Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Elly Mae's Not Home

 Okay, one more Hillbillies post then I'll move on...I found out one more interesting feature of this property. Apparently the new owner, Mr. Perrenchio, didn't like all the tourists and tour buses stopping outside his front gate, snapping pictures. Why do I think that? Look closely at the first picture in this post...the driveway has been removed and replaced with trees and shrubs! Tourists can no longer stop in front of the Clampetts and snap a photo.
 The natural question that arises is, where is the new entrance? Well spinning the helicopter around several times, I think I see it. Looking at the first pic, notice the light brown road that goes straight up, off the top of the picture (apparently on the roof of the garage)? I think that is the new entrance road

Spinning the helo in the second pic, you can now see the entrance is up the road and around the corner! That's quite a bit of distance to move an entrance! Those tour buses must be very loud and obnoxious! The entry road follows the curve in Bel Air Rd and eventually winds up back in the Clampett courtyard.

Finally, let's flip this helo around one more time...it appears to me that they guest entrance is too narrow for delivery trucks, etc. That's probably why this third photo shows that there are actually two entrances - the yellow guest/resident entrance and the red service entrance.

Mystery solved! But wait, what is that round structure (see green arrow)?? Let me know what you think, I'm really curious.

And now, I'll move on to another neighborhood. I promise. Unless I find another interesting tidbit about the Clampett abode.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Beagle Wins!

Yes, sports fans, for the first time in the history of Westminster Kennel Club's Dog Show, a beagle won the Hound Division. Not only that, but Uno the beagle went on to win Best of Show!

We are huge beagle fans and couldn't be happier - and judging from the crowd's reaction we are not alone.

This is the only dog show we watch each year, and unfortunately we missed seeing Uno win the Hound Division on Monday night, but we read about it. While being judged, he barked at his owner, bayed at the crowd, tried to grab his leash, and lunged at a piece of filet minon that was within sniffing distance. In other words, he was his normal beagle self.

Last night, we were glued to the TV to see if Uno would go on to take the top prize - and he did! He was in spectacular form and full of energy. As soon as he started his lap around the carpet, the audience went wild - Uno perked his ears up and looked around to see what the roar was about. It's about you, Uno! I've never seen that type of reaction from the crowd before, it was awesome.

Not only that, but when the judge singled Uno out for first place, the audience gave him a very loud standing ovation....unheard of! I couldn't believe my ears and eyes - I was thrilled to know how many other people understand the wonders of everything beagle.

We have a female beagle named Cory who is about to turn 15. She is our daughter, the princess of the family, and the undisputed lead scent detector of the house. Like Uno, she gets so excited when we head out the door for a walk that she turns her head, grabs the leash in her mouth, and tries to drag us out the door to hurry things up.

One thing that comes to most people's minds about beagles is the notion that they are very loud. While that is often true (as Uno showed), it is not true in all beagles. Cory very rarely barks and bays even less frequently. I'd say the reasons for that are three-fold: she was discouraged from barking as she grew up, she's female, and she grew up without other beagles around. Therefore, she modeled herself after the rest of her pack (us) and we don't bark. :)

Anyway, here's a photo of Cory taken quite a few years back while she was looking down the road at her 'boyfriend' Rodney (a golden retriever). Congratulations to the beagle world!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Black Gold, Texas Tea

 The post on Jan 31st where we discovered the Beverly Hillbillies home at 750 Bel Air Road in Los Angeles made me start poking around for more information and photographs of the mansion.

One of the first things I noticed was that there seemed to be a lack of parking - the 3 or 4 cars shown in the top picture appeared to be at the house staff entrance.
 But when the aerial view is turned around to look at the mansion from a different angle, it quickly becomes apparent that the garden at the bottom of the second picture is actually the roof of a parking garage! On top of that, we can begin to see a second massive garage built into the hillside at the top end of the second picture. Apparently, there is parking a-plenty.
 Turning 180 degrees once again and zooming in on this hillside parking garage, we can also see that there is a small building - staff residence? - on the edge of the parking facility.
Just how much has this residence changed when it was remodeled in the 1990s?

Here are two tourist photos I found that were taken before the home was remodeled.

 When you compare that to the video frame taken from the actual show (see the Chrysler Imperial going in the gate?), they all match - except that the video frame shows a see-through wrought iron gate
 But the TV show did take liberties, as this second frame shows - that is not the gateway to 750 Bel Air Road, nor is that the Hillbillies mansion in the background (see the windows in the roof?).
It appears that the remodel did get rid of a guard shack that was by the entrance, though. That shack can be see in a video at http://www.imperialclub.com/Movies/Beverly/index.htm to the left of the entrance gate, or looking at it from the other direction, it can be seen to the right of the entrance in the second of the two tourist photos above. Comparing it to the Zillow aerial photo at the end of this post, it is obvious that the guard building no longer exists.

One other thing: My Jan 31st post said that the mansion was built for Arnold Kirkeby. That is not true - the mansion was built by Lynn Atkinson for his wife. When he showed his wife the completed mansion, she didn't like it and refused to move in. Mr. Atkinson then sold it to Arnold Kirkeby for a fraction of what it cost to build.

Personally, Mrs. Atkinson, I have never liked the house either. The front always looked like cinderblock on the TV show (though I know it's not), and I find the shape rather boring.

Saturday, February 2, 2008