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Matt Weinstock -- July 25, 1959

July 25, 2009 |  4:00 pm

New-Type Hero

Matt Weinstock If the situation in Cuba seems chaotic, let writer Malvin Wald fill you in on some details. He has just returned from five weeks in Havana getting material for a film about Fidel Castro.

One time he and director Dick Wilson had a dinner date with the director of prisons. He didn't show and next day he phoned to apologize. There had been a riot in the prison requiring his prior attention.

Another time they had an appointment with Castro. After waiting several hours they were told he couldn't make it because of a sudden crisis. His air force chief had resigned and was believed to have fled the country.

Then there was the case of the traffic officer who gave the prime minister a ticket. Instead of being angry, Fidel praised him for his dedication to duty and the conscientious cop became a front-page hero for a day.

As a result all Havana policemen are on the alert for Castro's blue Mercedes, hoping his driver will run a red light or park in a prohibited zone so they can give him a ticket and become heroes, too.


CLOSER TO HOME, an L.A. resident is unhappy about zealous Newport Beach authorities. Policemen patrolling Balboa Island in an outboard last Sunday came ashore and cited everyone they saw with a beer can in his hand. Unannounced, they'd begun enforcing an ordinance prohibiting drinking of alcoholic beverages in public -- bail $25, which he forfeited.

Understand it's okay to eat a hamburger if you show your driver's license and take a loyalty oath.


SPEAKING OF hamburgers, Bobby Hammack, ABC band leader and pianist, was eating one in a Vine St. restaurant when he heard a waitress relay the order to a cook, "Cheeseburger, hold the relish, onionsville!"

Bobby says, "I will stipulate that we are hung up with the suffix 'ville' as in
hotsville, coldsville, smogsville and so on during working hours, but when they invade my lunch hour, I'm hacked."

Like crazyville, man.


They've purified our cigarettes
We almost could relax,
If when they lowered coals and tars
They hadn't upped the tax.


MOST VIVID memory Gloria Saunders, actress and writer, brought back from Tijuana was that of a battered 1954 Henry J on a used car lot not too far from the bull ring. Across its windshield was written in bold yellow letters, "Muy Bravo!"


ONLY IN HOLLYWOOD -- It isn't that people don't trust each other, it's just that they want to make sure about things. Which doubtless explains the action of a woman in a market who selected a hunk of cut, wrapped and labeled meat, carried it to the hanging scale in the produce section and weighed it . . . And there's a story going around about a colleague asking an actor's agent if he'd seen the Laurel Canyon fire -- to which the agent responded eagerly, "Who do we have in it?"


PROF. Ulfert Wilke's final assignment to painting students at Claremont summer session was, "Go to the Watts Towers, 1765 E. 107th St., and give impression of its miracle in paintings which may reflect a little of its colorful glory, its feast of fantasy and human dedication, its manifestation of idealism and hope. Pay homage to Sam Rodilla , whose work should be preserved to give joy to others, yet who was 1,000 times rewarded by the bliss of his own labors in bringing forth his vision."


FOOTNOTES -- Biggest horse show in the west, with 90 L.A. and Ventura County 4-H clubs participating, will be held tomorrow in Malibu. Starts at 9 a.m. with judging of halter classes which, some anonymous press agent wants people to know, has to do with horses, not bras. . . During a Dodger broadcast, Jerry Doggett said "pitchingwise."