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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: June 28, 2009 - July 4, 2009

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Found on EBay -- Florentine Gardens

Cocktail Napkins Ebay

A large lot of cocktail napkins from the 1940s, including several from the Florentine Gardens, left, and quite a few from San Diego, has been listed on EBay. Bidding starts at $9.99.

Matt Weinstock, July 4, 1959

Everybody's Uncle

Matt Weinstock When you hear a familiar nasal voice say, "Now, madam, what is your problem?" you know it's John J. Anthony. For 30 years in radio and television he has been a counselor to people in trouble, mostly marital. His voice is one of the best known anywhere.

Not long ago, as he stood talking to a friend, s stranger passing by stopped and broke in, "Pardon me, are you Mr. Anthony?" He said yes. The stranger said, "Please keep talking, I've always wanted to hear that voice in person."

Recently a policeman stopped him on Olympic Blvd. and asked to see his driver's license. "Are you THE Mr. Anthony?" He said yes, meanwhile wondering what he had done wrong. The officer, momentarily ignoring Anthony's problem, said, "I'd like to ask your advice. I've been having a little trouble at home."

WHEN HE HAD outlined it Anthony bluntly placed the blame where it belonged and steered a corrective course for him. Usually, he'll tell you, the blame belongs on both parties. It's like that wherever he goes.

July 4, 1959, Charlton Heston Anthony is gratified that in recent years the subject of human relations has become a big, national problem. It was virtually undiscovered when he took it on 30 years ago in New York, recognizing people's need for help in solving what seemed unsurmountable dilemmas.

Lately there has been a slight shift of emphasis which has been reflected in his work. He still has his daily program for adults on Channel 9 but now he also has a Sunday night program for juveniles in trouble. Actually, he'll tell you, it's an extension of the same old clash between men and women.

It hasn't happened yet but someday he expects a stranger to accost him and say, "I just wanted you to know, Mr. Anthony, that I have no problem."


GEOGRAPHY NOTE -- Elizabeth McCarthy, vacationing in Malibu, wrote a check at a market and to establish identity added her home city, San Mateo. The box boy, a junior beatnik with a ducktail haircut, said in awe, "Gosh, San Mateo! I want to see your license plate!"

July 4, 1959, Charlton Heston He returned disappointed and sheepish, confiding to a colleague, "It's in California." Apparently he thought it was some island off the coast of Erewhon.


Judging from her Bikini,
The daring way it clings,
No doubt her halo's home --
Along with her water wings.


OTHERS COULD take a lesson from Ed Murrow's modest signoff the other day as he departed on a year's leave of absence. The year, he said, "will be spent traveling, reading, listening. I shall return to this frightening microphone with a little more knowledge and assurance -- at least the illusion that I know what I'm talking about.

"My thanks to those of you who have reminded me that an amplified voice does not increase the wisdom or understanding of the speaker."


July 4, 1959, Abby THE WEEK'S man among men, barbecue division, was Henry Confaglia, Los Alamos rancher, who single-handedly broiled more than 100 pounds of steaks for that many descendants of Juan Batista Caserini at the annual family picnic at Steckel Park, Santa Paula.

Merely turning them over took a lot of muscle. Juan's two surviving daughters, Caroline and Ava, were there. The third, Apolonia, died during the year.


FOOTNOTES -- A boy of about 12 who apparently has worn out his welcome elsewhere rides his bicycle on the Pebble Beach road out of Avalon. He steers with one hand, with the other holds a bugle on which he blows taps, reveille and sour notes. Orlando Northcutt, who caught his concert, says it's lucky he didn't take up the guitar . . . The high schoolers are playing a naughty game at the beaches, reports David Negus of Monrovia. They swim out, stay underwater and hold up a hand as if it were a fin while their pals holler "Shark!" . . . Memorable quote: Louis Armstrong told a Newsweek reporter, "You know the way to live this life? Take some and leave some."

Paul V. Coates -- Confidential File, July 4, 1959

July 4, 1959, Peanuts

Confidential File

Mash Notes and Comments

Paul Coates"to Coats,

"Memphis Ward says I should write you again and let bygons be bygons. Well, I guess its all water under the bridge, right Paul?

