More than just a host of one of late night’s most highly rated shows or an aficionado and owner of exquisite collections of motorcycles and antique automobiles, Jay Leno has been, and perhaps always will be, a remarkable addition to the Burbank community. Known not just as a celebrity but a person with a heart of gold, “Jay is the kind of person whose passion and kindness makes those around him see the bright and gentle side of life,” states Sandra Crabb, owner and manager of the Victorian Rose antique shop located on the heart of Burbank’s famed antique row. Voted the best antique store in Los Angeles for 15 consecutive years, Sandra’s shop has always been a place where there is a treasure for anyone that has yet to be found. Upon recalling her first encounter with Leno over ten years ago when he, driving by in an all too familiar car from his famous collection, came in to browse her antiques before eventually purchasing a newly acquired antique airplane, she fondly remembers well his appreciation of life’s simple treasures. Since then, Sandy, along with many other shop owners and residents of Burbank, has come to know and treasure Leno as a fellow member of the community.
“[Leno] is a brand of entertainment needed… you can always turn on Jay and have a pleasant experience,” she says, reflecting on his career in late night television.
And perhaps on a deeper level, what makes Leno’s departure from The Tonight Show particularly heartfelt for Sandy is that, like Leno, she will soon be making a major transition taking the way the Victorian Rose has sold and imported antiques into an entirely new direction, though the details of the way in which the Victorian Rose will be formatted has not been solidified. Also, like Leno’s The Tonight Show, Sandra’s store has been an integral part of the Burbank community, offering a steady source of attraction from tourists and residents of Southern California that has added to the appeal of Burbank, making it one of the Valley’s destination locations. Fortunately, the joyful humor that Leno brings reminds people, through fun and laughter, not to take themselves too seriously, and the invaluable quirky treasures found from Victorian Rose will remain for all to enjoy.
When asked by a Dallas reporter about his favorite Tonight Show memory, Leno responded, “When I was in the fifth grade, Mr. Simon was my teacher. And John Glenn was circling the Earth for three days for the first time. And I wrote a paper on John Glenn. I think I got a C-minus or something. And then, like 40 years later when John Glenn went up in space about 10 years ago, I said, ‘Oh, John Glenn’s coming on, I’ll call Mr. Simon.’ So I tracked down Mr. Simon, my fifth grade teacher, and I go, ‘Remember you gave me a C-minus?’ I said, ‘Well, watch tonight and I want to see if I can improve my grade.’ So when I told John Glenn this and John Glenn came out and I interviewed him, I had him sign the thing from Mr. Simon and I got an A. I got my paper upgraded to an A from a C-minus. This is the greatest thing that ever happened. Whatever else I did in my life, the fact that I finally got an A in something!”
While Sandy, along with many others in the Burbank community, bid Mr. Leno a heartfelt farewell from his post as host of The Tonight Show, they are looking forward to the debut of his new show in the coming months, and welcome his successor Conan O’Brien.
Victorian Rose is located at. 3421 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505. For more information, call (818) 842-3201.