My first glimpse of her is someone with class. She is elderly and I will find out later is in her late 80's. I love this woman from the first time I lay my eyes on her and know she will be fun if nothing else. Her husband was a producer in the early days of Hollywood and died about fiteen years prior to her coming to see me.
She did not appear to have much money, but appearances can be deceiving. She truly seemed to be the definition of old money at least as it applies to LA. She had enough interest coming in to pay for the necessities of life and did not need to sell off anything to keep going.The reason she came to my office was because of a neighbor.
Let's call the woman L for lovely. L had been living in the same house for almost sixty years. It was built at a time where the houses and lots were still large and for the first 40 years she lived there, she had only two different families living next door. In the past twenty years, the house next door had changed hands more frequently, but still was fairly stable until J moved in which was about a year before L came to me.
J had made a bunch of money on a dot com and was trying to get in the movie business. He was flashy and obnoxious and basically just an arrogant ass. Shortly after his moving in next door, he paid L a visit and basically demanded that she sell him her house and lot because he had big plans and needed more space. He wanted to tear down her house and expand his house. He acted as if he expected her to just jump up and down and say yea!!, Mister I have been waiting for someone to come along and buy me out from my house. Instead she treated him with respect but basically told him to kiss off and that she was not selling.
Well, Mr J, did not appreciate being said no to, and decided to scare L out of her house. He first began hosting parties that lasted well into the night and made sure to be as loud as possible, as late as possible. He had his guests park on the street in front of L's home and basically tried to make her life a living hell. This behavior went on for almost six months every night. Seriously, he took off like 10 nights over the 6 month period but otherwise just kept repeating this behavior every night.Remarkably, L did not call the police to report the noise, although other more distant neighbors would from time to time call to report the noise.
J managed to find L's phone number and would call her repeatedly day and night. Now obviously much of this came from L, but she told me she answered everyone of his calls when she was home. She did not have an answering machine or voice mail, and did not even have call waiting. She did not want to inconvenience her friends by leaving the phone off the hook, or by changing her number. She had the same number forever and so no reason to change now. Could I fall more in love with this woman?
At least once a day, J would come by L's house (maybe he should have got a job) and harrangue her in person, and she remained her calm, dignified self and would always invite him into her home and even offer him coffee or a drink depending on his time of visit. L refused to drink before 5pm. When L was relating this story, I could see the twinkle in her eye as she was relating it, but she never really let me into what J's reaction was to this class and dignity everyday. I am sure there must have been days when he was in a rage and sometimes he must have just been confused.
This same pattern continued until about two weeks before she came into my office. Then one day, J went over to L's house and simply said that someone had contacted the real estate agent he had used to purchase the house and had offered a great deal of money for J's house and that he was going to accept it because according to J, he had the craziest neighbor in the entire world.
The reason L came into my office was to set up an LLC to finalize the offer she had made to J's real estate agent through a third party and never knew what hit him.The way she told the tale, is the same way I am telling you now, although when she got to the payoff line, it was the first time I saw just how beautiful a smile could be, but it would not be the last.
We watched the moving vans at J's house together from her windows and she even broke her no drinking before 5pm rule just that once.
I know that you all want gossip everyday and I will make sure to deliver, but sometimes it is nice to reflect on what Hollywood used to be and how grace and class can conquer all. I wanted something nice to say this day before Thanksgiving and also to remember my friend L who passed away earlier this fall.