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Burbank now has Hope

Josh Kleinbaum

When Michael Hastings called the Hope family in New York late one

night this week, he was not concerned about waking them. Sure, it was

late, even later back East, and the Hopes had a busy week ahead --

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade would honor their father, Bob, the

late entertainer from Toluca Lake.

But they wanted to know. Was it official? Was Burbank-

Glendale-Pasadena Airport now known as Bob Hope Airport?

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“They didn’t care what hour, they wanted to know,” said Hastings,

the former Burbank mayor who represents the Hope family.

Pasadena, the third member of the airport’s joint powers

authority, voted on Monday night to rename it, making the change

official. Officials expect to hold a ceremony introducing Bob Hope

Airport on Dec. 17, the centennial of flight. Glendale and Burbank

have already approved the change.

“They were first very quiet, which was kind of sweet,” Hastings

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said. “There was silence, then there was a very, almost monitored

tone of, ‘Thank you very much. This is something that Dad would have

been so pleased to have.’ ”

From a technical standpoint, the name change became official as

soon as Pasadena’s City Council made its vote, but don’t expect to

hear pilots say, “Welcome to Bob Hope Airport,” for at least a few

more weeks. Airport officials and the Hope family are planning a

ceremony for Dec. 17, when a new sign at the airport will be

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unveiled.

“I hesitate to get into too much detail, because it’s a project

still in planning,” airport spokesman Victor Gill said. “It would

basically be an announcement to local officials marking the change.

“The act has been done. The motion, the ratification, kicks in

immediately. But for practical purposes, we’re still awaiting a

formal occasion.”

Changing all of the signage and stationery will be a much more

time-consuming process, and officials said they have not even set a

schedule for that. Officials project a cost of $250,000 to make the

changes, but the Hope family has pledged to hold a fund-raiser to

help offset that cost. Private companies have already donated more

than $15,000 for the project, and the Hope family has not even begun

asking for contributions.

“Once we get over this first event, then we’ll be sitting down and

discussing the second event, which we will call the public tribute to

Mr. Hope,” Hastings said. “As the Hope family has said all along, no

municipal funds will come out of this, and as each funding issue

comes along, it will be submitted to the Hope family for review.”


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