"I had some bad luck two months ago. My car broke down again and I walked the streets for seven weeks. Then the other Sunday my wife took me out. I made up with her again.

"I said to her 'Helen my luck has got to change.' She said let's go to a fortune teller and find out your future. After a couple of beers we seen the fortune teller.

"She said it will be a dollar for a reading. My wife gave her the dollar.

"The fortune teller said if you wants lots of luck you pay me a extra dollar. I said I'll go for that and got my wife to give her another dollar.

"The fortune teller held my hand and said make a wish. I said to myself I hope I get a job and another car.

July 4, 1959, Eleanor Roosevelt "Paul, the fortune teller was right. The next day I got my job back at the Oasis Bar in Menlo Park and I got a car. A '48 De Soto." (signed) Parkey Sharkey, Oasis Bar, Menlo Park.

        --You should have made your wife slip her another buck, Parkey. You might have got a later model.


(Press Release) "England has its Angry Young Men, modern-day Bohemia has its Beat Generation and Frank Sinatra has his ever-swingin' Clan.

"Now emerging as a totally new sociological force in the Far West is a virile group known as HOLLYWOOD'S HEARTY YOUNG MEN.

"These are the outdoor-minded young male actors in Hollywood with plus-positive psyches who prefer action and coconut juice to brooding and alcohol.

july 4, 1959, Green Beans "High lama among HOLLYWOOD'S HEARTY YOUNG MEN is Gardner McKay. Leader McKay is an athletic 27-year-old bachelor who combines his stout-heartedness with a good dose of intellectual curiosity. McKay a muscular (195 lb.) giant (6'5") is the ABC-TV star of James A. Michener's 'Adventures in Paradise,' which debuts in the fall.

"When not acting, HOLLYWOOD'S HEARTY YOUNG MEN can be found sporting it up on the beaches of Malibu, the surf off Baja California, the mountains of the High Sierras or the parks and gyms in Beverly Hills.

"They regularly engage each other in such participation sports as:

"Basketball, baseball, boxing, judo, handball, polo, outrigger racing, surfboarding, snow and water skiing, sportscar racing, skin diving, fishing and hunting.

"McKay is their leader because he's the guy who organizes the teams, calling all available HEARTIES bright and early on Sunday mornings for football or basketball.

"In addition to McKay, HOLLYWOOD'S HEARTY YOUNG MEN include Don Murray, Paul Newman, John Kerr, Robert Loggia, Clint Walker, Hugh O'Brian, Steve McQueen, Ty Hardin, John Gavin, Roger Moore, Van Williams and others.

"With one or another of his Hearty Young pals, McKay races catamarans, skippers schooners for charter and hunts wild boar on Catalina Island. McKay also boxes, wrestles and plays touch football regularly . . . McKay's crowd dons tennis shoes and T-shirts only in the interest of the sport.

"Some of HOLLYWOOD'S HEARTY YOUNG MEN have never seen the inside of a night club." (signed) Publicity Department, ABC-TV, Hollywood.

    --In those sweaty T-shirts, who'd let 'em in?

A Kinder, Simpler Time Dept.: Your Movies

  July 4, 1918, Theater

July 4, 1918: D.W. Griffith's "Hearts of the World" is playing at Clune's Auditorium 5th and Olive. At the Kinema, Grand Avenue at 7th Street, Mary Pickford stars in "How Could You, Jean," directed by William Desmond Taylor. At the Symphony 614 S. Broadway, Harold Lloyd and Bebe Daniels will appear in person for a showing of "An Ozark Romance."

Fourth of July Concert in the Park.

  July 4, 1899, Band Concert

July 4, 1899: The Third Regiment Band will give a Fourth of July Concert at Central Park (now Pershing Square). The program includes the "Los Angeles Times March and Two-Step" by conductor J.B. Reynolds. 

Downtown L.A. Is Red, White and Blue

  July 4, 1889, Bull Killing

July 4, 1889: The cable cars and the engine house are decorated for the Fourth of July ... and two neighboring ranchers settle their differences at the blacksmith shop.

