Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
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[Note: You may remember reading about Glynn Wolfe in regard to the Black Dahlia case—lrh]
Dames Cheaper in Dozen Lots?
He was a farm-boy, and she was a farm-girl, and they were 18. And it was that time of year.
So hand in hand, they skipped over the green Indiana hillsides to the country courthouse and got hitched.
And they stayed that way for two years. Then, she divorced him.
The following week, undismayed, he found himself another little farm-girl and led her to the altar. But that was one of those rebound affairs and it lasted only a month.
A few months later, however, true love came knocking on the farm-boy's door. She was another nice blossoming country girl -- just his type.
And the marriage might have worked if the blushing bride's mother hadn't come knocking, too, and dragged her daughter home. By this time, the lovesick farm-boy had a reputation.
In fact, when he and No.3 went before the judge for a divorce, the stern old man on the bench accused him of giving the whole community a bad name.
"Keep behaving this way and we folk here can get along fine without you," His Honor added. "What you ought to do -- you ought to go to Hollywood. Nobody'll notice you out there."
The farm-boy had been brought up to respect the advice of his elders, so as soon as the harvest season was over, he took the judge's advice. He headed for Hollywood. (He did pause long enough, however, to marry another farm-girl who had caught his fancy. He took her along.)
And until this week, the judge's words proved pure wisdom. Ex-farm-boy Glynn Wolfe kept marrying and divorcing and nobody paid any attention.
Then, last Monday, he was wandering about Civic Center with ex-wives 8, 10, 11 and 12 in tow, when a reporter new to the Hollywood beat saw a glimmer of a story in Wolfe's busy career at the altar.
It was duly recorded in yesterday's press that Wolfe, now a successful 46-year-old hotel man, has been through 12 wives and is still quite fond of all of them.
And the fact that four of them, all young and pretty, still live in his hostelry and tag after him calling him "Daddy" left me gasping.
I called him yesterday for a detail or two. He said he'd drop by. He, plus a blond cluster made up of Nos. 8, 10, 11 and 12, did, about mid-afternoon.
"What's new?" I asked casually, breaking the ice.
Wolfe leaned back in his chair, surveyed his flock and lifted the eyebrow over one of his sleepy Indiana eyes. He looked like a comfortable combination of Herb Shriner, Tommy Manville and the Maharajah of Cooch-Behar.
"I kinda feel," he began slowly, "That I've had this tough run of luck in my marrying because I just can't keep up with these young girls."
The girls tittered in chorus.
"They like to go out nightclubbing, see the shows," he continued. "Me? I'm still a farm-boy. Up at 6. In bed by 8. They don't like that. They fight you -- these teenagers."
"Then why is it," I asked (somewhat naively, I thought later), "that you always seem to marry 18-19-20-year-olds?"
"Older women are too set in their ways," he answered, stifling a yawn. "I like them young and off the farm. That's a good combination if you don't get them riled up.
"That," he said, "was pretty embarrassing for me. But now, we get along just fine."
All of his ex-wives, Wolfe pointed out proudly, have free lifetime boarding privileges at his 200-room hotel.
"Some of them got their mothers there, their kids. Why, they practically take up half the hotel," he said.
"Are your parents still living?" I asked. "What do they think about all your wives?"
"They're still farming back in Indiana," he answered. "When I call Dad up now and then and tell him I've done it again, he just says, 'Son, don't do anything that money won't buy you out of.'
"I don't. Not one of the dozen gets alimony. We always part happy, don't we, girls?"
Nos. 8, 10, 11 and 12 nodded, smiling. Then Wolfe stood up, stretched, and yawned again. "Well, been nice chatting with you. Come on, girls, time we got ourselves something to eat."
"All right, Daddy," a couple of them replied. One by one, they filed out of the room, at a respectable distance behind the slow-walking, slow-talking Indiana pasha.
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