My Duke "Pilgrim"age in Southern California Christmas 2017

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    There are 24 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by mahya.

    • My Duke "Pilgrim"age in Southern California Christmas 2017

      Over the Christmas Holidays, my family and I traveled to Los Angeles/Hollywood for a week.We did Disney, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Hollywood, Malibu, and lots of other stuff. Since I was paying the bills, I insisted that we, or at least I, should visit Newport and the many John Wayne sites of interest in the Los Angeles area. Over the next few days I will post pictures of the places we visited.

      In all of these pictures you will see what looks like a vehicle license plate that has the tag number BATJAC. That is exactly what it is. It is my vehicle tag on an Auburn University vanity plate from the state of Alabama (or a smaller facsimile of it). I took it off my truck to carry with us to take the pictures. Costs me $50 a year extra to have it on the truck but it is worth it just to get to answer the questions about it. Obviously, that’s where my handle comes from.

      You will also see my youngest daughter in many of the pictures. She is something of a Duke fan and I have already decreed she gets all my John Wayne stuff when I die. Might not be worth much, but of my four children, she’s the one who watches movies with me and asks lots of questions.

      These first pictures are not from Newport but from Wilshire Blvd.There is a larger than life statue of Duke on horseback in front of what was the Great Western Bank building when it was erected. Duke was a spokesman for them in the 70s.Unfortunately, the building is now occupied by Flynt Publications.Yes, Larry Flynt of Hustler Magazine. Doesn’t mean that the statue is any less magnificent. The car tag is in the top of the shrubs surrounding it between my daughter and me.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by BatjacAuburn ().

    • Great pictures. It's awesome that your daughter enjoys Duke as well. My kids never caught the bug. I look forward to seeing the rest of your pictures and I really appreciate you sharing them with those of us who might never get out there to the coast.

      "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "
    • Grauman's Chinese Theater. Though it is now TCL Chinese Theater, the footprints in the concrete are still there and the theater is pretty spectacular. We saw "The Last Jedi" on Christmas afternoon. It's hard to beat the ambiance of an old style 600+ seat theater with assigned seats, uniformed ushers that show you to them, chandeliers in the theater, ornate cielings, and curtains that roll back before the show. A little pricey at $20+ a seat but worth it. We found Duke's footprints, fist print, and his note to Sid Grauman. Pretty cool. The drawback was that John Travolta's was right next to Duke.
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    • Travolta next to Duke? Is his block on the "left" side of Duke's? ;) So, did you put your fist in Duke's imprint to measure up? come on, you can tell us. The theater looks awesome! Keep sharing those pics!

      "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "
    • Travolta next to Duke? Is his block on the "left" side of Duke's? So, did you put your fist in Duke's imprint to measure up? come on, you can tell us. The theater looks awesome! Keep sharing those pics!

      Travolta was on Duke's right, obviously by geography only. You can see the "J" in the picture. Yes I did try my fist and feet. I'm a pretty big guy myself. My fist filled the impression and my feet were larger than the imprints. But I was wearing walking shoes and Duke was wearing western riding boots when he made the imprints so I don't think his whole foot imprinted. Concrete probably filled in a little on both after he lifted as well.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by BatjacAuburn ().

    • John Wayne Airport. I tried to get our flights into JWA but they were $200 each more than LAX so we just visited the terminal. The statue is amazing but that's about it. No Duke memorabilia in the gift shops. Most of the stuff on sale as "Airport Souvenirs" said Orange County and apparently there was an effort a couple of years ago to re-name it by some folks who aren't fans. Fortunately this effort was a failure. They didn't have a John Wayne Airport T-shirt big enough for me. The Statue is a very good likeness and though I didn't stand on the podium to measure it looks pretty much life size. I'm 6'3" so you can see how large it is. When we came up, there was a 7-8 year old girl sitting on top of the podium leaning her back on Duke's legs playing on an I-pad. She readily moved when we asked if we could take some pictures but she left her box of "Nerds" candy that I didn't notice until looking at the pictures. This was actually our first stop on "John Wayne Day" but I'm still sorting through over 1000 digital pictures so they're going to be out of order. The picture of the fire truck is not mine but from the 'net. More to come ........

