Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
Mash Notes and Comments(Press Release) "In MGM's 'Some Came Running,' Shirley MacLaine scores a triumph in the role of Ginny, one of the 'un-respectable' characters in the James Jones novel.
"To Shirley, however, Ginny was not 'the real slob' pictured in the book.
"She's supposed to be a tramp, but she isn't really,' says Shirley in this week's Look magazine.
"'She wants to love one man and stick with him.
"'She has a great capacity for giving love and is more of a woman than most women.
"'I loved this girl so much . . . All of us making the picture were in love with Ginny.
"'Dean Martin actually cringed when he had to refer to her as a pig in one scene.'" (signed) Publicity Department, Look Magazine, New York City.
-He should hear what she called him.
"Dear Mr. Coates:
"I have always admired you and your column, that is until Monday when you wrote your views about Fidel Castro and beards.
"Fidel Castro must find peace and comfort living as he does and he is so beloved by his people for what he is and does, not how he looks.
"Frankly, to me, a man looks very strange with his face smooth-shaven. A man looks beautiful with a beard.
"Life intended man to have a beard to protect his face, just as we have hair on our scalps to protect our heads." (signed) Catherine August, Glendale
-Maybe you have, lady. But not me.
"At present, the man is not concerned with personal hygiene. His only concern is Cuba's future.
"A beatnik may also wear a beard, with no place to go and hardly without a future in a coffee shop.
"Castro is a man of the future, going places with a beard, no razor blades, no deodorants. Many of the rest of us are all hygiene, not going any place and with very little future.
"P.S.: Castro's beard is worth $25,000. Yours is worth nothing." (signed) Herman Hermosillo, 3651 1/2 Armour Ave., L.A.
-$25,000! I'd sell my whole head for that.
(Press Release) "Because he had nerve enough to talk back to a 'wise guy' stranger, Sal Mineo was launched on a career that has culminated with his starring role in Walt Disney's 'Tonka.'
"It all began when a talent scout stopped Sal on a Bronx street and asked him if he'd like to become an actor.
"'I thought he was a wise guy,' says Sal, with a grin. 'I gave him a lot of smart back talk. He thought I was kind of different from the other kids in the Bronx because I would stand up and speak for myself.
"'My advice to any kids who figure on a show-business career is to talk up a storm!' says Sal. 'Believe me, nobody gets anywhere by staying silent.'" (signed) Walt Disney Productions Burbank.
-Kid, you never heard of Gary Cooper?
By Jonathan Kirsch
The writer known as Sholem Aleichem (Sholem Rabinovich, 1859-1916) was a towering figure in the Yiddish-speaking world, praised in his own lifetime as "the Jewish Mark Twain." The critic Irving Howe later singled him out as "the one absolute Yiddish genius." When Aleichem died, some 100,000 mourners crowded the New York neighborhood in which he spent the last years of his life.
Today, however, he has been almost totally eclipsed by Isaac Bashevis Singer, the Nobelist whose work appeared first in Yiddish in the Jewish Daily Forward and then in the New Yorker. Compared with Singer, the comic tales of Aleichem strike critics as old-fashioned and sentimental. Indeed, if Aleichem is remembered at all nowadays, it is because his stories of Tevye and his daughters were the basis for "Fiddler on the Roof."
To introduce Aleichem to a new readership -- and to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth -- Viking is publishing a new edition of "Tevye the Dairyman" and "Motl the Cantor's Son," the books that made him famous, and a long out-of-print novel, "Wandering Stars," all freshly and lucidly translated by Aliza Shevrin.
Read more >>>
Tonight as usual TV addicts will turn on a program titled "77 Sunset Strip," a private eye action thriller featuring Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Roger Smith, Edward Byrnes, beautiful girls in deep trouble and a reverberating and contagious theme song.
The address 77 Sunset Strip is a phony. There's no such number. It has no significance except it sounded good when the program was put together.
However, the office front used in the drama is authentic. It is the office of the Mary Webb Davis modeling agency, 8532 Sunset Blvd., next to Dino's Lodge, also featured in the series. Of course, facsimiles of the office front, the parking lot and Dino's have been built on a Warner Bros. sound stage. This is what people see on TV.
BUT THIS TOUCH of realism has had a strange effect. Life is not the same around the agency -- which furnishes models for film commercials, fashion shows and photographic ads -- since the program became popular. Incidentally, it has been there for 12 years.
Mail keeps coming there for Zimbalist, and tourists tie up traffic stopping for a look and to snap pictures of the office front. As a result, Otis Jenkins, the cleanup man, works twice as hard polishing the brass on the door.
One other thing, Mary Webb Davis hasn't mentioned it to the gang at Warner Bros., but the handle of the door in the studio replica is on the wrong side.
A NEW LINCOLN cent will be put in circulation on Abe's birthday, next Thursday. A few are out already. Lincoln's head is the same as on the others, but the reverse or "tails" side will have a design of the Lincoln Memorial.
And before people become befuddled as they usually are by new coins or any rumors about them, Genghis Cohen, Hollywood numismatist, passes along the information that they aren't fakes, they aren't rare, they aren't going to be recalled, and coin dealers are not about to pay premium prices for them.
By the way, the proper word is cent, not penny, a colloquialism, but people have never bought it.