Found on EBay -- Little Nemo

Little Nemo

Also presenting McCay's "Gertie the Dinosaur" from 1914, in case you have never seen it.
Feb. 17, 1907, Comics
A Feb. 17, 1907, page of The Times comics featuring Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland" has been listed on EBay. Above, the entire page.  Bidding starts at $69.99.

Matt Weinstock, July 3, 1959

July 3, 1959, Bookie

Miracles Do Happen

Matt Weinstock The Bell Gardens High School Boosters Club always will believe in miracles.

Last April, during the club's campaign to raise money to buy uniforms for the high school band, some anonymous person contributed $5 stipulating it be used to buy a ticket on a Cadillac being raffled by a Huntington Park youth group.

To the Boosters, a dedicated parents organization scraping for every dime, it looked like $5 down the drain. But Louis Godfirnow, club president, dutifully bought the ticket.

Last Sunday, guess what? Yep, the Boosters got the boost they needed. And not having any pressing desire for a new Cadillac they turned it in to a dealer for $4,000 cash, thereby avoiding payment of taxes and fees. And not only will Alex Forbes, director, have bright new uniforms for his musicians butscholarships will be set up with any money that is left over.


July 3, 1959, Ho Chi Minh SPEAKING OF campaigns, an Altadena woman active in community service has been pushing hard to get additional traffic enforcement near school intersections. The other day she made it. She received a citation for running the stop sign at a school.


RIDING HOME in a car pool, Gordon Bone, Division of Highways employee, mentioned he was going on a vacation. "Are you taking your dog with you?" Ernie Diaz asked. Yes, was the reply. "I figured you wouldn't want to leave your dog home if there were no Bones in the house," said Ernie, ducking. OK, so it was a hot day.


Now it's that barren time of year
When the channels are
    drab and drear;
When tough, hard-riding
    Pistol Pete
Is unhorsed by Old Repete.
    --G.L. ERTZ


July 3, 1959, book ban TIME DOES strange things.

Gene Millhauser, an ardent sportsman, decided to have a go at the sharks which have been plaguing bathers. He went into a Pasadena gun store and bought a German Mauser, the 8-mm. rifle used by Nazi troops during World War II.

When asked for ammunition to go with it, the clerk escorted him to another counter and brought down from a shelf a box of shells made in Israel.

Gene headed for Catalina in his 33-ft. boat and about two miles off Avalon ran into a school of 50 to 60 sharks and hit 17 of them.

The curious thing is that Gene was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and fled to this country in 1939 on what was virtually the last boat out of a storm trooper country.


A BEWILDERED visitor from Mexico asked the traffic officer at 7th and Spring something and at length the policeman determined he was looking for the L.A. immigration office. But the officer's rusty high school Spanish was inadequate to get through him. Then he remembered the Beneficial Standard Life office at 756 S. Spring had a sign in the window stating its employees could say "Welcome" in 18 languages. He guided him there and the stranger was directed up the street to the Rowan Building.


July 3, 1959, Abby MEMO FROM  station KBIQ to radio editors stated, "Please revise your listing of the 9:30-10:30 p.m. Mon. through Fri. and 10-10:30 p.m. Sat. and Sun. show as follows: From Lush Interlude to Evening Interlude.

Those darn drunks are always barging in where they're not wanted.


AROUND TOWN -- The Legion fireworks show, created in 1932 by Harry Myers, 71, who is retiring after tomorrow's show, has contributed more than $903,000 to veterans rehabilitation . . . The American Sokol Organization, dedicated to physical fitness, will hold its [illegible] -- gymnastics, folk dances and mass calisthenics -- at L.A. High today, tomorrow, and Sunday. The Sokol creed: "We pledge our hands the world to see, the cause of all humanity -- the right of man to me a man." By the way, a press release refers to the L.A. unit as the "local Sokol."

Paul V. Coates -- Confidential File, July 3, 1959

July 3, 1959, Pogo

Coates Uncovers Hero Saga

Hermit's Dad Proud of Son

Paul Coatesby Chris Farrell
(As told to Paul V. Coates)

That was my boy Dennis who came out of the Griffith Park hills this week after living up there for six years like a hermit.

I'd like to tell you a little about him. Maybe even tell you why he went up there, or, at least, why I think he went up there.

