The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: June 29, 2008 - July 5, 2008

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July 2, 1908


Dropcap_h_rose_tattoo er name was Fanny (or Fannie) and she had everything a young wife could want, at least according to her husband, Walter F.W. Stock, a grading contractor from Long Beach. The Stocks enjoyed a happy home and had two children. At least that was Walter's story.

All was content and "prosperity was smiling on them" until Fanny went for a ride in a motorcar with one of Walter's employees, Edward Abril, a "prepossessing young Mexican," according to The Times. 

"This one little taste of life seemed to sow seeds of discontent in the mind of the little wife and mother," The Times says.

The day after the story was published, The Times heard a very different version from Fanny, who had fled to Santa Barbara:

"My life has been a living hell," she told The Times.

"I was married in 1901 when I was 16," she said. "I have had seven children in seven years. Two of them are living. Walter is a good fellow, with no bad habits, but I never loved him. I was not allowed by my father to marry the man I loved and I practically had to marry Walter to prevent me from marrying the other.

"My husband is a contractor but has no business head. He knew I didn't love him when we were married. I frequently told him I would leave him as soon as his business affairs were straightened out. I figured on his building jobs, big ones, too, as any Los Angeles contractor will tell you. I went with him to his grading camp in Lancaster and cooked for his men, got up at 4 o'clock every morning and fed horses and did other menial work. But I was not happy -- I could not be happy. Walter was good in his way, but he made himself repulsive to me in a way that made me shrink from him."

At left, The Times reports that she returned to Walter twice before leaving again in 1910 with their two surviving children, Emily and Dora.

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Nuestro Pueblo


Even allowing for artistic license, it's difficult to see how Charles Owens could have City Hall looming in the background from our blacksmith shop on Garey Street. Below, a view from 1st Street and Garey via Google maps' street view. Owens would have been several blocks farther away for this July 1, 1938, entry.

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Mystery photo


Los Angeles Times file photo
  • William Desmond Taylor? Alas, no.
  • Harry Houdini? I'm afraid not.
  • George Raft? Sadly, no.
  • Tod Browning? Alas, no.
  • Bud Abbott? Sorry, no.
  • Jose Ferrer? Alas, no.
  • Charles Butterworth? Sorry, no
  • Erich von Stroheim? I'm afraid not.
  • George Burns? Say goodnight, Gracie.
  • Danny Kaye? Sorry no.
  • Irving Berlin? Alas, no.
  • Kirk Douglas? I'm afraid not.
  • Irving Thalberg? Alas, no.
  • Walter Winchell? Sorry, no.
  • Valentino? I'm afraid not.
Steven Bibb guessed the answer yesterday, but I'm having so much fun that I think I'll post another photo as a clue.


And just to make it a little more challenging, who is the actress doing the Batusi?

Yes, this is Franklin Pangborn, above, with Caryl Lincoln and Ethel Wales in "Cradle Snatchers," directed by Howard Hawks.

He's better recognized here with the funny glasses:


And here's one final picture.... any guesses on Mr. Pangborn's companion?


  • Zazu Pitts? Sorry, no.

Hint: She was a WAMPAS baby. (Now I've given it away).

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Kenneth Reich, RIP


Above, Ken Reich interviews Watergate figure Donald Segretti. Ken had terrific stories about covering Watergate. In fact, one of my favorite recollections was an occasion when I got to listen to him and the late Anthony Day, former editorial page editor, discussing their experiences with various Watergate figures. 
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Page 22

June 30, 1958


June 30, 1938


Rodney "Gipsy" (or "Gypsy") Smith, famous evangelist, takes a wife. He died in 1947 while sailing from England to New York on the Queen Mary. He was 87.

Dropcap_l_1928_02 APD "squadmen" (now there's an interesting coinage) are questioned before a police board of rights on allegations that they obstructed the investigation of the Harry Raymond bombing. The first three officers to testify say that they refused to answer questions because they considered themselves under technical arrest and acted upon the advice of their attorneys.

Also, the tale of an oft-married woodcarver charged with bigamy, a progress report on fundraising for Jewish relief and an oil painting of Mayor Frank Shaw is to be presented at City Hall. I wonder where it is now. 
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June 30, 1908

Above, early coverage of the the Times Cup, a race that dates to 1903. The Los Angeles Times Trophy is still awarded by the Los Angeles Yacht Club
Dropcap_a_napoleon t left, trouble in Whittier at the state school for juvenile delinquents. Supt. G.P. Greeley is accused of failing to enforce discipline, creating "a shocking, immoral state of affairs" at the school.

Evidence includes "obscene letters, indecent postals and notes," The Times says. Several young female inmates report overtures and "mistreatment" from school officers while male inmates tell of vicious beatings, the story says.

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And the Bethlehem Institution, with its El Club Belen branch at 618 New High St., reports success in teaching English to immigrants, notably Italians, Poles and Slavonians, The Times says.

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Nuestro Pueblo


Union Station under construction in 1938 and as it appears in Google maps' street view feature. We can only wonder what became of the palm trees planted by Don Mateo.

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Anti-gravity house


An anti-gravity house? You may laugh, the author says, but remember "atomic control" seemed impossible a mere 20 years ago. And no more hassles with dusting!


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