DICK POWELL BIRTHPLACE HISTORICAL FLEA MARKET

This place has a sign over the porch that reads "White House Historical Flea Market." In the yard is a green and white sign declaring this to be the birthplace of world-famous actor, singer and movie director Richard "Dick" Powell. Inside, the lady tending the register told me that yes, this is in fact the actual original structure in which 1940's superstar Dick Powell was brought into the world way back in 1904. That white thing at the foot of the sign is a granite marker with a brass plaque stating pretty much the same thing.

Something about brass in granite makes the claim seem more legitimate.

I stepped in to Woods Pharmacy, a restored 1900's soda fountain, for a reuben and a grape phosphate. My waitress didn't know who Dick Powell was. The folks across the street at the Ozark Wood and Rocker Company had a vague notion that he had been a show business celebrity of some kind.

In the '40's and '50's Dick Powell was as big a star as it was possible to be. A generation after his death in 1963 the people of his own home town don't have a clear idea who he was. Sic transit gloria mundi, hot shot. Truth told, I had to look him up myself. Here is a list of some of his movies the titles of which I recognized:

Mr. Powell lived in this house the first four years of his life. His birthplace is found on the north side of highway 9 in Mountain View.

RTJ--12/8/97


In the neighborhood: Mountain Home Museum Index


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