Saturday, May 05, 2018

Ella Goes to Hollywood!

Once upon a time, I acquired a bunch of old black and white snapshots (circa 1962) that featured a grandmotherly lady named Ella, as she embarked on a trip to Southern California. They might not be your cup of tea, but I thought that they were a lot of fun. Today is the first of several posts; we don't even leave the airport in L.A. until post #2!

There's Ella at the top of the mobile stairs as she boards her Northeast Airlines ("Weather Wise Radar") flight. I wonder if this is her first time on an airplane? If she was approximately 75 years old in 1962, then she was born around 1890. Oklahoma was still a territory, while Wyoming became the 44th State. Vincent Van Gogh died in July. The Wounded Knee Massacre occurred in South Dakota. And now she's zooming through the air in a jet, crossing the continent in a matter of hours!

Enjoy all of that leg room, Ella... you have no idea what the future holds. Meanwhile, her hat should win some kind of an award.

Looks like breakfast! Half a melon (artfully cut), maybe a dollop of cottage cheese, coffee, probably orange juice - not too shabby.

Ah, sweet terra firma! Flying was fun, but it's always nice to be back on the ground again. Ella appears to be ready for adventure.

I kind of liked this vintage shot of a practically-empty airport terminal. The banner hanging from the ceiling shows the distinctive logo of the "Century 21" Expo in Seattle, which was underway.

Holy smokes, Ella's only been in Los Angeles for minutes, and she's already run into her first celebrity. None other than actor/singer/comedian Phil Harris, famous (among other things) for being on the Jack Benny Show, and for voicing Baloo the Bear in Walt Disney's "The Jungle Book" in 1967. I appreciate the fact that Phil lifted up his dark glasses! What a nice guy.

I've always loved the fabulous "theme building" at Los Angeles International Airport. If a flying saucer married a spider, here's what their baby would look like. I finally went inside the restaurant about four years ago, it was pretty cool. (The restaurant has since closed - not my fault).

That's all for now... but I have 29 other photos from Ella's visit to Hollywood, including such spots as Grauman's Chinese Theatre, NBC Studios, and... well, you'll just have to wait and see. Hopefully you enjoyed these! If the reaction is negative, I suppose I won't post the rest. It's in your hands now.


Nanook said...


'Ol Ella is quite on the cutting edge: Do I spy yin yang earrings-??!! Or are they merely part of the 'ensemble' that goes with that wild hat-? She may be the fashion plate, but being wise, she's traveling with sensible shoes. And then she "runs into" Phil Harris right there at "our new jet airport"-! (I hope Ella asked Phil to sing a chorus from his #1 Billboard hit The Thing). What memories she must have had.

Looking forward to more of Ella. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I wonder if the flight attendants told Ella, "We're going to need a separate locker/overhead bin for that hat!"

Major, my grandmother ran into Phil Harris at her local "Lucky" grocery store in Palm Desert, California. She said that she sneaked up behind him and sang a line from one of his old songs and apparently he was flattered. And let's us not forget that he was also the voice of Thomas O'Malley in The Aristocats and Little John in the animated version of Robin Hood.

I would definitely like to see more of "Ella in L.A." Gee, I wonder if she will end up at Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm? I certainly hope she doesn't try to steal John Wayne's footprints from the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

Scott Lane said...

Oh yes, more Ella. Although 75 is a bit much, I be she's not more than 60.

Irene said...

O yes - more of these please! I also think she's somewhere in her 60's.

Melissa said...

Every time I think of the revolutionary technological and social changes Ella's and my great-grandmother's generation saw, it's hard to wrap my mind around it. Ella was a teenager when the first airplane was invented, and now here she is taking a jet to a major international airport like it's NBD. Heck, I remember the first time *I* saw LAX from the sky, and it felt amazing and futuristic to *me!*

At least she didn't have to get those heeled oxfords off and on for airport security. That grip is way cool hand luggage, though.

Patrick Devlin said...

Oh Melissa Cool Hand Luggage! I loved that movie!

Warren Nielsen said...


Yes, more Ella, please. There's something about black and white photos that just evoke history and a simpler, more adventurous time.

I notice the size of the windows on that plane. Their size has shrunk along with the amount of leg room.

Photo #4 shows Ella walking away from a Delta Airlines plane. She must have had to change planes at some point. I wonder where Delta and Northeast Airlines intersected.


K. Martinez said...

Agree with the others. More Ella, please. Thanks, Major.

JC Shannon said...

You gotta love a woman her age who jumps on a jet when jet air travel was less than two years old. More Ella would be great. Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, Ella knows that the yin/yang symbols are ancient. Either that or she is just a hippie!

TokyoMagic!, so funny about your grandmother. I can’t imagine going up to a famous person and singing a line from their song! Maybe I should have done that when I saw Madonna at a flea market in Burbank, I could have writhed around on the ground and sung “Like a Virgin”. Sadly, Ella did not visit Disneyland or Knott’s, though that would have been amazing…

Scott Lane, oh man, she looks MUCH older than 60 to me. I’m thinking she looks like my grandma when she was 85, so I took 10 years off.

Irene, well, that’s two against one…

Melissa, yeah, I think of my own grandmother, born in 1905, and all of the changes she saw in her 93 year life. Horses and buggies to moon landings and personal computers.

Patrick Devlin, ouch…

Warren Nielsen, I noticed how huge those windows seemed also. They look gigantic compared to the little versions I’m used to. Yes, at some point Ella must have had a layover and switched planes.

K. Martinez, I just composed a post for Ella - part 2!

Famous Monster of Mpls said...

More Ella please!

Melissa said...

@Patrick, my favorite scene in Cool Hand Luggage is where they try to stuff 100 boiled eggs into the bag.

Anonymous said...

Major, thanks for posting these. Not only are they interesting to show this lady's travels, but these are important historic documents proving that air travel was once a genteel and comfortable experience, so different from the cattle car, spam-in-a-can today.

A great picture of the LAX Theme Building, designed by Paul Williams, one of LA's brilliant modern architects.

I had the great good fortune to update one of his residential designs in Santa Monica, years ago. I hope we handled it with a delicate touch.

Excellent post, please bring more of the same.