Back in February, I wrote a blog post about some pretty incredible experiences I had in my previous life before starting my own hand poured soy candle business. I worked at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills many years ago and had some once-in-a-lifetime moments. I thought maybe you would like to read some more. For this round of stories, I went “old school”, you may or may not remember all of these people. However, I’m assuming everyone knows the Bee Gees! And there is always Google if you want more background on the rest of the people (I've also included links to their IMDB pages). Go back with me in time… to the 1990’s, in Beverly Hills, CA…
Merv Griffin spoke to me! When I was growing up I used to watch Merv Griffin’s talk show. Mr. Griffin owned The Beverly Hilton when I worked there. His offices were not on property and he was not involved in the day to day running of the hotel, but I always hoped that one day I would pass him in the hallway. One night while I was the MOD (Manager on Duty), I was doing my rounds and I went over to Trader Vic’s Restaurant, which is attached to the hotel. Mr. Griffin was walking out as I was walking in, and he said to me “take good care of my hotel tonight” and smiled a big smile. Mr. Griffin knew who I was AND that I was MOD that night, wow! I just about fainted!
I had a “fax” encounter with Columbo! I was standing at the fax machine and one of the catering managers comes up to me and says, “Can we cut in, we need to send a fax?” I turned around and Peter Falk, from the television show Columbo, was standing there. Seriously, Columbo, right there next to me at the fax machine, unbelievable! He did have a pack of cigarettes not a cigar, and he wasn’t wearing a trench coat (both signatures of the character, in case you are too young to remember!), but I would have known him anywhere with that gravelly voice and distinctive look.
The Bee Gees signing Jive Talkin’! They were going to be performing at a function in the International Ballroom and I was lucky enough to be in room during rehearsals. There was a house phone on the wall (this was pre-cell phone days), so I asked the operator for an outside line. I called my mom (who was a HUGE Bee Gees fan), and all I said was “listen to this!” and I held the phone out towards the stage. I got back on the line and my mom said “are they really there, or is that a recording?” - she was almost in tears! One little bit of gossip – the wives of the group members were arguing over who was getting the better suite. hahaha
I met June Cleaver! It was my first week at the hotel and I saw Barbara Billingsley (who starred on the TV show “Leave it to Beaver”) in the lobby. She said hi to me while giving me one of the most genuine and pleasant smiles I had ever seen! I went running back to the office and said, “You’ll never guess who I just saw - Beaver Cleaver’s mom - Barbara Billingsley!” A couple of my coworkers laughed a little and one of them said, “Oh Jamie, that is so cute that you are so excited, but you will see many more celebrities here and it will stop being exciting after a while”. I didn’t let them put a damper on my enthusiasm. They were right about one thing; I did see many more celebrities during my time at the hotel. However, they were wrong about the exciting part ~ it never did get old!
As I said previously, I have so many wonderful stories and memories of my time at The Beverly Hilton – if every day were like the ones I’ve written about, I would still be there! As exciting as it was, I am truly happy in my new venture, owning my own company and making wonderful hand poured soy candles for you!
What are some of your “I can’t believe this happened to me” moments? Would love to hear them!