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From an April 4, 1963 letter:

"I am always, always, experimenting ... Because I write plain, but without the jerkiness of Hemingway-plain, most of what I do of a technical nature is not noticeable ... I want to control the reader as much as I can ... "

On April 4, 1963 publication of "Yucca Knolls." Show Magazine. The Hat On The Bed. John O'Hara's Hollywood.

Three movie stars of the twenties and thirties retire and buy into Yucca Knolls, a real estate development some twenty minutes by car from Los Angeles ".... situated high enough above the floor of the Valley so that the only sounds that reached them were the shrill cries of locomotives, softened by the intervening distances, the scornful laughter of transport planes on takeoff, the droning of airliners coming over the mountains on their way to a landing."

The story is an description of the bizarre, often grotesque, Hollywood scene and the lives of its personalities. Here are the story's two prominent ones.

Cissy Brandon, from Kansas City, Missouri. Her films "...were the studio's bread-and-butter pictures, cheaply made, making use of old sets, written by five-hunded-dollar writers. They never played the Radio City Music Hall, but they were box office all over the world, year after year after year." Cissy is one of the three actors retired and living in Yucca Knolls.

The director, Earl Fenway Evans. "He had come originally from a small town in Nebraska, joined the Navy in time for service in one of Sims's destroyers in World War One, and bummed his way across the country to San Francisco." Earl comes to a bad end.

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