by Heidi Simmons
Celebrities in Your Neighborhood
The Best Ever Guide to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes
By Eric G. Meeks
If you live in Palm Springs there just may be a celebrity in your neighborhood.
Since the early1900s, movie stars, the rich and the famous have been coming to the desert for sunshine, relaxation and recreation. Some just visited while others made it their home. Eric G. Meeks’ book The Best Ever Guide to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes: Facts And Legends of The Village of Palm Springs (Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe, 404 pages) is, as the title suggests, the best ever guide to the places they stayed, played and died.
The book contains a list of over 600 celebrity homes. It has addresses and pictures of the properties, as well as informative thumbnail descriptions and photos of the famous (and infamous).
Meeks has organized the book into 19 Palm Springs’ neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is a chapter that begins with a street map that is conveniently “lettered” to match the celeb’s home location. This excellent touch makes the book perfect for a fun and easy self-guided tour whether on foot, in a car or on Google Earth.
The subtitle Facts And Legends of The Village of Palm Springs adds another level of interest. Meeks provides a brief history of the communities with colorful details and descriptions that give each neighborhood its own unique style. He includes local stories and important history that has shaped Palm Springs and created its everlasting charm. One terrific local example: Meeks attempts to verify the famous Munchkinville. I’ll let you read it for yourself. And yes, he has a location and a picture.
So besides the celebrities and their homes, there are other treasures as well: Landmark buildings, hotels and nightclubs, each with a bit of background, a photograph and sometimes a vintage advertisement from when it was in business.
Spend a little time with this book and you get to know how Palm Springs streets, buildings and locations got their names. The reader comes to feel a part of the Palm Springs village and history — a real sense of its relaxed and beautiful star-studded past.
Thumb through the index and you’ll be sure to find your favorite star. Marilyn Monroe is mentioned six times. There are three addresses where she may have resided and the locations where it is “said” she had her affairs with President Kennedy. Meeks is very confident about the locations in his book. He has painstakingly verified and confirmed the information. Meeks says up-front when the locations and addresses lack positive evidence. Fortunately, the “unverified” locations are included!
Meeks is an author, book-seller and real estate agent. He’s a graduate of Palm Springs High School and has lived in the area since he was a child. His family has owned and operated businesses in the valley, which has given him direct access to celebrities. He has been collecting the information for decades.
Meeks owned the popular Celebrity Books in downtown Palm Springs and became friends with Ray Bradbury and hosted many celebs that came to autograph books and memorabilia at his request. He has personally met Ronald Regan, Tony Curtis and Ozzy Osborne, to name only a few.
The Best Guide Ever to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes is Meeks thirteenth book. He is extremely knowledgeable and qualified to author this valuable volume of local lore. He often interjects his own personal experience and observations. Meeks does this with an appreciation and respect as if he is along on the celebrity tour with the reader. This makes the read personal, charming and entertaining.
If you are not in Palm Springs don’t feel left out. Meeks includes a chapter on Down Valley Addresses as well, and there are many references to other valley cities. Meeks also includes his email so readers can report celebrity information and facts or typos (there a few.)
This is the perfect book for a holiday gift or to have on your coffee table for visiting guests to enjoy. It sparks lively conversation, recalls a golden age and generates pride in a world famous resort. After your turkey dinner, you may want to stroll around your neighborhood and count the stars. The book is available on Amazon or contact MeeksEric@hotmail.com for local availability.