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Matt Weinstock

March 17, 2008 |  4:31 pm

March 17, 1958

Matt_weinstockd One morning recently a man found a wallet on West 7th Street and tried to phone the owner, a woman whose name and address were on the enclosed identification cards.

Failing to get a response, he handed the wallet to the first policeman he encountered--at a nearby corner.

The officer checked the contents, including less than 50 cents in change, detected that the man had been drinking and asked what had happened to the rest of the money.

The man said that's all there was.

THE OFFICER chose not to believe him and he was taken to a police station.

Hit movies of 1958 The man, mild-mannered and orderly, admitted he had been drinking a little but insisted he was not drunk. He is married, has two children, works nights.

He was detained from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at which time the owner of the wallet was located at the Vermont Avenue place where she works. Yes, she had lost it, she said. Asked how much money was in it, she said only a few cents.

If he ever finds another wallet, it is not likely the man will turn it in to the police.

A HUSBAND WHO does the grocery shopping was recalling the time, early in his marriage, before he learned to decipher his wife's spelling and abbreviations.

One day he was stumped at the supermarket with the notation "tom cat." He phoned home for a translation.

"Anyone ought to know," his bride said witheringly, "that 'tom cat' stands for tomato catsup."

OUT-OF-STATERS are always remarking, "You know what I miss most out here? Fireflies!" (Thought I was going to write "snow," didn't you?)

Why then don't we have fireflies, a spectacular and enchanting phase of the summer scene elsewhere, even in Northern California?

The reason, says Walter Ebeling, UCLA entomology prof, is that they've never migrated here, probably because of the arid climate. They like it hot but humid.

Do I hear a motion to put a proposition on the ballot to build a firefly refuge?

THEN THERE was the Navy man, enamored of a Wave, who entreated her for months to marry him. She kept saying no until the day he said he'd provide lavish shelter for her.

"All right," she said, but skeptically, "take me to your lee, dear."

FIRE STATION No. 15, 915 W. Jefferson Blvd., received this note from the second-grade class of the Frances Blend School: "Thank you for letting us visit the fire station. We had fun honking the horn and listening to the radio. We would like to thank Capt. Smith for showing us around and Mr. Crookston for the ice cream."

Nothing unusual, except the letter was written in Braille, with the words translated from the symbols by the teacher. The students are blind.

MISCELLANY -- Release of Nathan Leopold, 54, after 33 1/2 years in prison, serves to remind that Robert F. Stroud, 67, remains confined, forgotten and alone after 42 years. Tom Gaddis told his incredible story in the book, "Birdman of Alcatraz" ... Superlative acting job by Orson Welles in "Long Hot Summer" ... Conversation overheard by a Listening Tom, a young man addressing a girl: "May I drive you home? I have a whip outside." ... William C. Teddy Bear lives on Lullaby Lane in Panorama City ... Householders are writing "Paid under protest" on their check for the second installment of their county taxes--in case the Civic Center overseers think they've forgotten the big boost.