This house was on my morning circuit of Toluca Lake. By that time it was no longer owned by Gene Autry. Toluca Lake, unlike Beverly Hills, is more of a "real" neighborhood. Yes, the houses are very very nice and very very expensive, but, unless things have changed dramatically, they look like normal houses. There were never any ostentatious palaces. Even Bob Hope's house was pretty simple looking from the outside. Of course, I've been gone for a long time so it might have been turned into Narcissism Avenue with McMansions everywhere. Shudder the thought. There was one street that at Christmas time was magically transformed into a beautiful wonderland of lights just like other neighborhoods across the country.
Hard for me to imagine that there are people who don't know anything about Gene Autry, but I imagine that most of the younger generation haven't a clue about who he was. I remember how stunned I was when I went to a video store and asked for a Danny Kaye movie and got a blank stare back from the young Goth behind the counter. I knew I'd crossed over into old age and was happy to be there.
Orvon Gene Autry (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998), better known as Gene Autry, was an American performer who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on the radio, in movies and on television for more than three decades beginning in the 1930s. Autry was also owner of the Los Angeles/California Angels Major League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997, as well as a television station and several radio stations in southern California.Although his signature song was "Back in the Saddle Again", Autry is best known today for his Christmas holiday songs, "Here Comes Santa Claus" (which he wrote), "Frosty the Snowman", and his biggest hit, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer".He is a member of both the Country Music and Nashville Songwriters halls of fame, and is the only celebrity to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
I think it's time for me to pull out my old Autry CDs and dream of what seemed to be a simpler time. Of course, it wasn't, but Gene could make you feel that with a song in your heart, a well trained horse under your butt, and a funny sidekick anything in life could be overcome.