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Matt Weinstock -- January 1, 1959

January 1, 2009 |  4:00 pm

Unsung Heroines

Matt_weinstockd Today the focus is on that thriving city north of South Pasadena.  The bands will play, the crowds will roar, the traffic will snarl.

But in all the gigantic gymkhana there will be no mention of those unsung heroines, the nameless little old ladies of Pasadena who have also done so much to bring fame to their city.  So let us pay tribute. 

Historically they don’t rate much, but sociologically they have had a great impact on civilization.

THEIR ORIGIN is blurred, but legend has it that around 1934 an ad appeared somewhere stating, “For Sale--1924 Marmon. Like new, Used only to drive to church on Sunday by retired old lady in Pasadena.”

This old gal became one of the most ubiquitous characteristics in Southern California.  Used car dealers adopted her as their den mother.  The mere hint that a tired, unwanted old clunker on a used-car lot was once owned by you-know-who was supposed to add luster to its tarnished hull and a few bucks to its going price.

In recent years these little old ladies seem to have ventured out of Pasadena.  They’re the ones who make odd, irrelevant or anachronistic remarks to bus drivers, elevator operators and policemen, bringing knowing smirks to listeners. 

Through it all they remain haughty, unruffled and serene.  More power to them whoever and wherever they are. 



THOUGHT FOR TODAY

If New Year’s Eve froke
Was too alcoholic
And herd on your doge
And, feeling so frisky,
Your driving was risky,
But skill you got home-
Your headache will wear off
And prompt you to swear off.
So be realistic,
In spite of your head,
Be glad you're in bed,
And not a statistic.

        - W. B. FRANCE


1959_0101_ads_2ONLY IN L.A.  -- Traffic at 6th and Broadway was tied up briefly as the officer said something to a cab driver about to turn right.  An impatient motorist snapped to the man alongside, "Look at this mess--and that stupid cop stands over there talking to a guy!"

Publicist Lee Pitt, who heard him, also heard the officer direct the cabby half a block away, where a feeble old man sitting on the curb had asked for help.

THE HOLIDAY week was saddened for a number of L.A. schoolteachers by the death of a former colleague, a handsome, intelligent woman with a true gift for teaching who went down and down after a tragic marriage.  She died on skid row, a victim of drink and narcotics.  When under the influence she used to phone her former associates and recall her happy days.  Now that she's dead, her friends remain haunted by the phone calls.

TRAFFIC MATTERS  -- On Highway 80 between El Cajon and San Diego, Private Eye Dan Whelan reports, there's a sign "Dig this crazy road.  It will be cool when hazard's done."  Needless to state, Cats are working on the construction job . . . And a posy to whoever is responsible for the "Walk Wisely" stencils on the pavement.  That Droopert routine was getting boring.

MISCELLANY -- Those revenues are certainly cute, getting the Form 1040s in the mail Tuesday, while the taxpayers were still groggy . . . As he proudly showed a friend the three-lens microscope he received for Christmas, Chris Harris, 9, of Reseda, said, "Here, take a look, I've got it on the low power channel" . . . A young man with a set of bongo drums was thumbing a ride on the Golden State Freeway yesterday.  Unfortunately, Bob Martin reports he was heading toward L.A. . . . Sybil Brand, named for the wife of Harry Brand, famed Fox Publicist, won the fifth race at Santa Anita yesterday, paying $84.60. That noise you here is Harry moaning.  He didn't have a bet on it. 
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