Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
Category: November 2009
|Nov. 30, 1909: Perhaps you thought George Gershwin was the first composer to use car horns in a piece of music (“American in Paris”). But no. August Bungert uses an auto horn in his new symphonic work, “Zeppelin’s First Voyage” or “Zeppelins grosse Fahrt.” Evidently it was a programmatic work and at the end, the airship is destroyed by fire. How Wagnerian! |
ps. Gustav Mahler will have something ready early next year.
|Nov. 29, 1959: Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr. writes in “Man of the World” about a purported plot by wealthy industrialists to kidnap President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the time he was reelected to a third term. |
Here's a perfect premise for a period suspense film. "In the summer of 1940 ... With the world plunging into war ... The most popular president in history ... Breaking tradition by running for a third term ... Is about to be kidnapped by American businessmen... Only one thing can stop them ...." The script practically writes itself.
“Somebody Is Always Taking the Joy Out of Life” by Clare Briggs.
|Nov. 29, 1919: For the fourth time in a month, two men in a blue car have tried to kidnap Mrs. Blanche Fisher, 2343 Scarff St., while she was walking by herself. Police say men matching the description of the kidnappers have tried to abduct women nearly every day in some part of the city. |
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Wilhardt Street and Main, the general area of the first accident between a streetcar and an auto.
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Main and Alameda, the general area of the second accident – and only a block from Philippe!
|Nov. 28, 1909: Fred Weber was showing his son Carl, 14, how to drive on their return from an outing to Pasadena when their auto collided with the Downey Avenue streetcar near Wilhardt Street and East Main Street. (The Times says the accident occurred at Wilhardt and San Fernando, but I’m not able to locate that intersection on any of my maps). The seven people in the car were thrown to the street, and three of them were injured seriously, The Times said. |
In another accident, an auto carrying four men hits the Eastlake car at Naud Junction (the general area across Alameda Street from Philippe). The driver was tossed through windshield, hit the streetcar and was thrown back into the auto, The Times says.
Dave Trayler, an African American whom The Times called "the unluckiest Negro in Los Angeles, dies in a strange accident at 7th Street and Santa Fe Avenue. Trayler was driving a wagon loaded with dirt when it hit a "rough spot in the street." He was thrown to the ground and crushed by the wheels.
“Don’t Want Police”
More than two years ago a certain teen-ager trapped me into attending a school carnival. She permitted me to buy her a hot dog, a soft drink, ice cream and cotton candy. She induced me into playing some silly fishing-pole and hoop-throwing games of chance in an effort to win gimcracks I didn't want. It was all for a good cause, the PTA.
But this wasn't the real reason she'd lured me to the carnival. She'd heard baby alligators would be on sale and for reasons which are obscure she wanted one.
Fortunately, by the time she steered me circuitously to the booth, the alligators had all been sold. We settled for a two-inch salamander, which we took home in a water-filled polyethylene bag.
PROBABLY NOTHING in the world is as useless as a live salamander. It just lies there on a water-covered rock in a bowl, meditating. It also wriggles when touched or picked up. This makes little girls scream.
At first she fed it and changed the water regularly, but as months passed it became apparent she wasn't interested in the salamander's problems, which can be lumped into one big one -- survival.
But Sal, a friendly if impassive little devil, thrived on starvation and neglect or at least refused to die.
Now Sal has a new home. I sneaked it into a fishpond where I'm sure life will be easier. And I wish to point out that scientists who put mice and monkeys into space missiles may be missing a bet. They should never underestimate the power of a salamander. Come what may, it's my candidate to survive.
THEME OF the new Cole swimsuit line, disclosed at a recent fashion showing, is Tahiti. Reporting on the event, which featured Tahitian music, dancing and cocktails, Paige Thomas, who is a girl, says, "It was a great success-the sword dancers didn't decapitate a single editor!"
