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Matt Weinstock, Dec. 31, 1959

December 31, 2009 |  4:00 pm


   Dec. 31, 1959

Modern Shepherd

Matt Weinstock

          It is an era of compulsions.  Apparently everyone has had them all along but now it’s considered not only proper but fashionable to express them, no matter in what murky paths they lead.

          Publicist Doris Hellman, for instance, cannot abide the sight of a market cart separated from its flock.  When she sees one standing lonely and downcast on a lawn or sidewalk, sometimes several blocks from its home, she stops her car, identifies it, and phones its location to the market.  She cannot understand how shoppers can be so inconsiderate as to leave them stranded.

          At first she was caring for only one market’s homeless carts.  The compulsion grew and now she keeps on the lookout for the grocery chariots belonging to five stores in her neighborhood. 

          Along Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood she is known as the little shepherd of the lost market carts.

::

          MEET THE PEOPLE -- A girl at the perfume counter of a North Hollywood store doused herself with some stuff that was supposed to make her alluring and paraded back and forth, announcing, “See, I’m excited!”  Her girlfriend said, “Not you, silly, it’s supposed to get the boys excited!” . . . A young woman in a Crenshaw Blvd. store couldn’t find the china bed-tray breakfast set she wanted, nor could she make the clerk understand what she was looking for.  Despite her explanations, the clerk said blankly, “Do you want a service for 8 or 12?”  Retorted the young woman, “I don’t know that many people that intimately!”

::

ADVICE TO REVELERS

Drink hearty at the party,

And when you’re

                speeding home

Chock-full of your booze,

Be sure the life you lose

Is your own.

                --GUY SHORTELL

 

::

 

image           FOR 17 YEARS desert rat Harry Oliver has been Peg leg Smith’s press agent.  Each Jan. 1 he staged the Peg Leg Smith Lost Mine Trek and Liar’s Fete in the Borrego Desert.  This year, Harry reports sadly, Peg Leg has gone soft.  He will ride on the Palm Springs float in the Rose Parade, which has as its theme, Tall Tales.

          Harry swears there once was a Peg Leg Smith and he did show up one day with a sockful of nuggets.  But neither he nor anyone else, the tale goes, was ever able to locate the mine they allegedly came from.

          Harry has kept the legend alive all these years, spiking its, ahem, authenticity occasionally by strewing a few weathered peg-legs in the desert.  Excited rock hounds would find them and claim they were on the trail of old Peg Leg’s lost mine.

          Harry did his job too well.  Tomorrow his favorite ghost gets a ride in the parade.

::

          PUBLIC AT LARGE -- A West L.A. resident hopes that for 1960 the phone company there will change the size of envelopes it encloses with subscribers’ bills.  They’re one-eighth of an inch too small for a normal-sized check which, as a result, must be folded . . . John Kernitzki , 3, came down with a stubborn virus recently and his mother has been taking him almost daily to a doctor’s office for tests and shots.  While there the other day he asked, “Hey, mommy, why are all these people coming into our office?”

::

          AT RANDOM -- While covering the Rose Parade last year for his TV adventure program, Bill Burrud gallantly lent his topcoat to a girl shivering in the dawn chill as she waited for her float to get into position.  He hasn’t seen the girl or coat since.  Tomorrow he’s wearing a sweater . . . The San Fernando City Council approved a business license for William B.Vokes to operate a car agency.  That’s right, a Volkswagen shop . . . Cheering note from The Insider’s Newsletter:  A Pentagon scientist, after studying statistics, concluded that the average driver makes 10 million successful decisions before making the wrong one that gets him killed.  So start counting . . . Same source:  An optimist is a man who says this is the best of all possible worlds.  A pessimist is one who thinks the optimist may be right.

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