Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
Category: May 31, 2009 - June 6, 2009
|In this week's Cooking With the Junior League, Mary McCoy visits Tampa, Fla., 1961,
She writes: Ruth Beck Bakalar, editorial director of Gourmet magazine called The Gasparilla Cookbook “the most ambitious of community cookbooks.” Ladies Home Journal said it was “delightful,” and McCall’s, “one of the nicest regional cookbooks I’ve seen.”
||This postcard of Philharmonic Auditorium, at Olive and 5th streets in downtown Los Angeles, has been listed on EBay. The auditorium was eventually given a modernized facade and finally torn down by a developer, leaving a vacant lot. Bidding starts at 99 cents.
"This Is Like a Spy Movie!"
The Silver Challenger has electric windshield wipers! Dual sun visors!
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"It Happened to Jane" and "Face of a Fugitive."
June 2, 1959: "The trek back from the suburbs has begun. Families will be returning to the cities in increasing numbers during the coming years, 'lured by the city's glamour, downtown business developments, new housing.' The turn for the downtown department store has come. The future never has been as bright as it is now."
How did Sidney L. Solomon get it so incredibly wrong? Or was he ahead of his time?
|This is truly an unusual item. "They Call Them Camisoles" was written
by former actress Wilma Carnes using the name Wilma Wilson and
describes her harrowing experiences at the state mental hospital at Camarillo. |
Wilson was committed to the hospital as an alcoholic and "Camisoles" describes in graphic detail how mental patients were treated in the 1930s. ("Camisoles" was the nickname for straitjackets, which will give you an idea what the book is like).
In 1943, Wilson was beaten to death by Michael Strignano, a soldier, during a "drinking party" at her home in Hermosa Beach. At a military trial, he was sentenced to life in prison.
"Camisoles" was published in 1940 by Lymanhouse, a small Los Angeles firm that went out of business years ago, and the book is extremely rare. Aside from a few in libraries, there are one or two copies in private hands with asking prices of $300-$400. Bidding on this copy starts at $195, which is too much for me (I have a photocopy that suits my purposes) but notice that the book is inscribed to Los Angeles County Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz.
This is one book I've encountered in my research that I recommend to anyone who is interested in alcoholism, mental treatment in the 1930s and California history. It's the first book I would reprint it if I were in the publishing business.
"To Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz with best regards from Wilma Wilson."