Did Francesca pay Paola
Or was it the other way
There's little doubt that
Were by conventions
A MARKET IN Monterey Park recently advertised a soap powder at a reduced price and the supply was quickly depleted. But thwarted women shoppers saw a large stock of the stuff through the open doors of the storeroom and prevailed upon employees to replenish the supply. Meanwhile, glaring fiercely, the women poised their carts at vantage points to swoop in on the bargain.
Reminded Ken Williams of what his folks had told him about the opening of the Cherokee Strip.
He also recalled how he used to help stir a cauldron of boiling soap made from cracklings and lye.
"There was the danger of getting burned," he said, "but not of getting maimed in a stampede."
FOOTNOTES -- Had your confusion quota for today? The Wisconsin Badgers, who will play the Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl, will work out at the stadium of the East L.A. College Huskies on Brooklyn Ave. . . .
Mash Notes and Comment
"You might remember me. I'm Memphis Weed's singer friend from Hollywood.
"Memphis wrote to you once about me and the songs I recorded. You printed his letter and then you printed a letter I wrote you after that.
"I've been reading you regularly ever since.
"You seem to write a lot about the problems of people who end up in jail for one reason or another, what it's like and the things that happen to them.
"I remember when I was in the City Jail on a traffic warrant for two days once.
"How different it is and how quickly you are forgotten by the public!"
(signed) Kirk Atello, P.O. Box 233, San Clemente.
--You know how it is, Kirk. Out of sight, out of mind.
"Mr. Paul Coates:
"In last Saturday's paper, you stated that you knew who was president of the United States in 1875.
"If you are that well educated and brilliant, why do you stay in the newspaper business?"
(signed) Gordon Stuart, 1015 Galloway St., Pacific Palisades.
--It's that damn printers' ink. It gets in your blood.
"Ho! Without looking it up or asking somebody, who WAS President in 1875?"
(signed) J. Farrell, 20452 Ruston Rd., Woodland Hills.
--Ho, yourself! Zachary Taylor.
"In your smug answer to the poor lady who lost the stove, you told her you knew who was president in 1875.
"But conspicuously absent from your answer to her was the NAME of the man who was
president in 1875.
"Being the suspicious type, I immediately deduced that (1) you didn't REALLY know who was president in 1875, and (2) you were too lazy to go look it up.
"After reading your column, I got curious and not being the lazy type, I DID look it up.
"I'll give you a clue. He's buried in Grant's Tomb!"
(signed) Big Billy, Long Beach.
"to Paul Coats, the Mirrow News,
"California 20, Stanford 17.
"Paul this was big game day at Stanford. I was with my wife at a greek bar in Palo Alto but I got rid of her, she was giving me a bad time and I jumped in my Taxi and drove in front of the Yellow Cab office Palo Alto.
Looking for Custermer
"I was looking for a custermer, there was fifty people in front of the Yellow Cab office waiting for a cab, the big game was over, but the Yellow Cab dispatcher wouldn't give me any of his custermers.
"But there was a party of six from the Mirrow News L.A. One was John Hall boxing sports editor.
"He said thats Parkey Sharkey, lets take his cab.
"They did Paul and took me to a bar on Bayshore Highway for a beer and dinner. John Hall Mirrow News tipped me a dollar plus two beers.
"You never gave me any money Paul even though we known each other for years, how come Paul?" (signed) Parkey Sharkey, Palo Alto.
--I don't want to cheapen our friendship by making it commercial.
Debbie Reynolds – still too busy for bitterness!
|Nov. 28, 1965: "You make mistakes in your personal life and you profit by them and you make mistakes in your career. Sometimes advisors counsel you incorrectly, get you into a wrong contract and you end up being used. It's difficult to evaluate things when you're young. I feel if the handling of my career had been disastrous I wouldn't be around. I've had only one agency over all the years; they've made mistakes, so have I."|
Note: Hedda Hopper died Feb. 1, 1966, (the next day’s editions of The Times carried obituaries on her and Buster Keaton), so I’ll fill out the month with a few earlier columns. What’s your opinion, Daily Mirror readers? Should Hopper’s column become a regular feature?