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Burbank Councilwoman and Bob Hope

October 15, 1987

The focus of your article on the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Constitution (Sept. 28) should have been on all the people who participated in the show and why they participated.

Yes, it is true that the Starlight Amphitheatre was not filled to capacity. But it is also true that it was one of the largest crowds that has been up there for years. It is also true that, as Mayor Michael Hastings pointed out, it was a great show. It was he who conceived and promoted the event. However, reporter Greg Braxton never mentioned that it was a great show or the reason why.

In attendance were major politicians from the Valley, high-ranking officials from the armed services, the U. S. Marine Corps Color Guard, the Long Beach Marching Band, Walt Disney cartoon characters and cheerleaders from nearby high schools.

There were other stars besides Bob Hope, John Stamos, Morgan Brittany, Earl Holliman, Michael Jackson (of radio fame), Susan Atkins, Fritz Coleman and Steven Bishop.

They included Johnny Grant (emcee), Emily McLaughlin, Brad Sanders, Kevin Pollack, Bob Hastings, Ned Beatty, Erwin Binder, Miss Burbank (Denise Record), Lori McKenzie, Jenny Jones, John Reilly and Yakoff Smirnoff. They, too, donated their time and talent and deserve mention. The Big Band music was provided by the Los Angeles Raiders' Band under the direction of Horace Heidt Jr.

It is disappointing that the names of the above artists were left entirely out of the article and embarrassing for Susan Atkins that her name was misspelled.

The essence of this story is not the number of people that attended. Attendance would have been four times greater had the Los Angeles Times helped promote this most important and worthwhile event.

What is important is that performers of many different ethnic, religious and political backgrounds banded together for very little money, or none at all, to make us aware of the great country in which we live.

From the standpoint of the stars, this show was a total and complete success. Bob Hope, who through the years has proven himself to be one of the greatest and most popular entertainers who ever lived, did not participate for the money or the crowd. He did it to express his true understanding and highest regard for the Constitution. Your reporter, besides forgetting to even realize why all these performers were there, also forgot to mention that Bob Hope received two standing ovations during the 14 minutes that he appeared.

HORACE HEIDT JR.

Sherman Oaks

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