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Hollywood Star Cleaner Wins Heartbeaker Tale of the Year

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If the combination of holiday stress, shopping, family tensions, overeating/overdrinking binges, unemployment, fear of unemployment, traffic jams near the Grove and/or shoeless lines at LAX, hasn't caused you to burst into tears this season, may we direct you to this Beverly Press story. The paper profiles Abel “John” Peterson, the guy responsible for cleaning the 2,500 stars that line the Hollywood Walk of Fame, about to celebrate its 50th Anniversary next year. Via the paper: "“The 2.4 mile stretch of terrazzo and brass sidewalk plaques has been a huge tourist draw for 50 years, and Petersen has been keeping it shiny for the last 10. Handicapped at a very young age, Peterson literally drags himself along the boulevard every day, using his hands and one good leg – the other leg has been amputated – to propel his body from star to star. Armed with kneepads, a bottle of Windex, a jug of Brasso and a whole lot of polishing rags, the 60-something, shaggy-bearded man toils at a job he said suits him just fine.” According to the paper, Peterson hasn't missed a day of work in 10 years. He earns $10 an hour, plus health insurance, and his purpose, he says, is to "keep the tourists happy" by keeping the stars clean and photogenic. Now don't all those Chewbaccas feel like jerks. Via Beverly Press
· The Stars Are Brightly Shining [Beverly Press, PDF but worth the hassle]