Lately, there’s been a passel, an absolute passel I tell you, of curiosity regarding “the staff” at Paradise Leased. Well, my dedicated cadre of helpmates are a bit publicity shy to be sure, but I think some sunshine might do them some good and a little credit where credit is due is much cheaper than a pay raise. You know the old expression that “Behind every great man there’s a great woman?” Well, I’m not a great man, not even close, so I need three great women to make a presentable showing. Fortunately, I’ve got them in the form of a trio of lovely maidens fair who are the real heart and soul behind this little venture of ours. I thank the Good Lord every day the Carnegie Library burned down in that still unexplained conflagration a few years ago thusly putting these brilliant little worker bees out of a job and making them available to little old me.
And what wonders they are to behold at their tasks! Dedicated, forthright and unflagging in their pursuit of the true stories of historic Hollywood and its interesting architecture, the “Three Graces,” as they are affectionately called (or would be if anyone had any actual affection for them), are tireless researchers, spending their long days and often their long nights (at my request) digging through dusty old books, piles of yellowed newspaper clippings and obscure city records, to bring forth the often hidden truth to the light of day for our dear readers enjoyment. Nothing cheers my heart more than the sound of their crinoline skirts swishing about as they mutter their way through their appointed tasks while I catch up on the latest episodes of Judge Judy.
Great friends as much as great workers, these inseperable gals first met at the W.C.T.U. confab in ’74 (1874) and immediately bonded over their mutual love of Rutherford B. Hayes. A shared tragedy in the subsequent shocking, untimely and strangely coincidental deaths of their husbands by poisoned mushrooms brought them even closer. Deciding to “go west” to avoid the inevitable “embarrassing questions,” these impulsive ladies hopped the first available Butterfield Stage to “the Coast” and to what was then wild and wooly Los Angeles. After settling first at the pricey Pico House, the gals switched over to the more sensible Bella Union where they would remain until “progress” forced them to seek new quarters.. Over the next decades, progress became their sworn nemesis as they moved to, and were forced to move out of, an astonishing number of hotels and apartments including the Rex Arms; Gates; Westlake; Abbotsford; Baltic; Melrose; Westmoore; Hotel Hollywood; Mountain View; Engstrum; Crown Hill; Hershey Arms; Darby; Fremont; Pepper; Bellevue; Natick House; Melrose; Snow; Alvarado; Leighton; Lakeview; St. George; Cinnabar; Kipling; Ansonia; Abbey; Seminole; Northern; Broadway; Angelus; Lankershim; Shoreham; Ingraham; Barbara; Kaiser; Garden of Allah; Shelton Arms; Regent; Garden Court; Montecito; Bonnie Briar; Formosa; Peyton Hall; New Hollywood; and lately the Wilshire Grand. The gals are currently sequestered at the W and we are all terrified (well, not really) it might be next to be torn down.
But enough of my prattling on. Let’s let the ladies tell it themselves!
Dee may be known as the “bookworm” of the gals of Paradise Leased, but she is also the trio’s champion at Beer Pong. A Hoosier native, Dee loves collecting spoons from places she’s never been to or ever will be. She is not on the do-not-call list.
Turn Ons: Title Deeds; Legible Building Permits; Corduroy; tea cozys; Lemon-scented Pledge; Mitt Romney’s hair; staring longingly out the window; anything by Will.i.am
Turn Offs: Phony’s; “child proof” caps; any place that claims Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe or Rudolph Valentino lived there.
Biggest Regret: Not playing the Irish Sweepstakes in 1936; posing for Playboy in 1978; Sheena Easton
The “Party Hearty” Paradise Leased gal. Dora is a vociferous reader who loves anything by James Patterson. She has been absolutely inconsolable over the death of Thomas Kinkaide whom she considers the greatest artist since Rembrandt.
Turn Ons: Verifiable information on the people and places of vintage Hollywood; shirtless, sweaty firemen; Pontiac GTO’s; the Niagara bed; Justin Bieber; green corn tamales from El Cholo; Joe Biden
Turn Offs: Long lines at Walmart; unsharpened pencils; kids today; xbox 360; the Greek debt crisis; that creepy Burger King “King”
Biggest Regret: Giving herself a permanent wave while “high”
The Alpha and possibly Omega Female of the bunch, Nellie gave up a promising career in high fashion modeling for a much more rewarding life in library science. Nellie is an expert on rooting out false stories about Hollywood and squashing them like the bugs they are.
Turn Ons: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Turn Offs: Fellow human beings; life in general; the dawn; hand-operated can openers; ungrateful cats; thong underwear; the Kardashians; tearing down great old buildings for new $%^&*
Biggest Regret: Not marrying Fred Harvey.
So, as you can see, I am ably assisted in the daily drudgery that is Paradise Leased. And while I continue to bask in all the glory, it is comforting to know there is so much wind beneath my wings.
And yes guys – They’re single! And have been for a looong time.