Caruso in "I Pagliacci."
|What appears to be a collection of ephemera given by Enrico Caruso to Rosa Ponselle has been listed on EBay.
There is no strong tie to Los Angeles, although both of them performed here. For example, Caruso appeared in a Met production of "Lucia di Lammermoor" in 1905 at Hazard's Pavilion and Ponselle was at the Hollywood Bowl in 1923.
I'm noting these items because there may be a few Caruso or Ponselle fans among the Daily Mirror readers who would enjoy knowing about them. Bidding starts at $429.99.
Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
Category: July 5, 2009 - July 11, 2009
Oct. 10, 1963: The Times' real estate section features an 80-acre tract on Sepulveda Boulevard in Torrance being developed by Ray Watt, who died July 7.
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July 11, 1889: One of the best things about the 1880s newspapers is that The Times wrote about everything. One of the more controversial issues before the Police Commission is what to do with all the prostitutes in Los Angeles. Accusations of false arrest ... appointment of a police matron ... selling off the department's old horses ... it's all here.
A plan for Honolulu, 1907
|In the early 20th century, Charles Mulford Robinson wrote a series of books on beautifying cities and developed specific plans for such places as Detroit and Los Angeles. Robinson proposed that Los Angeles build a Union Station, straighten Spring Street and plant jacarandas. He also advocated a scenic drive from downtown to Pasadena and a large library on 5th Street. Sound familiar?
A copy of his plan for Honolulu has been listed on EBay. It's priced at $85, a bit expensive for an ex-library book, but it's hard to find.
Luckily, many of Robinson's books are available at archive.org. But not the plan for Los Angeles.
Unfriendly FriscoMy San Francisco spy has smuggled through the mail a clipping of a sports column by Prescott Sullivan in the S.F. Examiner as follows:
"Ingemar Johansson demonstrated that he is the possessor of a devastating right-hand punch when he upended Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight championship of the world. Last week the handsome, affable Swede demonstrated that he is also the possessor of an orderly, analytical mind.
"In Goteborg, his home town, Johansson said it looked like Los Angeles would be the scene of his first defense of the title and that would be fine and dandy with him. 'I like Los Angeles because I've never been there,' he declared.
"THINK IT over and you'll agree that never having been there is the best possible reason for anyone liking Los Angeles. What other reason is there for liking it? Can L.A. be liked for its smog, its monstrous freeway traffic jams or Charlie Park, the scorekeeper who did Sad Sam Jones out of a no-hit game? Is it to be venerated for its oppressive heat, its crackpots, the Dodgers or Braven Dyer?
"For years we have been trying to puzzle things out. Now a young Swede, to whom the English language is strange and difficult, shames us by making it all look so easy. Ingemar Johansson likes Los Angeles because he has never been there and no one could sum it up more succinctly than that."
My, my, such bitterness. They must really hate us up there. And we always say such nice things about S.F. Only thing to do is smile and whip out the population figures.
"OH MEMORY, thou fond deceiver!" wrote Oliver Goldsmith. It certainly is.
The boys on the copy desk were discussing the new sales tax on cigarettes, which make them 30 cents a pack in the office vending machine, and a 2nd World War veteran reminisced, "Gosh, remember how cheap they were in the Army PBX?" That's what he said -- PBX.
JULY 4 has disappeared into limbo for most people but not quite for writer Alvin Sapinsley. He and his wife, Elizabeth, were having supper in the patio of their Sherman Oaks home around 8:30 p.m. when something hit with a sharp, cracking sound on the roof not too many inches away from his head and bounced onto the driveway. It was the nose cone of a .45-caliber bullet -- copper-colored and warm.
Another panel you will never see in the sitcom legacy version of "Peanuts."
The current legacy strip: "It's a Laugh Track, Charlie Brown."
He went up on the roof and found a deep dent it had made. By fitting the slug into the hole he determined it apparently had been fired from somewhere around Mulholland Dr. and Beverly Glen Blvd.
