My wife’s cousins grew up in Beverly Hills- on Rodeo Drive, as a matter of fact. Gene Kelly lived across the street; the boys were friends with Carl Reiner’s son Lucas, who lived a few houses down. Not to go overly ballistic on the tennis thing again, but all three Schwartz kids ended up being pretty fair players. Jon Schwartz, a film producer whose latest project, “Like Crazy,” won some impressive award at this year’s Sundance Festival, hits regularly with John McEnroe.
Stravinsky ended his life as a resident of LA- terribly shunned, he was, on his 80th birthday by the city- and I had thought about googling the address and checking out his home on earlier visits. I did it last month.
Snake around Sunset Boulevard slowly; it’s easy to miss North Weatherly, a narrow street that twists steeply up a winding hill. Climb up just a little way and there it is, a beautiful ranch home nestled above the hurly burly of LA. Wow, S. wrote “Agon” here!
I left Jerri in the car while I wandered around, hoping to find a neighbor who could shed some light on this long ago resident. A few houses up I ran into a couple standing outside their home. Flanking a highly polished white Porsche Cayman, the middle aged couple- the guy from Jersey City, originally, and his pretty blonde wife who clearly had spent a little too much time under the knife- seemed surprised when I asked how often musicians roll into the neighborhood to get a glimpse of the great man’s abode. Apparently, not often- at least they’d never seen anyone on such a mission.
Then the woman floored me by saying that only a year or two earlier a piece of mail had been delivered to her home. The note, written in the 1950’s to a film critic who once lived there, was composed by… Igor Stravinsky! Apparently, Igor and his wife Vera (man, she was fly back in the day) were vacationing when the missive was misplaced by the postal system.
Excited, I asked the woman if I could see the note, but she declined, saying she had no idea where it was. I told her it was a historical document and urged her to find it and turn it over to a musicologist. I hope she does!
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