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Paul V. Coates – Confidential File, Dec. 12, 1959

December 12, 2009 |  2:00 pm

Dec. 12, 1959, Lawrence Tierney

Mash Notes and Comment

Paul Coates    "Dear Paul--

    "Re your column in which you became confused over the use of the words 'lay' and 'lie' and settled by saying 'get prone.'
" 'Lie' would have been the correct word.  Intransitive, you know.

    "But it would be difficult to 'get prone and read my column' -- as you suggested.
"Perhaps you meant 'supine.'

    "Look them up in the dictionary.  Undoubtedly some friend of yours has one.

    "But do not worry about split infinitives.

    "Only a pedant would insist that, because the Latin infinitive is one word, the two-word English form must not be separated.

    "In fact, juxtaposition adds strength to the adverb." (signed) Leonard E. Miller, Montrose.
Dec. 12, 1959, Lawrence Tierney --Listen, Lenny, why don't you just let sleeping dogs lay?


    (Press Release) "It had to happen -- and, of course, it could only happen to KMPC's Johnny Grant.

    "Grant reports with all the chatter going around town about disc jockey 'payola' -- that the first Christmas gift he received was a wallet.

    "It came from a record company."  (signed) Publicity Dept., KMPC, Hollywood.


    "Mr. Coates:

    "Apparently there is no escape for anyone from you or your spies and espionage system.

    "I was having a bowl of soup in the cafeteria on Vine St. off Hollywood Blvd. today when this spy of yours at the next table asked me if I had seen you recently.

    "We became quite chatty in moments and I found myself being closely questioned as to my opinions about you.

    "In brief, I confided that the last time I'd seen you, there was considerable panther-like pacing of the floor on your part.  I said you had aged quite a bit and had quite a waistline.

    "Your spy asked if I was aware that you helped many persons.

    "I retorted that the only person you helped was yourself, in fact, quite conceited.

    "He has yet to find his SELF, I explained.

    "I explained that he shouldn't conclude that I dislike you because of my criticism of you.

Here's How It Is

    "If I did not like you, I would ignore you.

    "But what I can't understand is why don't you face up and admit to yourself that you've been ruthlessly using other people for your own devices.

    "If you can admit that, you'll be a better man for it.  Anyway, Merry Christmas."  (signed) Memphis Harry Lee Ward, P.O. Box 1963, Hollywood.

    --Bah! Humbug!

Dec. 12, 1959, Poison

    "To Paul,
"I am a little mad at my friend Memphis Ward of Hollywood.  He wrote me a letter saying Parkey if you have to have $200 to get your book published, quit buying beer.  Go to the grocery and buy canned beans, drink milk, and quit playing the horses.

    "Paul that's one thing I never do even if I knew the jockey.

    "He also told me to buy canned fish.  Paul you can't go on a bean diet when you weigh 230 pounds like I do.

    "Tell Memphis Ward I don't need his advice Paul."

(signed) Parkey Sharkey, Bay Road, East Palo Alto.

    --Tell him yourself.  I'm not speaking to him.