Name: Jerry Smith
Original Hometown: Los Angeles, California. “We lived in south central til I was 5, then we moved to Hollywood – lived near Arlington and Vine. I went to .”
What do you do? I’m retired now. Retired for four years now. I was an office manager for many years for a company on Beverly near Fairfax. I was in charge of all the invoices, the accounts payable, paychecks, that kind of thing. I loved the people I worked with. When I was 65, I was done there. So now I’m home here in Hollywood. I’ve lived here almost all my life.
What do you love most about Hollywood? I love everything about Hollywood. It’s my city. I know all the people here and they know me. The people are nicer here than anywhere I’ve been. I’ve traveled some, I’ve been to Chicago, New York. There’s no comparison. Hollywood is special; it’s unique. There’s no other place on earth like it. People come here from all over and they never leave. Why would they?
I’ve been here a long time, so I remember what it used to be like. There was a jewelry store right there [at the southeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga Boulevard] where the Popeye’s is. The Broadway department store right up the street. The big Hollywood Hotel where Hollywood & Highland is now. Things have changed a lot, but for the better. Hollywood is better now than ever.
I know you're having vision problems, yet you’re always out and around. Yeah. It’s glaucoma in both eyes. Started in 2008 and just kept getting worse. Now I can barely see at all, it’s all cloudy. I can see light and dark but that’s all. But I know Hollywood, and people are always here to help me. Anytime I need a little help, if I reach out, there’s someone there. Not sure that would be true in many towns, but it’s true here.
The good news is that I’m getting surgery for it and the doctors say it’s gonna restore my vision by Thanksgiving.
That's great! That’ll be the best Thanksgiving ever. You said it! And I’ve had some great ones.