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L.A.'s the Place Where Dreamers Strike Gold

November 01, 1998

The Sept. 27 issue of the magazine was rich with the lure of Los Angeles. From the story about a studio temp, Helene Hahn, ascending to big-time showbiz attorney ("Making the Dream Work," by Idelle Davidson) to the art of the triumphant Norton Simon, who helped turn Southern California into an art mecca ("The Art of the Deal," by Suzanne Muchnic) to the eternal sunshine that has delighted people like Heather King ("In Praise of the Endless Summer") and myself (when I lived there)--this trio of dreamers finding gold in L.A. sums up what I like best about the region.

David Lewis

Piedmont

*

Pulling oneself out of poverty, helping to effect social change, working to protect our natural resources, researching cures for disease--those are accomplishments in my world.

But in the superficial realm of Hollywood, which produces only an ephemeral product called entertainment, no one really has anything to show for his or her workday.

I suppose that is why Hahn's "swinging a deal" is considered such an accomplishment--because there's really nothing else to be proud of.

Patricia Dawson

dawson@empirenet.com

*

Hahn's "completely obliterating" the tires of a rental car and subsequently browbeating the rental company into paying for the damages she inflicted may be de rigueur in Hollywood, but in the real world it's called lying and cheating.

John Holmstrom

Los Angeles

*

Hahn's letter to the car-rental agency was an ugly-American story. Hollywood people seem to be living their own "Truman Show" and don't get it that their reality ends at the skyline, as should their shabby behavior.

There's a world out there where people take responsibility for their actions and don't consider it showing "brass" to screw people over.

That's just being a jerk.

Nancy Swaim

Los Angeles

*

I suppose I missed the point of the Hahn story. Was it meant to be an inspiration to all of us working women out there? Instead, it came off as a bland puff piece about the job performance of a workaholic--and not a very interesting one.

Bonnie Leachman

Toluca Lake

*

Regarding Heather King's praising the "Endless Summer": The response to "Don't you miss the changing seasons?" is "We do have changing seasons, they just aren't painful." To this day, just the thought of one more New England winter makes my fingers ache.

This is a magnificent place to live (in more aspects than just the weather) and it deserves to be appreciated.

Margaret Neal

meg2@gte.net

*

I'm looking at a wonderful painting, by Norman Rockwell, of a December scene on Main Street in Stockbridge, Mass., with the gray-pink sky of sunset; the warm glow of lights inside and outside the buildings; snow all over the roads and cars; people in overcoats, hats and mittens; kids playing in the snow; a Christmas tree tied to the top of a 1953 Crown Victoria Ford; and a brightly lighted tree in the window of Rockwell's second-floor studio.

I'm a Connecticut native who appreciates the beauty of winter, but believe me, I love living in Southern California. My wife and I moved here to the desert four years ago. Our only regret is that we didn't do it 20 years ago.

Lee Totten

La Quinta

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