When you hear a familiar nasal voice say, "Now, madam, what is your problem?" you know it's John J. Anthony. For 30 years in radio and television he has been a counselor to people in trouble, mostly marital. His voice is one of the best known anywhere.
Not long ago, as he stood talking to a friend, s stranger passing by stopped and broke in, "Pardon me, are you Mr. Anthony?" He said yes. The stranger said, "Please keep talking, I've always wanted to hear that voice in person."
Recently a policeman stopped him on Olympic Blvd. and asked to see his driver's license. "Are you THE Mr. Anthony?" He said yes, meanwhile wondering what he had done wrong. The officer, momentarily ignoring Anthony's problem, said, "I'd like to ask your advice. I've been having a little trouble at home."
WHEN HE HAD outlined it Anthony bluntly placed the blame where it belonged and steered a corrective course for him. Usually, he'll tell you, the blame belongs on both parties. It's like that wherever he goes.
Anthony is gratified that in recent years the subject of human relations has become a big, national problem. It was virtually undiscovered when he took it on 30 years ago in New York, recognizing people's need for help in solving what seemed unsurmountable dilemmas.
Lately there has been a slight shift of emphasis which has been reflected in his work. He still has his daily program for adults on Channel 9 but now he also has a Sunday night program for juveniles in trouble. Actually, he'll tell you, it's an extension of the same old clash between men and women.
It hasn't happened yet but someday he expects a stranger to accost him and say, "I just wanted you to know, Mr. Anthony, that I have no problem."
GEOGRAPHY NOTE -- Elizabeth McCarthy, vacationing in Malibu, wrote a check at a market and to establish identity added her home city, San Mateo. The box boy, a junior beatnik with a ducktail haircut, said in awe, "Gosh, San Mateo! I want to see your license plate!"
He returned disappointed and sheepish, confiding to a colleague, "It's in California." Apparently he thought it was some island off the coast of Erewhon.
Judging from her Bikini,
The daring way it clings,
No doubt her halo's home --
Along with her water wings.
--JUNE R. DRUMMOND
OTHERS COULD take a lesson from Ed Murrow's modest signoff the other day as he departed on a year's leave of absence. The year, he said, "will be spent traveling, reading, listening. I shall return to this frightening microphone with a little more knowledge and assurance -- at least the illusion that I know what I'm talking about.
"My thanks to those of you who have reminded me that an amplified voice does not increase the wisdom or understanding of the speaker."
THE WEEK'S man among men, barbecue division, was Henry Confaglia, Los Alamos rancher, who single-handedly broiled more than 100 pounds of steaks for that many descendants of Juan Batista Caserini at the annual family picnic at Steckel Park, Santa Paula.
Merely turning them over took a lot of muscle. Juan's two surviving daughters, Caroline and Ava, were there. The third, Apolonia, died during the year.
FOOTNOTES -- A boy of about 12 who apparently has worn out his welcome elsewhere rides his bicycle on the Pebble Beach road out of Avalon. He steers with one hand, with the other holds a bugle on which he blows taps, reveille and sour notes. Orlando Northcutt, who caught his concert, says it's lucky he didn't take up the guitar . . . The high schoolers are playing a naughty game at the beaches, reports David Negus of Monrovia. They swim out, stay underwater and hold up a hand as if it were a fin while their pals holler "Shark!" . . . Memorable quote: Louis Armstrong told a Newsweek reporter, "You know the way to live this life? Take some and leave some."