Sign of the times


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Posted ByLL on January 21, 2004 at 20:58:21:

In Reply to: Re: So Brendan, how was your trip? posted byShemp on January 21, 2004 at 17:28:53:

: BTW - you can't get to the sign. After the last group of homes below the sign (about 1/2 way up), the top half of the hill is fenced-off government property. Right behind the Hollywood sign is a high-security communications center used by the LAPD, LAFD, and Federal agencies. Hikers often go up the road, but are trespassing; LAPD patrols often turn them around (they're also tempting danger because coyotes and snakes populate the area).
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I don't know when that changed, because I remember reading within the past 10 or so years that a celebrity, I thought it was David Rappaport, had driven to the foot of the sign to try to commit suicide. Of course, I'm sure that many of the folks in this audience are familiar with Peg Entwistle, who jumped to her death from what was then the "Hollywoodland" sign. Probably others as well, for the sheer romance (strange word for it...ask Lupe Velez about that). So I'm curious if there may have been some motivations other than sercurity of the communications systems, such as deterring "bad behavior" of various sorts, for fencing off the area.

As a semi-related side note, I was a long-time employee of AirTouch (cellular company, now part of Verizon) and spent a lot of time in some of the tough neighborhoods of LA where our main telecom hub was located. On one particularly trying day, I had an interview scheduled around 1PM with Fred deCordova at his NBC office. My test equipment was being difficult shortly before I had to leave, and when it started to give off the smell of burning metal, I yanked all the cords out of the wall, announced to the switch folks, "I'll be back in a while," and left to interview Freddy. I drove up 101 to get there, and recall vividly seeing the Hollywood sign and saying to myself, "Why can't I make the fan club pay as well as my regular job?"

--LL



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