The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Matt Weinstock -- March 18, 1959



Victims of Suburbia


Matt_weinstockdA young man named Steve asks if I can dig up a live hermit he can interview during Easter vacation for his B-11 American literature class at Hamilton High. I regret to report failure. An honest-to-goodness hermit is hard to find. I checked a few places and came up with nothing.

There are, of course, countless men and women who live alone and dislike it, and imagine they are hermits. But they don't qualify. They go to the grocery store and see people. The dictionary defines a hermit as "a person who retires from society and lives in solitude."

I am sure there are a few so-called hermits living in isolated canyons and hillsides, away from it all, but I doubt they're authentic, either. Incidentally, this kind of life is becoming more difficult all the time with the freeways reaching into nooks, crannies andbosky dells. 

1959_0318_weinstock IN FACT, it appears the hermit business is shot. Come to think of it a hermit would probably be subpoenaed by the Un-American Activities Committee for renouncing the blessings of civilization.

So you see, Steve, you've got too much going against you. And it would be useless to ask any self-respecting hermit who might read this to come forward. Part of the hermit game is not to read anything and to want no part of intruders, especially interviewers.

Ever think of interviewing an Easter Bunny, Steve?

* *

IT'S LATER
than you think. Les and Lucy Wagner phoned their daughter Georgia in Los Altos Sunday and her husband said she wasn't there, she was out Christmas shopping.

"Christmas shopping? Sunday?" Les exclaimed.

"Why not? It's March, isn't it?"

* *

1959_0318_poitierSMALL CONSOLATION
If the bombs get cleaner and cleaner
And testing continues its course
If the Russians get meaner and meaner
I'll be an immaculate corpse.
-- PEARL ROWE


* *

IN A LETTER, Doris Hellman's sister, now on a slow tour of Europe, writes that she went to a fancy reception and ball in Hamburg, Germany; attended by many important political leaders and nobility, and overheard a dowager in this conversational tidbit: "So I told him -- don't go to war!"

* *

UP AT Stanford, Cameron Shipp relates, they're telling about a scientist who went to Cape Canaveral to launch a rocket. It fizzed momentarily, then died without getting off the pad, and the scientist returned toPalo Alto disconsolate. 

1959_0318_dodgers "Don't worry, it could have been worse," president Wallace Sterling soothed.

"Worse? How could it have been worse? It not only didn't go into orbit, it didn't even rise?"

"Suppose it had risen five feet," Sterling said softly, "and then gone into orbit?"

Man, would that have created consternation on the Santa Ana Freeway at 5 p.m.

* *

PUBLIC AT LARGE -- Frank Barron has a solution for the West Berlin crisis. Make it the 51st state. We need one on that side . . . Harry Cimring knows a man who is having engraved on his St. Christopher's medal, "Not good over 65 m.p.h." . . . Of Boris Pasternak's ejection from the Soviet writers' union AlHine remarked to Caskie Stinnett: "They bartered their birthright for a pot of message." 

* *

AT RANDOM --
The magic word among actors these days is residuals -- checks they receive for repeat runs of old pictures on TV, usually without knowing about them. "It's like stealing," one says . . . That wasn't Khrushchev at 2nd and Spring, it was John Grover. Friends said he'd look like Nikita if he got a close haircut. He did and he does . . . Oops, Mischa Elman is 68, not in his 80s, as stated here . . . The same issue of a La Mirada paper had a bank worker's death notice and an ad for a replacement.  
 
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