When I started writing my Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels, it was just me and my laptop and my big idea to write a series of books about living, loving, and working in Hollywood during its golden era. I really gave no thought to where this endeavor might lead, or who it might lead me to. But over the past four years, I’ve had some experiences and met some people I never thought I’d come across in a million years.
Recently, I was approached by a woman who found a stack of photos among her late brother’s effects, but wasn’t sure what to do with them. She scanned a couple and emailed them to me. It looked like a ceremony for a Hollywood Walk of Fame dedication for Eleanor Powell. Not knowing what else to do with them, she sent me the whole lot.
There were around 20 photos in all, and I found that it was indeed the posthumous dedication for Eleanor Powell that took place on Vine Street, Hollywood on February 15th, 1984. Back then, some of the stars from the golden era were still with us, and many of them made an appearance.
But then there was some photos of a guy in his late 30s with his wife and son. I remembered that when Eleanor Powell married Glenn Ford, they had a son, Peter, who went on to write a biography of his father. So I did a bit of Googlizing, found he had a website, and wrote to him explaining I had these photos, and asked if he was interested in having them.
You know what it’s like when you send these messages into the ether–you never know if it’s received, or read, or strikes a chord worthy of a reply. Much to my surprise and delight, he wrote back immediately. He said that ceremony back in 1984 was a big day for him and his family but surprisingly they had no keepsakes! He said that they would love to have these photos.
So sometime over the next month, we’re getting together so that I can give him this packet of photographs as I felt they really belong with them. Meanwhile, I thought I’d scan the more interesting ones and posted here for people to enjoy.
You can read more about Peter Ford’s remarkable childhood and subsequent life HERE.
Debbie Reynolds speaking at Eleanor Powell’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, with Gene Kelly in the background:
For tons of photos and information about the places and people mentioned in the Garden of Allah novels, visit Martin Turnbull on Facebook.