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Matt Weinstock, July 31, 1959

July 31, 2009 |  4:00 pm

Responsibility Law

Matt Weinstock Every motorist has heard of the financial responsibility law. Today a man named Tom furnishes a horrible example of how it can work.

On May 20 he stopped in the left lane at Sepulveda Blvd. and Vose St., Van Nuys, behind a car which was signaling a left turn.

As he waited, a third car, driven by a woman, crashed with terrific impact into his rear, jamming his car into the car ahead. The skid marks measured 60 ft. before the crash, according to the police report.

Tom suffered a serious whiplash of the neck and lower spine. He has been under treatment since the accident. Curiously enough, he was the only person injured. He has lost 10 weeks' work and his car, although partially repaired, is still a mess.

IT ALSO TURNED OUT that Tom was the only driver of the three who had no insurance, and rather astonishing things have been happening since.

For one thing, he has been getting what he considers pressure from the woman driver's insurance company to settle the claim on what he considers inadequate terms. After all, he keeps pointing out, he was the injured, although innocent, person.

Then the other day he received a notice from the DMV stating he must put up a bond of $760 by Aug. 12 or his driver's license and plates will be suspended.

He has been forced to hire an attorney, and apparently will have to take legal action to have his license restored and his claim settled more equitably.

Tom can't help feeling that the financial responsibility law gives the insurance companies the best of it.

It's no wonder that most motorists wouldn't think of getting behind the wheel of their cars without the knowledge that their insurance is paid up and in force.


THIS IS THE season for letters to parents from their children visiting distant relatives and attending summer camps. Marjorie Mills prizes this one from her daughter Janet, 13: "When are you coming here, Soon I hope. I don't need you, grandma does."


Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we try to knit a sleeve.


IN QUEST of information, aviation editor Don Dwiggins phoned a Mr. Sawyer at a big missile-manufacturing plant.

He was out but his secretary called back a few minutes later and said, "Hello, Mr. Wiggins?"

"Dwiggins," Don corrected.

"Oh, I'm sorry," she said. "This is, this is, oh dear, I forgot who I am. Oh yes, I'm Mr. Sawyer's secretary. It slipped my mind for the moment."

It isn't the heat, it's the insanity.


A MOVIE producer who returned from Rome told writer Harry Essex of a crazy thing that happened at a recent big event there.

Seeing a familiar face looking about in bewilderment, the producer went to the head man and said, "That's Tennessee Williams -- can't you find him his seat?"

The head man consulted his guest list and said he was sorry, he didn't find the name. The producer persisted and he looked again. Finally he found it -- "Mr. Williams of Tennessee."


THE LAST WORD obviously has not been heard in the controversy over Goodwin Knight's $3,500 portrait, but some other words have. Goodie, you'll remember, said, "That picture will never hang in Sacramento. I have no desire to be portrayed as a 35-year-old Nelson Eddy."

Eddy, appearing in Chicago, commented wistfully, "I would like to be a 35-year-old Nelson Eddy again." Then he recalled the time a woman stopped him in a hotel lobby and asked, "Weren't you Nelson Eddy?"


QUOTE & UNQUOTE -- One broken-down actor to another in a Santa Monica Blvd. saloon: "You know, pal, your conversation's getting pretty sour lately. Why don't you coin yourself a couple of new cliches?" . . . Tyrone Lopez in the Belvedere Citizen: "Cuba missed a bet in the Miss Universe contest. Miss Cuba should have been a bearded lady."