Matt Weinstock, April 11, 1959
April 11, 2009 | 4:00 pm
Glendale 'Witch'While recovering from the flu in 1942 Charlotte Armstrong amused herself by writing a mystery novel, "Lay On, MacDuff!" To her surprise, she sold it and it was published the way she wrote it. Until then she had been writing unsuccessful plays. Previous to that she took classified ads on the phone for the New York Times.
It seemed like a nice life compared to the arduous toil of writing and rewriting plays and since that time she had written 13 more, almost one a year, most of which have appeared in magazines. "A Dram of Poison," won the Mystery Writers "Edgar" as the best suspense novel of 1956 and critic Anthony Boucher called her "one of the few authentic spell-casting witches of modern times."
HER NEWEST is "Duo," two short novels with an L.A. setting. Scheduled for publication later this year is "The Seventeen Widows of Sans Souci."
"There's no such thing as coasting for Miss Armstrong, wife of ad man Jack Lewis. She's at her typewriter every day at her home at 1700 Grandview Ave., Glendale. (What's that you say? People in Glendale don't write suspense novels? Huh!)
Miss Armstrong makes a fine distinction in this day of shoot-'em-up and beat-'em-up TV.
"I find I kill off fewer and fewer characters all the time," she said. "My 'Dram of Poison' had no crime, no violence and no villain."
SOMETHING has gone wrong with a Rolling Hills resident's TV set and all he gets is a diagonal picture across the middle with the other two-thirds of the screen, top and bottom, blacked out. Says he never had so much fun. The horses in westerns look like dachshunds. As for the ladies at the Academy Awards, my, my, such distortion.
It must have been fun
When people had some
Of the thing they call togetherness.
And the reason why
They still got by--
Perhaps they were just togetherless.
THE PHONE RANG at the home of Bart Bradley, 12, TV actor and the caller asked, "Is Melvin there?" Bart said he must have the wrong number. A moment later the routine was repeated. The third time Bart said, "Melvin is being punished--he can't come to the phone." That stopped it.
EVERYONE TALKS, some in horrified tones, about juvenile delinquency but the County Federation of Community Coordinating Councils tries to do something about it by tracing its causes and understanding it.
The problem was pinpointed recently when a Pico Rivera housewife reported two little strangers appeared at her home with this note from their mother. "To whom it may concern: Please send my children home by five." In other words, she didn't care where they were just so they didn't bother her.
NOTE FROM a voter: "Do you suppose the people in politics and government got the message last Tuesday that the 2-1 defeat of Prop. A meant we won't stand for further tax increases? Or will we have to go through all that again?" Don't hold your breath.
FOOTNOTES -- Among the interplanetary problems raised at the Space Conference in New York was "Suppose a man sent to another planet liked it so much he didn't want to return to earth" ... The Animal Regulation Department has done it again. In addition to 1,234 dog and 99 cat bites, the monthly report lists the year's firstcoatimundi bite. Of course, we've also had chomps by an eagle, an eland, a mole and an ocelot ... Oops, a learned professor on Channel 4's early morning show, "Continental Classroom," committed this redundancy: "The beam of light goes vertically straight up" ... "No truth to the rumor, Bob Holcomb says, that if and when the cut version of "Gigi" is shown on the late, late show it will be called "Gi."