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Thoughts From The Publisher : Castle Kashan and the Princess

October 25th, 2007 · No Comments · Commentary, Thoughts From The Publisher

neena strichartby Neena Strichart, Publisher

Although Signal Hill has faced two devastating fires, the Richfield oil fire in 1924 and the Hancock oil fire in 1958, none was as horrific as those now plaguing other cities in Southern California. The number of people who have lost their homes, personal possessions and even pets is growing by leaps and bounds—as are the flames. We are so fortunate to live in an area that is not subject to such catastrophe.
One of my Aunt Jeraldine’s best friends, Lilly Lawrence, was not so fortunate. Many of you have either read about or seen the film on Monday of the tragic burning of Malibu Castle Kashan. That castle belonged to Lilly. It was an unbelievable structure. Not only was it awesome in size and appearance—the grandeur of the architecture and the opulence of the décor and collections rendered me speechless during a party I attended at the castle with my mother earlier this year. It’s heartbreaking to think it is all ashes now.
Thankfully Lilly was not harmed. According to friends she had spent the night in the guesthouse because the noise from the wind was so loud against the outer walls of the main house she couldn’t sleep. When the fire department arrived she was asked to stay put because it was too dangerous for her to evacuate. Once it was safe, she did pack up what she could and went to stay with friends nearby.
I am saddened by Lilly’s loss, and I am sure that she is still in a bit of shock. Articles in daily newspapers from around the country and the world described some of the items lost to the flames: Elvis Presley memorabilia bought from the idol’s estate, signed presidential photos, artwork, Faberge eggs, historical photographs and a chandelier insured for more than $1million…just to itemize a few of the treasures destroyed.
Having met and spent time with her a handful of times, I do believe she is a strong woman who will use this experience as an opportunity to grow and to help others.
Lilly will miss her personal treasures and collections, but she is not one to dwell on such things. Her possessions do not possess her. My thoughts and prayers are with her and the others who have lost so much.
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