UP CLOSE WITH JEANIE
By Jeanie Summerville
Whatz up, babies?
As always, I hope that all is well with you and yours. As for me, I’m good. And on that note, since I already shared with you in my column last week where I’m coming to you from, I’m not going to have you wait any longer to hear about our adventure here in Hollywood. Yay! But before that, I need you to know how it all came about so that you don’t have to guess because by now, you should know that I don’t like it when you guess—especially when it comes to me. More than likely you’ll be 99.9999 percent wrong and, since I don’t want that to happen, I’ll just share more of myself with you, babies. That way, you’ll get to know me even better on our journey of love. Okay? Well, here we go:
Remember my son, James Hardy III? Of course you do! He was the former Elmhurst basketball star, former IU football star, former football player for the NFL and he always gave back to the community. Well, now he’s living it up in Hollywood making some more of his dreams a reality and loving every minute of it. So on, March 12, he called and said, “Mama, have your bags packed on the 27th because you’re coming here with me until the evening of April 9 because I want you to see and feel the beauty that Hollywood has to offer you. And, who knows? Maybe you‘ll want to move here.” He also said, that whatever I want to do, we can do it and whatever I want to see, he’ll make sure that I see it. I said calmly, “okay.”
We talked a little while longer and he said that we would talk again the next day. Then we said “love you” and hung up. After that, I just sat there for a moment and do you know what I did after that? Of course you don’t! And, stop trying to guess, like I said, I’ll share it with you. I stood up, jumped and shouted, because we can do that! Since “Up Close with Jeanie” in Frost Illustrated is gonna take you there, and it’s all gooood. After that, I calmed myself down and thanked my HEAVENLY FATHER for putting my son in a position to make this possible—not only for me but so I could also bring it all to you.
What’s going on in my mind at this particular time is, “Okay, so now what do I do for the next 15 days?” Then I remembered something that I’d heard some time ago which was, the anticipation of doing something or going somewhere is half the fun of actually being there. But, with me being me, I don’t know if that’s true or not, so I decided to take myself on a journey for these 15 days, just to see. Four days go by and it’s not working so I know I must try harder.
So, I take it upon myself to look on the Internet to see what’s going on there so I can enjoy what Hollywood has to offer and this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to have my photo taken by the Hollywood sign so I can wave hi to you; go to the beach so you can see how beautiful and big it is; visit some of their nightclubs to watch a national act perform; visit the Hollywood & Higher Center so I can explore the Babylon Courtyard, shop, eat and more; attend a TV show taping; visit some of their wax museums and Hollywood Universal Studios so I can see a combination of a movie-based theme park and go on their studio tour; visit, the Pantages Theatre so I can see some stunning Art Deco and watch some live musicals being performed. And maybe, I’ll stop by Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard which is supposed to be one of the coolest music stores and they say that I might see my favorite performers browsing the aisles. But most of all, I’m going to enjoy my son, his wife and my grandchildren, as well as learn something so I can bring it back to you.
Okay, I’m here now and my son just picked me up from the airport and it feels good to see him again. As we’re headed to his house, he showing me all of the attractions and it’s all so beautiful. Some of their billboards are so huge that they cover an entire side of a building. Now, we’re walking down Hollywood Boulevard so he can show me the sights and I can visit them whenever I want. I see lots and lots of tour buses on the streets so they can take the tourist on sightseeing tours of Movie Stars homes in Hollywood, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. They also will take them to the beaches, ride them down Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue and Rodeo Drive.
As we continue to walk, there are so many people who are also walking down the streets and some are taking photos on Hollywood Star of Fame of their favorite stars whose names are engraved in the sidewalk, while others are shopping. It is so beautiful here and I feel a total sense of peacefulness and everybody looks so happy. On this walk, I also see some homeless people just lying down next to buildings but the beauty behind that is, no one is bothering them so they too must feel a sense of peacefulness. Now it’s time for me to settle down and go to sleepy land so when I awaken, it’s on and time to enjoy.
