The Other Hollywood sign

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There's the Hollywood sign everyone knows -- white letters 50 feet high, recognized the world over as the landmark of Tinseltown.

And then there's the other Hollywood sign, the hidden one, whose red neon letters were once as familiar as the larger sign just across the canyon.

The sign that read "Outpost" in neon letters 30 feet high was, like the original "Hollywoodland" sign, raised up to publicize a new housing development, Hillside Homes of Happiness.

It went up on the hilly terrain above Hollywood Boulevard's Grauman's Chinese Theatre in the late 1920s, designed to outshine the "Hollywoodland" competition. But by the beginning of World War II, it had vanished from sight and memory -- until the winter of 2002.

That's when Outpost Estates residents and Runyon Canyon hikers Bob Eicholz and Steve Scott discovered the twisted wreckage of the rust-scarred steel letters and girders, covered by overgrown brush, and recognized it for what it was.

It was like archaeology come to life.

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