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Matt Weinstock -- January 31, 1959

January 31, 2009 |  4:00 pm

Dash Dashes Dreams

Matt_weinstockd Among those who went along on American Airlines' first jet flight to New York a few days ago was this paper's Bill Thomas. His colleagues felt the event should be commemorated, and as the hour for departure neared they gathered solemnly around the city desk and each contributed 25 cents for a $25,000 insurance policy on his life.

It is hardly necessary to mention that newspapermen are lacking somehow in reverence for the things most people hold dear. Doubtless this comes from seeing civilization at its worst.

"As the plane goes down," one said, "it should be comforting for you to know you are doing a nice thing for your friends."

1959_0131_beggar EVERYONE KNOWS the plane made it in a record 4 hours and 3 minutes and Bill is back. Naturally, his philanthropic associates are bitterly disappointed. They had dreamed of buying small weekly papers in the calmer hinterlands with the insurance money and taking life easy.

Now they not only find Bill superfluous to the local scene, they're out two bits. In their forthright manner they have conveyed their feelings to him.

By way of retort Bill has addressed this notice to his benefactors: "Dear Boys and Ghouls: Sue me."

To complete their disillusion, there's a strong suspicion their contributions went for a crock of grog.

* *

A LONG-DISTANCE operator asked by a young sounding voice to put through a call asked cagily, "Is there anyone else at home?"

"My brother," was the reply.

"May I speak to him?" she asked.

After a long wait the young voice said, "I'm sorry, he can't come. I can't let him out of the playpen."

* *

1959_0131_cover HAUL THROUGH THE NIGHT
Roaring diesels dusk 'til dawn,
Rumbling freight trains never gone,
Motel patrons seeking sleep,
Slumber fades and dreams won't keep,
Motorists all soon play this game-
Auto-Inn-somnia is its name.

* *

IT WAS mentioned here recently that the origin of the Alcoholics Anonymous basic prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference," was unknown.

Not so, according to Rose Gropman, who says it's a condensation of a passage from Confucius.

Virginia Sharp of Tujunga states it originally was an old Chinese prayer which read, "Give us the courage to change that which can be changed. Give us the serenity to accept that which cannot be changed. And give us the wisdom to recognize one from the other -- each for what it is."

Whoever first wrote it and in whatever form, it's a fine thought.

* *

1959_0131_missing A PUBLIC relations man I know received a brochure inviting him to membership in the Diners Club and he is captivated by the prospect.

He is particularly intrigued by the assurance, on page 2, that members' credit is good in "the world's finest restaurants, hotels, night clubs, auto rentals, motels, including members of Congress, Best Western and Superior Courts . . ."

It's a little confusing, but the way he reads it he could get through to a congressman by flashing his Diners card.

* *

FOOTNOTES -- How do colors get named? Well, Janet Holt won a trip to Chicago for the finals of the national cherry pie baking contest for high school students, and her proud mother, Mary, a dress designer for Blum of California, is bringing out a line in cherry pie red . . . Ernie Maxwell sold his paper, the Idyllwild Town Crier, a year ago to travel. Now he has taken it over again. His reason -- no neckties or business suits . . . That snarl you hear comes from station wagon owners who get clipped an extra dollar for license renewals. They don't understand why.