Ken Leighton noon, Nov. 19
Bob Hope's Palm Springs digs up for sale
$45 million, no questions asked
Legendary was Toluca Lake where Bob Hope decreed his stately joke vault.
Today, almost as legendary is Hope's high desert Xanadu, world's largest private pleasure ground, complete with a restricted 200-holer. Here, in the sweltering heart of Palm Springs, a private retreat was commissioned and successfully built in 1979. Unlike the pharaohs, Hope Spring's landlord leaves many canned laughs to mark his grave.
One hundred thousand cue cards, twenty thousand tons of makeup, and the lives of countless American servicemen and VC insurgents form the the brick and mortar of Hope's testament to himself. Contents of Bob and Dolores' palace: awards and commendations, portraits, stacks of unread scripts, discarded Metamucil packets, and furnishings the particle board foundation of many an IKEA — and a collection of jokes so big it can never be cataloged let alone comprehended, enough material for ten thousand network specials and supermarket openings - the loot of the world.
Hope went to his reward in 2003 at age 100. Mrs. Hope was 102 when she died last year. Dolores spent her remaining days alone in their 22,000-square-foot, six-bedroom Palm Springs pleasure palace, aloof, seldom visited, never photographed, an empress of new strength continued to direct her husband's once mighty empire.
Then last week, as it must to all mansions of dead, rich celebrities, Hope's oasis was put on the market. Cost: no man knows who -- in a failing housing market -- would have the temerity to put a $45 million asking price on even this behemoth.
Real estate agent David Mossler told mydesert.com, "the estate on Southridge Drive is listed through Partners Trust of of Beverly Hills for a 'rumored $45 million.'"
From what I hear they don't take cats and the water pressure sucks. Besides, other than a very old, not so funny, violently insane comedian and his trusty wife would want to live on the sun's anvil? I'm waiting for the Toluca Lake pad to open up so I buy, it invade it, secede from the union, and start my own country.