JACK MOORE Our Correspondent in Palm Springs, California

1st March 2005
Notes from the desert.

Contrary to rumors, Palm Springs did not wash away in the recent rains. Was talking to a woman who has lived here since 1941. Said she had seen downpours and flooding but never five days and nights of rain in a row. Fortunately, it didn’t rain hard very much but just a lot for here. The rains started after Christmas. We have had about 10 inches so far and some years we are lucky to get one inch. The mountains are GREEN. I have never before seen that! And wildflowers are starting to come out It will be gorgeous but one helluvan allergy year. Mine have been going for a week and a half.

We are in the middle of a political quagmire. Four out of five of the city council members are big time pro-growth. The rest of us are for quaint and village like. Big fight. Local election a week away.

I had a house guest for five days: Julie Wilson. She is a major cabaret star – the grande dame, so to speak. Had her 80th birthday last October lying in a rehab hospital recovering from a stroke. Now she is back performing again – two weeks in Hollywood and two single night gigs here. We have known each other since “Jackie Barnett’s Playgirls” show at the old, small Desert Inn in Vegas and Ciro’s in Hollywood in 1959. Julie played London in the early fifties for three years, starring in “KissMe, Kate, “South Pacific” and “Bells Are Ringing”. Another friend, Ruta Lee lives here part time – is currently in a show, “Senior Class”, in Palm Desert. She and Julie and I and Bob Turk were in a revival of “Showboat” for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera in 1960.

We are in the middle of out “High Season” when the snowbirds, those Canadian and eastern and northern USA folks, come here to get warm (not wet!). The charity lunches and galas and golf tournaments keep everyone dressed up and with purses and wallets open. We probably have more charity dos per capita than anywhere else in the world.

Oh, I finally met Barbara Sinatra – Frank’s widow.

As Noel Coward (and probably the BBC) said, “And that is the end of the news”.