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Maralee Lowder

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La Jolla, A Celebration of Its Past
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Using the philosophy that history is someone else's point of view, this book is a compilation of stories about the people who discovered and helped develop the little sea..  
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Room 239
By Maralee Lowder
Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rated "G" by the Author.

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           >> View all 5

The history of the people who occupy a hotel room is told by following its paper trail.


ROOM 239


Maralee Lowder





Pacific Vista, California


April 4, 1935


Dear Miss Carpenter:


            We at the Oceanview Hotel are very pleased with your decision to spend your honeymoon in our establishment. It will be our pleasure to do all in our power to make your stay with us most enjoyable.

            We have selected Room 239 as your honeymoon suite.  Its corner location allows for spectacular views of both the beautiful Pacific Ocean as well as the pine covered hills which surround our grounds.

            Available for your enjoyment are our three fine dining rooms, the indoor and outdoor pools and our superb tennis courts.

            Again, I would like to say how pleased we are that you have chosen us for this most important occasion and look forward to our arrival on June 10.


Sincerely yours,


(Mrs.) Carolyn Ritter

Reservations Manager





August 20, 1935



Dear Maryann:




           I’m so sorry I haven’t written sooner, but you just can’t imagine how busy I’ve been since the wedding!  I never dreamed married like could be so disruptive!

            Let me tell you all about the honeymoon. (Well, maybe not quite all about it!).  Anyway, after we left the reception we drove straight to the Oceanview Hotel in Pacific Vista.  I am so glad I had written for the reservation when I did because they didn’t have one free room left.  The place was packed!  But, since we hardly left the room for two whole days, who cared?

            I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful hotel.  Everything was just perfect – the food, the room, the service.  And we could sit for hours on our balcony and never tire of watching the waves crashing up against the rocks at the base of the bluffs beneath us.  It is just the most romantic setting in the world!  If Joe and I aren’t the two most happily married people in the world, it won’t be because we didn’t get a romantic beginning to our life together.

            If you and Pete ever decide to tie the knot, you imply must spend your honeymoon here.  And when you do, don’t forget to ask for Room 239.  It’s the best room in the hotel!

            Well, I’ve got to run now.  Joe will be coming in from work any minute now and I haven’t even begun dinner!



     All my love, and don’t forget to write!














December 12, 1942






          Maryann Morrison, one of Hollywood’s brightest lights, has mysteriously appeared at the Oceanview Hotel in the coastal city of Pacific Vista.  Missing since November 4, it had been feared Miss Morrison had been the victim of foul play. Many questions have yet to be answered at this time, such as why she suddenly disappeared, who she has been with and what is the current state of her health.

            Miss Morrison, who reached sudden stardom with her role at the hauntingly beautiful dancer in the highly successful film, “Star Dancing”, was busy working on a major motion picture with the famous director Buck Stanton, when she failed to report to the set on the morning of November 4.  Those of her friends who were available for comment were unable to shed any light on the mystery disappearance.  Although there had been umors of her dissatisfaction with the progress of the film, she had made no mention to anyone of plans of leaving town.

            The police have made no comment as to the tumor that Miss Morrison had been staying at the hotel in disguise, nor would they confirm rumors of whether she was staying there alone or if she had a companion with her.

            The official statement from Olympic Studios is that they are most happy Miss Morrison has been found and that she is safe. Shooting of her picture will continue immediately.








December 12, 1942


            The good news is that Maryann Morrison has been found and seems to be in reasonably good health.  The bad news is that no one seems willing to admit why the glamorous star found it necessary to hide away in a hotel room all these weeks.  Could it be that beautiful Maryann is unhappy in her new film?  Is ity true that Buck Stanton has been driving her too hard?  It is no secret that Buck has a wicked reputation of treating his actors like draft animals!

            Our good wishes are with you, Maryann.  With your looks and talent, you have nowhere to go but to the top.  Don’t let anyone treat you as anything but the star that you are!




Dear Janet:


            My dear friend, how long has it been since I have written or talked to you?  I have missed you and Joe so much since you moved to Dallas.  Everyone thinks that just because I have become a famous film star I don’t need my old friends anymore.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  If only you were nearby! How I need your shoulder to cry on!

