Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
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'Save for Ball'The most spirited gag of the mad spring season came to a triumphant climax this week in the Civic Center.
For a long time, fellow workers have been aware that Doarwell Ball, a pressman, is a scrounger. When a heavy piece of equipment was shipped into the plant he would scribble, "Save for Ball," on the packing cases. Later he would salvage the usable wood and take it home. He is a man of many do-it-yourself projects.
Several weeks ago the inscription appeared all over the wood protective structure around the building being demolished at 2nd and Broadway. Some of the notices are still there.
Then it appeared on a similar safety wall around the State Highway Division construction project at 2nd and Spring. It's still there, too.
SPECULATION, as the saying goes, was rife. Many persons thought the notices were written there by construction crews and indicated that the structures were destined for demolition by the "headache ball," the heavy metal ball swung by cable from a crane to break up buildings and concrete.
Meanwhile, a "Save for Ball" notice has appeared on a streetcar in Watts and others on auto-wrecking yards in Colton and near Palm Springs. The phrase was taking on the aspect of another "Kilroy was here."
Then this week it appeared mysteriously in huge white capital letters on a ninth-floor girder of the colossal state building being erected at 1st and Broadway - a masterpiece of devilry.
Truly, Doarwell's friends have been having a ball.
AT EASTERNER visiting L.A. took his nephew Nicky, 7, a local product, to the beach and Nicky went to work building an elaborate sand castle. He put a ditch around it, explaining this was a moat. Then he patted down a large flat area nearby.
"What's that?" asked his puzzled uncle.
"That's the parking lot," Nicky said.
I think I know why TV stars think video a gem --
They can reach ten million folks who can't get back at them.
ONLY IN L.A. -- During intermission at "Two for the Seasaw" at the Biltmore Theater, Hank Osborne, standing in the lobby, faintly heard the Dodger baseball broadcast.
He finally traced it to a woman wearing a huge picture hat with fruit and vegetables on it. She was holding a tiny transistor radio to her ear under the hat.
"What's the score?" Hank asked.
"That's what I'd like to know!" she snapped. "He hasn't given it!"
SPEAKING OF which, things were a little nervous around the courthouse this week as a result of the threat notes sent 10 judges and court attaches by Elmer D.Simrell, 48, fugitive sought by the FBI.
The situation could have become explosive. A lawyer, as a joke, said he planned to stalk into the courtroom of one of the threatened judges wearing a mask and brandishing a water pistol. In the nick of time thepressroom people dissuaded him.
IT DIDN'T GET in all the papers but the other morning someone left a newborn baby in the women's rest room on the main floor of the smog-smudged Hall of Justice.
Later in the day newsman Tom Cameron was riding down in an elevator and heard the operator say to a passenger, "Did you hear about the baby they found downstairs?"
"Alive?" the passenger asked.
"Yes," was the reply.
Whereupon a voice in the back of the car sounded off, "Those parents certainly didn't have the welfare of that child in mind or they would have left it in the new courthouse."
FOOTNOTES -- The Overseas Press Club Bulletin had a headline, "Togetherness Strikes Again" -- about AP and UPI, rival wire services, getting together at the urging of editors to work out a uniform style in news stories ... Remembered line by HalKanter: "It isn't the duty of the toastmaster to bore the audience but to introduce those who do" ... The youngsters in La Mirada play "Chicken!" on bicycles, a spy reports. They race full speed at each other and the first one to turn off is a rooster's friend.
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