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A Tribute to John Peterson, Star Polisher

By Kerry Morrison

April 28, 2015

If you haven’t seen our beloved John Peterson out polishing the stars as of late, you may not have heard that he retired at the end of 2014. The staff of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance (HPOA) arranged to memorialize his 15-year service to the Hollywood Entertainment District and the Walk of Fame through the creation of a video tribute.

The video features comments from a number of people who have known John for years. John is honored by Jeff Briggs, member of the Hollywood Historic Trust; John Tronson, former board president of the HPOA board; BID staffers Kerry Morrison, Joe Mariani and Sarah Besley; Clean Street CEO Jere Costello; and community members George Combineau (Combo’s Pizza), friend Jimmy Taylor and Kim Chea at Ronnie’s Donuts.

John was hired by the BID’s maintenance vendor in 1999 (at that time CA Street Maintenance) and his job was to polish all the stars on the Walk of Fame at least once a month. In his early days, he exceeded that goal very quickly, despite missing one leg, a situation he has lived with since childhood.  Over the years, John was the subject of many news articles and broadcast reports. He was featured in the New York Times in 2002, and a 2010 article and photo essay in the Los Angeles Times, and a 2013 article in the LA Weekly. He was included in a book called Odder Jobs:  More Portraits of Unusual Occupations.

He was seen on German television, the BBC and local stations as well. Some of the news clips are included in the video tribute. He was a terrific ambassador for Hollywood – always talking with tourists and passing along his opinions and sometimes irreverent comments.  But he loved his job and rarely missed a day of work. He will be missed!

John Peterson, featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal, Fall 2009.

John Peterson, featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal, Fall 2009.

John Peterson being presented with his own star by HPOA staff members Sarah Besley, Kerry Morrison and Joe Mariani.

John Peterson being presented with his own star by HPOA staff members Sarah Besley, Kerry Morrison and Joe Mariani.

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