            I suppose by now you have read the papers about my “disappearance.”  I’m afraid I’ve made a bit of a mess of things, my friend, but I had to get away from that horrid man.  Every day I went to the studio that vicious man who calls himself a director, did nothing but belittle me.  I was all wrong for the part.  I was flat chested.  I walked like a duck.  Where had I learned to speak, the Bronx?

            The man completely demoralized me.  Every night after shooting I went home and mixed myself a drink to relax, only after awhile one drink was never enough.  I drank myself to sleep so many nights, I’ve lost count.

            How did I end up at the Oceanview?  I haven’t the foggiest idea!  Somehow I managed to remember your telling me to be sure to get Room 239 if I ever stayed there, because when I finally sobered up, that was the room I found myself in.

            When the police ame to the room, I wasn’t alone, Janet.  Somewhere along the line, in some bar, I suppose, I found myself the most disgusting man I’ve ever met.  And, like the brilliant girl I’ve always been, I’d brought him to my room with me.  I’m so ashamed of myself and terrified I might do something like this again.  What am I going to do?  I can’t tell anyone else about it.  Amazingly, the police and the people at the hotel have been discreet.  Of course, my agent passed out “thank you” money with an extremely lavish hand.

            I’m sorry to be crying on our shoulder like this.  It’s going to be all right.  Sammy, my agent, has been watching me like a hawk since I’ve come back to Hollywood and has found a wonderful doctor to help me deal with the drinking.  Also, the studio has forced Buck to lighten up on me.  I’m sure this will all seem like an ugly nightmare one day.

            Please give all my love to Joe and the kids.


                                                                        Your friend forever,



Dear Mom and Dad:


            When you read this I will already be married to the most wonderful man in the world.  Please don’t be upset with me too much, but there just wasn’t enough time to do things the way you would have wanted me to.  Bill is home on a 30 day leave from the Army and he has to report back to the base in only three more days.  So you can see we had no other choice than to do what wqe did.  When he returns to base he will be shipped out to the Pacific and I just couldn’t let him go without our being married first.

            I wish there was time for you to meet him before he goes!  He is the most wonderful person alive.  He comes from Arizona, some small dessert town out there.  His parents run the grocery store and gas station.  Maybe that’s where we’ll live when he gets back.

            We haven’t really talked too much about the future, to be quite honest.  Right now our home is Room 239 in the Oceanview Hotel.  We can’t even think about the future until the war is over. But what is important is that we’re together and we love each other very much.

            Bill and I met a week ago last Friday at a Canteen dance.  When he walked in with his friends I knew he was somebody special.  He was inches taller than the other soldiers and so good looking in his uniform!  He asked me to dance the first dance and, well, we never stopped dancing.  We both knew before the night was over that we were in love.  I know you both will be upset because we got married so fast, but how could I let him go off to fight in the Pacific without proving how much I loved him?  We’ll be happy, I know we will!

            I’ll be going back to college after Bill leaves and will write to you again from there.

Please just know that I love you both very much and I am so very happy with my new husband.

                                                All my love,











REPORT NO: 126/56

DATE:              3/23/56

TYPE OF INCIDENT:          Theft from room

LOCATION OF INCIDENT:             Room 239

OFFICE REPORTING:         John D. Bennett


Security office received report from guest, Mr. Albert Brownfield, that when the guest checked out of the hotel he inadvertently left his briefcase in his room.  He noticed his loss when he arrived at his automobile, at which time he returned the hotel.  Reservations supervisor, Sandra Jennings, went Mr. Brownfield to room 239 to retrieve his briefcase.  When they arrived at the room they discovered that the room had not yet been cleaned, but the briefcase was no longer there.  They searched the room together and it was at this time that security was called to the room.  The officer also searched the room but was unable to locate the briefcase.  Value of the item was placed at $30.00


Mr. Brownfield, an attorney, was very upset, stating that the briefcase held very important papers that was to go to trial the afternoon. 