But before I do, there's something else I'd like to say:

I'm proud of my son, and so is his mother. We're real proud of him.

How many men in the world today could do what he's done? How many men could live in a forest and survive for six years without any help?

A man has to be awfully strong to do that.

July 3, 1959, Sports Arena And he has to be awfully strong of mind, too, when he's hungry and cold, not to do something dishonorable to get the bare necessities to keep himself alive.

All his life -- from the time he was a little boy and used to go out into some terrible storms to deliver the Denver Post -- he never asked anything of his fellow man.

He gave. He was a generous giver. But he'd never permit himself to be dependent on other people.

Dennis, who's 33 now, was the oldest of our six children. He graduated from high school, was a good student -- a little bit too himself, maybe -- but he got along fine with all the rest.

In fact, his classmates back in North Platte, Neb., still think the world of him.

When he was 18 he went into the Army. On the last day of the Okinawa campaign he was shot through the chest. The bullet went clean through him and collapsed a lung, but even in his letters home then, he never complained.

It was only this week that I learned that Dennis had been a pretty big hero over there in the fighting. That's one thing he never did talk to me about. More than one time, if the subject of war or shooting came up, he'd leave the room.

July 3, 1959, Detective Transferred It was Milton Fabre, Dennis' old Army buddy, who told me this week how Dennis and a soldier named Gonzales saved their platoon by shooting 40 Japanese soldiers between them.

It's strange that Dennis never told me that story.

I guess it was after my boy got out of the Army that his problem started building. He'd go from job to job, never quite getting one he felt had the proper challenge to it.

It was when he came back from a job in Omaha in early '52 and tried to re-enlist in the Army that he first showed any signs of being despondent. They turned him down because of his disability, even though long before that he'd told them to stop sending his pension check.

He explained it to me, "Dad," he said, "there's other guys who need that money worse than I do."

Anyway, it was after the Army turned him down that he packed and slipped out of the house one night, May 9, 1952. He didn't say a word to us. He just left.

We never heard another word from him, or about him, until last April when the police in Hollywood picked him up in the park.

We'd given up. We thought he was dead.

July 3, 1959, Summer School As soon as we heard, Mom and I rushed out here. But by the time we arrived, he was already released and back in the hills.

Naturally, as soon as we heard the news again this week, we came right back out.

Everybody Helping

I want to say that Mr. Fabre has been more than a friend. He stayed with Dennis all the first day. And the Hollywood police officers have been very kind, both to us and to our son. They were wonderful.

I want to pay back the officer who put up the money for Dennis' hotel room the other night.

Mom and I are just thankful now that he's in good hands. The VA Hospital is going to take care of him. Then we hope he'll come home.

We're confident that Dennis will be all right once he gets straightened out. He's our son and we know him, and we know that he's no different than hundreds of thousands of other peoples' sons.

And we're so thankful that they didn't go into the hills and drag him out -- that he came out by himself.

He made the decision. He was ready. That's a good sign.

A Kinder, Simpler Time Dept.: Your Movies

  July 3, 1913, Movies

July 3, 1913: The reopened Lyceum will show a "movie" titled "The Battle of Gettysburg." The opening "will mark the establishment in Los Angeles of a real feature picture theater of the better class devoted exclusively to the showing of the biggest and most attractive feature films now being produced in the American and foreign market."

"Nothing of historical value has ever been reproduced on the screen that can compare with the Gettysburg films and while motion picture producers for a long time thought such a picture impossible, Thomas Ince, with the services of easily 10,000 men has accomplished this feat in a remarkably successful manner."

Movie Star Mystery Photo


 June 29, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: As nearly everyone has guessed, this is John Loder. Above, a photo published Oct. 5, 1928, with a story saying that he was making his U.S. screen debut in a talking picture for Paramount, "Half an Hour." which was released as "The Doctor's Secret."

John Loder, 90; Debonair Star of '30s, '40s

January 20, 1989

By BURT A. FOLKART, Times Staff Writer

John Loder, the aristocratic and debonair romantic star of films that began with early American silents and extended over more than three decades, has died at the age of 90.

The New York Times said in its Thursday editions that he died somewhere in England late last month. Further details were not available.

