The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: May 10, 2009 - May 16, 2009

| The Daily Mirror Home |

Found on EBay -- Selig Movie Poster, 1912

Selig Polyscope, 1912
This poster for the Selig Polyscope production of "Kings of the Forest" has been listed on EBay. I'm unable to locate any mention of this film in The Times. The vendor says that this is an original. The poster is listed as Buy It Now for 1,999.99.

(See previous listing for a poster from "The Peculiar Nature of the White Man's Burden.")

Matt Weinstock -- May 16, 1959


Case of the Dead Cat

Matt_weinstockdJean Helnze concedes that the Chavez Ravine eviction was more dramatic but there on the sidewalk last Tuesday in front of the publicity office at 521 N La Cienega Blvd., where she works, was this dead gray cat.

At 9:30 a.m. she called the City Hall and asked for the dead animal department. She was transferred to sanitation, animal disposal and garbage, repeating to each the case of the dead gray cat.

At 4:10 p.m. it was still there so she called City Hall again. This time she was told it was a county matter. She called the county disposal and was told they were about two days behind in picking up dead animals in the area but would take care of it.

1959_0516_rescueKitty was still there at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, so Jean called county health and after being transferred twice more was told after 20 minutes deliberation that the county couldn't touch it, it was a city matter.

 She called City Hall again and a woman consulted a colleague then told Jean it was so a county problem. However, she was transferred to another extension to establish jurisdiction and then to another where a man consulted a map and said it was indeed a city matter and the little gray cat soon would be picked up, which it was.


THE TROUBLED AIR -- The film "Bad Men of Missouri," being shown on KTLA, was interrupted at a sequence where the Younger brothers got started on their lives of crime as a result of a violent eviction -- for a report from City Council on the Arechigas' stormy eviction ... Tom Cracraft keeps wondering if the summer replacement for the TV program "Keep Talking" will be "Aw, Shut Up" ... Tom Dixon urged KFAC listeners to "be sure you look at the label. Blue Braindrops." But then we're all more or less brainwashed these days.



After the traffic jams are past
And we roll on the freeways, free at last,
When we're all relaxed and peace descends
Up looms a sign saying
"Freeway Ends."



May 16, 1959, Comics PLAYBOY magazine recently had a short story by Richard Matheson titled "The Distributor." It was about a seemingly kindly gentleman named Theodore, really a vicious rat, who moved into a new neighborhood and methodically set about creating havoc.

Asked what his business was, he replied, "I'm in distribution." He didn't say so, but he meant his infinite talent for distributing mischief.

He ordered an unwanted cab sent to one neighbor. He summoned a TV repairman to another. He placed an ad in a paper advertising another's car for sale at a ridiculously low price. He ripped out another neighbor's ivy and fingered boys who lived nearby. He ordered a swimming pool for another. Caught in the grip of his own fiendishness, he created a boy-and-girl scandal, and stirred racial hatred.

He is not alone. A man in Hollywood has been doing a similar, if milder, job of mischief. Any coupon for a free sample, any unused prepaid return postal card is a challenge to him. He subscribes to magazines on reduced rate card inserts for people who don't want them. Sometimes the subscription includes a bonus book and the recipients are dismayed to receive a bill for $2.49 or $4.76 and threatened with suit later if they don't pay.

May 16, 1959, Abby His current triumph has to do with a man now receiving unsolicited rejuvenation pills. Soon he will get the bill.

Psychiatrists, he's yours.


FOOTNOTES -- An Arcadia malaproper told a lady named Lucy he was going to get his suit "alternated" ... Today's puzzle: A letter postmarked Huntington Park was delivered two days later to the address on W 51st PL -- with 3 cents postage due. Apparently it was delayed because it had the stamp "Via Air Mail" on it, although the sender had crossed it out ... Sam Farnesworth wonders why "the story to end all stories" never seems to do so.

Paul V. Coates -- Confidential File, May 16, 1959

Confidential File

Mash Notes and Comments

Paul_coates"Dear Mr. Coates,

"As a student of one of our nation's most 'liberal' universities, I am at times confronted with strange class assignments.

"One such assignment I have is to give a positive seven-to-10-minute persuasion speech on becoming a nudist.

"Not being a nudist myself, I've found it rather difficult to find material concerning the subject.

"I remember, however, that you once did a television program on it, and interviewed some nudists."

"Could you possibly help me in researching the subject?"

(signed) Brenda Harris, UCLA.

-I'm surprised at you!


May 16, 1959, Cover (Press Release) "The odds against a Samoa-born singer becoming a major artist on a major record label are, conservatively, about one million to one. Those things just don't happen.

"But in the case of Mavis Rivers, they did.

