Living in a home trimmed in purple and gold does bring with it a bit of fame as well as some additional responsibilities, Echo Park resident Tom Anderson has learned. Ever since Anderson decided to dress up his 1922 hilltop bungalow in the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers, and a story appeared in The Eastsider a year ago, the 52-year-old parks officer has gotten used to the attention. Drivers slow down, honk their horns and and give him the thumbs up. Stories and photos of his tidy home – which was built by his grandfather – have appeared in the LA Times and other websites. He heard one child walking past his house with a pack of school kids say: “I think Kobe lives there!” But then there were the folks who complained about his weathered Lakers banner – since replaced – and friends and neighbors who have suggested painting Kobe’s number on the garage door or repainting the white picket fence in gold and purple. Anderson, however, does not want things to get too carried away. “I don’t want it to get overwhelming.”
When it came to repaint the house where he has lived since 1969, Anderson said he didn’t exactly have the Lakers’ team colors specifically in mind. He happens to like purple and was inspired to add the accent color to his home after seeing a similar paint job in the movie Friday. But a buddy advised him to go with a full-on Lakers theme by adding gold.
The trim colors have held up well despite the harsh afternoon sun. So far, Anderson, who was wearing a blue Dodger shirt on Wednesday afternoon, has resisted making major changes. He did hang a second banner, featuring Kobe Bryant, from the porch, where visitors are also now greeted with a Lakers door mat. Anderson also recently planted a purple flowering rose bush. Anderson was shopping online to purchase a third banner, perhaps one commemorating last year’s 15th championship victory. But, he figures he better wait until the current season finals are finished. Maybe that third banner, Anderson said, will celebrate a 16th championship.