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Celebrity Photos and Autographs: Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills

by Karen A. Romanko

Every time Hubby and I stop for a burger at the 101 Coffee Shop in Hollywood, I always make sure to walk up the stairs to the Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills. I scope out the lobby’s fascinating collection of celebrity photos and accompanying autographs, some with a unique feature...the autographs are on bank checks! I feel a bit like a voyeur, getting a brief glimpse into the personal lives of the famous.

I see an $8 check made out to Hazel Pierce from “Lucille Ball Arnaz” during the I Love Lucy (1951-1957) era. Wonder what that’s for? Seems like a small amount, but in 2019 that translates to $76.46 according to my trusty inflation calculator. Apparently stars have to pay phone bills too, and Desi’s $5.55 check to Pacific Telephone would buy $53.65 worth of service today. Hmm...Lucy and Desi have different banks.


A check from “a Martian” would have been a find, but Ray Walston’s autograph, alas, is on plain paper. Walston’s co-star in MyFavoriteMartian (1963-196…

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