‘Full Service’: Fun With Fact-Checking, Part 5


In case you just tuned in, I’m doing a little fact-checking as I go through Scotty Bowers’ “Full Service.” This will be fairly tedious except to a research drudge.

I could probably spend another day on the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue, examining the neighborhood as it was in 1946, when author Scotty Bowers apparently arrived in Los Angeles after World War II. But in the interest of time – we are still on the preface, after all – it’s best to move on. At least to the next page. Remember, I warned everyone that this is tedious work.

Fact-Checking “Full Service”: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


When Bowers gets to Page XII, we get to the pith of “Full Service”:

I felt myself reminiscing about dear and wonderful friends, all long departed. Oh, Kate, Spence, Judy, Tyrone, George, Cary, Rita, Charles, Randolph, Edith, Vivien, I thought … where are you all now? Do you look down at me from wherever you are and chuckle as you watch me mulling over how our lives intersected? What should I make of all those incredible adventures we enjoyed together? What do you beautiful souls think of the nostalgia now welling up within me? Am I resurrecting moments from yesterday simply because I want to dust them off and discard them or because I want to burnish them more brightly and hold on to them more endearingly?

In other words, Bowers does a lot of name-dropping, presumably to set the stage for his exploits.

Fortunately, he does reassure us that not everyone he knew … INTIMATELY … was famous….

There were politicians, judges, bankers, doctors, industrialists, newspaper columnists, even kings and queens. Not all were rich and famous. There were also plain, regular men and women whose names I shall never be able to recall. But I knew them all. Intimately.

… just don’t expect them to get any ink.

Recall that I’m blogging this in real time and not reading ahead. So we have these names:

Kate, Spence, Judy, Tyrone, George, Cary, Rita, Charles, Randolph, Edith, Vivien,

These are all Conveniently Dead People Who Can’t Sue. But it’s a fun little word association test, although I didn’t do so well.

Kate is presumably Hepburn. Spence, I would imagine, is Spencer Tracy.

Oh dear. The first person I think of when Bowers says “Judy” is…

Judy Canova. Hm. Probably not. I guess that’s Judy Garland.

Tyrone would be Power…

George, uh, Burns?  Hm.  George Gobel? Liberace’s brother George?


Cary, OK, Grant. That’s easy.

Rita, I assume is Rita Hayworth.

Charles…. Chaplin?… Boyer? … Ives? … Nelson Reilly? Oh, he’s the secret square!


Randolph, easy. Scott.

Edith…. Edith? EDITH? Edith Head?…. Edith Bunker?… Edith not into temptation?


Vivien. Ah. Leigh.

And do you think they are looking down from the great sound stage in the sky and smiling?

Maybe not.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to ‘Full Service’: Fun With Fact-Checking, Part 5

  1. pete nowell says:

    edith wharton?


  2. Eve says:

    I, for one, am all agog and akimbo to read about the sexcapades of Kate Smith, Spence Pratt, Judy Holliday, Tyrone Guthrie, George Gershwin, Cary Elwes, Rita Coolidge, Charles de Gaulle, Randolph Churchill, Edith Sitwell, and Vivian Vance.


  3. Mike says:

    Hollywood Babylon III? Dear God.


  4. Molly says:

    George would be George Cukor.


  5. Is Gore Vidal having a joke on us all? Cannot imagine such a sharp, satirical mind endorsing such shabby, shameless writing.


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