“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Visit to Del Mar…

Posted on October 13, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

 Rotary-Wheel-3d-150x150  Today, I spent a relaxing day in Del Mar, California. The seaside town shares a rich relationship with Hollywood’s Golden Age. And, the afternoon did not disappoint.

   I made the trip to offer my Forgotten Hollywood Oral Presentation to the Del Mar Rotary. Del Mar’s legacy as a Hollywood playground ensured that I was going to enjoy a special day. It began as I drove down Jimmy Durante Blvd.

   Rotarian Brett Mattei met me at St. Peter’s Church. He proceeded to offer a walking tour that included an incredible scenic view of the Pacific Ocean and the legendary train station. We strolled through the historic downtown village to beautiful landmarks, historic buildings, the hotel, and homes. I saw vintage photos of Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Robert Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck, Esther Williams, and Mickey Rooney. In 1963, Jimmy Durante famously paid tribute to his adopted home town, referencing San Diego in an early scene in It’s a Mad Mad Mad World.

bing-crosby-pat-obrien   When the Del Mar Fairgrounds opened in 1936, it became the home of the San Diego County Fair, attracting thousands to Del Mar. The final touch was the mile-long oval racetrack, made Del Mar an exciting destination. Under the leadership of Bing Crosby, Del Mar Turf Club ushered in a new era of horse racing. Pat O’Brien became the Vice President. Crosby greeted the first  fan through the gate as Del Mar opened in 1937. Bing’s song Where the Turf Meets the Surf opened every day of racing in the early days. On August 14th, 1945, O’Brien announced to the assembled racetrack patrons that Japan had surrendered.   BING CROSBY / PAT O’BRIEN  –>

   For decades, racing season brought in crowds and Hollywood celebrities to Del Mar Racetrack, including Durante, Lucy and Desi Arnaz, Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickenson, and the Dick Van Patten family, all who built homes in Del Mar. Since Seabiscuit won his famous race in 1938, Del Mar Racetrack has hosted exciting thoroughbred racing.

330px-jimmy_durante_1964   desi-lucy


   After my daylong trip and an afternoon of fellowship with the Del Mar Rotary, I headed home feeling I had just taken a vacation.

   And so it goes…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2016 at 10:49 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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