Okay, it’s morning now and it’s 72 degrees and I’m on my way, so let’s have some fun. First, I see all the wonderful stars on the sidewalk again and I’m taking some photos of the ones that I think you’d like to see such as, BB King, Lou Rawls, Halle Barry, Anita Baker, Queen Latifah and many more so that you can see them on Frost’s Facebook page and enjoy. I also took a photo of my boy, Steven Seagal’s, foot- and handprints by the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. This is the theatre where the red carpet is laid out for the stars during a movie premier, the Oscars, Grammy awards and other awards that are presented to the stars for a job well done.
I’m in front of Madame Tussauds Max Museum now and I’m looking at a wax figure of Marilyn Monroe while people pay money to have their photos taken beside it. There are also a lot of people dressed up to impersonate the actors on the outside to lure you inside of the museum. And, as everybody are walking from one location to another, everybody else is trying to stop us, in hope that we will buy whatever it is that they’re selling. Here, it’s all about getting that money, baby, and it’s all good because everyone is enjoying themselves.
I was even stopped on the street to do a sample taste test of a cheesecake that had peanut butter and jelly in the mix for a known chef who has his own television show and that was fun. I just found out that Charles Wright, the performer who wrote and made famous the song “Express Yourself” is performing tonight at the Catalina Lounge and we’re headed there now. Wow, even though he’s up there in age now, he still has what it takes to keep the audience’s attention and I’m enjoying every minute of it. I’m also enjoying myself while I talk with his management team and others.
The highlight of my visit is when James and I go to CBS Studio for The Price is Right. And, believe it or not, the whole process takes five hours of your time and only 300 people are allowed in per show. During this five hours, you must wait about two hours so they can fill you in on what’s going to happen, fill out paperwork and take a photo of you with your party. For the next two and a half hours, we watched some of the old shows so we can get a feel of what to expect and we ate. After that, it’s show time. We were chosen to be a part of the show but we weren’t chosen to come on down. But, it was okay with us because my son and I had a great time together as you can see from our photo.
So now, I’ve done everything that was listed above and they’re everything that I thought they would be, some even more. But now, I’m going to introduce to you, one of the many living statues that I see on Hollywood Boulevard because I’m going to find out, what must be done, so that you too can do this in Fort Wayne if you want—because I find them very entertaining. I chose him to come to you because out of all of them, I find him the most fascinating and this is what he has to say:
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Everett Woods and this is my interpretation of the character played by Will Smith in the movie, ‘Pursuit of Happiness,’ while he was in his rags phase.
“It takes me two days to prepare and customize my clothing and coordinate my accessories because I color match everything, even my glossy gray contact lenses that cover my whole entire eye area. Then all I have to do is maintain my makeup on my face. If you are interested in doing something such as this, make sure that you use a good quality paint because you might be allergic to some of it. Once you’re dressed, you must get into character and go to the spot that you’ve chosen and just stand there and watch your money flow.
“I’ve been a street performer, as a living statue, here in Hollywood, Calif., for the past 10 years off and on. It’s not my primary income occupation but it’s something that I do to supplement my income and have fun. I started doing this because I saw other people doing it and how much money they were getting and with my artistic background in props and costume designing, I put it to work for me as well. Even though I only work weekends I make several hundred dollars per day and that’s all good because I’m getting paid to have fun.”
Now in closing I say, I truly enjoyed myself here and I hope that you did too. And, at this time I must say that I’m anticipating seeing all of your beautiful faces when I get back there. And, don’t forget to look on Frost’s Facebook page for more photos coming to you, since I took hundreds. So until next week, when the fabulous entertainer, Latrece Goree, comes to you, you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie. Bye, bye babies.
P.S. If you would like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone who you know, all in the name of love, just send me an e-mail to email@example.com. I’d love to hear from ya.
P.P.S. I’d also like to thank all of you who have been sending me e-mails to give me some feed back on our journey. Keep up the good work and to those who haven’t please feel free to do so because I’d love to hear from you too.
This article originally appeared in our April 17, 2013 issue.