California Screamin’

President’s Message

By Jerry Zezima
National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Jerry Zezima

Jerry Zezima

It’s October, the month that ends with Halloween, so I’ll begin this message with both a trick and a treat by saying that I have great news about the 2016 NSNC conference, which will be held June 23-26 in Los Angeles: We are not, despite the temptation to “go Hollywood,” staying in the Bates Motel.

You know, of course, that this was where Janet Leigh took her last shower in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho.

Even more horrible, the place didn’t have a hospitality suite.

Neither did Dracula’s Castle, which originally was in Transylvania but was moved to Universal Studios for the 1931 vampire masterpiece, Dracula. In the film, Bela Lugosi famously said, in his thick Hungarian accent, “I never drink … wine.” It is rumored, however, that he liked Bloody Marys.

The Old Dark House, for which the 1932 chiller starring Boris Karloff was titled, is another place the NSNC rejected.

We considered countless other spooky hotels and haunted houses from Hollywood’s past, including those in, appropriately, the Halloween movies, but we decided against them, too, not just because the accommodations weren’t up to our high standards, but because — and this was an important consideration — they don’t exist.

Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles

Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

So we settled on the Hotel Angeleno.

Before you read more about it, however, consider that next year is Sweet ’16, which Hollywood immortalized in the 1984 Brat Pack comedy, Sixteen Candles. The title was taken from a 1959 song by the Crests, whose Top 10 hit was on the soundtrack in Pink Flamingos (1972) and American Graffiti (1973).

We know the ’16 conference will be sweet, as well. And the Hotel Angeleno is just one of the reasons.

Here is the link to its NSNC room block:

Yes, it’s early, but we have reserved only 40 rooms, so you should register soon. The nightly room rate is $169. If you have any questions, please contact Kristie Cardenas at the Hotel Angeleno at, (310) 481-7825.

We are still working on our programs and lining up our speakers, but two things are set so far: Our Friday night dinner will be at the Will Rogers Ranch and we will have a session on self-publishing. Both should be terrific.

I will, of course, keep you updated on the rest of the schedule. For now, however, it’s a good idea to register at the Angeleno. It’s a fabulous place. It even has a hospitality suite.

And don’t be afraid to take a shower.

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Jerry Zezima writes a syndicated humor column for The Stamford (Conn.) Advocate.

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This piece first was published in the October 2015 issue of The Columnist, the monthly membership newsletter of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

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