To ease congested streets, Los Angeles will ban street parking from Figueroa to Los Angeles streets and 1st to 9th streets. Notice that Spring hasn’t been straightened out yet, another attempt to relieve traffic.
L.O. Keown and his wife (God-fearing, churchgoing, hardworking people, The Times says) were too busy to teach three of their eight children to speak English, so the youngsters made up their own language. Now child welfare officials want them to break them of the invented language and have them speak the language that “is their birthright.”
|Feb. 29, 1920: If the plan to ban parking in downtown Los Angeles sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Back in 1908, the city did something similar with horse-drawn freight wagons. |
"At every corner where two streets cross, we used to see an express wagon, as many as four at a junction, standing there most of the day waiting for business to come to them. And at some places were these big furniture vans almost as big as a house," one unidentified councilman said, according to The Times of May 16, 1908.
And The Times manages to drag in a little riff on women shoppers and their long-suffering husbands who can wait in no-parking zones for no more than two minutes.
I can't say it often enough: Traffic congestion in Los Angeles is at least a 100-year-old problem. If there were easy answers, it would have been resolved decades ago.
Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
Sept. 8, 1959: This is the third part of a transcript of testimony by “Holy Barbarians” author Lawrence Lipton before the the Los Angeles Police Commission on the Gas House, the Beat hangout in Venice. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.Excerpt: “A square is a person who is a conformist with the ways and -- of society, its institutions; does not question them and -- does not subscribe to the way of life of a Beatnik. This does not mean he is an anti-Beatnik. He might be a Sunday Beatnik who comes around only on weekends for his fling....”
|Feb. 28, 1938: Hedda Hopper writes, "I chatted, for the first time, with Franchot Tone. A fine, intelligent actor. His crooked smile always annoyed me, and suddenly I knew it was to cover up an inferiority complex. I'd like to see him do Adolphe Menjou parts." And Bill Fields wishes her good luck! |
“Give Me Your Pistol, Buck. Mine’s Overheated!”
In 1960, The Times was inserting This Week magazine in the Sunday papers. The editor was William I. Nichols, who countered the phrase “Better Dead Than Red” with the slogan “Better Brave Than Slave.”
"This Week's first editor, Mrs. William Brown Meloney, wrote the words quoted on the eve of World War II. We reprint them now, as a tribute to her -- and to mark the 25th anniversary of the magazine's first issue, which appeared Feb. 24, 1935. It is now a full generation since these words were written, but even in a world of missiles and H-bombs their message remains unchanged."
The prolific Howard “Crisis in Morals” Whitman begins another series in The Times, launched with a pithy comment by a conveniently anonymous companion. This one reminds me of the “Athens vs. Sparta, U.S. vs. the Soviet Union” lectures we had in sophomore history class.
“It is doubtful that teenage charge accounts will solve our youngsters’ problems of civilized behavior, sex orientation, respect for elders or serious preparation for adult living,” Whitman says. [What a curious mention of homosexuality – or at least I take it that way. Hm. – lrh]
Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) leads Democratic candidates in the latest Gallup poll, beating former Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson, Sen. Lyndon Johnson (D-Texas) and Sen. Stuart Symington (D-Mo.) in hypothetical matches.
The Times op-ed page reeks of must and mildew: Yet another stodgy, cliched political cartoon by Bruce Russell, and a piece by Kyle Palmer lobbing another hand grenade at the Democrats. Palmer is usually described as The Times’ political powerbroker, a staunch Republican who made Richard Nixon. But he strikes me as a sad fellow who was utterly blinded by his agenda.
|Feb. 28, 1960: Are the Dodgers going to get rid of Carl Furillo, who played only 50 games last season? The answer will come in May. |
|Feb. 28, 1920: My heart skipped a beat when I pulled up this story. Could this be our own Lee Shippey, author of “The Great American Family” and “It’s an Old California Custom?” Yes it is.|
|Feb. 28, 1910: The old newspapers didn’t hold back on gory details, like this story about the unfortunate fellow found in the San Joaquin River in a bag weighed down with rocks.|
Briton's a Stevereno
I've been reading the short stories by Peter Ustinov in the Atlantic and wondering how he does it. Acting, speaking, traveling -- and writing superlative fiction, I mean. In the versatility sweepstakes, he's Britain's answer to Steve Allen.
Ustinov was in town briefly this week for additional scenes in "Spartacus" -- he plays Batiatus, head of a gladiator school who buys a slave named Kirk Douglas -- and the big answer came through.
His secret is an amazing ability to concentrate. He can write anywhere -- on a plane, sitting with his family (three children) beside his swimming pool or between "takes" on a movie set -- without losing the continuity of a story.
Fred Banker, studio attache, swears he could write under water.
Some of his stories are grotesque, others deal with characters who have emerged from the chaos and ashes of World War II, as the one in this months Atlantic, "The Loneliness of Billiwoonga." They all have, like their author, great zest for life, compassion and irony.
Of course, he happens to be a genius, which also helps.
WHILE DRIVING on Angeles Crest Highway, en route to an auto racing rendezvous near Palmdale, Art White's brakes went out. He nursed his Morgan speedster along until he came to Vincent's garage at Highway 6. Vincent turned out to be a racing enthusiast and started to work on the brakes -- for which a new part had to be made, when an emergency call came in -- a tow job for a car that had overturned. As he left, Vincent told Art to use whatever equipment he needed -- he had a complete line of expensive English and German tools -- handed him a new pair of overalls so he wouldn't get dirty, and said, "Leave whatever you think it's worth."
In all the world Art does not think he'll ever encounter such hospitality as he did in a lonely, one-man garage in the desert.
We'd do well to consider
What Symington said:
That we've been less
Than we've been misled.
THE STORY IS told about a writer who in a talk before the Ebell Club here many years ago urged his richly dressed club-woman audience to get closer to the common people and thereby achieve better understanding. His plea was not received enthusiastically and afterward, relating the incident to a friend, he said, "I should have remembered the old adage: See no Ebell, hear no Ebell, speak no Ebell."
Fine, but along with others, doubtless, I've always wondered where the club got its name. The answer has been furnished by Frances Kirschenbaum of the UCLA library reference department.
Dr. Adrian F. Ebell graduated from Yale in 1863 and became a noted lecturer on art, literature and women's advancement. Later he established a natural science academy which offered a travel and study plan in Europe to women. After he died in 1877, a group of women in Oakland, Cal., where he had visited the year before, formed the Ebell Society, the first woman's club in the state. Since then, everyone has heard a great deal about Ebell.
FOOTNOTES -- This is the big night for aficionados of Miles Davis, who plays the saddest, most haunting trumpet you ever heard, and in the past few years has become one of the giants of jazz. Although I am a piano addict, I'll be there. Shrine Aud . . . Preparation for the Squaw Valley Olympics also included a 150 man cleanup crew, recruited here by Sydney Rosenberg of the American Building Maintenance Co. Ten of them can speak five languages . . . A reporter on a suburban paper turned in an item about the theft of a two-foot zero, a letter in a sign, and a proofreader who handled the copy said, "I knew someday we'd get a story about just nothing" . . . A W Pico Blvd. beauty salon gives trading stamps.
Los Angeles Times file photo
Update: Our mystery fellow is Daniel Frohman, shown above left with Pola Negri and Jesse Lasky in a photo dated Oct. 8, 1922.
“I never weep in my beer – it spoils the beer.” – Daniel Frohman.