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Painting for Neff

February 22, 1987

I was the painting foreman on the house Wallace Neff built for the late J. C. Anderson on Sunset Boulevard. The job was started in late 1926 or early 1927, and I had the honor of putting on the first brush of primer and a year later, applying the final touch to the completed mansion.

In the year that it took to complete the mansion I talked with Mr. Neff many times, and the fact that he talked to me, a worker in painter's overalls, was indicative of the attention he paid to the work being done. Although he had a competent field man, a Mr. Georgious Y. Cannon, Mr. Neff made regular inspections and nothing escaped his eye.

Another side of his personality was shown on a rainy day, when he emerged from the half-finished Anderson mansion and stood under the edge of the tile roof while the rain poured over his hat and onto his shoulders. He was so lost in thought I am sure he didn't know it was raining. Perhaps another dream was forming in his mind.

Wallace Neff was not only of the Golden Age of architecture, he was also a shaper of that glamorous era that will never return. It was my good fortune to be a part of it, humble part though it was.

HARRY C. MARTIN

Sierra Madre

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