Matt Weinstock, July 10, 1959
July 10, 2009 | 4:00 pm
Unfriendly FriscoMy San Francisco spy has smuggled through the mail a clipping of a sports column by Prescott Sullivan in the S.F. Examiner as follows:
"Ingemar Johansson demonstrated that he is the possessor of a devastating right-hand punch when he upended Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight championship of the world. Last week the handsome, affable Swede demonstrated that he is also the possessor of an orderly, analytical mind.
"In Goteborg, his home town, Johansson said it looked like Los Angeles would be the scene of his first defense of the title and that would be fine and dandy with him. 'I like Los Angeles because I've never been there,' he declared.
"THINK IT over and you'll agree that never having been there is the best possible reason for anyone liking Los Angeles. What other reason is there for liking it? Can L.A. be liked for its smog, its monstrous freeway traffic jams or Charlie Park, the scorekeeper who did Sad Sam Jones out of a no-hit game? Is it to be venerated for its oppressive heat, its crackpots, the Dodgers or Braven Dyer?
"For years we have been trying to puzzle things out. Now a young Swede, to whom the English language is strange and difficult, shames us by making it all look so easy. Ingemar Johansson likes Los Angeles because he has never been there and no one could sum it up more succinctly than that."
My, my, such bitterness. They must really hate us up there. And we always say such nice things about S.F. Only thing to do is smile and whip out the population figures.
"OH MEMORY, thou fond deceiver!" wrote Oliver Goldsmith. It certainly is.
The boys on the copy desk were discussing the new sales tax on cigarettes, which make them 30 cents a pack in the office vending machine, and a 2nd World War veteran reminisced, "Gosh, remember how cheap they were in the Army PBX?" That's what he said -- PBX.
JULY 4 has disappeared into limbo for most people but not quite for writer Alvin Sapinsley. He and his wife, Elizabeth, were having supper in the patio of their Sherman Oaks home around 8:30 p.m. when something hit with a sharp, cracking sound on the roof not too many inches away from his head and bounced onto the driveway. It was the nose cone of a .45-caliber bullet -- copper-colored and warm.
Another panel you will never see in the sitcom legacy version of "Peanuts."
The current legacy strip: "It's a Laugh Track, Charlie Brown."
He went up on the roof and found a deep dent it had made. By fitting the slug into the hole he determined it apparently had been fired from somewhere around Mulholland Dr. and Beverly Glen Blvd.
He called the police and an officer was sympathetic and made a report but said there wasn't much he could and actually there wasn't.
The disturbing thing is that five minutes before the bullet struck, his wife had wondered if they could see the fireworks from the back yard. He'd said he didn't think so and suggested, he recalls with a shudder, they go up on the roof for a better view.
Hark, hark, the shark --
All bite, no bark.
A LADY NAMED Julia made the final payment on her car and remarked that she should soon be receiving the pink slip in the mail. At a question by Donna, 5 1/2, she explained the pink slip meant ownership of the car. Donna said she wanted to be there when the box came. "What box?" Julia asked. Turned out Donna somehow had gotten the idea that the pink slip was a ruffled pink seat cover. Breaking the news was like telling her there was no Santa Claus.
Ah, those wonderful childhood misconceptions.
PUBLIC AT LARGE -- Picture postcard from Terracina, Italy, from publicist Al Hix has the message, "This is just like Zuma Beach -- with pizzas." . . . Tom Cracraft can't understand why the missile people don't send gophers and moles up in rockets. "Out in Studio City," he says, "we're hardly ever bothered by monkeys."