"Late in 1958, Mavis' agent brought her audition record to Andy Wiswell, a producer in Capitol's New York studios. When her voice came through the speaker, Wiswell immediately knew that here was a new star with overwhelming potential. Immediately, a contract was signed.

"Mavis was born in Apia, Upolu, Western Samoa, of English, Chinese, German, Samoan, Swiss and French ancestry. In addition to Mavis and her parents, a dozen more children filled the Rivers' home -- and nearly everyone sang or played.

"The Rivers family's regular Tuesday evening clambake became the event of the week on the island...

"In 1942, with the war at the height of its fury, 'Mavis and her family moved to Pago Pago, American Samoa, a staging area with thousands of troops surging in and out each week.

May 16, 1959, Kill "'I've never in my life seen so many soldiers and sailors,' Mavis recalls. "We'd wake up in the morning, look out in the back yard, and find it full of tents.'"

(signed) Publicity Department, Capitol Records, Hollywood.

-Those weren't soldiers and sailors. That was the Arechiga family.


"Mr. Coates:

"As a taxpayer, I would like you to read this about the street maintenance crews that work around the Civic Center.

"Every morning there are two men who are forever leaning on their street brushes.

"They sweep together for a distance of 6 feet, very leisurely. Then some pretty gal comes along who works in one of the offices and the men stop their work for 10 minutes to talk to her.

"After a few more leisurely sweeps of their brooms they stop and talk some more.

"In another 30 minutes, maybe, they will have reached the corner.

"By then their other partner, with a stick and a box who is supposed to be picking up pieces of paper and debris from the grass and shrubs, has intercepted them several times and they've all leaned on their brushes while they chatted.

"All day long they loaf and ogle pretty girls and I'M PAYING THEIR SALARIES!"

(signed) D. T., Los Angeles.

-You're a real sport, mister. If you get any more openings, call me.

A Kinder, Simpler Time Dept.: Earl Scheib Says

May 16, 1951, Ads  

May 16, 1951

Movie Star Mystery Photo


May 11, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: Marjorie Rambeau in "Merely Mary Ann,"  1915.

Jul7 8, 1970, Marjorie Rambeau

Here's a mini-mystery: The caption information on this undated photo says this is Rambeau with director Richard Wallace on a Corinne Griffith picture titled "Broadway Blues." Aha. This is from "Syncopatin' Sue," 1926.

May 16, 2009, Mystery Photo
July 8, 1970, Marjorie Rambeau

Just a reminder on how this works: I post the mystery photo on Monday and reveal the answer on Friday. To keep the mystery photo from getting lost in the other entries, I move it from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday, etc., adding a photo every day.

I have to approve all comments, so if your guess is posted immediately, that means you're wrong. (And if a wrong guess has already been submitted by someone else, there's no point in submitting it again.) If you're right, you will have to wait until Friday. There's no need to submit your guess five times. Once is enough. The only prize is bragging rights. 

The answer to last week's photo: Jack Mulhall.

May 12, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: Marjorie Rambeau in "The Night Duel," 1926. This was unidentified in The Times photos, so I didn't realize it was from a play when I posted it. 

Look out! The dame's got a gun! Please congratulate Eve Golden and Carmen for correctly identifying our mystery woman.

May 13, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: Marjorie Rambeau and Franklin Pangborn in "In His Arms," a play, 1929.

Here's our mystery woman with a mystery companion -- OK, well he's not terribly mysterious, is he? Please congratulate Dewey Webb for recognizing our mystery gal.

May 14, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: Marjorie Rambeau in "Tugboat Annie Sails Again," 1940.

Yes, this is really her. Please congratulate Don Danard and Paul Cardinal for correctly identifying our mystery guest.

May 15, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: Marjorie Rambeau with George Raft in "Broadway," 1942.

OK, I said I would identify our mystery woman today. But I'm having so much fun with these old pictures I'm going to drag it out until tomorrow.

May 16, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Marjorie Rambeau in "The Palm Springs Story," 1964. Notice the meticulous detail The Times' art department used to paint out Robin Hayes, 3. Look closely. The artist filled out the pattern in Rambeau's blouse.

Millionaire Picked Up for DUI, Episcopalians Call Atomic Power Part of God's Creation, May 16, 1959

May 16, 1959, Bail

May 16, 1959, Cannes

Kim Novak and Cary Grant dance until dawn at Cannes.

May 16, 1959, Guns

The Geneva summit talks provide a little humor for our favorite Pasadena gun dealer.
May 16, 1959 Arechigas

Some of the Arechigas are still in Chavez Ravine. Evidently it takes time to build new coops for all their chickens. The idea of keeping 200 chickens near downtown must have infuriated civic leaders who wanted to show how progressive Los Angeles was.

May 16, 1959, Nixon

No, it's not real rock 'n' roll.

