Whenever friends come to visit me in Los Angeles for the first time, they always want to see Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. In all honesty, this collection of Hollywood “stars” is completely cheesy, but I guess stepping on Humphrey Bogart’s “star” is about as close as most of us are ever going to get to shaking his actual hand. After all, we go to cemeteries and interact with the tombstones as if they were the actual person, so why not relate to a piece of the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard?
One can laugh at the corniness of the Walk of Fame, but the concept has been imitated countless times over. In my travels, I’ve seen a Cowboy Walk of Fame, an Astronaut Walk of Fame, a Yiddish Theater Actors Walk of Fame, a Surfer’s Walk of Fame, and even a Physicist’s Walk of Fame at Caltech. I will not be surprised if someone already has the url: bloggerswalkoffame.com
I’ve seen this “walkway” idea morph into other concepts that move away from the “fame” idea. Before I moved back into Los Angeles, I lived a few miles south in the beach community of Redondo Beach, where Sophia still lives. The next town over is Hermosa Beach.
In 2000, the town created a “Millennium Walkway” at a local park. Local residents could purchase bricks to be etched with their names. But unlike the theme being famed Hollywood actors or astronauts, the theme was a simple one — “Love.” Each brick would bear the name of a loving couple, mostly those who were happily married.
It was a beautiful, romantic idea.
It was also incredibly stupid.
Because a stone symbolizing a couple’s love “forever” is more of a crap shoot than a Hollywood star immortalizing Judd Nelson’s acting career. What could be more fleeting, more ephemeral — than love?
Six years after the Millennium, several of the marriages celebrated “forever” have already gone kaput. In fact, three divorced couples are in a battle now with the city of Hermosa Beach to rip out their names. Two of the requests have come from new wives of two men whose names remain etched in brick with those of their ex-wives.
Hermosa Beach Community Resources Director Lisa Lynn reluctantly acknowledged receiving the requests by telephone.
“One wife was going for a romantic stroll with her new husband and low and behold, she saw his ex-wife’s named etched in brick,” Lynn said. The one ex-husband who contacted the city said his new love would not marry him as long as his ex-wife’s brick haunts her millennial footsteps.
Lynn responded to the requests by saying the city has no plans to remove any of the walkway’s 738 bricks, she said.
Do I hear lawsuit?
I always hear of lovers who get a tattoo of their beau’s name. Does it ever come off? Or are you forever scarred with a remembrance of that relationship gone bad?
On the day that Sophia and I moved into our place in Redondo Beach, the City was doing some work repaving the sidewalk right outside our garage. After they left, we took a tree branch and engraved our initials into the cement. It is still there. I look at it every time I visit. But rather than it being a negative memory, it reminds me why I keep coming back.
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