      The post was edited 2 times, last by BatjacAuburn ().

    • You have better impulse control than I do. I would have had to climb right up on that pedestal and have a pic taken with my arm on his shoulder. You keep those photos coming and I will continue to be envious of you.

      "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "
    • The Wild Goose---After leaving John Wayne Airport we tried to go to his home in Newport. GPS took us right up to a gate about 1/2 mile from the house. Apparently being the Biggest John Wayne Fanboy in the world with a car tag that says BATJAC on the dash of the rental car won't get you into a gated community in Newport Beach. Who knew?? So we headed off for the Wild Goose. The yacht even shows up on Googlemaps as the screen capture shows. It was pretty easy to find and get to. We were able to park on the street and walk the 100 yards or so to the dock. We took some pictures and were just standing around looking when a maintenance guy came off the Goose and walked down the dock on the starboard side. He pushed the gate open and walked into a building. I saw my chance and was about to head for the stairway when my wife and kids started yelling at me not to. Discretion ruled the day and I didn't actually get on the Goose, but I was "that close".
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    • COOL PICS !!

      We took a trip out to southern California back in 2007, and like you got a JW day, but I only visited the grave site. We ended up running out of time. lol
      Kevin - Moderator/Administrator
      Official JWMB online store
    • I have heard before that his home in Newport was razed and a new home built on the property.

      Could be. I have looked at Google Earth and can't seem to find one that looks like pictures I have seen. Also, there's no street view in that neighborhood. Newport is like nowhere I have ever seen. You can just feel the wealth. Within three blocks there is a Porsche Dealer, a Ferrari dealer, and a Maserati Showroom all on the same street. Everything is clean, the sidewalks are wide, the buildings are beautiful, and in a brand new rental Ford SUV I felt like a bum in traffic with all the Range Rovers, BMWs, Mercedes, Rolls, you name it. Got to see a little of how the other half lives.

      Today's pictures are of the recently renamed John Wayne Park in Newport. It is a small park on top of a hill that overlooks the Marina and the site where his home was. As you can see in one of the pictures, the Wild Goose can be seen from the park. The park was dedicated last year so there are still a few Duke supporters there in town. Really great views but I was in Duke Geek mode and didn't look around too much. The last picture is of my 18 year old daughter who thought "John Wayne Day" was dumb and something she just had to endure.
    • Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a hike if you cover it all at one time. I'm not sure of the exact distances but if you walk both sides of Hollywood Blvd and the sections of Vine Street I estimate the total walk to be over three miles. My family did parts of this together and I did the rest on mornings when everyone else was moving slow and I figured I had an hour or so. We were staying just off Sunset Blvd so I could drive five minutes before 8:00 AM, park and walk parts of it and take pictures, then be back before the three ladies were ready to start the day. We probably have pictures of 500 of the 2500+ stars that are there but I've picked a few Duke related ones for you folks. Duke's Star is actually on Vine Street, as is John Ford's, Yak Cannutt, Harry Carry SR, and Victor McGlaughlin. The Hollywood and Vine intersection is toward the eastern end of the walk and is in a more run down area of the Hollywood Strip. The further east you go the dirtier it is. Based on the stars located there it is pretty obvious they started on that end back in the day. The first stars were placed in 1960 and Duke's was among the first to go in. There are actually five different categories of stars and the medallions in the middle indicate what genre of entertainment the celebrity was nominated in. The categories are Movies, TV, music, radio, and a recent addition of "live performance". Some celebrities have multiple stars in the different categories. Gene Autry has a star in each category and is the only celebrity with five stars. Roy Rogers has at least three. You'll see that Ward's has a TV logo as does Harry Carey, JR. Andy Devine's is for radio. Tonight's pictures are of Duke's Star and some of my other favorites and one not so favorite. I'll post more later.
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      The post was edited 2 times, last by BatjacAuburn ().