Pacific Vista, California


May 5, 1960


Dear Mrs. Patterson:


The celebration of your and Mr. Patterson’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary is such a joyful occasion that I am writing to you personally to confirm your reservation for Room 239 on June 10, with your departure on June 12.  It isn’t often that a couple spends their honeymoon with us and then is able to return twenty-five years later to stay again in the very same room.


Although the furnishings of the room have been altered throughout the years, I am sure you will still find Room 239 to be a beautiful and comfortable suite.


I look forward to greeting you personally upon your arrivel.



(Mrs.) Carolyn Ritter

Assistant General Manager







REPORT NO: 425/72

DATE:              6/23/72

TYPE OF INCIDENT:          Theft from room

LOCATION OF INCIDENT:             Room 239

OFFICE REPORTING:         Leo Garcia


Security Office received report from front office at 11:23 a.m. that a guest in Room 239, Mr. John Winston, had failed to report for a 9:00 a.m. meeting and requested that his room be checked.  Office arrived at Room 239 at 11:20 a.m. and found a “Do Not Disturb: sign on the door.  Office Garcia knocked three times before entering the room.  Upon entering, office Garcia observed a man’s body sprawled across the bed, laying face up.  The man was fully clothed and had a pillow over his face.  In his right hand was a .32 caliber pistol.


It appeared that Mr. Winston had killed himself, firing the gun into the pillow, thereby muffling the noise of the shot.  A suicide note was found on the night stand beside the bed.  Office Garcia exited the room to call the police to the scene, being careful to not disturb any fingerprints or other latent evidence which might have been left in the room.  Police arrived at 11:32 a.m. to investigate, at which time Office Garcia returned to the Security office.

My dearest Julia,


            This is the most difficult letter I have ever written.  I realize that no matter what I say you will never understand why I have decided to kill myself.  I just can’t take the pain of living anymore.  I had’t told you much about how the business had been going lately. I couldn’t bear to worry you. I was so sure I could pull everything back together!  But it didn’t work out that way.  It is lost now, everything.  I can’t look you in the eye again now that I know I am nothing but a failure.

            Please try to find it in your heart to forgive me.  If I could think of any other way to make things right, believe me, I would gladly have tried it.  If there truly is an afterlife, and I am accepted there after what I have done, I promise you that I will love you to the end of eternity.


With my deepest love,








REPORT NO: 001/80

DATE:              1/1/80

TYPE OF INCIDENT:          Guest disturbance

LOCATION OF INCIDENT:             Room 239

OFFICE REPORTING:         Sgt. L. Garcia


Security office received report at 04:15 a.m. that there was a nude man in the hall on the second floor.  When Sgt. Garcia arrived at the scene outside Room 239, guest, Dr. Ivan Tarkoff, was completely naked and sitting on the floor, leaning against the door to his room.  The reporting officer opened the door with his pass key and escorted Dr. Tarkoff into his room.


Upon questioning it was learned that Dr. Tarkoff, who customarily sleeps in the nude, decided to place the Do Not Disturb sign on the door outside his room.  Deciding no one would be roaming the halls at such a late hour, he went out into the hall without any clothes on to attach the sign.  The door closed behind him, locking automatically.  The responding officer recommended that Dr. Tarkoff be more careful in the future and left the room.  No further action was taken.






Pacific Vista, California



May 13, 1985


Dear Mrs. Patterson:


We at the Oceanview Hotel are very happy to acknowledge your reservation for June 10 through June 15, 1985.  It is a rare privilege to be able to welcome back to the hotel a couple who wish to spend their fiftieth wedding anniversary in the same room in which they spent their honeynoon.


Although Room 239 has been refurbished several times in the past fifty years, I believe you will still find it to be a lovely and comfortable suite.  You will still be able to enjoy the view of both the ocean and tree covered bluffs from your windows and balcony.


Again, let me say how very pleased we are that you will be our guests on this very special occasion.






Mr. George J. Edwards

General Manager




Pacific Vista, CA


M E M  O R A N D U M



DATE:                 June 5, 1985


TO:                       Judith Wilson, Catering Manager


FROM:                 George Edwards, G.M.


