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Odds & Ends Around the Valley

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Rock On Inn

So there he was.

Living in Laurel Canyon with the rest of the flower children.

Paul Koslo.

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Working actor.

The year was 1970.

“I figured I either had to get out of town or I would end up a freaked-out heroin addict, juice junkie or dead, like the rest of my friends,” he said.

Koslo--who estimates he has been in more than 120 movies and videos, mostly as a bad guy--was heavily into self-preservation, even back then.

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He got out of town.

Headed north.

He bought an 11-acre ranch in Lancaster in 1972 and took his act up to the boonies.

His sister and brother-in-law bought a nearby Lake Hughes landmark, the Rock Inn, a former stop on the Butterfield Stagecoach line.

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By 1975, his sister and brother-in-law had lost interest in each other and the Rock Inn, and Koslo found himself an innkeeper.

“Actually, my sister hadn’t done much with it as an inn. She really ran a mom-and-pop kind of grocery store and deli out of it,” Koslo said.

In the past 15 years, Koslo has--between acting jobs--turned the old inn into a kitschy, trendy place to dine. For the past four years, it’s also been a hotel.

Sort of a poor man’s Madonna Inn.

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There’s the dining room, of course, six guest rooms and a penthouse.

Each room is a different color scheme and decorated differently, with the bathroom facilities down the hall. The penthouse, on the third floor, has two balconies, a fireplace, a big brass bed and its very own facilities, including a spa-sized bathtub. The whole shebang rents for $125 a night.

“Our penthouse guests are usually into something special,” Koslo said. “We can arrange for a limo to pick them up, send the chef up to create a private dinner en suite and provide most anything else that will make their stay special.”

One of the things that is making a stay at the Rock Inn special these days is what’s going on in the hotel’s delightful little parlor every Friday night.

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“We wanted to offer our guests and the people in the community something special, so we have contacted a psychic to give readings every Friday night,” Koslo said.

Second Chance

If album producer Bob Ezra has his way, Julian Lennon’s September release on Atlantic, “Help Yourself,” will get a second chance at success after dismal initial record sales.

“The album was just kind of put out there at a time where everyone was releasing everything, so Julian’s work really didn’t get much of a hearing,” the producer said.

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Ezra says he’s talking to Atlantic about a re-release, a video and a high-impact sales promotion.

Ezra, who lives in Sherman Oaks and has produced Pink Floyd, Kiss and Peter Gabriel, says the Lennon album was a special project for him because he’s known Lennon for years and considers him family.

He also considers at least one of the backup singers on the album’s “New Physics Rant” cut family.

That’s because the backup singers are his daughter Sarah’s Girl Scout troop from Campbell Hall in Studio City.

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“We needed young voices for that particular song, so Sarah and the rest of her troop were enlisted,” Ezra said. “The girls were very professional, showed up in their uniforms and sang like angels.”

Ezra says that if a video is made, the girls will probably be in it.

“Julian loved them.”

Adding Up

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For anyone who wonders how Kennedy High School graduate Cathy Goedert got to be Sherman Oaks branch manager of Atlantic Financial Savings Bank at age 22, it is, in part, because she’s good with dollars and willing to share her common sense.

Goedert, who graduated from Cal State Northridge in 1987 with a degree in banking, says there are a number of ways to save money at your bank. In addition, that is, to the money you’re saving at your bank.

Goedert offers the usual advice about avoiding monthly service fees by maintaining a minimum balance, asking about free checking if you are 55 or older and finding out about interest-bearing checking accounts. And, don’t, she said, assume the bank is going to do this for you.

And, be sure to watch out for the dreaded bounced check charges.

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But, Goedert says, two of the biggest drains on your money at many banks are the check printing charges and the automated teller machine charges.

“If you use 400 checks per year, you can pay up to $30 a year for fancy checks,” she said, while the plain, ordinary kind only cost about $10.

And, she says, at many banks each automatic teller machine transaction costs $1 each, so after a while the machine could start to resemble a one-armed bandit.

Short Timers

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Teaching isn’t a great way to get rich quick. In fact, some teachers make more at their three-month summer jobs than they do during their nine-month teaching stint.

That is, they did.

Now with the multitrack schedules at most city schools, teachers are having to readjust their incomes as well as their lives.

“Many teachers had summer jobs they went back to every year to augment their incomes,” says Susan Shaffer, the bilingual school coordinator at Limerick Street School in Canoga Park. “The summer job, in effect, made it financially possible for them to work as a teacher the rest of the time.”

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Now, Shaffer says, many teachers are having to try to find two short-term jobs, one in the winter and another for the summer.

“Some of our teachers have lined up fun kinds of jobs, like our second-grade teaching assistant, Sandy Anleu, who is going to be a ski instructor,” Shaffer said. “But it isn’t easy for most of us to find an employer who will hire someone for just seven weeks.”

Shaffer said she will probably try to find a job tutoring or as an office temp, noting that that is pretty much what is available to her.

She says she went into the state-run employment office to see what they had to offer and told the counselor she was a teacher.

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“Well, yes,” the counselor said, smiling at her politely, “but can you actually do anything?”

Overheard

“It figures that the year they’re going to have six months of skiing at Mammoth, I can’t afford to go at all.”

--Girl to her boyfriend at Oshman’s in Northridge

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