Sunday, July 26, 2009

House For Sale

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.

53 comments:

  1. What a story that is. I might do it. Actually I'd probably do it.

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  2. !!! This needs to be made into a movie. Talk about living on borrowed time.

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  3. Oh my gosh! That's hilarious. Wouldn't the court think that, "Hey, this dog appears to be 2 years old?"

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  4. OMG what a story! That is way too funny! Me? I am so darn honest that I could never do something like that. My kids laugh at me because I can't lie no matter what it's about. So, that would be a no for me, but the story is just too awesome! I love it!

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  5. Wow - this is the kind of thing you read about, not find in your neighborhood. Very interesting! I'll be waiting for the movie version to come out!

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  6. This is so a made for TV movie on Lifetime.

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  7. No, stress gives me a migraine. I couldn't lie about the dog. I am so curious as to who the film star was. This a great story! Where is TMZ when you need them?

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  8. Oh how funny! I could never get away with doing that, because I can't lie to save my life. I guess it was good while it lasted, eh.

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  9. ok i'll admit to being tempted...funny! i can imagine the grandson scratching his head at the immortal poodle. ha.

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  10. What a great story! You live in a very interesting neighborhood! The answer to your question is....probably not, I feel a sense of pride, comfort and integrity when I provide for myself. If I did what the mistress did, I would always have the feeling of something hanging over my head and would always be looking over my shoulder, not a good feeling.

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  11. I going to say HELL YES!! I've had a rough life and I can't even begin to imagine what it would feel like to not have to struggle. I'd do it, at least I think I would.....If my conscience didn't keep me up at night, that is!!

    This is definitely one of my favorite posts of yours!

    Hugs and love,
    GEM

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  12. First of all, thank you so much for mentioning my blog! I´ve already received some visitors. I hope I can "pay forward" your kindness!

    And secondly, no I could never "pooch switch", I would feel so guilty and it would be no fun. My hubby always says, I´m way to honest, I can´t even tell a white lie... :)

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  13. Anyone who says they wouldn't be tempted, IF they were brilliant enough to come up with that scheme, well they're Liar Liar Pants On Fire!!!

    But, I'm not certain I would do it. Okay, you and me need a huddle up...NOW....

    You get the dog...I'll get...what? Some pruning shears? We are so in!

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  14. What a great story!!! loved it!
    It's a tempting proposition, but in the end, I think I'm way too honest, too. I once returned $60.00 to the bank that the customer in the drive-thru atm left in the bin.

    Great Post!

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  15. That is hilarious. I couldn't do it, too much bad karma. But I would watch that movie and LAUGH. :)

    Seriously...that just does not sound like something that happens in real life...

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  16. what a great (true) story, I live for the gossip!

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  17. I don't think I could do it. The thing is, anyone knows the lifespan of a dog and to have a dog that would supposedly be 30 years old is next to impossible. Too bad the old guy didn't think to account for his dog's offspring too and then they could've bred the dog and continued to stay there. Too bad! So, is the house for sale now?

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  18. What a cool story!

    I wouldn't do it, no. I would've probably contacted the - estate, I guess - and tried to work out a deal, probably. But, no, I wouldn't have lied. Certainly not a lie of those proportions! Great googly mooglies!

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  19. "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?"

    Man, if were any dog but a poodle I'd go for it. ;)

    Actually, I subscribe to the theory that if you can punt it, it's not a dog.

    Hmm.

    Great story.

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  20. That's it! You've hit the nail on the head! The next big thing! Pooch CLONING! I mean, genetically it'd be the same dog, right? Just ... er ... newer - well, sort of.

    Brilliant post!

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  21. Hell YES I would pooch switch - in an LA minute. As long as all the pooches are cared for who cares about the greedy little SOB grandson. THIS is exactly why people like animals more than most humans!

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  22. I would be extremely tempted - absolutely!. But could I carry it off? No way - I'm not that good an actress.

    This is one of those things that - at first they probably thought - 'Well, the familly will figure it out soon, and we'll just stay on until they get it - probably in the next few weeks or so....and then it just kept on until it felt like they'd never get caught.

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  23. Unbelieveable. The extremes people will go to for a freeloading lifestyle.
    I would not do that.
    I guess the gig is up.
    Hope you get some nice new (honest) neighbors.
    When something seems fishy it usually is. My parents had a young man build a huge house with lots of upgrades and extra amenities in their neighborhood. He was living large with the house and nice car. One day the FBI showed up and hauled him away. Yep, he was an embezzler. The bank figured it out eventually.


    Joy

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  24. Well, you have to give them credit for being crafty. They were no dummies. The Grandson is a selfish money grubbing fool.

