That Old Guy In WeHo: Dwarfed pigeon

January 21, 2013

That old guy said the Pidgeon drove the biggest car he’d ever seen. Of course, what was heard was that a tiny bird was driving a very big car.

“In fact, it was so big that it dwarfed the Pidgeon. The driveway was the Pidgeon’s parking space.”

That old guy was telling the new neighbor about that little cottage just across the street.

“Walter Pidgeon the big movie star parked there every Sunday, you could set the time by his arrival. He brought baskets of stuff for the widow lady that lived in the cottage. I think she was thirty-something, but that must be close to fifty years ago now. Every Sunday it was Christmas, all those gifts because the widow had two kids. Sometimes the Pidgeon stayed for hours with that widowed lady. Like on television, you know Upstairs/Downstairs. The famous aristocrat was being extra nice to a widow lady, single-parent.”

That old guy was just rerunning the vintage neighborhood story. No one had even noticed the little cottage before the husband in the house got sick, died, and the Pidgeon started showing up in that great car. Isn’t that the way, substance for thought? The prying   delighted to find something suggestive in it. Neighbors’ twittered rumors long before there were computers. Idle talk is fun.

Married, handsome, romantic, MGM leading man visits a young widow. He was obviously years older than she. The renowned, celebrated actor and the unknown widow furtively, discreetly visiting once a week behind the closed door of a small cottage.

This neighborhood was always known to be too permissive of shocking behavior, which means that people love to talk about it. He’s a sexy movie star. His wife is never with him. He comes alone. What must go on inside the widow’s cottage? 


Walter Pidgeon worked in the industry for decades, beginning in radio and then playing major roles in film until his death in 1984.


She is a sly one who smiles at neighbors, but always plays it private. She and her husband bought the little cottage; they had the two kids there; the husband gets sick and dies; attractive married man becomes enigmatic benefactor. A kept secret, scandalous and unpardonable!

Every miniseries must arc. The characters deplorable behavior fades asother people’s private lives move on. Muckraking busybodies also go with their time.

The widowed lady grew older and alone. The children grew up and moved away. That old guy recalled something she had said when the great big car and the Pidgeon had not been seen for years; “I hope the neighbors aren’t spreading stories about me.” It must’ve been in the early nineteen-nineties that the widow lady passed away; that old guy thought it’s more than twenty years since then.

Walter Pidgeon at age twenty-nine, long before he was a movie star, had been a single-parent widower. His wife died giving birth. He did not marry again until his child was already ten. He had no other children. That young widow lady was his daughter, those kids his grandchildren. On Sundays he brought help to support. The little cottage’s true story is not much. Even yesteryear celebrities lived weak days.

That old guy’s new neighbor was just about thirty years old and knew there had been an actor named Walter Pidgeon but he didn’t really know who he was, after all that was back in the last century.

In England they have very interesting historical gossip; yeah, like on television’s Downton Abbey. A family story, but it’s all gussied in decorated atmosphere.

America doesn’t have atmosphere, especially not the tidbit that is WeHo.