Regular readers of P & P know that I adore Myrna Loy, the great star of the ’30s and ’40s in such films as “The Best Years Of Our Lives” and the sublime “Thin Man” series. (I love her so much that I named my very diva-ish cat after her. Myrna Loy the kitty is a very lovely and Oscar-worthy creature, even if she did wake me up at 5 a.m. this morning.) So I was charmed to find this story in the Los Angeles Times, about a famous statue of Loy at Venice High School in California, where the young, shy Myrna Williams was a student in the early ’20s and posed for a concrete sculpture there. The graceful statue, called “Inspiration,” stood on the school’s campus for many decades and even made a cameo appearance in the movie “Grease,” but was eventually removed due to vandalism and deterioration. But now she’s back, thanks to hundreds of donors, sculptor Ernest Shelton (who re-created the statue in bronze), and a thicket of prickly rosebushers that should detour vandals.
Students and alumni crowded around the veiled statue at noon Saturday as a contingent of the marching band and cheerleaders kicked off the celebration. Among the speakers was actor and Venice High graduate Beau Bridges, who as a boy appeared with Loy in the 1949 film “The Red Pony.”
“Our journey begins with our history,” Bridges said, calling the new statue an important nod to the school’s storied past.
Then the veil dropped, applause erupted, confetti shot into the air and spectators with cameras mobbed the statue.
“She is absolutely gorgeous,” said Renee Chorpash, a 1973 graduate. “I had tears in my eyes.”
Aww. Click here to see the story and the statue, which is indeed gorgeous. A nice, nostalgic story with which to start the week, no?