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Day 18 – Apr. 6th: Wurlitzer to Wigwam

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<– Day 17 – Apr. 5th: Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor | OVERVIEW | Day 19 Apr. 7th: From McDonald’s to Ruby’s –>


Our wigwam for the evening . . .

We began the morning driving the I-10 to the El Capitan theatre (owned by Disney) at the heart of Hollywood. It wasn’t all clear to me how this would play out, but somehow we were going to hear Rob Richards play on one of the last five remaining “Fox Specials”, of which Farny Wurlitzer, a relative of mine, once said were his masterpieces.


Today we travelled from Ontario to Hollywood, then back out to San Bernardino.


Not enough smog in LA to block out the Hollywood sign on Sunday!

Rob was kind enough to email me back in December to tell me he’d welcome our presence at the theatre so we could meet and he could play for us. How could I pass that up? So we agreed to meet on Sunday for a 12:40pm show. I didn’t quite understand it at the time, but Rob would play music on the organ as people streamed into the theatre prior to the movie (which today was the Muppets).


At the agreed upon time, Rob whisked us inside (comped tickets no less — how do these things happen to me?) and began playing for just Ann and I. He bounced between various disney songs as the pipes and bells and whistles bellowed from the right and left of the front row.


Blurry, but you get the point. We have the theatre to ourselves for a short time. We even scored some free popcorn and a drink!


Rob is playing as I watch and enjoy.

Rob played for about twenty minutes as the crowd shuffled into the theatre. When the movie was ready to begin, the organ began dropping into the stage as he continued to play. A great ending to a unique opportunity.  It was our end as well, for we didn’t stay to see the muppets movie. We had other things to do.


Here I am checking out the walk of fame.


Of course, we had to get a selfie in front of the famous Chinese Grauman theatre.


After our selfie above, the next thing we knew we were posing with Storm (from x-men movies).

After our photo op, Ann spotted this Jeepster Commando racing by on Hollywood Blvd. She whipped the camera and got us a shot of it:


Having had our fill of actors (and tired of being asked if we wanted to take a tour of hollywood everything minute or so), we began our drive to the Petersen Automotive Museum. Little did we know this would be an adventure, because Wilshire Blvd was closed to automobile traffic so bikes could ride on it. Wilshire just happens to be part of the ‘Miracle Mile’ that runs right in front of the museum. The irony of a museum that celebrates the Los Angeles car culture being blocked by bicycles wasn’t lost on me.

Fortunately, between SIRI and Waze, we were able to find away around the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Soon we were exploring the Petersen Museum (btw: active military get in free). The main part of the museum encompasses two floors. The first floor shares the evolution of the automobile in step with the changing times of Los Angeles. Not a lot of vehicles on display, but the overall display was good and information. Here are just a couple random pics:

2014-04-06-petersen-auto-museum1 2014-04-06-petersen-auto-museum2

Upstairs was organized by several different topics. The one that interested me most was a special presentation on trucks, which included an FC-150. Check out the brochure I picked up!





I thought this Dodge Power wagon was pretty cool, too.


Here are a few more photos from upstairs:


I loved this movie as a kid. I thought this vehicle was a fake, but it looked pretty complete to me.


A history of California license plates.


A car from every mold of Hot Wheel ever produced (according to the info sign).

Besides the two levels open to us normal folks, there is also a “Vault” of some kind with more cars and special tours. We didn’t pay extra for that.

Once we were done with the museum, we drove to our home for the night, a ‘teepee’ at the Wigwam Motel. Dan suggested we give it a try and we are glad he did. It’s cute throwback to Route 66 fun-styled motels.


You can just see the rear of Henry next to our room.


Dates, but clean and cozy. Good for the night.

During the course of our trip, I considered similar kinds of unusual accommodations. There are at least two trailer park motels.  We drove right past one in Joshua Tree, California, called Hicksville. But, it was beyond our budget.


Another was the Shady Dell in Bisbee, Arizona, but that was too far south for us on this trip.

arizonashadyOne other place we photographed last year was the wigwam motel in Holbrook, Arizona.

holbrook-wigwam-loresMonday we head for Fullerton, California, to spend several days with an old friend of mine.

 <– Day 17 – Apr. 5th: Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor | OVERVIEW | Day 19 Apr. 7th: From McDonald’s to Ruby’s –>


6 Comments on “Day 18 – Apr. 6th: Wurlitzer to Wigwam

  1. Bob

    I’d love to see the Peterson Museum. I loved “The Great Race” too, what an awesome movie.

  2. Mark S.

    Dave, the FC-150 looks great, do you think it is original or restored? What is the Power Wagon doing in your pic, is that an articulating frame option, or just tilted for display purposes. Thanks for the great story and pics.

  3. Craig B.

    Looks really cool that they had an actual FC Jeep on the grounds! Love the brochure too! Hate to point out facts but if they could find me a 2wd production FC I’d really be impressed!

  4. mom

    The Great Race is a fun movie. They hardly make them like that anymore. There are several old movies of that genre that were wild and crazy farce(s)? Is that a word? I was glad to see that vehicle included in that museum.

  5. mmdeilers Post author

    Mark: It was so nice, I think it was restored (if only repainted)

    Craig: Yeah, that’s a strange way to phrase it — “many were four wheel drive”

    Mom: farces works for me. It was odd that they had that vehicle, but no other crazy vehicles. Perhaps the rest were stored in the ‘vault’.

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