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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Matt Weinstock, June 26, 1959




An Act to Remember

Matt Weinstock Unintentionally profound remarks come from the strangest places.

The setting for this one was postwar Japan. It was told to Hal Humphrey by publicist John Plake, who was there.

The soldiers in a certain headquarters company had done everything there was to do, which was not much, and they were bored, as the saying goes, almost to tears.

One day they decided to put on a show. All available talent was rounded up and urged to do its worst.

ON THE schedule that day there was the guitar player, the magician, the singer. Then came the finale. A young man wearing a long underwear leotard, a fake flower in his hair and papier-mache wings dashed out on the platform. He spun around -- perhaps pirouetted is the word -- flapped his wings and collapsed, not as gracefully as he imagined, like a fallen angel. He half rose, flapped his wings one more time, looked out at the audience and shouted hoarsely, "Everything is being done wrong!"

::

DID YOU KNOW that news photographers have a theme song? Well, they do. Furthermore, several of them sang it the other day when a burly, belligerent and handcuffed prisoner, who indicated he hated cameramen, was escorted into a courtroom.

It goes, "He who shoots and runs away (another version has it "from far away") lives to shoot another day."

::

PEOPLE IN A position to give out complimentary tickets to theaters or other events are constantly besieged by persons wishing same. In fact, handling tickets can become a nuisance to the point of making other work secondary. And so a certain editor, constantly fighting off the freeloading wolves, notoriously fierce, derisively tears off two or three green stamps from a sheet and hands them out with each pass.

::

FIRST THINGS FIRST
It isn't really necessary to teach us how to drive.
The thing we need instruction in is how to stay alive.
--FELIX DE COLA

::

AN ELDERLY woman who rides around in a one-seat electric car is a familiar sight around Bixby Park, Long Beach.

The other day she went to a neighborhood market and purchased the few items her limited  income permits. When the box boy offered to carry them out she said, smiling, "put them in the Cadillac, please." She confided to the manager, "That's my little joke."

But when she went out to her car, no groceries. The boy had put them in the Cadillac and it was gone.

::

A BRITISHER living here is known for his irascible temperament and his sardonic view of civilization. Very little pleases him. When something particularly irks him he writes a letter to the London Times. The other day Martin Ragaway found him unaccountably pleasant. "If Charley gets any sweeter," he admonished the Britisher's wife, "he'll have no personality at all."

::

THE DARNEDEST things happen in restaurants. Slim Means, veteran chef, was working recently in a small seaside cafe and a waitress put in an order for two friend eggs -- one sunny-side up, the other over easy. He didn't believe her but it was true. Two women had only the price of two eggs and were going to split them. One wanted them one way, the other another.

::

AT RANDOM -- A girl with a Pasadena insurance company has the semi-official title Supervisor of Errors ... Writer Caskie Stinnett, here to host the Saturday Evening Post party Monday at the Beverly Hills Hotel, was surprised to see so many people wearing wash-and-dry suits. "It's the same old story," he said, "what is a new trend in Philadelphia is a long-established tradition everywhere else" ...  The way Bob Skeetz tells it, a gal in a bikini came into a beach city jewelry store and asked for one of those "sharkproof" watches ... And Dick Degnon reports a Riverside Dr. surplus store is advertising shark repellent for bathers, with the slogan of "Don't be a shark tidbit."

 
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