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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Events California Events Beverly Hills Trader Vics on the Road to Bali
Beverly Hills Trader Vics on the Road to Bali
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 358
From: Long Beach, CA
Posted: 2008-10-14 3:28 pm   Permalink

Don't know if anyone has heard about this, but Bob Hope's personal memorabilia is being auctioned off this coming weekend (10/18) for charity, and all this week until the auction the items are on display at the former Beverly Hills Trader Vic's (see the linked L.A. Times article from today's paper). The auction site for Julien's Auctions is down, so I can't find out the details about what hours it's open. However, being both a Bob Hope fan (the classic years anyway) and a TV fan I might try to visit, if I can get there around my work schedule and its not just open banker's (or auctioneer's) hours.


At the very least its a chance for one more peek into the Bev Hills Vic's before it gets the wrecking ball (I'm sure its been stripped of its interior by now, though I can see what looks like a rock wall behind the Bob statue in the photo). It's also a bit appropriate--not only because Bob (with Bing) sewed the seeds of visiting exotic places with the Road movies, but also since the post-war Tiki/polynesiana boom grew out of returning servicemen stationed in the Pacific, who probably sat through one or two Bob Hope USO tours.

Best of all is his daughter's comment that Trader Vic's was one of Bob's favorite places so he'd get a kick out of the fact that the auction was taking place there.

In case you can't access the link, here's the article:

Auction of Bob Hope memorabilia could raise half a million for veterans

Email Picture
His family is selling dozens of mementos, from his desk and chair to golf clubs, clothing, scripts, USO items and sports souvenirs. The collection is on display at the Beverly Hilton this week.
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

A painted plaster statue of Bob Hope was made for the comedian in 1979. "Dad never liked to throw anything out. He was a bit of a pack rat," said his daughter Linda Hope.
By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 14, 2008
One last chorus of "Thanks for the Memories" echoed across Bob Hope's battered office desk and joke-writers' table Monday.

Mementos from his 70 years of showmanship went on display in Beverly Hills as Hope's family gathered the entertainer's favorite golf clubs, hats, signed presidential letters and thousands of other personal items in preparation for a weekend auction.

* Bob Hope, "pack rat"
Photos: Bob Hope, "pack rat"

Proceeds will be turned over to veterans' organizations by the Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation, said daughter Linda Hope, who was the producer on his TV specials for the last two decades.

"It's a bittersweet kind of thing," she said as she settled into the worn-out leather office chair her father used for several decades and refused to have reupholstered because it was so comfortable just the way it was.

"Dad never liked to throw anything out. He was a bit of a pack rat," she said. "If he were here, he'd have something to say about everything here."

The trove is on display this week at the Beverly Hilton's old Trader Vic's restaurant -- one of Hope's favorite places, according to his daughter. "He'd get a kick out of the fact this is occurring here," she said.

Hope died five years ago at age 100. The souvenirs being sold this weekend are from his sprawling office at his Toluca Lake estate.

Auctioneer Darren Julien said the Saturday and Sunday sales will be streamed on the Internet and could raise as much as half a million dollars for veterans.

One display room is devoted almost exclusively to Hope's golf clubs, golfing attire and other items related to his love of the links, Julien said.

There's a collection of golf-themed neckties that could fetch as much as $600. Golfing plaques, badges, buttons and caps could go for hundreds of dollars. More than two dozen novelty putting irons -- in the shape of whiskey bottles, several depicting Hope's signature facial profile, with bent shafts -- could bring in thousands, according to auctioneers' estimates.

A polished golf bag made of red, black and white leather filled with 14 of Hope's favorite clubs is expected to sell for about $6,000.

A golfing ensemble comprising pants, a sweater and a shirt that Hope wore in 2001 for the Foster Brooks Pro-Celebrity golf tournament could go for as much as $1,500.

Display shelves and walls at Hope's office were lined with other sports objects: an autographed baseball from Yankee Don Larsen's perfect World Series game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956, signed basketballs and footballs from professional and college teams, even a mounted king salmon caught by Hope in 1991.

Among those inspecting the collection Monday was Hope's former makeup artist, Mary Gaffney. She pointed to a red leather boxing glove autographed by Julio Cesar Chavez.

"That has the most meaning to me," Gaffney explained. "He kept that glove in his makeup room. He would say, 'My old makeup man, Don Marando, used to do it this way or that way,' and I'd tell him if I had to I was going to put that glove on and do things my way.

"He'd always laugh at that," she said.

Show-business souvenirs naturally make up much of the collection.

There are personalized directors' chairs, numerous cowboy hats used in films and TV skits, costume clothing, show posters, autographed photos and programs, and a Native American feathered headdress Hope wore in the cover photo of a 1962 Life magazine report on "Bob Hope at the Merry Peak of His Career."

Copies of two 1931 items -- a script for a vaudeville routine and a contract for a week's performance in a Detroit show for a salary of $1,250 -- are among the oldest items in the collection.

Many pieces of memorabilia are related to Hope's famous USO tours. Grateful servicemen showered him with military patches, customized uniform jackets and jungle fatigues, medals and inscribed pictures of generals.

"I think Dad would be thrilled to know these things are going to help veterans," Linda Hope said of the personal effects as she rose from the sagging office chair (which could fetch $700) and stood over her father's desk (which might raise as much as $7,000). "There's no group more important to him."

Her mother, 99-year-old Dolores Hope, has retained some personal items for herself. And Linda Hope has saved some of her father's clothing and "a raggedy bag" that carried his jokes and scripts when he performed on TV.

"It's such fun seeing these things."


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11594
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-10-14 9:14 pm   Permalink

Wow, what perfect irony, Bob Hope's stuff sold off at the defunct Trader Vic's ...the end of an era!

Here are two definite objects of desire for the Tiki collector from the Hope archive, unearthed from the vaults of Tiki Central (in 2001):

The plaque on the first one reads:
"Presented to Bob Hope on behalf of all the military personnel stationed in Hawaii-
Schofield barracks 16 Dec 1971"

It was fashioned after a not uncommon lawn Tiki. I resurfaced here in 2003 in this post, see it in better quality:

Back then I knew of a guy who was working to catalog and archive all of Bob's mementos. Kind of sad, here is the answer to Bongo Bungalow's question "What will happen to your collection when you're dead?". Who knows if ol' Bob had hoped for little museum, and the family played along and then just said "It goes".

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11594
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-10-14 9:59 pm   Permalink

In any case, I feel inspired to post some images from the little book that gave me the great USO Tour map with the G.I. bases in the Pacific I showed in the Book of Tiki, Jerry Colona's "Who Threw That Coconut?":

Jerry was the other comedian next to Bob Hope in that tour...

Here is the whole gang:

Frances Langford was another seminal figure in Polynesian pop, she married South Sea movie actor Jon Hall and opened her own "The Outrigger" Restaurant in Florida.

The book has lots of funny illustrations like the above. The Dedication is also quite cool:

That was back when it was easy to tell who the bad guys and who the good guys were...

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Coco Joe
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2008
Posts: 724
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2008-10-14 10:11 pm   Permalink

Great post! So who's going and when?

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