Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
Life seems to be full of holiday recommendations and the Daily Mirror doesn't want to be left out. Let's put on "Elvis' Christmas Album" (Victor LOC 1035) and look at what might be wrapped up in paper and ribbons at the Daily Mirror HQ.
First of all, there might be a shiny, brand-new aluminum tree and color wheel.
Or there might be a trove of 1957 movies, although some videos may only exist on VHS or some gray-market disc, especially the drive-in flicks:
In addition the starred titles above, The Times' 1957 list of the year's 12 top films included:
And don't forget the drive-in movies:
"Love Slaves of the Amazons" (Oddly enough, this film may be hard to find).
And somewhere in there is "Jailhouse Rock."
Or perhaps something literary, as listed in The Times in 1957 as being among the top books of the year:
"Atlas Shrugged," Ayn Rand.
"Auntie Mame," Patrick Dennis.
"Bridge at Andau," James Michener.
"The Fall," Albert Camus.
"This Hallowed Ground," Bruce Catton.
"Men to Match My Mountains," Irving Stone.
"Profiles in Courage," John F. Kennedy.
"Rally Round the Flag, Boys," Max Shulman.
"Testament," Frank Lloyd Wright.
In truth, those things might be under the Daily Mirror's aluminum tree, but they're not. The philosophy here, like everything else here, is old school: "Don't spend money you don't have on things that people don't need."
Here's the Daily Mirror's low-cost guide to holiday giving:
If your parents are still living, tell them how much they mean to you. They won't be around forever.
If you have children, tell them how much you love them. They grow up so fast.
If you're estranged from someone, make peace. Life is too short to carry a grudge.
And count your blessings.
search last name Tousseau
pat boone, jay leno, smoke on the water
"harry chandler" quote
Missing teenage girls form Santa ana california
jim murray + LA Times + christmas.
caltech 37 percent women site:latimes.com
police down payment riverside act
Inspector Mcclay City of Los Angeles californi
Mickey Cohen Gatsby's restaurant
NINA HILT AUTOPSY
"eugene, OR" "nancy o brien "
ALAN J FRIEDMAN WAS ARRESTED IN LOS ANGELES YESTERDAY DECEMBER 19, 2007
Verdin Brothers V Robertson 
San Angelo Standard Times car bomb 1950's
los angeles times 1955 car accident on telegraph road
she took over the long branch on gunsmoke
son had just found lying around on the street another picture of this woman in the buff. A few days ago, I found yet another picture. She is a married woman with two young daughters (This is from Slate, believe it or not--lrh).
Dec. 20, 1957
Faustino Abella, 31, was hurrying back to his ship, the Navasota, a tanker at the Long Beach Navy base, when it happened in the morning darkness, about 5:30 a.m.
His wife, Jennie May, 30, was driving the car when it stalled on the approach to the Ocean Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River. A woman in another car offered to give them a push. But when the Abellas' car started, the gas pedal apparently jammed. The car roared up the bridge, jumped the curb, tore out 37 feet of railing, hit a concrete abutment and plunged 20 feet into the water, landing upside-down.
As Navy divers worked to recover the bodies from the overturned car at the bottom of the river, four children were waiting for their mother's return: Faustino Abella Jr., who was 18 months old, and three girls from her previous marriage, Gloria Jean, 12; Mary, 10; and Susan, 9. The home at 2100 W. Willard St., in Long Beach, was sparsely decorated for the holidays with a small Christmas tree in a corner and a single package.
Several hours later, Long Beach police officers told the children their parents were dead and took them to Juvenile Hall because there was no one to care for them. "With anguished tears, the girls gathered up a few belongings, their little brother clutched a toy truck in both arms and they went along," The Times said.
Mrs. Sam Novak, a great-aunt living in San Diego, took custody of four children, saying: "I'd have gone to them if I'd have had to crawl."
The next day, Jennie's parents, Samuel and Minnie Icke, arrived after an all-night drive from St. Louis, where they were raising four more of her children: Claude Capps, 15; Charles, 13; Susan's twin brother Bobby; and Sammy, 8.
