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Matt Weinstock -- March 13, 1959

March 13, 2009 |  4:00 pm

Mayor's a Creek

Matt_weinstockdThat wasn't smog around the City Hall the other day, it was a smoke signal denoting Mayor Poulson's induction into the Creek tribe. Their ceremony was intended to make people aware of the 15,000 Indians in the L.A. area who are being assimilated into normal society.

Take Creek Chief Wah-Nee-Ota, for instance, who helped officiate. His other name is William McGuire. He is 42, a musician and actor, married and has three daughters, wears his hair in braids and has a wonderful sense of humor.

When he came here from Muskogee, Okla., in 1937, he went out to Republic studio hoping to get work in westerns. He noticed that sixNavahos with long hair were always grabbed first by the casting director. The others were on a next-best basis. He let his short hair grow, got some jobs and hasn't cut it since.

When Bill applied for membership in the musicians union -- he plays the vibrola, something like a guitar -- he was given a questionnaire. To the question "Do you speak any foreign languages?" he wrote, "Yes, English." To the question, "Are you a citizen?" he wrote, "No." When called before the board he explained that he is a member of the Indian nation and technically his tribe still is at war with the United States. No peace treaty has ever been signed.

WHENEVER POSSIBLE Bill tries to straighten people out on the matter of scalping. "We learned it from the white man," he explains.

When the early settlers came from England they were paid a bounty for every Indian body. Things became a little cluttered, and the king's treasurer announced he'd pay on the head, then the scalp.

When the live Indians learned what was happening to the dead Indians they adopted this supposedly sacred ritual of their very own. "It's all in the history books under 'The Art of Scalping.'" Bill said.

How did he get along with Mayor Poulson? "We are blood brothers now," Chief Wah-Nee-Ota said stoically.

* *

ONLY IN L.A. -- The girls in Classified are giggling again. A woman placed a for-sale ad stating, "Boxer puppies, golden red fawn" -- describing their color. Three persons called wanting to buy the fawn.

* *

Even funeral ads to my budget do cater,
The billboards encourage die now and pay later.
-- M.L.G.

* *

MONDAY at 9 a.m. a county crew arrived at the handsome, modern new courthouse in Torrance to set the scene for the dedication ceremony scheduled for 10:30.

The men moved a portable platform on the front lawn, put the bunting around it, attached the loudspeakers and set up about 200 folding chairs.

As the time approached the dignitaries took their places on the platform and the commoners found seats.

At 10:30 sharp the ceremony was called to order.

At 10:45, as the oratory shifted into overdrive, the automatic sprinklers went on, soaking the celebrities.

* *

a lesson in phonics, Dorothy Feist, 2nd grade teacher at Galt elementary school in Van Nuys, gave the word "night" and asked the class to furnish similar sounding words. One youngster said "sight." Randall Marco said "fight" -- emphasizing the first letter.

"And how do you start 'fight' "? she asked.

"With a gun," he replied.

* *

MISCELLANY -- As might be expected, Mother's Day gags about Elizabeth Duncan and Frankie are circulating . . . A business associate phoned Bob Hope in Palm Springs regarding his TV show tonight and the long distance operator said, "Give him my love." When the Banning operator plugged in she said, "Tell Mr. Hope to take care of himself." Such is the esteem in which the man is held . . . June Street north of 1st should be a safe place. Emmett C.McGaughey, police commission president, lives in the 100 block and Duncan Shaw, a member, in the 500 block.