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Matt Weinstock, Jan. 15, 1960

January 15, 2010 |  4:00 pm



Jan. 15, 1960, Peanuts 
Jan. 15, 1960, Peanuts

Crying Need


Matt Weinstock     It has been decreed by someone who watches over us that motorists are better served by readjusting the white lines on many busy streets to create left-turn islands for those brave persons who might wish to make a left turn.  This has been done lately, among other places, on Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood.

    It seems like a fine idea and maybe it is.  But let us take a searching second look.  In ordering the macadam re-lined, the traffic experts have eliminated one lane of traffic.  Instead of three lanes there are now two.  When the rush hour is on this is not a matter to dismiss lightly.  Traffic backs up for blocks.

    TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY, our overseers, to make life easier for the infrequent left-turners, have penalized the hundreds of drivers who want to go straight but find themselves trapped in a two-lane bottleneck.  Clearly, if such things are done on the basis of the greatest good for the greatest number, someone has goofed.

    But the new lines are drawn and motorists better get used to them.  However, there's one minor detail that seems also to have been overlooked.  Erasing the old line.  How is a tourist, or even a long-time resident, supposed to find his lane when he is confronted with two sets of white lines, the old and the new?

    What this city needs, obviously, is a great big new municipal eraser.

::

    WHEN ALL the legal and journalistic talent assembled to cover the Finch murder trial, Dick Whitson wonders why the state  doesn't bring Caryl Chessman down from San Quentin to see that everything goes okay.

::

    NO NOVELTY
Publicity proclaims aloud
An innovation for
    the crowd,
But many quarters hold
    this view:
Movies that smell are
    nothing new.
    --WILLIAM BAFFA


::

    LOCAL WRITERS
are tall in the saddle this week. Leonard Wibberley, the bearded prophet of Hermosa Beach, has a fine short novel in the Post titled "The Hands of Cormac Joyce," and Newsweek has a fine appraisal of Erle Stanley Gardner, whose 100th book, "The Case of the Waylaid Wolf," is in print.

Jan. 15, 1960, Funerals     Gardner, the onetime Oxnard lawyer who lives on a 3,000-acre ranch in Temecula, is called "probably the most widely read novelist who ever lived."  More than 110 million copies of his novels have been sold in this country and Canada.

    His first Perry Mason book, "The Case of the Velvet Claws," published in 1932, was dictated in 3 1/2 days.  He now turns out a book in three weeks.  His secret in writing a mystery:  "Never tell the reader everything."

::

    EVEN STEVEN -- A man who lives in an outlying community and has to get up at 3 a.m. to go to work in downtown L.A. couldn't start his car the other morning.

    He was tinkering with it when an officer drove up, put his flashlight beam on him and demanded to know what he was up to.  The householder explained and asked him about a push.  The officer was sorry, he couldn't.

    "If I did, it would take me an hour to fill out a form telling how I got a scratch on my bumper," he explained.

    The same day an officer in a police car drew up behind a stalled auto at Pico and Sawtelle Blvds. after dozens of cars had gone around it and cheerfully gave the grateful driver a poosh.

::

    AT RANDOM --
Did you see the air photo of snow-covered Big Bear in yesterday's paper?  Photog Gene Hackley got it on the second try.  He and pilot Herb Green first took off in a helicopter but couldn't get the needed altitude -- both weigh over 200 -- so went in a regular plane . . . This is to inform Beverly Garland that her handsome Christmas card postmarked London, Eng., Dec. 23, 1959, arrived yesterday.  Sometimes it is difficult to understand what goes on. 
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