Born John Lowe in York, England, Loder's off-screen persona was often as fascinating as the tweedy, pipe-smoking gentlemen of leisure he normally portrayed on the screen.

The third of his five wives was Hedy Lamarr, and newspaper clippings of the 1930s and '40s dwell more on his marriages and social activities than they do his films.

Born the son of a British general, he attended Eton and the Royal Military College at Sandhurst before serving as a lieutenant with the 15th Hussars in North Africa, France and Turkey during World War I. He was a prisoner of war for a time and titled his 1977 autobiography "Hollywood Hussar."

In 1926 he played a subordinate role to German starlet Marlene Dietrich in a dance scene in Alexander Korda's "Madame Wants No Children."

By the early 1930s he was making pictures in both Hollywood and Europe and appeared in Paramount's early talkie, "The Doctor's Secret" in 1929.

He continued to make films in both his adopted land (he became a citizen of the United States in 1947) and his native England until 1970, when he was seen in "Cause for Alarm," his first on-screen role in a decade. That was his final credit.

In all he appeared in more than 60 films. He probably will best be remembered for his work as the eldest son in "How Green Was My Valley," opposite Lamarr in "Dishonored Lady" and in the lachrymose classic "Now Voyager" which starred Bette Davis.

His other pictures included the 1937 version of "King Solomon's Mines," Alfred Hitchcock's "Sabotage," "Lorna Doone," "Gideon of Scotland Yard" and "Passage to Marseilles."

Loder's fifth and last wife was Julia Lagomarsino, widow of an Argentine cattle rancher. For a time they made their home in both Argentina and England.

Just a reminder on how this works: I post the mystery photo on Monday and reveal the answer on Friday ... or on Saturday if I have a hard time picking only five pictures -- sometimes it's difficult to choose. 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 mystery star: Lois Wilson!

June 30, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: Merle Oberon and John Loder in "Thunder in the East," June 9, 1935.

Here's our mystery fellow with a mystery companion. Please congratulate Jany,  "Laura" fan Waldo Lydecker, Mary Mallory, Megan Bailey and Jeff Hanna for correctly identifying him!

July 1, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: John Loder and his wife Micheline Cheirel, Nov. 30, 1940.

Here's another pictures of our mystery guest with a mysterious companion. Please congratulate Don Danard, Donna Hill, Dewey Webb, Eve Golden and co-worker Mel, Carmen, Sue, Claire Lockhart, Grant Lockhart (are you guys related?), Nancy Price, William, Roget-L.A., LC, Michael Ryerson and Cinnamon Carter for identifying him. 

July 2, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: John Loder and Hedy Lamarr, right, at the baptism of their daughter Denise, held by Bette Davis, with the Rev. J. Herbert Smith at All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, April 9, 1946.

And another picture of our mystery guest with some mystery companions. Please congratulate Mike Hawks, Barbara Klein, Candy C and Ann Turpin for correctly identifying him.

July 3, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

An undated photo of John Loder and his "better half" thanks to The Times' art department.

Mayor Orders Crackdown on Animal Cruelty

  July 3, 1899, Racing

July 3, 1899: Dog races continue at Agricultural Park despite the mayor's order of a police crackdown. According to testimony in an 1899 animal cruelty case brought by the ASCPA, these races consisted of two greyhounds chasing a California jackrabbit that was given a 60- to 80-yard head start. There were about 28 places along the race course where the rabbit could escape. If it didn't, it was usually caught and torn apart as the dogs fought over it. A man was employed to kill the rabbit, usually by crushing its skull, if the dogs didn't finish the job. If the rabbit escaped, it was kept for about a week and used as bait in another dog race.

In October 1899, a judge ruled that such races inflicted "unnecessary cruelty" on the jackrabbits. Coursing continued elsewhere in Los Angeles without interference from the police. In 1904, it was again ruled to be illegal.

Still, coursing continued in other jurisdictions. Here's a description of a race in Arcadia. Warning: This is gruesome.

April 24, 1905, Coursing  

April 4, 1905: The Times noted that female spectators were frequently the most bloodthirsty when it came to dogs mauling the rabbits.

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