The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: December 23, 2007 - December 29, 2007

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Mystery photo


Photograph by Ken Dare / Los Angeles Times

What famous person is missing from this 1963 photo of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin?
  • Peter Lawford? An excellent guess! (But no).
  • JFK, Joey Bishop or Sammy Davis Jr? All good guesses! (But no).
  • John Wayne or Ronald Reagan? (Sorry, no).
  • Johnny Carson? That's someone I hadn't expected! (But no).
  • Rock Hudson? Aha. That's someone else I hadn't anticipated. (Sorry, no).
  • Elvis Presley? Wow wouldn't that have been an interesting group? (Too bad, though. No).
  • Sandy Koufax, Don Rickles, Bobby Kennedy? Ken Odessky. (OK, I'll take that. Sandy Koufax).


Photograph by Ken Dare / Los Angeles Times

Frank Sinatra, Sandy Koufax and Dean Martin at a fund-raiser for the Boy Scouts on Dec. 4, 1963, at Hillcrest Country Club. Koufax was roasted mercilessly by Sinatra, Martin, Danny Kaye, Jack Benny, Phil Silvers, George Burns and Lou Holtz. In just about the only printable comment of the evening, George Jessel called Koufax, "Without question, the most important Hebrew athlete since Samson." 


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Christmas past

Nov. 26, 1944


Los Angeles Times file photo

Members of an infantry division fighting in Hurtgen Forest, near Zweifall, take time to open Christmas packages that have arrived from home. The battle of Hurtgen Forest lasted from September 1944 to February 1945 and is, according to military scholars, the longest single battle in U.S. Army history. (On a personal note, I have to admit some of these old pictures bring a tear to my eye, and this is one of them. The U.S. suffered heavy losses in this battle, which was waged under arduous conditions--lrh).




A map from Dec. 1, 1944, showing Hurtgen Forest on the Belgian border.

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Dec. 24, 1957


L. Ewing Scott

Feb. 13, 1958
Los Angeles

Photograph by Ray Graham / Los Angeles Times

Here's a great moment in photojournalism: Convicted killer L. Ewing Scott is interviewed with his fly open.



Craby Joe's RIP

April 23, 1953
Los Angeles



Here's a tribute to Craby Joe's, the landmark on Bukowski Square, which is closing forever on Christmas Eve. Note the address: 654 S. Main St. According to the Los Angeles Public Library's online street directories, Craby Joe's address changed between 1956 and 1960 to 656 S. Main St., its current location. The phone number also changed from VA-4485 to MA 2-4940. According to the 1960 street directory, 654 S. Main was occupied by Pat's Donuts. In 1956, 656 S. Main was occupied by Cecil Jewelry and Loan Co., which sounds like a pawnshop. 

Christmas past

Dec. 5, 1966
Los Angeles


Photograph by Judd Gunderson / Los Angeles Times


A nativity scene placed in the Plaza near Olvera Street. The Times said the Olvera Street merchants contributed donations to buy the hand-carved figures.

Dec. 23, 1957


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