Apparently, a lot. I was making my way through James Ellroy‘s “The Big Nowhere,” and, not too far in, Howard Hughes appears, along with his head of security, a crooked retired cop named Turner “Buzz” Meeks. Meeks works at Hughes Aircraft, and it takes him an hour to drive to Studio City for some dirty work in pre-405 1950. Trying to do the math, I recalled the giant Playa Vista residential development just a few miles from my house.
A couple of years ago, I took some dogs walking down the Westchester Bluffs on the South side of the Playa Vista property. There were a couple of long drab buildings at the base of the bluffs, as well as a narrow service road. Someone told me the buildings were film studios. Another person told me they were part of Hughes Aircraft.
So I did some research and found this amazing website. The gist of it is, this property was not only the headquarters for Hughes Aircraft, it was also Howard Hughes’ private airport. Howard Hughes buys our backyard, after the jump