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Matt Weinstock -- January 16, 1959

January 16, 2009 |  4:00 pm

Saved by the Knell

Matt_weinstockd_2 In everybody's life there is a dark, unforgettable moment when it doesn't appear he's going to make it. A downtown group somehow got around to discussing the this topic over coffee, and KenBromfield Jones, Title Insurance employee and spare-time TV actor, recalled his big near miss.

In 1942 he was in command of a gun post on HMS Londonderry, convoying ships north of Ireland. During a German air attack he was shot through a lung. Hours later, he was removed to a hospital ashore.

In the night he came out of a sedative. He felt no pain, only extreme lassitude. As in a dream he heard a nurse say, "He'll be on the slab by morning."

1959_0116_dating He felt a fierce resentment against death and called to another nurse to get him a glass of brandy, which he gulped down.

"I don't know what happened, but I guess the brandy started my machinery going again," he said, "I have always been grateful to that nurse."

* *

A PERSON doesn't ask for much in this pressure era, just a small satisfaction now and then, such as came the other day to a man named Charley.

He dialed a phone number and through some quirk known only to telephone men was plugged into an open line. Two men, apparently attorneys, were haggling savagely over a point of law. Charley listened for a few moments, then said in a sepulchral tone, "You're both wrong!" -- and hung up.

* *

Once upon a song
We wished upon a star,
Now we wonder if it's ours
And if it's going far.

* *

THE WAY Dick Ashby of KNXT tells it, two pilots stationed in a lonely outpost in Africa got down to their last two cans of beer, a distressing situation. But being sporting gentlemen they made a bet. The first one to bag a lion would get them.

One grabbed his high-powered rifle and disappeared into the veld.

1959_0116_roller_derby After he'd gone, the other got into his plane and flew low over the bush. After a while he saw a lion, got it into his sights and machine-gunned it. He landed, tossed the carcass in the plane and flew back to the base.

When his companion returned lionless from the safari he chided, "You should have realized a strafed lion is the shortest distance between two pints."

* *

QUOTE & UNQUOTE -- Overheard by Bill Morgan at a French restaurant in Hollywood: "These French could make a dish out of an appendix" . . . Lost and found notice posted by a reporter on the city room bulletin board: "A Spanish grammar is missing from my desk. Valueless except for a nude photo ofLili St. Cyr I was using as a bookmark." . . . Dr. I.Q. on Channel 7 asked a lady (not in the balcony) which would win in a race, an ostrich, a greyhound or a horse. "The bus," she replied.

* *

THE NEWS from Cuba is loaded with paradoxes, but some sort of high point was reached yesterday when Fidel Castro was quoted as saying that "200 -- 400 gringos will die" if the U.S. sends in Marines. He made the statement, the AP story went on, "in a hotel lobby as he was headed for a Rotary Club luncheon."

* *

AROUND TOWN -- Apparently it's not only an ill wind that blows nobody good, it's also an ill fire. Since the big fire and subsequent flood struck Beverly Glen,Zella Marggraf's tomcat has killed six huge rats routed from their lairs . . . Shame on some large independent markets for raising their grocery prices since the strike . . . In which connection, the elderly man who runs a small neighborhood store near Echo Park told a customer, "I don't know why they call us Pop and Mom markets. Mom hasn't been here in years." . . . The cute messenger girls who rush memos from office to office atDuMont Electronics in West L.A. are known among the engineers as the ponytail express.