Samuel began disposing of the few pieces of furniture in the home and settling Jennie's affairs before taking the children back to St. Louis. Faustino's funeral was held in the Philippines, where he was born, while Jennie's was held in St. Louis.
The Lafayette Hotel hosted the family for Christmas dinner and gave them a check, but beyond that, we don't know what became of the children. We can only hope for the best.
Dec. 19, 1957
Mary Lange left UCLA Medical Center for the little house at 3351 W. 117th St. in Inglewood, knowing that the cancer treatments had failed and praying that she would live to see one more Christmas with her children.
Lange, 42, and her husband, William, 60, had seven children before he died of cancer four years earlier. She went to work as a supermarket checker to support the family, ignoring the lump that had formed on her leg. A year later, a doctor found that it was cancerous and she began cobalt treatments at UCLA.
As her illness progressed, her oldest son, William Jr., 17, quit St. John Vianney School (now Daniel Murphy Catholic High School) and took a job in another supermarket in the chain that employed his mother. Jack, 15, also began working for the supermarket chain part time. Mary Ann, 13, took over the household chores and continued getting good grades, although she often missed school. They all took care of their younger siblings: Thomas, 11, Joan, 10, Robert, 6, and Jerry, 5.
Stella DeVault, Lange's mother, stayed with the family until she, too, died of cancer in June. Nell Madigan, a cousin with eight children of her own, also provided help.
Lange never complained, but finally the pain became too great and she had to quit her job at the supermarket. She came home Dec. 14 after three weeks in the UCLA hospital, where she was known as the "fight and faith" girl, receiving daily visits from the neighbors.
"Mary said, 'Keep the family together, please,' " her cousin told The Times. "She went so fast at the end. Those were her last words. She complained of a numb foot. She sat up and sighed.... That was all."
William, The Times said, was too busy for tears because he had to arrange the Rosary, funeral Mass at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church and burial at Holy Cross Cemetery.
After the funeral, the seven children trailed Lange's gray casket as it was taken to the cemetery. Their "young heads were tearfully bowed in sorrow," The Times said.
The children's plight prompted a huge outpouring of aid from Los Angeles residents, who offered money and gifts. An unidentified Good Samaritan showed up at the front door with a check for $300 and an Inglewood Boy Scout troop brought a Christmas tree and decorated it.
Madigan's unmarried brother, R.E. McQuiston, left his home in Omaha to stay with the youngsters so that his cousin's wish would be fulfilled--the family would stay together.
On Dec. 29, 1957, The Times published a letter from Madigan, McQuiston and the Lange children:
"We wish we could thank the writers of many anonymous letters and those who called but this being impossible, we shall ask God in our prayers to bless all of you.
"Today, the world is in such upheaval, it is consoling to feel the warmth of friendly and loving people. May we with the help of God be a good example to other nations."
After that, we don't really know what became of the family. According to The Times, William Jr. was involved in a car accident seven months later in which a 10-year-old died when he was thrown from the other vehicle.
If anyone knows the rest of the story, I'd be interested in hearing it.
Dec. 27, 1932
The Times said that by 9 a.m., tens of hundreds of newsies had arrived at City Hall for the trip to the Ambassador. "Twenty-five cars provided by the Los Angeles Street Railway took them to the auditorium," The Times said. "They made a regular Yellow Car parade down Spring Street and out 9th with about every occupant yelling along the way."
"They raised the roof of Ambassador Auditorium," The Times said, "their joyous enthusiasm finding expression at times in sailing paper plates through the air and even in an occasional byplay of fists. Two bands provided music but at times it could not be heard."
Mayor Porter helped take tickets and the prominent guests included Judges Roth and Taplin, both former newsboys.
Entertainment was provided by the Police Band, James Moreno's Hollywood Carolers and Jack Smaltz, the singing waiter of the B.B.B. Cellar Cafe.
In addition, there was "William Borsage with his power-driven accordion," The Times said.
Attorney Isadore Gralla, a former newsboy, loaded his car with food and took it to the young vendors who were unable to leave their corners, The Times said. Other leftover food was given to the Salvation Army, Midnight Mission, St. Joseph's Church and the Rev. Ethel Duncan.
Bonus fact: Ray Bradbury used to sell newspapers at the corner of Norton and Olympic.