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Matt Weinstock

July 11, 2007 |  6:01 pm

Matt_weinstockd July 11, 1957

There was a traffic tie-up at the Harbor turnoff the other day as Inspectors Ed Walker and Bob Houghton were traveling inbound on the Hollywood Freeway.

They threaded their way through it and came upon a woman behind the wheel of a T-bird, stopped on the Hollywood Freeway about 50 feet beyond the Harbor turnoff.

"Anything wrong, lady?" one asked, thinking she might be ill.

"No," was the determined reply. "I'm waiting for traffic to clear so I can back up--I want to go on that other freeway!"

PEOPLE ARE always asking Jamaica Elwood, who observed her 18th birthday on July 4 last week, about her unusual name. The answer is this corner's hot weather story of the month.

1957_0711_ads Jamaica was born in Chicago. The family had been pressuring her mother to name her Camille Theodora after relatives. Her mother had resisted.

Came the day when mother and child were to go home. The weather was sweltering. The hospital asked the baby's name. The mother said she hadn't decided. The hospital people said she had to name it, for their records, before she could take it home.

Perspiring profusely, Ma picked up a copy of Esquire magazine and became an enchanted by a beautiful ad showing a tall, cool drink made with Jamaica rum. And that's how Miss Elwood, girl Friday at the publication Motor Racing on North Western Avenue, got her name.

THINGS ARE a little tense around the stables at Hollywood Park, a spy whispers, since the scandal over doping horses.

Owners and trainers wear identification badges now, you know, and those who frequent the place are aware they are under scrutiny by a corps of operatives assigned by the Horse Racing Board.

These gentlemen are derisively referred to as the Keystone Gestapo.

Stable habitues contend a horse can be hopped if someone so desires no matter how closely he is watched. And you know what they call a race in which a hopped horse runs? The Drugstore Handicap.

AT RANDOM--Baffling fragment of conversation overheard in a Broadway lunchroom, one young woman to another: "I don't know him, but I know his brother and his brother is better looking."