded us while we ate.  Then the real excitement began.  BarBara Luna, Wendell Vega and Jeff Sutherland came out on a little stage in front of our dining area and performed something akin to the tamale scene on one of the Zorro episodes.  Jeff Sutherland is a local radio or TV talk show host and played an alcalde.  Wendell played a Corporal Reyes type and BarBara was Teresa, still brash, bold and vivacious.  And when she was in dire straights, who should come to help her, but Zorro!        

 

 

 

 

A scene from the entertainment.   Guy, jr. as Zorro, is fighting a lancer, (played by Wendell Vega) to save the lovely Teresa, (played by BarBara Luna).

 

Wendell, had practiced with Guy, jr. for a few days previous to this event and he was super.  It was as though they had been doing this for years, not just days.  Jeff lent a very credible air to the arrogant alcalde and, of course, Zorro saved the day.  I must admit, Guy has his father's flair.  He learned well from Guy, and the same dash and fire was there.  I was so grateful to them all for providing this entertainment for us.  Wendell showed us the Z 'carved' onto the seat of his pants and everyone rolled with laughter.             

 

      

 

Then Guy, jr. let everyone come up on stage to have pictures made.  Most took advantage of it.  I thank Ginger for being my picture taker. The group shot was an exercise in 'close encounters.'  How do you get so very many people up there on a stage that small?  Very carefully.  Poor Ginger just about killed herself tripping over my big fat shoes, but we all made it.    As we finished, the man who had made the paper that we have seen in pictures, proclaiming Guy's hiring as Zorro, was there with reprints of the same paper.  He sold them, with the proceeds going to the star fund.   Olvera Street was just another addition to an already joy saturated day, one that began wonderfully and continued to awe me.  We got back to the hotel and collapsed, to try and sleep and rest for our next excursion the next day.....

 

 

  Two pictures of all of us together at the Golondrina restaurant.  It was quite a night. 

 

 

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