Matt Weinstock, Oct. 17, 1959
October 17, 2009 | 4:00 pm
Thursday, when a pink gloom caused by the brush fire and the smog engulfed the city, a man on Broadway remarked, "Hey, this is almost like earthquake weather!"
It's a phrase rarely heard these days, and evoked memories of March, 1933, when the big one hit, centering in Long Beach.
Of course, there's no such thing as earthquake weather. Quakes remain unpredictable. The term has come to describe a certain eerie, end-of-the-world atmospheric stillness, perhaps something like the aftermath of an atom bomb explosion.
SPEAKING OF EERIE THINGS, one of Bill Gooch's duties on the graveyard shift at a copra-processing plant in Wilmington is climbing a 110-foot tower to switch valves from one oil line to another. From this vantage point he gets an imaginative glimpse into the past.
Looking southward across the west basin he can see countless streetcars, both LARy and PERy, stacked neatly on top of each other. Some await shipment to foreign cities, others are destined for the cutting torch and eventually scrap steel to be loaded on freighters and sent to overseas mills. Filthy?
The sight makes Bill wonder, traffic being what it is, if the wheels of progress haven't been turning in reverse.
ONLY IN HOLLYWOOD -- A Sunset Blvd. gas station owner, brooding about the upsurge of the credit card, commented, "You know, pretty soon I won't handle any cash at all!"
What's the wrong side of
Is it left? Is it right?
What a plight! For I might
Just get out of it,
Since there's doubt of it.
So I'd best sleep instead.
AWHILE BACK the picturesque nicknames of regular players at the Gardena poker clubs -- Ronnie the Mooch, Tommy the Hustler, Loud Mouth George, Benny the Bandit and so on -- were revealed here. They were sent in by a man who thought it wise to remain anonymous (He isn't very fast on the draw).
Well, instead of being offended the persons identified had a good laugh. Not only that they spotted the man who'd tattled, Marty Vanos . Furthermore, the ones he'd neglected demanded billing. Here they are: Tony the Whale, Mississippi Bugs, Comanche Frank, The Earl of Monterey, Monterey Bob, Freddie Beatnik, Bill the Boob, Little Rosie the Madam, Phil the Weasel and Filthy George.
Let's keep it clean, eh, Filthy?
A PRESS RELEASE states Gloria Lee will speak tonight at 517 Stewart St., El Monte, on: "Revelations From the Space People -- On Love, Sex and Marriage." It goes on, "A former airline stewardess, Mrs. Lee is the author of 'Why We Are Here,' a book which she asserts was actually written 'through' her by a being known as J.W., an inhabitant of the planet Jupiter." My, my.
THINGS ARE a little confusing to city firemen these days. They hear strange voices on the fire department radio -- calls on the Nashville, Tenn., fire department radio, apparently on the same frequency. Only way they can tell it's Nashville is the southern accent. Happens every year about this time.
FOOTNOTES -- After Wayne Morris, actor and WW2 Navy flier, died of a heart attack on a carrier at sea it was disclosed that in his will he asked that money be set aside for liquor so his friends could toast his departure. This is to report that the wake was a beaut, lasting two weeks . . . Freda Billups of La Crescenta heard a KTLA announcer fluff, "The fire is in an uninhibited area." Until then she didn't realize how serious it was . . . Eye-catching sign on a small farm near Fullerton: "El Rancho de Pancho," . . . Recommended reading for aspiring writers: The Writing in America supplement in the October Harper's.