SUBJECT:           Mr. & Mrs. Joe Patterson




On June 10, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Patterson will be arriving to spend a week in Room 239.  Mr. & Mrs. Patterson honeymooned in this same room 50 years ago.  Please see to it that they are furnished, at the hotel’s expense, a large fruit and cheese basket, a chilled bottle of our best champagne and a large bouquet of pink sweetheart roses.








REPORT NO: 956/85

DATE:              12/20/85

TYPE OF INCIDENT:                      Theft from guest

LOCATION OF INCIDENT:                       Room 239

OFFICE REPORTING:                     Russell Coultry



Security Officer was called to Room 239 at 11:33 a.m. by guest, Mr. Robert R. Porter.  Mr. Porter reported that the previous night he had met two women in a local bar and invited them up to his room for a drink.  The women poured drinks while Mr. Porter was in the restroom.  After Mr. Porter had drunk approximately half of his drink he blacked out.  When he awoke in the morning his watch, diamond ring, briefcase and wallet were missing. 


Mr. Porter refused to make a formal complaint to the police saying he did not have the time as he was returning to his home that day.


No further action was taken. 


Approximate value of missing articles:  $2,500.00



April 30, 1086





Pacific Vista, CA


Attn:  Mr. George Edwards



Dear Mr. Edwards:


Enclosed please find my check in the amount of $150.00.  This is a deposit for my stay on June 10 through June 13, 1986. 


You may recall that my grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Patterson, stayed with you last year on their fiftieth wedding anniversary.  They also stayed in your hotel for their honeymoon and their 25th anniversary.  Their marriage is one of the most beautiful I have ever known.  It is my sincere desire that my fiancé and I will know the happiness that they have known together. 


As a gesture towards that end it is very important to me that for our honeymoon, my then husband and I stay, not only in the same hotel they did on their honeymoon, but also in the same room, Room 239.


Please let me know if this room will be available for us.


Thank you for your trouble,





Laurie Ann Patterson




October 12, 1986




          Owners of the once glamorous Oceanview Hotel announced plans today to sell the property to land developers.  The resort will be torn down and replaced by high rise condominiums.  The hotel, once the playground of the rich and famous, has shown a steady decline in recent years and the owners feel that the expense of upgrading the facility would be too great to warrant the attempt to recapture its former status.


            Prospective buyers, Bowman-Romero and Associates, intend to level the huge structure and replace it with a 300 unit family condominium complex complete with shopping areas and office space.  The Bowman-Romero  company has successfully built and managed the Dessert Mirage complex near Palm Springs and the Vista del Mar property insane Diego.


            Owners of the Oceanview, though saddened that an era of romance and glamour has come to an end, believe the property will become a local eyesore if left to deteriorate.






October 14, 1986




Legendary Actress and Oil Baron to Purchase Landmark



            The Oceanview Hotel has been given an eleventh hour stay of execution.  Maryann Morrison,  famous for her long and illustrious career in Films and Joe Patterson, the multimillionaire of Dallas based oilman, have announced their purchase of the beautiful but aging resort.  Friends for many years, both Morrison and Patterson share a special love for the structure.


            “The Oceanview has become a symbol of the turning point in my life, that enabled me to become strong enough to fight for what I believe in,” stated Miss Morrison.  “Under no circumstances could I allow it to go under the wrecker’s ball.”


            When news of the impending destruction of the landmark was brought to Miss Morrison’s attention, she relates how she immediately contacted her old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Patterson.


“Janet and Joe spent their honeymoon and several of their wedding anniversaries at the Oceanview.  I was sure they would want to be a part of saving it.  Together we intend to refurbish the entire resort.  Once again, it will attract the rich and famous from all corners of the world.  It is our desire to make it a place where people in love will want to spend their time together.


            “The Oceanview will once more be, not only a place where memories live, but where they are made.”





       Web Site: Maralee Lowder

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Reviewed by Donna Chandler 5/27/2012
I enjoyed this story very much. I've often think 'if these walls could talk'. This was an example of exactly that. Well done.


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