||A clever little item from J.W. Robinson's: A combination shoehorn and buttonhook. Listed on EBay with bids starting at $9.99.
Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
Category: January 11, 2009 - January 17, 2009
Capricious ElectronAn engaging stranger named Peter Buchanan came into the office, apologized for taking my time, handed me a typewritten half-sheet of paper and asked me to read it and perhaps check it.
It was a theory he had spent 15 years developing, he said, and he felt it was vital for the world to know.
"As American scientists study the electron," it began, "the electron will become more capricious, defiant of observation and measurement because American scientists start with the wrong hypothesis."
That's as far as I got because the rest of it was about wave mechanics, quantum phenomena and mathematical equations, including Einstein's. He lost me.
I'VE BEEN around when electronics engineers and space guys get together and tried to understand them, too, but I can't. They're also very polite and considerate but they speak a strange language.
I'm sure all this is for the best for we want our boys to do well in outer space or whither we are drifting, but I simply do not know what they're talking about.
Why, I wouldn't know a capricious electron if it sidled up and handed me a chocolate malted milk. I happen to be the fellow who flunked the same high school course in plane geometry -- twice.
ONLY IN Beverly Hills -- On arriving home, Maggie, 7, was asked by her mother what she'd done in school.
"We didn't have any written tests," was the reply, "but the girls beat the boys in a moral tests." Ma gasped, then realized that to a 7-year-old oral sounds a great deal like moral.
THROUGH SHOT AND SHELL IN CUBA
In places of peril
You'll always find Errol.
Twist his arm -- I don't doubt it.
He'll tell you about it.
- RICHARD ARMOUR
YOU KNOW that dispirited look you sometimes see on the faces of policemen? They come by it the hard way. A lady named Grace who routed a prowler in her apartment by screaming was later asked by an officer, "Was this man a Caucasian?" "Oh no," she replied. "I'm sure he was a white man."
ON RETURNING to L.A. from a trip north, Jess T. Martinez found his wallet missing. He remembered stopping and getting out of the car on Highway 33, outside Coalinga, so he phoned Coalinga police and told an officer about where he'd parked. Next day he received his wallet in the mail. The following day he received the change from the dollar bill kept to pay the postage. About a 1000-to-1 shot.
MONDAY AT UCLA Anastas I. Mikoyan denied the existence of an Iron Curtain. "This is fiction," he said.
Apparently no one thought of it at the time but Bill Graydon, a specialist in belated retorts like the rest of us, points out that another bit of fiction tops the American best seller lists -- Boris Pasternak's "Dr. Zhivago," which blasts communism.
AT RANDOM -- Add writer Sylvia Tate ("The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown") to the roster of those convinced a person isn't safe anywhere. Last July she was stung by a wasp. Since, she has had 39 antidote shots, has seven more to go. She has a susceptibility which could be fatal . . . Phone number of the UCLA Extension Division just opened in Orange County is TRojan 12380 . . . Mr. and Mrs. Jerry T. Meek ask a typographical posy for La Puente deputy sheriffs and firemen, whose names she does not know, who responded instantly and probably saved the life of Kali Kathleen Meek, 12 days old, choking from a chest cold . . . Dr. Glen Erwin Bonecutter of Long Beach has been elected to membership in the County Medical Assn. . . . One of the three city high school girls in the state cherry pie contest Friday at the Department of Water and Power Service Center in Van Nuys is Cherie M. Courtois of Bishop Conaty Memorial High. Yep, she can bake a cherry pie. Wonder if Peaches Browning ever baked a peach pie?
Red Tape Frequently Chokes Logic, Justice
Postscript to a tragedy;
Two and a half years ago, a young Norwalk housewife returned from the home of a neighbor to find her husband sprawled dying across his bed. He had been shot through the head with a .22-caliber rifle.
There was no mystery to the fatal shooting. Within minutes after they arrived at the scene, County Sheriff's Department detectives had three suspects in custody, and detailed confessions from each.
And it was those confessions which turned the killing into one of the most bizarre tragedies ever to take place in Southern California.
