A Special Thanks to Dorothy Fuller
Dorothy Fuller has had the
benefit of exciting ties to the world of music, Hollywood, the
banking business, and early San Clemente history.
She grew up singing and, as a
child, was intrigued by her father’s role as a vice- president
of the Bank of America, TransAmerica, and the Capitol Company
(the lease- holding company for bank properties). In total, her
father was 25 years with the Bank of America, having started as
an employee while only 15 years of age, and when it was still
the Bank of Italy.
After a hiatus from the banking
arena of an additional 25 years in the motion picture business,
Dorothy’s father, Thomas Leonard Walker, returned to the Bank of
America as a vice-president directing motion picture financing
and negotiations from the bank’s New York City office.
In those years in the
entertainment industry, the senior Walker served as a vice-
president of United Artist Releasing Corporation and Hal Roach
Studios; treasurer of Edward Small productions, and
secretary-treasurer of the Independent Motion Picture Producer’s
Association. His oldest son, Thomas L. Walker, Jr. Continued in
the movie business as the administrative advisor for David O.
Selznick Studios and, then, as chief of the production
estimation department at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, retiring
from that position, but continuing the work as a consultant
Dorothy’s relationship with the
entertainment business was dynamic. It stimulated her interest
in a singing career that started out with Mel Torme and the Mel
Tones while she was still attending Los Angeles High School in
the early 1940s. Although she was successful as a popular
vocalist, she hoped to be singing with the Metropolitan Opera
Company as her grandfather had. She studied in Los Angeles with
Met opera coach Maestro Gennaro Curci, who was also instructor
of Jerome Hines. Just as her opera career began to blossom, she
met a San Clemente police officer and WWII veteran of the South
Pacific, Boyd W. Ames, and her goals took a different course.
Dorothy’s love affair with San
Clemente is the result of her first trip to the still tiny
village in 1932. Her father handled the negotiations for the
Bank of America with Ole Hanson. The two financiers became good
and close friends and remained so, even though Walker was
ultimately burdened with the responsibility of enforcing the
bank foreclosure against Ole’s interests in the Spanish Village
By The Sea.
Dorothy’s adventures in Ole’s
“Dream City” continue. She and her husband, John Fuller, reside
in south San Clemente. Her younger sister Doris, and her
husband, Jack Lashbrook reside in the northern portion of the
city. Dorothy is an untiring and devoted contributor to many
local and civic organizations and, when not at her computer or
scrounging through historical archives, she dotes upon her three
grandchildren; Angela, Boyd Ames, III, and Alexander.