Hoppy's Forgotten Home
In The Desert
By Stephen Lodge
Last edited: Sunday, November 13, 2005
Posted: Sunday, November 13, 2005
A Visit To William and Grace Boyd's Winter Home in Palm
In lieu of the fact I thought he’d been forgotten by most, and
no one but myself and maybe a few others who remembered him
would show up, Hopalong Cassidy fans, of which I am definitely
one, were given quite a welcome on Saturday, November 12, 2005,
when the Palm Desert Historical Society held a Special Open
House at 73-498 Joshua Tree, in Palm Desert, California.
Mario Hernandez – the present owner of the world-famous movie
cowboy’s winter lodging – recently put the single-family,
mid-century dwelling on the market, and he and members of the
Historical Society wanted to show off the property in what they
figured might just be the last time it would resemble what it
looked like way back in the 1950s when William Boyd – the man
who made the name Hoppy famous – and his wife, Grace, called the
residence their home.
Hernandez, a local Coachella Valley contractor, purchased the
property in late February and spent a small fortune refurbishing
the Western-movie legend’s one-time desert lair. Hernandez
re-painted both the interior and exterior in Hopalong Cassidy’s
celebrated black and white trademark colors, as well as
re-tiling – and believe me, there was tile everywhere – the
walkway up to the front door; both rear patios; the pool; plus
every single room inside, including Grace and Bill’s personal
bathroom, with an entrance off the pool, mind you; and the guest
bath, which looks out onto an enclosed atrium.
The black and white pool has a finger off the deep end which
passes under an outside patio wall and into the Boyd’s personal,
covered patio, located off the master bedroom and bath – making
drying off and showering a private affair if guests happened to
Those guests that Bill and Grace entertained, as well as the
guests from yesterday’s event, were privilege to the black and
white pool-side bar, with Western saddles for stools; each
saddle designated with other famous cowboy stars’ names. For
those visiting yesterday, we were entertained by two of the
Coachella Valleys top Western musicians.
My wife, Beth, and I were pleasantly surprised when we arrived
and found we had to park more than a quarter of a mile away.
Like I said before, I figured some of us old-timers, Hoppy
aficionados from way back, would be there, but to see the entire
street, as well as the cross streets, lined with cars from one
end to the other, and both with arriving vehicles cruising
bumper to bumper in both directions in search of a parking spot,
made me feel real good inside.
A throng of Hoppy devotees, with quite a few dressed in cowboy
hats and black and white outfits, were lined up from curbside to
front door, ready to tour the house. In the driveway, as we
exited, even more Hoppy enthusiasts were enjoying the tasty
beverages and snacks offered by our gracious hosts.
Hopaling Cassidy had not been forgotten after all – William
Boyd, the man we all knew affectionately as Hoppy, is still
alive and well, thank you.
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