Recently retired Postal Service driver Dennis Bellis says he’s been looking for ways to fill the hours. So six weeks ago, the man his neighbors describe as eccentric spent $6 on white paint and used some spare lumber to craft 3-foot-tall letters that spell, “HOLLYWOOD.”
He trekked up the steep hillside behind his house on Winter Creek Lane in Garden Valley and staked the letters down.
“I nearly killed myself getting it up there. It took three trips,” he said.
Today, Bellis’ faithful replica of the iconic Los Angeles landmark can be seen from nearly a mile away on Fisher Road.
Bellis, 59, said that ultimately he’d like to see the sign on Google Earth. He’s talked to one pilot who now takes curious visitors past the sign.
“It’s just goofy. I’m a goofy guy,” he said. “Everyplace else is turning into Hollywood. Why not here?”
The steep swath where the sign stands is an old deer trail on land owned by the Morgan family. Cows occasionally pass near the sign’s location. Bellis said he’s worried one might knock over a letter.
Though the sign occasionally came up in conversations with his neighbors, Bellis tried to keep his involvement in the project under wraps. But his neighbors had their suspicions.
Belinda Downie, who lives next door, said Bellis has pulled similar attention-grabbing stunts before, but she and her family have no problem with the sign.
“I think it’s hilarious,” she said.
Bellis said his intention wasn’t to inflame or offend. He’ll take it down if enough of a stink is raised, he said.
“I’d just put it on my roof.”
• You can reach reporter Garrett Andrews at 541-957-4218 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.