Hooray for Hollywood…and Mr. Hefner
Goldman Sachs has dominated the news this week…with zings, accusations, fighting and blogging from Capitol Hill. It’s been hard these past few days to unearth some of the more positive news out there (or “Props” worthy in Fosbury lingo).
Thank goodness for NPR today. Amid all the “financial noise,” was a great story about the Playboy Empire’s fearless leader, Hugh Hefner – Hollywood’s current knight in shining armor. Through a generous contribution ($900,000) to the Hollywood Sign Trust – Hefner saved the iconic sign from being bulldozed to make room for luxury condominiums (although I read in the Atlantic Monthly that California is bankrupt). Hefner’s donation brought the Trust to its goal of $12.5 million. NPR also reported that actors Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg also donated millions and Tiffany & Company sent a generous check in a very pretty blue box. The Trust will purchase the park and donate it to the Los Angeles park system for all to enjoy. Hefner also donated tens of thousands of dollars to repair, what Hefner refers to as “America’s Eiffel Tower,” in the early 70’s.
The Hollywood sign was built as an over-the top advertisement for a real estate development, Hollywoodland. Over the past 87 years, the sign has endured many challenges including natural disasters, world wars, protests that changed the word “wood” to “weed” in the 70’s and plain ole age.
However, through it all, the sign’s reputation and message: “Welcome to Hollywood! The place where dreams come true!” remained unscathed. I wish I could say as much for the folks on Capitol Hill today.