Hughes Resonance-Ripples in the Water

I recently found this article written in 1946 that chronicles Hughes’ infamous

Hughes Survived This

crash into a Beverly Hills neighborhood.  There are photos of the wreckage which impacted me (no pun intended)>  The crash occurred on July 7, 1946.

Hughes finished his spectacular slide in the back of the house at 803 Whittier Dr as you will see from the map in the article.

Now, in 1985, I went to work for the magnetic and enigmatic Dennis Holt at Western In’l Media Corp.  Somewhere in the late 1980’s around the time that Dennis married my ex PGW co-worker, Brooks Oliver, he bought the house at 820 Whittier, a few doors down from the place where Hughes had crashed 40 years earlier.

I had worked with Brooks at PGW in the late 1970’s and she often mentioned that she wanted to live on Whittier Drive. When you wish upon a star…

Anyway, Media Director Jody Caldwell,  the woman who made behemoth Western In’l into what it was operationally, was in her late 60’s by the time I started working there.  She liked me quite a bit and one day when we were shooting the breeze in her office, she started telling me about her childhood and such. I was totally unprepared to hear her casually tell me that she had worked as Howard Hughes’ personal secretary on Romaine Street.  But she just went silent and would not respond to my excited questions. She just looked down at her desk and clamped her mouth shut.  Oops. It seems that Hughes’ command for secrecy extended well beyond the grave.  But then again, he wasn’t really dead yet, was he?

Hughes Headquarters

In the 50’s, Hughes lived in a house located on the property of the Desert Inn Hotel in Las Vegas.  I am, by the oddest of odd coincidences, one of the few private citizens ever invited to stay in that house overnight.  This happened in the early 1980’s.  The television station that Hughes owned, KLAS-TV, was just a few yards away.  The history of the Hughes house can be read here:

The national sales manager of KLAS had invited me to stay overnight in the house.  I was invited back again in 1997 by the KLAS news director. The house had been changed into a private museum by then so sleep over privileges were no longer extended to anyone. Instead, I got a private tour.  A large map of Las Vegas from the 50’s covered one wall.  I marveled at the barrenness, the absence of roads and homes.  It was wide open space, just a great expanse of desert scrub.  I reflected on how the city looked back in the 70’s when I had  lived there.  The east-west  axis street of Sahara was well developed at that time but not much else.  With the exception of the strip, it was a dusty, ugly, scrubby, soulless  little town.
So, to recap, I go to work for a guy who buys a house in the neighborhood that Hughes had crashed into, find out that his Media Director used to be Hughes’ personal secretary, sleep in Hughes’s Las Vegas house, am invited to tour the house again when it became a private museum, and spent three years with one of his purported illegitimate children a decade earlier…hmmm.
Coming up:
The Glomar Explorer and the things that Richard said about the Soviet K129….and the Spanish galleon…and the gold.