STOP THE presses! A National Geographic news bulletin, which came in the mail, sates, "The male pipefish, like its relative the seahorse, incubates its young in a blood pouch into which the female has deposited the eggs. Understandably, for many years, the males were thought to be females. Even after the sexes were distinguished in 1831, a controversy over the matter raged for decades."
A moment of silence, everyone, to pity the poor pipefish.
THE PUBLIC PRINTS -- Tom and Helen Ferril's weekly Rocky Mountain Herald of Denver has a town-naming game going. Recent creations: Dirty, Wash.; Tomato, Kan.; Five, Minn.; Kiss, Me.;Yernamis, Md.; Hittor, Miss.; and Feeling, Ill. . . . As you may have read, Hedy Lamarr and her estranged husband, Howard Lee, are exchanging legal insults. Meanwhile, back at Aspen, Colo., where ski lodges are springing up like jacks-in-the-box (it isn't mushroom country), Lee's luxurious new Villa Lamarr, Time magazine reports, is being called Hedy's Beddies.
When a horse to heaven is consigned
It is bound to leave its whoas behind.
-- JOSEPH P. KRENGEL
* *WHILE WE'RE on this animal kick, Gene Coughlin, an incorrigible pixie, wishes to unleash the following on the world:
The only one who knows if a giraffe has halitosis
Is another giraffe who wants to rub noses.
AT RANDOM -- FM station KNOB refers to programs featuring vocalists as Tonsil Time . . . To Judge David W. Williams' charge that gambling laws were being enforced mostly against Negroes, Chief Parker expressed surprise that "one possessed of judicial temperament" would say such a thing. My, my, look who's talking about judicial temperament.
Good Scout's Bid Makes Cub Happy
It's my final one, I hope, on a kid named Butch Harris, who a few months ago got his first lesson in how little some big people act.
Nine-year-old Butch was refused membership in Cub Pack 298, here in L.A., because he is a Negro.
The decision was made by several parents of pack members that their children "weren't ready to integrate."
For the past weeks, certain adult leaders of the pack refused to compromise their stand, in spite of efforts by both the Boy Scouts and the sponsoring Kiwanis Club to settle the matter quietly and peacefully.
But it seemed that the harder the Boy Scout organization worked to bring about understanding, the more determined the opposition became.
One parent who said he saw no reason why Butch shouldn't be allowed in the pack suddenly found himself minus any number of "friends" he'd known for years.
The man's wife began getting the "cold" treatment from neighbors.
The "segregation" element became louder, more adamant.
Then, a couple weeks ago, local Scout authorities realized that the situation was hopeless. They issued their ultimatum: Make 298 an open pack or lose your charter.
Mass resignations followed.
Today, Pack 298 has three members. Butch is one of them. The other two are also Negro boys.
But it's an open pack. A few parents of former members have already indicated that they're ready to put their boys back into uniform. The sponsoring Kiwanis group is confident that 298 will build up again into a fine organization.
I hope so, and I'm not the only one.
"By the time you receive this letter I trust you will be a fine Cub Scout.
"You know, Butch, my wife and I have mentioned several times how very much we would like to have you see the Capitol of our wonderful state of California.
"This is a little invitation to you to visit us for a day during your spring vacation. You talk this over with your mother and father and if they agree to let you come all the way to Sacramento, we will take care of your transportation.
"Both my wife and I think that it would be nice for a young man who will no doubt become an outstanding Boy Scout some day to see your state officeholders -- the men who are elected to office -- work.
"Please let me know if you would like to come visit us."
The letter was signed: Glen M. Anderson, lieutenant governor.
Photograph by Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times
The 50-year-old time capsule about to be freed from the Magnolia Boulevard Bridge.
Times Staff Writer
With a hammer and a chisel, a Burbank city worker this morning carved out a tiny silver time capsule 50 years after it was first tucked into the base of the Magnolia Bridge.
"It was there -- we found it," said deputy city manager Joy Forbes, excitement and relief bubbling through her voice.
City officials did not know the capsule was due to be opened on Feb. 5, 2009, until Larry Harnisch at the Times' Los Angeles history blog e-mailed them over the weekend. City workers hustled to find the location of the time capsule. When they pried off the dedication plaque on the base of the bridge, near 1st Street and Magnolia Boulevard, they found a darker patch of cement.
Stan Lynch, who attended yesterday's event and the original ceremony in 1959, told the Burbank Leader:
The legendary Dodgers broadcaster had signed on to host "It Takes Two" on NBC. In an interview Feb. 11 with Times columnist Charles Maher, Scully sounded very much like a man thinking about life after baseball.
"I might be the poor man's Art Linkletter," he said. "Maybe that's what I hope to do -- some day."
Maher added: "Some day may be very close at hand."
Thankfully, it wasn't. Scully is still very much with the Dodgers.
"I'd like to try it just to see if I can do it. So if the time comes when I want to call it a career with the Dodgers, I'd have something else to do," Scully said. Seems impossible that he thought a Plan B was necessary.
"I really love baseball. ... The only thing I hate -- and I know you have to be realistic and pay the bills in this life -- is the loneliness on the road," Scully said. "I know there are a lot worse jobs. I used to wash dishes in a hotel. And I used to be a mailman. And once I was a milkman. I had to get up at 2:30 in the morning to load the truck. That was beautiful. Doubleheaders and traveling are sensational next to that.
"I've got a racket. But I hate to see nights and days go by without seeing the family. Time is the most precious thing of all, and I hate to squander it."
-- Keith Thursby