Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
Category: July 2009
July 29, 1959: The "Orientals" being sent to Congress from Hawaii include future Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. And notice the story about Nikita Khrushchev being invited to visit the U.S.
And the Mirror-News brings out an extra about the arrest of Carole Tregoff Pappa, the girlfriend of Dr. R. Bernard Finch, in the death of his wife, Barbara Jean Finch.
Great White Hunter White Feels BlueI present you with my recently completed thesis on the subject: "Proper Protocol to Get a Wildcat Out of Your Back Yard."
My collaborator on this project was Mr. Keith White, an engineer.
Mr. White, who lives in Northridge, first suspected that there was a wildcat in his back yard several weeks ago.
For no apparent reason, huge branches of eucalyptus trees began crashing down on the premises in the middle of the night. Two of them -- 5 or 6 in. thick -- were snapped off last weekend.
So, at 1:30 Monday morning -- when White's dog began barking furiously -- he and his son Charles, 16, set out to investigate. And, beaming a powerful flashlight around the property, they soon found their wildcat.
The animal was perched in an eucalyptus tree about 100 yd. from the house. It had eyes the size of silver dollars, set about 5 in. apart. It was a big cat. No doubt about it.
Immediately, father and son retreated indoors and White picked up the phone. He called the sheriff's department.
"Can you come out and kill a wildcat?" he asked.
They couldn't. White's property wasn't in their jurisdiction. He'd have to call the Los Angeles Police Department.
So he did. And the sergeant promised he'd dispatch a prowl car to investigate.
White waited about half an hour. No prowl car came. So he called again.
"Sorry," he was told, "but we decided that it's not a police matter. Call the animal shelter."
Going on the theory that the wildcat was a patient one, and willing to wait, he dialed again. "Can someone come out and kill the wildcat before it kills us?" he asked.
The animal shelter man was very apologetic. He didn't have a gun. But Mr. Jensen, the manager, would be in the office bright and early in the morning. Maybe he could help.
It was 4 a.m. by then, so White decided to call it a day.
However, the following morning, he got a call from Mr. Jensen, who said that while the city could do nothing, he'd be glad to contact the state.
And he was true to his word. About an hour later, he phoned back to report that the state poisons coyotes, but it doesn't shoot wildcats.
"You'll have to contact the federal government," Mr. Jensen said. "Talk to the U.S. Wildlife Service. Ask for Mr. Elder."
The cat, of course, was gone by now, but when White observed the size of its tracks, he decided to persist.
He telephoned the U.S. Wildlife Service and asked for Mr. Elder.
"Mr. Elder's on vacation," a cheery voice informed him.
Undaunted, White explained his problem and asked if Mr. Elder had an assistant.
The answer was, of course, no. "I'm afraid you'll just have to wait until Mr. Elder gets back from vacation," the voice continued, "and I have to admit that I don't even know when he's expected."
Now, definitely daunted, but desperate, White tried again at the LAPD. He got a sergeant who referred him to a lieutenant who referred him to a third party who suggested that he go out and shoot the animal himself.
"I don't," he answered meekly, "have a gun."
"Ummm," was the studied reply.
Then White asked: "Could I go out and buy a gun and kill it?"
It's Not Permitted
"You'll have to get a permit."
"Can you give me a permit?"
"Oh, no. You have to make a written application."
"How long," gasped White, "does that take?"
"Well, it has to go through channels, you know."
There was silence. "Suppose," White finally continued, "I just went out and bought a gun and killed that cat without a permit?"
"Then," was the firm reply, "you'd probably be arrested."
With White's luck, that's probably how this story's going to end. He'll buy the gun, shoot at the wildcat, miss and wind up in jail.
|July 29, 1951: Some familiar titles: "The Caine Mutiny" and "From Here to Eternity" and then there's "Communism, Democracy and Catholic Power." What's this? "A study of the Kremlin and Vatican as suppressors of free thought?" Of course, you don't have to wonder what it's about. The full text is here.|
Sept. 16, 1968, the end of the ride for the Cyclone.
July 28, 1959: Compare this "Peanuts" strip with the one Charles Schulz did 10 years later.
Ticket Trouble Everyone is
in favor of motherhood, peace and traffic safety but strident voices
are being raised over one phase of the crackdown on delinquent drivers.
Almost everyone goes along with DMV director Robert McCarthy's campaign to protect the innocent from careless drivers by revoking the licenses of those who pile up too many moving violations.
But now the insurance companies have gotten into the act. They are sending policyholders forms to fill out listing their accidents and moving violations for the last 24 months. It is indicated that those who have sinned are going to have their rates raised. As a result, the squawks are reverberating.
THE COMPLAINT is that the insurance companies apparently fail to distinguish between major and minor offenses. An outraged citizen who has driven for 30 ticketless years recently got two citations, one for making an illegal left run, the other for driving with his bright lights on. He said, "I'm penalized the same as a man who drives 90 miles an hour."
Some authorities, by the way, question the advisability of insurance companies obtaining people's driving records, holding that this information should be restricted to the Motor Vehicle Department.
The insurance company forms have made motorists cagey in another way. Realizing they face rate increases if convicted on too many moving violations, they say they intent to plead not guilty and demand trials on tickets they consider unjustified -- a situation which could seriously clutter the courts.
Stay tuned in for what looks like a fine hassle.
THE ART OF the TV interview reached some sort of high point Sunday on the KNXT program Inquiry when Thomas Lanphier Jr., Convair's ballistics-missile executive, responded to a question with the mild complaint, "You are answering your own question with an answer I wouldn't give."
When it's 99 in the shade
I manage as a rule
To stay below the boiling point
Until I'm told, "Think cool."
-- ROBERTA MORGAN
MUSIC LOVERS are still talking about last week's nightmare performance of "Carmen" at Hollywood Bowl. Everything went wrong.
As Robert Merrill was about to go on stage a microphone wasn't working. "Look for one with a red light," he said, "that means it's live." Merrill went from one red light to another but each time he got there it went out. Finally he found one.
Later Merrill, relating the affair to a friend, "They ought to do it again just as it happened -- for laughs. It was incredible."
SOME OF THE summertime press releases are downright sneaky. For instance, this one from Chicago: "Lili Rheborg has an unusual keep-cool formula: eat a dish of cherry ice cream while you're under the shower. 'Keeps you in perfect training for picnics,' she said."
All right, what is being plugged -- shower doors, ice cream, the city of Chicago or girls? Wrong, it was from the Cherry Growers Assn.
A WOMAN phoned the Auto Club and said, "I just received a letter from you people and I want to talk to you about it." Club members are informed by mail on many phases of motoring and Pat Cutler, who took the call, asked what kind of letter.
"A long one," was the reply.
AROUND TOWN -- Elevator operators in the Hall of Records have been given space on the 12th floor for a recreation room, space formerly occupied by courts. And wouldn't you know the elevators run only to the 11th and they have to walk up a flight? . . . Sometimes the Dodger announcers seem unduly solicitous of the home team. Sunday, with the Dodgers leading by a comfortable 7-0, the Cards loaded the bases with two outs in the 5th, and the announcer moaned, "Don's in trouble." Drysdale got the next batter to fly out.