A Place of Hollywood Dreaming
My coming to live with the ghost of Victor Schertzinger occurred in July of 2018 after leaving Hawaii to work on a short story series with a comedian friend living in LA. In typical LA fashion, the project fell through, but at the time, hope invigorated action, causing ticket purchases, long goodbyes, and a move to LA the next month. (A clear sign of my busy, busy life.) My friend knew a couple who owned a house near the Greek Theater and Griffith Observatory, and they provided a room with a private bath. Lucky digs in LA for sure, but beyond luck, the unbelievable home stirred much fascination and curiosity for the ghost of Victor Schertzinger still haunting the halls.
Built by composer, film director, producer, and screenwriter, Victor Schertzinger, the home held much Hollywood history, and though Victor's personal life remains mysterious, living in the house brought a sense of familiarity.
Entering the home reveals the 1920s with many fixtures, designs, and rooms unchanged save some additions made in the seventies. Not a believer in ghosts, though having experienced some strange things, I found Victor’s home invoked the spirit, or as they say, "had a good energy."
Despite prior homeowners, Victor remains the primary resident, evidenced by the many quirky artifacts of his presence, such as the organ. Victor’s original organ, complete with sheet music, still stands in a once-grand theater where he played and composed music. Shortly after purchasing the home, one of the owners heard organ music faintly playing throughout the halls, perhaps welcoming them home. They never experienced the music again and probably won't since no electricity powered the organ for fifty or sixty years.
A window overlooking the large pool, spacious yard, and LA gathers guests' stares. Aspiring comedians, actresses, actors, models, photographers, writers, and other talents gravitate to the vision of the hills that cultivated song, film, and literature. Many times I stared out the large window into that magical place.
In summer, the pool entertains screenplay writers, producers, and film aficionados forming art's collective musings that perhaps Victor built the home to capture.
Writing by the pool inspires much thought as this place's force of originality rushes from the surrounding people, gardens, sculptures, fountains, and other relics of Victor.
A graveyard for pets, who all seem to live forever in Victor’s home, hides behind stones lining the path to the rainbow bridge traveled by many rabbits and cats.
You lose yourself in Victor's landscape where oranges, mangoes, lemons, grapefruit, figs, and kumquats grow. Along a stone wall lined with spices and fruits, a path leads to a livable dollhouse Victor built for his daughters, now inhabited by a profigcaptionmaster. The intriguing home attracts and provides shelter to so many creative folks.
At night music plays a fresh lemon or orange squeezes into vodka as the many creatives talk, and I find myself staring out the window, listening for organ music from a great composer and dream.