I was working on an article about the Hollywood Sign and had finished all the desktop research I could – the only thing remaining was a possible visit to the Sign itself.

I contacted the trust that handles media inquiries for the Hollywood Sign, and they agreed to help me out. This was a remarkable opportunity as the public is normally not allowed up-close access to the Sign because of security and safety concerns (and rightly so, as I would discover).

The Media Coordinator for the Hollywood Sign agreed to meet me in the neighborhood below the Sign, and escort me up to the top of Mt Lee. I had been corresponding with her for some time, and she was exceptionally knowledgeable, funny, and accommodating.

Now, when you have the movie star good looks that I have, you really can’t waste your time being seen in and around Hollywood with women who rate only a “3” or a “4”. You need to be surrounded by women who rate at least a solid “7”.  It’s a Hollywood thing, so I was hoping the Coordinator would measure up.

The fact that I have no pictures of myself on this site should in no way lead you to believe that I am just an ugly, yet amazingly talented, troll.

Luckily, when the Coordinator arrived, she exceeded the “7” base figure I required. She was very polite and asked me to hop in so we could drive to the top of Mt Lee. I was quite excited when I saw the large rope and bottles of water in the front seat, but soon realized it was probably to aid us in our descent to the Sign, and not a subtle hint of her dating proclivities.

The view from the summit of Mt Lee is amazing. You can see the San Fernando Valley on one side, and the city of Los Angeles proper on the other.  Sadly, this view had been threatened for quite some time as much of the acreage surrounding the Sign had been up for sale, which meant the possibility of homes or topographical changes forever altering the view of the Hollywood Sign and Mt. Lee itself.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the people and organizations that purchased this remaining acreage (known collectively as Cahuenga Peak)  and gifted it to the people of Los Angeles. The view of the Hollywood Sign will continue to remain unobstructed and unspoiled for all to enjoy.

It should come as no surprise that Hugh Hefner was among  the individuals who helped make this purchase possible. Hef  has always been very generous when it comes to the Hollywood Sign, and no one knows more about enormous mountains and lofty peaks than he does.

We parked at the top of the access road and the Coordinator made a phone call to alert the police and security companies that we would be touring the Sign. She asked that the helicopter sharpshooters stand down, and not target what appears to be Beauty and the Beast wandering around the base of the Sign.

We proceeded through several locked gates and onto the hillside where the Sign  sits perched roughly 150 feet below. I looked around for the staircase leading to the Sign, but saw nothing. About the same time, I noticed the Coordinator  securing the previously mentioned rope to a large steel pipe located at the top of the hillside.

Once secured, she tossed the rope down the hillside and proceeded to rappel to the bottom where she motioned for me to join her. I figured she went first so that once my flailing body went sliding past her and promptly off the side of the canyon, she could pack up, dust the trail of any evidence, and be back in Glendale for a late lunch.

Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit. She was very thoughtful and thorough, and made sure I rappelled safely.

I will update this blog entry once I know where the article(s) will appear.

I am very grateful to the Coordinator and to the Hollywood Sign Trust for allowing me this opportunity. It is very much appreciated.

To read more about this amazing icon and its 89 year history, visit the Hollywood Sign website.

Written by stevemargolis

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