Guess who I found? Remember Betty in Paraguay from Wiens World who recently "retired" from blogging? She missed us and is back with a brand new blog called A Glimpse Into Midlife Please stop by and say hello!
There is a stunning house in our neighborhood that recently went on the market. I've admired it for years on my regular walks through the 'hood and I was happy to finally have a look inside. From the mobs of people at the open house it, I wasn't the only curious one.
It's a big, lovely, English Tudor, not your typical "California" house, on a double lot with a grand Jacaranda tree in the front. The garden is perfectly manicured by the older gentleman living in the house. In Southern California, the land of gardeners, he stood out, but he seemed so happy, I assumed he enjoyed yard work.
His wife was lovely too and had a very cute white poodle with her all the time. She'd walk the dog around the block multiple times a day and I'd see the dog sitting on her lap when she'd drive the car.
Many times I tried to strike up a conversation with the couple, who looked to be now in their 80s, but they never engaged, instead offering a smile or a wave and then immediately getting back to their business. This went on for the 15 years that I've lived in the neighborhood. Then one day, the you know what hit the fan!
There was a very angry man yelling at the older couple, the poodle yapping at their feet. All this was in the front yard and surprising for our quiet neighborhood. Then a police car pulled up-- Not something we see everyday! The yelling man was escorted back to his car by one of the cops while the other police officer talked to the older man with his wife sobbing by his side. This went on for about 20 minutes and then the angry man and the police were gone.
Days passed and the woman continued to walk the poodle around the block, but now her husband was always with her. The yard was starting to look a little less maintained and I often saw them carrying boxes from the house to their car. There were no more smiles or waves. It appeared they were moving out.
There as definitely trouble in River City folks and neighbors were starting to talk amongst ourselves-- Okay we gossiped. Turns out, we had a celebrity in our midst-- sort of.
The house was actually owned by an old silent screen movie star. It was his "second" home so to speak, where his mistress lived. The mistress was a blonde bombshell, with a beloved white toy poodle. Life was good and her every need was met before and after the movie star died. She also had a live-in cook and a gardener/caretaker that lived with her until she passed away at a ripe old age. Nice gig if you can get it, huh?
The movie star, knowing how much his mistress loved her poodle, also provided for the dog. Yes, the dog was in the Will too! The white poodle was to live in the house until it died, along with the cook and gardener/caretaker looking after it-- all expenses paid. Bow WOW! Once the dog and the mistress were both dead, the house would be sold and the cash would revert back to the movie star's estate.
The angry guy in the car was the grandson of the movie star. Apparently grandpa/movie star had loooooong since passed. The mistress had passed away too, about 20 years ago! The movie star's son had either forgotten about the house or chosen not to acknowledge his father's mistress and the estate automatically paid the bills.
Along comes movie star's grandson who realized the house could be sold once the poodle croaked. You now, the poodle that would be about 30 years old by now!
The mistress was no dumb blonde, no siree, neither were the cook and gardener/caretaker-- who also happen to be the above mentioned couple living in the house. The mistress lived extremely well in the big Tudor, all expenses paid by her Sugar Daddy movie star, for decades. When dementia started to set it with the mistress-- and the poodle would start to show its age-- the cook and gardener/caretaker simply replaced the pooch with a younger version. After the mistress passed away, the cook and gardener/caretaker carried on the dog switch action until grandson got a whiff of the dog pooh, so to speak.
Seriously! I am not making this up. Every now and then, one of those "Star Tours" buses rolls through our neighborhood pointing out the house. I've never caught the movie star's name but since our neighborhood is sandwiched between 20th Century Fox and the old MGM Studios, I'm guessing he was under contract with one of them.
So my question is, given the opportunity, would you pooch switch to live large if no one was looking? Does that even tempt you a little bit?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna
PS Don't forget to check out Betty's new blog
PSS Coming SOON - My first GIVEAWAY!!! Stay tuned.