Elders Shock the Annual MPTF Board Meeting

Had they been able to stand, Mary Stellar and Rosemary Quinn would have been more active and able to properly protest the planned closing of the Motion Picture Home’s Long Term Care Facility at Tuesday’s poorly attended Board Meeting at the luxurious Saban Center. As it was, the ladies were enjoying the beautiful weather with […]

Last Updated: May 30, 2009 @ 1:59 PM

Had they been able to stand, Mary Stellar and Rosemary Quinn would have been more active and able to properly protest the planned closing of the Motion Picture Home’s Long Term Care Facility at Tuesday’s poorly attended Board Meeting at the luxurious Saban Center.

As it was, the ladies were enjoying the beautiful weather with their two sons Daniel and myself as we sat in the shade of the Saban Center entryway — as a visual reminder to the 31 or so board members whose apathy didn’t keep them from the luncheon meeting.

Had this been a hastily prepared and informal get-together of power-brokers and industry moguls, Daniel and I might have not cared to escort our ladies to it. However, this was the BIG Annual MPTF Board of Trustees meeting.

You wouldn’t know it by the attendance, as it seems that most were “catching on” to the buffoonery and embarrassing escapades of the executive staff. Yet about 31 out of 45 did make it to dine resplendently on the spoils of their indifference.

As the MPTF’s chief executive Dr. David Tillman droned on, disappointed at the lack of real celebrities to later mock, we stood sentry outside with two women who were about to be sent packing.

This intimate gathering of two sons and their mothers was deliberately small — in order to avoid previous threats of expulsion when groups as small as five were touring the campus, and were told to leave by MPTF security.

Imagine the day Elliott Gould toured the campus with us, and how disheartened he became when our group was asked to disperse and leave. The follow-up letter from MPTF legal counsel Sharon Siefert denouncing our visit included accusations about Mr. Gould’s party that included “entering resident rooms without permission, disrupting resident gatherings,” etc.

As someone who was there, the only disruption I saw were tears of joy from those who had worked with Elliott and were able to share hugs and handshakes as he spoke with each and every resident that reached out to him. The only rooms that we entered were the ones where residents saw our entourage pass in the halls, and happily called out to Elliott to visit for a while.

So we weren’t going anywhere that early afternoon on Tuesday. We weren’t going to remove our signs that punctuated the dire situation. We were, on that sunny day, the moral conscience of the entire motion-picture industry.

Munching on cookies and enjoying bottled water, both Mary and Rosemary captured the smiles of the board members on their way in. How could they not? Only a few with hearts of steel had the strength to look away.

As is their wont, MPTF security again found it necessary to warn the bemused sons about the signs adorning their mother’s garments. Denying that this was a protest, Daniel and Richard refused to alter their mother’s signage — instead adjusting them for better visibility.

I commented to nobody in particular, "My mom may not be able to speak for herself, but she would be proud of her statement, ‘I Survived WWII, Will I Survive MPTF?’"

Once the board members were seated inside, the blinds were drawn so that they would not have to look upon these two stalwart residents that benefit from the wonderful care they receive at the LTC. However, deciding to leave, we did detour to the other side of the building where the blinds were open, revealing the revelry inside.

In full view of the board, we parked ourselves against the window, as they fought to keep awake while Dr. Tillman delivered his final solution, their attention was diverted to these two majestic elders.

Jaws dropped as all turned to witness the commitment to keep the heart of the fund alive. Dr. Tillman’s mouth was agape as he looked up to see both Mary and Rosemary being observed by the now gesticulating board members who were frantically reaching for cell phones and instead finding buttered rolls in their hands as they attempted to phone security.

The loud cry of moral conscience embodied in these two women stopped the meeting cold.

We parted with a smile and escorted our two moms back to their rooms where they are loved, cared for and maintained in expert loving fashion. Rosemary’s sign of "Avoid Court. Please Keep LTC Open" said it all, and they saw it all.

Saving the Lives of Our Own, their supporters and MPTF caregivers will hold a "Hole in the Heart of Hollywood" Rally on Monday, June 1, at the Motion Picture Home: 23388 Mulholland Dr., Woodland Hills. Park in the shopping center across the street.

 

Winner of the Los Angeles Press Club's best blog award and a Southern California Journalism Award for his HollyBlogs, as well as an award for the Facebook group that helped to muscle the salvation of long-term care for the motion picture and television industry, Stellar's "vituperative blog on TheWrap" (Vanity Fair) focuses on issues related to the motion picture and entertainment industry. Stellar is founder of The Man/Kind Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to fight religious and cultural intolerance through the arts while building bridges of tolerance for all people. Stellar lives in Woodland Hills, California, with his wife of over 30 years, Nuala, and much too much Beatles memorabilia.