Matt Weinstock -- May 6, 1959
May 6, 2009 | 4:00 pm
Shell GameIt is the nature of shell collectors to correspond with each other and, thus, adman Bennett Foster has learned of the fantastic tale of R. Julian Dashwood, the only white man on the island of Mauke, in the Cook group, 1,000 miles from New Zealand.
Thirty years ago Dashwood found himself on the beach in Australia, then in a depression, and he resolved never again to be dependent on errant society. He went to Mauke, married a native girl, and was welcomed into the tribe by the hospitable Polynesians. He built a house of coral and set about indulging his hobby, shell collecting. He worked out a co-operative deal with the natives and they enthusiastically went to work collecting shells for him.
BUT ABOUT a year ago he became bored and left for Auckland, where he opened a little shell store. After three months he knew the dizzy pace of civilization was not for him and returned to the atoll.
Last year the battery went dead on his shortwave radio, his only contact with the outside world, and he was frantic for a while, wondering what the world was up to. Then he found he didn't really care.
Not long ago another crisis arose. The natives got tired of collecting shells, and his trade, carried on by the four ships a year which call at the atoll, came to an end. No matter what he offered them, they refused. After all, what good was money on an island without a store and where everything they ate, drank or wore was in natural abundance.
FINALLY he had an idea. He sent to Auckland for a movie projector and some old films. At the first showing the natives went wild over them. But on the night of the next show he stood at the door and told them the price of admission was a penny. Of course, no one had a penny.
The economic dilemma was quickly solved, he recently wrote Foster. He pays them a penny a week to collect shells and they pay it back to him to see the movies.
ASIDE TO the Detroit boys -- A large lady couldn't get into the low-slung car that was to take her to her husband's funeral, the other day, and she had to ride with the undertaker.
How wise we are; what worthy labor
To note each weakness of our neighbor,
If in the night, like busy elves,
We use the list to test ourselves.
ONLY IN L.A. -- A wife in a downtown bar became increasingly critical as her husband gulped drink after drink long after she had pointed out it was time to go home. Finally she asked sarcastically, "What are you doing, trying for an Oscar?" Her befuddled spouse retorted proudly, "I already got one!" He thought she'd said ulcer.
THOSE WHO felt the full force of Sunday's big wind don't think it received enough attention.
Ray Keplinger hit a full iron shot on the Hesperia course and the ball landed 10 feet in back of him.
Publicist Jim Bishop was playing volleyball at Malibu and a gust of wind caught the ball and it went over his head. He chased it endlessly, and if a little girl hadn't finally stopped it he'd probably have jogged all the way to Manhattan Beach. A car was sent to retrieve him and the ball and the speedometer measured five-eights of a mile.
AT RANDOM -- Sudden thought: How about an added Pulitzer prize for the unknown reporter who had to cover the Clare Luce-Sen. Morse story in Time? ... Morey Gold, the Whittier Blvd. bicycle and key man, swears he heard a KHJ newscaster talk about a "dubbish rump" ... Cartoonist Dave Hall had a live foot-and-a-half-foot-long water snake on his desk yesterday to take home for his youngster's nature study class. OK, so it was in a gunny sack ... Mike Goodman knows a fellow so lazy he has to shake his self-winding watch to make it go. Himself.