8.14.2013

Portrait of a schizophrenic

Hiking in the Hollywood Hills, I happened upon a concrete wall covered in hearts. It read The Purple Heart Wall of Hope, so I thought it was dedicated to war heroes. Upon closer inspection, the wall seemed to be dedicated to a boy named Christopher Robin Jr. The house was a shrine to the man's son, who, the wall says, was "...kidnapped by six evil people." There was a $10,000 reward out for him. My heart sunk.

Black and white photo of Christopher with Godfather Gene Autry

As I kept reading however, the hearts also aired grievances about family court. It didn't take long until I discovered that Christopher Robin Jr. wasn't kidnapped, but a child who was granted custody to his mother. The owner of the Purple Heart House was devastated that he only won visitation rights, and made the home his shrine to "Father's Rights." I figured he must really love his son.

Family Court described as "Parental Alienation and Guaranteed Hell"
Like any inquiring mind, I Googled it. The Purple Heart House website started innocently enough, but as I scrolled down the page, the sentimental father became increasingly strange and paranoid. He made his son paint the exterior of his mansion black with him when he was just a little boy, calling it "The Black Castle." The word "Justice?" was painted in giant white letters. Probably the strangest part of the website was a link to The Cock Robin is Back - the Cock Robin site featured some links that didn't work, but scroll down and you will read the most  fragmented and absurd ramblings.The same way the Purple Heart House becomes stranger and stranger as you pull back from the wall and see the entire house covered in hearts with angry scratchings and printed mailed-in submissions from other dejected fathers.

This of course brings me back to the son, Christopher Robin Jr. Not only does he have to deal with an acrimonious divorce, and a father with mental illness that publishes horrible things about the people who raised him, he was to live with the fact that his father's own life is dedicated to anguish over him. That had to be pretty hard. His father is a nameless man of means, living in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills. His name is no doubt Christopher Robin Sr. - but the name is too common for me to find out anything about him. His online identity is elusive, and nothing is known of his life. But whoever he is, I hope he gets help and finds happiness.


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