The story was headlines, not only here, but all across the nation.
The persons who "plotted" to shoot the 31-year-old steelworker were his own three sons -- ages 10, 9 and 7. The 7-year-old actually pulled the trigger.
Although it's off the front pages now, the story's not over.
Yesterday I was visited by the mother of the three boys. I'm not going to mention her name, or the names of her children. The family is still living in Southern California -- in another neighborhood now, where people don't know their story.
But I am going to tell a few of the astounding facts which she related to me concerning the present plight of the family.
Immediately following the shooting, the boys were made wards of Juvenile Court. But eventually the mother was able to get all of them back home on probation.
By all rights, the family should be receiving nearly $220 a month in Social Security benefits. The woman's deceased husband paid for this insurance, just like millions of others are paying for it, every day.
But on a very very questionable technicality, the family is not getting the full amount due.
At present the widow is receiving only $118 a month.
Shares for the three boys, who even today don't fully understand the consequences of their act, have been withheld.
The reasoning of the Social Security office:
Because the children were never charged with a crime, they can't be cleared. That apparently, is the logic of the Social Security office.
Pride of the Individual
The boys' mother struggled along as long as she could without additional assistance. Finally, last year, she broke down and applied for state aid. Today she gets it -- an additional $153 a month.
But it's charity. Money she doesn't want. Combined with the $118 Social Security check, it gives her $271 a month.
But she'd rather settle for the $220, and get her family's name off the charity roles.
"I could supplement the $220 by doing some work," she told me. "Baby-sitting. Any kind of work. I'm not lazy. But as a charity case, I'm not allowed to.
"What I'm fighting for, actually, is less money that I'm getting now. But," she added, "at least it's money that's rightfully mine."
Los Angeles Times file photo
Ricardo Montalban and Johnny Indrisano in a photo dated Feb. 13, 1950, training for the film "Right Cross." Indrisano, a veteran prizefighter, died in 1968 at the age of 62.
Photograph courtesy of the Dodgers
Vin Scully and Walter O'Malley during a game televised in New York. Note the carton of Lucky Strikes.
Scully pulls up his own chair
Dodgers announcer watches a replay of his broadcast of Larsen's World Series perfect game and offers a review.By Diane Pucin
January 14, 2009
Vin Scully recently watched the MLB Network replay of the perfect game pitched by Don Larsen for the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 World Series. He watched and he listened.
He listened to Mel Allen call the first half of the game and then listened to himself, an earnest and eager 28-year-old, call the second half.
What did Scully notice about that broadcast? People have asked that a lot since the rebroadcast was aired Jan. 1 on the new MLB Network. Because the game re-airs today at 11 a.m., it's appropriate to listen to what Scully thinks now of that game and what he thought then.
Read more >>>
Los Angeles, Calif.,
Sept. 8, 1931
Dear. Mr. Neumiller,
I am writing to you again in behalf of my husband, Walter J. Collins, No. 12824, an inmate at Represa, Calif.
I understand that his name appears on the June calendar and that he will be called before the prison board some time this month for a hearing.
I wish that you would consider a parole for him as I really need his support. I am not at all able to work and am solely dependant upon others for a livelihood. Due to worry over my health and conditions in general I spend a great part of my time in bed with nervous breakdowns.
If Walter were released, I am sure that he would be able to secure a position and support me, thus enabling me to regain my health.
I am really destitute, having to rely upon strangers for help. I have a sick sister who is unable to work on account of her health as much as she is willing to help me.
I am writing to you from a humane standpoint and hope that you will just give my husband another chance. I am sure that he will make good. He has been imprisoned for nearly eight years and we both have suffered terribly in that length of time.
I know that should a parole be granted at this meeting I would regain my health and I would certainly be most grateful to you. When a person's health is gone this old world looks very dark and dreary.
Hoping you will give this consideration and thanking you for your previous courtesy, I beg to remain,
Mrs. Walter J. Collins
2614 N. Griffin Ave.
Los Angeles, Calif.
ps. Please do what you can for Walter.