I am writing to you due to a barrage of complaints I have received that I can no longer ignore, with regard to particular coverage in the Calendar last month. In a story on the Orange County Walk of Stars event held Sept. 8 honoring Joey Bishop and Ruby Keeler ("Cause Celeb: The Orange County Walk of (Former) Stars" by Jan Herman, Calendar Sept. 13), Mr. Herman made a number of statements that many of us have taken exception to. He suggested that the Walk has no cultural bearing on the county. That's simply not true and furthermore the walk is something the county is proud of and I feel The Times should make that known. (Mr. Herman) also claimed that Steve Martin is the only real star to have been inducted to date. Another lie. And what an insult to people such as Buddy Ebsen, Bill Medley, who recently made a major comeback, and Jose Feliciano, an international entertainer and very much a star. The list goes on.
I also felt Mr. Herman's attitude toward both Ms. Keeler and Mr. Bishop was deplorable. After receiving her star, Ms. Keeler, who has suffered from a major stroke that has impaired most of the movement in the left side of her body, had the courage to break into a little tap dance. It not only got roaring applause, several people were touched to the point of tears. Mr. Bishop provided a 30-minute, side-splitting stand-up routine at the luncheon (your writer couldn't stop laughing) at no cost to any of us who happened to be there. Also, during the ceremony he entertained guests with a short, humorous monologue. Mr. Herman seemed to forget (to) report on those aspects.
Personally, I felt the treatment and the report were inappropriate and a disgrace to The Times. On behalf of my client, the Anaheim Hilton and Towers, I think you should be made aware that they have gone to a great deal of effort and expense to pay tribute to Orange County's stars. The Hilton picks up the entire tab, which is twice what a star costs in Hollywood.
CHERIE DePIETRO KERR
Kerr is President of Kerr & Associates Inc., a public relations firm representing the Anaheim Hilton and Towers which underwrites and maintains the Orange County Walk of Fame at the hotel's entrance.