"…wandering stars, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever." Jude (1:13)
Jude, brother of James, obviously wasn't thinking about the Newport Beach Walk of Fame in his Epistle, but it's still a fairly apt description Newport Beach's attempt at combining celebrity and paving materials.
Like The General Epistle of Jude, which is tucked away in a little trafficked part of the New Testament, the Newport Beach Walk of Fame has found a home far from both its original intended location, Balboa Pavilion, and possible public attention: next to the pay phone in the office of an RV park. An entertaining little story in today's Los Angeles Times describes the Walk's wanderings. Following the Walk's creation at a semi-gala ceremony in October 2004, where some of the actors and producers of "The OC" pressed their hands into wet cement, things became steadily less gala. No more handprints were sought. The plans to ensconce the Walk in the Balboa Pavilion fell through, "for reasons city leaders can no longer recall", according to the Times.
The cement blocks instead wound up in limbo at the headquarters of the Newport Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau.
Until a few weeks ago, two of the handprints were displayed in the bureau's lobby window, and the rest were lined up along the bottom of a conference room window.
Tourists lay on the ground outside the windows, in position to pose for snapshots, said Jessica Roswell, marketing and public relations manager for the visitors bureau.
Although the Walk of Fame drew about 200 visitors a month, the search for a permanent home languished, Roswell said.
Finally, on Aug. 29, the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort came to the rescue.
The 100-acre RV park and marina on Backbay Drive began displaying the celebrity handprints on a tilted wooden rack next to a pay phone in the main office.
Having set the bar so low when it comes to Walks of Fame in Orange County, Newport Beach may soon be outshone by the usually more dowdy Anaheim. Anaheim has its own plans for a Walk of Fame, one not located next to the counter where RV owners inquire about the sewage hook-ups for their motor homes.
Imagine that, Anaheim and Newport Beach go head-to-head on a tourist attraction, and Anaheim emerges the more glamorous. If that happens, the image Jude couples with his description of wandering stars might also fit Newport Beach: "raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame". (Or maybe not-- Newport Beach has never been very big on shame.)