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  25. I'm hoping you will join me for Crock Pot Wednesdays. Come on over and check it out. Hope you are doing well.

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  26. What an interesting story, a house that fell thru the cracks so to speak. But as a dog lover (and having grown up with a white toy poodle) and have three rescued poodles now (one white) I wonder what happened to the aging poodles?

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  27. Oh, this will be a book and movie one day soon, won't it? It makes for a good story, but the karma these folks have earned....not my thing at all!

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  28. I agree, you need to write a movie-script and submit it to one of those studios. Life is truly stranger than fiction!

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  29. What a story!
    I LOVE it!
    I can only imagine how that man felt all those years...wondering if he'd be caught...who might catch him....

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  30. too funny! you´ve got to take a star tour to get all the scoop for us!!

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  31. Oh, you know I'd be tempted. As a dog lover, what could be better than having all expenses paid for dog sitting...for 50 years!

    Whether I'd actually do it, I'm not so sure.

    You must live in some kind of neighborhood, boyoboy. All you need to do is sit on your front stoop and you'll have plenty of material for your new writing career!

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  32. This is seriously one of the BEST stories I have read in a while on the Internet, Joanna. A made for Lifetime movie if I ever saw one.

    Only in Southern California, wouldn't you agree?

    -Francesca

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  33. Oh my heavens! That is great Hollywood drama! I can't believe someone hasn't snatched up the film rights to that! lol!

    I LOVE your blog!!!!

    (sorry it's taken me so darn long to get over here!!)

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  34. I could not have written a better story, and this one is REAL. Great post Joanna. I can't believe what some people will do for money.

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  35. wow, quite a story!! honestly, I can see them somewhere down the line making a "movie of the week" about this! my first thought was as I read more into this was "that dog is one old dog" until I realized, as you wrote, that they kept getting a younger version of it. Very interesting!! makes you wonder who the new neighbors will be, once the house sells, and what stories they might bring with them

    betty

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  36. Now you really have my curiosity up. If you ever find out the names, don't forget to let us know. That was a fascinating story!!

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  37. Wow. What a story! I don't know if I'd do it. To begin with, I really don't care for poodles... but to live in a Tudor mansion all expenses paid?? I just might put up with one.

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  38. I admit to the temptation. It would be hard to come down from that lifestyle.

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  39. Goes to show, you just never know what really goes on behind closed doors.

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  40. That is such an interesting story. So much can go on in other peoples houses. Since the older couple is so elderly now, I sorta feel sorry for them. But I personally would not live somewhere rent free without permission. There would always the threat of eviction or worse. You did a good job of presenting the story. I would think it had to be fiction if you didn't tell us the facts.

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  41. That is one crazy story. It could be a movie its self. Wow my neighborhood is so boring.

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  42. This scenario is mentioned on a much smaller scale in the book & movie 'Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil'. Only, it's a man getting paid to still walk a dog that died years before, so he simply walks a leash around the squares of Savannah...

    Good stuff!

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  43. Holy shit! Is that really true? If it is that's amazing! What a good post, I was glued to it! :)

    As for my answer? Hmmmmm. I dunno. I would say no, I wouldn't. But ya just never know. :)

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  44. Pooch switcheroo? I would love to say that I would, because it seems so worth it, but I know that I wouldn't those darn morals my parents instilled in me.

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  45. No, I wouldn't...gimme my village ANY day...

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  46. Great story, wish I was a screenwriter, this would be a fabulous movie, love your blog!

    I hope to get back to writing soon, just seems there is not enought time in the day!!!!

    I have some ideas for you to fill your "work" needs without going back to work. I'll see if I can email you thru your blog. Ann

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  47. I don't know if I could do it but I think it's funny as all get-out that they did.

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  48. What an amazing story! Only in Hollywood, eh!

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  49. Thanks everyone! Yes, this is a 100% true story, as crazy as it sounds! I would be afraid to pull off the dog switch myself-- The idea of someone walking in and telling me to move out NOW, and the possible legal issues of switching the dog, would give me an ulcer! But, this couple had a nice long run rent and expense free, plus they pulled a salary out too! Oh well, it worked for them, although I wouldn't want to be looking for a new place to live when I was in my 80s. Ahhh, life in Hollywood.

    Keep those cards and letters coming! I love hearing from you! xoxo

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  50. Oh my girdle!! I couldn't do this, but I'm sure it was hard for them not to pass this up. I hope the couple were able to safe some money for this day to come. I guess the grandson noticed some of his grandfather's money wasn't going to him. I look at it this way if you have enough money to live, a roof over your head- what is wrong with sharing. I'm going to guess this grandson isn't hurting. Thanks for sharing. xoxo

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