May 16, 1959, Comics

May 16, 1959, Sammy Davis Jr.

May 16, 1959, Bride

True, she has no experience. On the other hand she's starring in "Diary of a High School Bride" for American International Pictures.

At left, Sammy Davis Jr. at the Moulin Rouge.

May 16, 1959, Church Play
May 16, 1959, Reactor

The Rt. Rev. Arthur Lichtenberger, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, says: "Nuclear energy is part of God's created world."

The Episcopal church was collecting money to buy a nuclear reactor for the Anglican University of St. Paul in Tokyo. The idea of preaching from the Episcopal pulpit about the benefits of nuclear energy is almost beyond belief.
my 16, 1959, Manly Palmer Hall

A new auditorium opens at Manly Palmer Hall's Philosophical Research Society.

May 16, 1959, Sports

The top-rated Braves and the second-place Dodgers will meet at the Coliseum. The Braves' Hank Aaron has a .487 average and a 19-game hitting streak. 

Troops Mobilize in War Games, May 16, 1939

May 16, 1939, Hawaii War Games

Below, how Los Angeles cleaned up in 1939.

May 16, 1939, Weeds

Found on EBay -- Jerry's Joynt

Jerry's Joynt

This flier from Jerry's Joynt, a long-vanished restaurant in old Chinatown, has been listed on EBay. The postcards showing the bar are somewhat common, but I've never seen this item before. Bidding starts at $2.

Matt Weinstock, May 15, 1959

Social Outcast

Matt_weinstockdA lady whose husband is a kind of subdued celebrity found herself listening in awe at a party as the other female guests discussed with embarrassing frankness their current and divorced husbands and boyfriends.

Inevitably they turned to her and she admitted shyly that she'd been married only once, to the same man, for 25 years.

They shrank from her as if she'd confessed she had a contagious disease.

To make matters worse, the hostess admitted bluntly she thought only those who'd had multiple affairs of the heart were interesting.

At the first opportunity the once-wed lady, feeling like an outcast, fled in terror.


May 15, 1959, Gambling Raid A MATTER OF considerable delicacy that has plagued patrons of the long, dark Rainbow bar on Hill Street has been admirably solved by that noble citizen, MikeMolony.

Weary of steering gropers in the murky recesses of the place, Mike saw his duty and did it. Now the place is adorned with handsomely lettered and mounted signs, with directional arrows, stating, "Rest Rooms at the End of the Rainbow."



Split-level homes and mile-long cars
Hi-fi sets and chrome snack bars;
All of these including Goyas
On easy terms as low as low as.

- G. L. ERTZ


HUMOR RARELY seeps through the studied politicking in Sacramento but it did May 4 when Sen. Hugh Burns of Fresno introduced Resolution 65:

"Whereas, in the year 1909 the first special week was born and christened Raisin Week and

"Whereas, since then there has been an endless variety of special weeks until today there are more weeks than there are weeks in a year, including Save the Pun Week, Return the Borrowed Books Week, Let's Go Fishing Week and International Pizza Week, and

"Whereas, the millions of words of imperishable prose written by thousands of press agents extolling those worthy causes have been a source of great and nearly unbearable suffering to the American public, and

"Whereas, the tender, delicious, economical and nutritious raisin is the cause of it all..."

Anyway, May 3-9 was the golden anniversary of Raisin Week.

There'll always be a commercial.


INADVERTENTLY, profound remark uttered by a man, possibly a tourist, looking down from the sidewalk on North Broadway at the teeming traffic on Hollywood Freeway below, to a companion: "What beats me is where they're all going in such a hurry!"


AROUND TOWN -- A certain high-schooler, a natural malaproper, recently admired the "concussion" instruments in the school orchestra, referred to the "floormat" of a school play and mentioned that a friend belonged to a church "conjugation." His tattletale father confides, "But we love him just the same" ... DickMathison, who recently acquired a Thunderbird , diabolically blows his horn and waves at passing sports car drivers and watches them become grimly thunderstruck. They don't consider the T-bird a true sports car.

Paul V. Coates -- Confidential File, May 15, 1959

Confidential File

A Borderline Case That IS Borderline

Paul_coatesThe keepers of the keys at Tijuana jail have finally pulled a blunder of major significance.

In the past they've confined their harassment of tourists to arresting hapless crapshooters, traffic victims and bullfight aficionados.

But last week they committed the serious diplomatic blunder of tossing Benny Stone into the clink. And Benny is no man to trifle with.

This whole thing, believe me, will cause international reprisals even more devastating than the time we beat the pantalones off Leo Carrillo's great-grandfather at the Battle of Cahuenga Pass.

My friend Benny is a gentle-hearted but volatile sidewalk pitchman, dealing in penny balloons, nylons, candy bars, razor blades and badges with funny sayings on them.

