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Matt Weinstock

September 5, 2007 |  6:12 pm

Matt Weinstock

Sept. 5, 1957

Matt_weinstockd An Altadena family took off recently on a trip to Europe. The other day, the next-door neighbor, Ed Murray, was advised by his youngster that a skunk was trapped in the cement crawl hole at the side of the vacant house.

Now here was a pretty good dilemma. How do you lure a skunk out of a 3-foot well without, uh, retaliation? There was also the possibility that the skunk might let go with its defense mechanism through the screen and under the house, where the memory would linger.

First, Ed decided, you feed it. El skunko cagily ate the lettuce and bread he provided.

Then, while the skunk cowered menacingly in a corner, Ed cautiously slipped a plank down the well and against the side so it could climb out. Unfortunately, the skunk refused to walk the plank to freedom. Apparently it was too steep.

Ed delicately dropped several 2x4s into the well and set the plank on them to decrease the grade. Next morning, 24 hours later, the skunk was gone.

Ed will never know if he is the neighborhood benefactor or if the skunk was someone's pet--deodorized.

ONLY IN L.A.--An elderly woman on a streetcar was reading a homemade scrapbook of biblical quotations and religious clippings and Mildred Scott of Bellflower, sitting next to her, feared she was momentarily in for an impromptu sermon.

And then, furtively, the woman turned the last page and opened a copy of Confidential concealed under the back cover.

Mildred reports sadly that the old gal focused more intently on paradise lost than she had on paradise gained.

A GENTLEMAN who wished to talk to an editor was intercepted by an office boy, J. Norman Bollerup, who later wrote in a memo, "He is an exceptional citizen and was kind enough to explain to me how he stopped the Korean war."

A MAJOR speculation once Labor Day is passed is what kind of winter it will be and weather-conscious folk look for signs and portents in such things as chipmunks walking bowlegged and cows mooing in B-flat.

This is to report that Ernie Maxwell of Idyllwild anticipates it will be wet and cold. Something about the way the ants are holding their mouths, he explains.

MISCELLANY--Lt. Lee Jones is counting the days until Sept. 14, when he will retire from the LAPD after 28 years, 21 of them in the crime lab, which he helped make outstanding nationally. Lee is the fellow who can establish culpability by studying bits of broken headlight glass or a cloth imprint on a fender after a hit-run accident or tiny twigs in a suspect's trouser cuff after a burglary. He plans to teach scientific investigation at L.A. State.

Jim Bassett saw a sign on a sports car, "Made in Las Vegas--The Hard Way."

[Note: Leeland "Lee" Jones was at the Black Dahlia crime scene and worked many other cases in conjunction with the crime lab's Ray Pinker. Jones also wrote a book on forensics. Here's one of  his cases:]