Hollywood and Desert Hot Springs Collide in Series of Library Writers

The Desert Hot Springs Library author series continues with a local artist-author well known for her beautifully illustrated nature books as well as her little-known stories about famous movie stars and tycoons who have come into hiding , help and hang out in the desert. Hot Springs.

On Thursday, March 24, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Audrey Moe will present her book, “Celebrities in Hiding,” at the Desert Hot Springs Library, 14-380 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs.

Like so many others, Moe and her husband, Courtney, were relocated from the Midwest to California. They bought a house in Newport Beach, which led to the title of his first book, “Beachwalk.” Inspired by her morning walks on the beach, Moe sketched out her new discoveries and later wrote and painted about sea creatures and the interdependence between the sea and humans.

Always an adventurous couple, the Moes decided to explore the wilderness after Courtney Moe retired at an early age. In love with Desert Hot Springs, its rich history, and magical hot mineral water, they purchased and moved into the 100-acre Bubbling Wells Ranch. Audrey, always aware of her surroundings, wrote and illustrated “Desertwalk”, depicting the flora and fauna of the desert.

The couple quickly settled into the town of Desert Hot Springs, with Courtney serving on the town council and Audrey archiving records for the Desert Hot Springs Historical Society. Their activism led to meeting the longtime residents who told past stories of the area.

Audrey became fascinated with stories about Gene Autry, Frank Sinatra, Peter Lorre, John Travolta, Cary Grant, Mamie Eisenhower and even Al Capone. One night, she wrote, she was dining at Two Bunch Palms when she spotted Barbra Streisand at the next table. She then saw Martha Stewart at a local restaurant. Where else could a celebrity dine out and remain anonymous?

She decided to delve into celebrities past and present. The ancients began to tell stories about famous people. It was then that she decided to write the stories and bring out aspects of celebrities that are not usually known or perceived about them.

One such example is Marilyn Monroe, who, just before her death, stayed at the Singing Tree Ranch with longtime resident silent film star Janet Gaynor and her producer husband, Paul Gregory. Or Frank Sinatra who rescued 20 dogs a month from local shelters and found homes for them.

“Celebrities in Hiding” reveals untold stories about some of the biggest names in entertainment, politics and business who have spent time in the wilderness north of Interstate 10.

There will be three other authors in this season’s series at the Desert Hot Springs Library:

  • Thursday, April 21, 1-2:30 p.m., Tod Goldberg, author of his latest New York Times bestseller, “The Low Desert”.
  • Saturday May 21, 1-2:30 p.m., Marge Snell, author of “Lest We Forget” on the occasion of Armed Forces Day.
  • Thursday, May 26, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the famous cameraman of Huell Howser’s “California Gold” series, Luis Fuerte, author of “Louie, Take a Look at This”.

The authors’ books will be autographed and put up for sale. Presentations are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact [email protected]

Sally Hedberg is secretary and grants coordinator for Friends of the Desert Hot Springs Library.

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