May 15, 1959, Mirror Cover Maybe you remember Benny. He made headlines one day back in 1947 when he set up his suitcase department store at the corner of 6th and Main. Suddenly overwhelmed by the sight of so many sad-looking people walking by, Benny began tossing them candy bars and rolls of nickels. It started a small riot in which one lady was briefly hospitalized for cuts and bruises, and Benny Stone was briefly hospitalized for observation.

"They said they wanted to find out how nuts I was," Benny told me later. "What's nuts? Because I like to make sad people happy? Rockefeller gave away money. They called him nuts?"

Benny shrugged. "Rockefeller gave away dimes. Stone gives away nickels. You got to start somewhere."

After that bitter taste of fame, my friend Benny was able to stay out of the headlines. But he continued his relentless pursuit of making the sad people happy.

The last I heard, he had become the self-appointed protector of Casa de Cuna, an impoverished little orphanage on the outskirts of Tijuana. Each week he'd go around from store to store in L.A. begging food and clothes. And each weekend he'd bring what he collected down to his orphans.

May 15, 1959, Roybal But yesterday, Benny, the Patron Saint of the Sad People, came storming into my office. He blew two blasts on a thin whistle from his stock of merchandise to make sure he had my complete attention. "Look at me." he commanded. "You're lucky I'm alive. I was seven days in the Tijuana jail and I lost seven pounds. I'm like a bag of skin and bones."

Benny did a furious pirouette for my inspection. "What'd they arrest you for?" I asked.

"Who knows what'd they arrest me for?" he shouted. "I brought the food to my orphans and I was on my way home. I was standing on a street corner looking in a window when a cop came over and asked who I am. So I told him. So he starts questioning me what am I doing in Tijuana. So I told him I'm not doing nothing. I'm just standing. Is something wrong with that? It's a free country. So he tells me I'm arrested for having in my possession lewd literature."

"Benny", I said, "you?"

May 15, 1959, Coed He waved his hand impatiently. "I had a copy of Playboy magazine in my back pocket."

Not Eating Can Be Fatal

Benny sat down for a moment, then jumped up. "I told him I had important friends, if he tried anything on me, he'd wind up pounding a beat in Staten Island somewhere. But they put me in jail. Seven days, I almost starved to death from not eating."

He began pacing up and down. "They won't get away with it," he cried. "I'm gonna close that border once and for all."

Benny thrust a soiled piece of notebook paper in front of me. "Look at this," he said. "I got 15 signatures from people who want to join my committee."

"What committee?" I asked.

"The committee," my friend Benny said, "of volunteers to stand at the border and keep everybody from getting in or out."

Ammo Train Explodes; the Art of the Knuckleball, May 15, 1969

May 15, 1969, Cover

I wonder whatever became of James W. Hutton, above. And get a load of Los Angeles County Coroner Dr. Thomas T. Noguchi, who calls Asians "yellow submarines." 
Hoyt Wilhelm, Sept. 19, 1971
Los Angeles Times file photo

Sept. 19, 1971: The Times' art department at work.

May 15, 1969, Sports Hoyt Wilhelm pitched the final three innings of the Angels' 1-0 victory over the Washington Senators and pronounced himself satisfied with his efforts: "I had as good a knuckleball tonight as I ever have."

That would have been one extraordinary knuckleball.

Wilhelm's stay in Anaheim was short considering the length of his career. He made his debut in 1952 as a 29-year-old pitcher with the New York Giants and finished in 1972 as a 49-year-old Dodger. He was 46 during his season with the Angels, older than the father of his catcher, Tom Egan.

What a fascinating career. He won a Purple Heart at the Battle of the Bulge and hit a home run in his first at-bat in the majors. He never hit another. Wilhelm retired with the most innings pitched in major league history (a record that has since been passed), but the longtime reliever also pitched a no-hitter in a 1958 start for the Orioles against the Yankees. He was the first relief pitcher inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The Angels got Wilhelm from the Kansas City Royals in a trade; incredibly, the White Sox let Wilhelm go in the expansion draft. Probably thought he was over the hill.

He had 10 saves for a dreadful Angels team before being traded in September to Atlanta. The deal turned out to be a good one for the Angels because one of the two players acquired was center fielder Mickey Rivers.

-- Keith Thursby

A Kinder, Simpler Time Dept.: Southern Dining

May 15, 1948 Ads  

May 15, 1948


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

Recent Posts
The Daily Mirror Is Moving |  June 16, 2011, 2:42 am »
Movieland Mystery Photo |  June 11, 2011, 9:26 am »
Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated] |  June 11, 2011, 8:06 am »
Found on EBay 1909 Mayor's Race |  June 9, 2011, 2:33 pm »