Linda Lin and her family had no particular Tinseltown destination Monday morning — they were just taking in the sights at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue when Lin suddenly stopped and pointed down.
There it was, the star's brass-colored outline juxtaposed with the black-tiled pavement. In the middle of the star were the two rabbit ears of an old-style television and his name in block, brass capital letters above them: DONALD TRUMP.
In an instant, Lin's daughter Grace began her assault. With all her might, the South Pasadena elementary school student jumped up and down on Trump's star, stomping on it with emphasis.
Her family laughed as the diminutive 10-year-old continued to literally pound the pavement.
"My mom saw it, I started jumping on it," she said with a wide grin. She didn't like "his speeches and stuff."
Though Trump's star has been on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since 2007, his star has never been more popular with tourists than during this election cycle. Love him or hate him, many pedestrians who happen upon his star outside the Hollywood and Highland Center, in the heart of the tourist district, can't help but react when seeing a tangible representation of the Republican firebrand.
The star has endured several publicized episodes of vandalism, including a spray-painted swastika and "mute" icon, but officials say they have no plans to remove the star.
"The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a registered historic landmark. Once a star has been added to the walk, it is considered a part of the historic fabric of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Because of this, we have never removed a star from the walk," said Leron Gubler, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which operates the Walk of Fame.
In the span of just half an hour Monday morning, pedestrians greeted the star with an obscene hand gesture, photographed it and pretended to spit on it.
"We're Hispanic, so we don't like him, obviously," said Mindy Herrera, who was visiting with her family from Loveland, Colo.
Herrera said her teenagers knew Trump had a star and wanted to make a point to find it. When they finally found it, Herrera's 15-year-old son, Aneas, squatted down and framed Trump's name with his hands while his mother took a picture.
"Like he was wringing his neck," she chuckled.
Over the last six months, Francisco Javier, who has been donning a Superman costume on the walk for the last 2 1/2 years, said he's seen people from all backgrounds stop and take pictures of the star.
"Bad signs, bad words," Javier said. "Every day people get mad at him."
A couple of weeks ago, Twitter documented a
particularly canine response to the landmark: a pile of poop.
On Monday, the owner of the 8-month-old German Shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix named Hades claimed there was no political statement intended.
"I was pushing my way through crowds, someone had found Trump's star, and all of a sudden, my dog is no longer behind me and he's squatting," said Hades' owner, Kansas Puckett, 20, from Oregon. "I'm like, 'Ah! This can't happen. No, too many people. And it was on a Hollywood star! I can't believe you, Hades.'
"Then I saw whose star it was, and I thought it was hilarious.... I think dogs have a personality more than people think."
The crowd cheered Hades on and told Puckett he deserved treats.
Puckett tweeted a picture of Hades' work and tagged the Republican candidate in the tweet, saying "Hey, @realDonaldTrump, my dog hates you."
While many cheered on the service dog and its owner on social media, others were outraged.
"I've gotten people telling me I should shoot my dog because he's a moron. I've gotten death threats," she said.
Despite such highly publicized incidents, Walk of Fame officials insist that they have not incurred any additional costs for cleaning up Trump's star.
However they did offer this warning: "The Hollywood Historic Trust, which maintains and repairs the stars, has been known to prosecute those who do major damage and they do have to pay restitution."
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