He called the police and an officer was sympathetic and made a report but said there wasn't much he could and actually there wasn't.
The disturbing thing is that five minutes before the bullet struck, his wife had wondered if they could see the fireworks from the back yard. He'd said he didn't think so and suggested, he recalls with a shudder, they go up on the roof for a better view.
Hark, hark, the shark --
All bite, no bark.
A LADY NAMED Julia made the final payment on her car and remarked that she should soon be receiving the pink slip in the mail. At a question by Donna, 5 1/2, she explained the pink slip meant ownership of the car. Donna said she wanted to be there when the box came. "What box?" Julia asked. Turned out Donna somehow had gotten the idea that the pink slip was a ruffled pink seat cover. Breaking the news was like telling her there was no Santa Claus.
Ah, those wonderful childhood misconceptions.
PUBLIC AT LARGE -- Picture postcard from Terracina, Italy, from publicist Al Hix has the message, "This is just like Zuma Beach -- with pizzas." . . . Tom Cracraft can't understand why the missile people don't send gophers and moles up in rockets. "Out in Studio City," he says, "we're hardly ever bothered by monkeys."
Mash Notes and Comments
"Have you taken a close look in the mirror recently?
"Well, we here at the Encino Summer Playhouse have. And do you know what we saw?
"YOU -- as an actor!
"Now we are prepared to offer you a deal. We'd like you to take part in our play, 'Laura,' which opens July 24 for two weeks.
"How would you like to have your name up in lights in front of our theater? That's a pretty exciting thought, isn't it? Just think of the comment it would cause among your close circle of friends.
"Your first reaction is probably something like this:
" 'Aw, go on. I'm too busy writing a column and doing a TV program every day.'
"Sure, you're busy! We're all busy!
"But a true artist never thinks of that. All he can think of is the excitement of opening night --
"The blaring overture...A quick once-over of the script to make sure you know your lines...The butterflies in your stomach doing the minute-waltz incha-cha-cha time...The last minute touches to your makeup...Then, the creak of the curtain going up in all its faded glory...And there you are -- in the flesh -- for all the world to see!" (signed) Bill Dodge,Encino Summer Playhouse, 4935 Balboa Ave., Encino.
-- I'm not going on like that unless the rest of the cast does.
"A compulsion drives many imperfectly educated men, like the writer, to put words on paper expounding theories and opinions that spring from the bottomless well of their imagination; an imagination that is renewed by contact with the works of literary giants and is similar to the method used by Antaeus to renew his strength.
"A representative example of this compulsion follows:
"Parkey Sharkey exists as the California counterpart of the British 'man who never was,' although neither run much danger of being tagged with a Social Security number.
"There is one significant difference between these two illusions: the 'man who never was' played a vital role in a desperate war, while Parkey Sharkey is the embodiment of his creator's frustration, tinged with revulsion, which is the natural result when an imaginative writer like you is forced into contact with the helpless, the downtrodden and the foolish.
"In short, a sensitive person must resort to such allegorical devices if he is to remain at all objective on the job in the face of the ceaseless waves of human misery beating against his desk...
"That's it. Or rather, it's only it until the next time the trigger is pulled by a remembrance, an article, a word. What do you think?" (signed) Harold Parrow, P.O. Box 42507, L.A. 42.
-- What should I think? You've just told me that my best friend in the whole world is only a hallucination.
"I have two jobs now, when I get through cleaning up the Oasis bar, I deliver Chinese dinners for a Chinese resterant.
"The other night I asked the Chinese cook, what you got for supper???
"He ran off a list of Chinese dinners which I had never heard of before. I had never had a Chinese dinner before, Paul, so I said Chow Mein, without the chopsticks. I can't eat with them.
"Paul, my wife is driving me nuts.
"The other day she walked a 82-year-old man home from a bar. He was drunk. They were crossing the street at a signal when his pants fell off him, and my wife had to pull his pants up for him in the middle of the street." (signed) Parkey Sharkey, c/o Oasis Bar, Menlo Park.
-- Lies! Lies! Lies!