Two years ago I spent a few days at La Quinta Resort near Palm Springs, with nothing to do with my time but roam around, look at plants, shop, eat great food and absorb some history ...
"In the early 1920s, San Francisco businessman Walter H. Morgan was drawn to a place in the California desert that dwellers in these lands had long referred to as the Land of Eternal Sun. He envisioned a tranquil retreat that captured the essence of quiet hacienda-style living. Purchasing 1,400 acres from the native Cahuilla Indians, he enlisted the renowned architect Gordon Kaufman, along with scores of artisan craftsmen to make his dream a reality. From more than 100,000 hand-formed adobe bricks and 60,000 locally fired roof tiles, a small grouping of quaint casitas and a cozy dining room sprung up. Morgan called this place La Quinta.
"Word quickly spread among Hollywood’s elite that Morgan’s oasis in the desert was a truly relaxing escape, far from the harsh glare of the limelight and away from prying eyes. The brightest stars came, each seeking the solitude of La Quinta for their own reasons."
"Greta Garbo, we learned, had her own casita at La Quinta. Not surprisingly,the reclusive movie star whose signature comment was, “I vant to be alone,’ selected a casita that was at a considerable remove from the Main Plaza, with its shops and restaurants. As a result, whenever she ran low on cigarettes, she was faced with a long walk. But that never fazed her. “I’d walk a mile for a Camel,” she often said, providing R. J. Reynolds with its universally known and still-recalled slogan." Luxury Life Review
A plaque in front of his *good luck* casita, where he came to write some of his biggest Hollywood hits:
"Director Frank Capra first came to La Quinta in 1934, to turn the story "Night Bus" , which he read in a Palm Springs barber shop, into the movie script for "It Happened One Night." When the film swept the Academy Awards that year, Mr. Capra became superstitious about La Quinta.I have a writer husband, so it's especially interesting for me to see the typewriter on the desk and realize all these famous movies had a beginning. A writer, who hoped he'd be successful, that he'd do it right! If you haven't seen it, here's how you can watch It Happened One Night!
This is where Mr. Capra wrote the screen plays for many film classics, such as "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", "You Can;t Take it With You", "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town", "It's a Wonderful Life", and "Meet John Doe".
Thanks to the staff at La Quinta for my private golf cart tour of the grounds, and a peek at this resort as it was then! Tomorrow will be my chance to take another look again at the plants of La Quinta Resort.