Matt Weinstock, Feb. 11, 1960
February 11, 2010 | 4:00 pm
A Visit From Ptex
After an absence of several years, Tex, or as he prefers to spell it, Ptex, dropped in the other day to say hello. He brought with him, as he usually does, a great idea.
"They're always giving these big banquets for political and civic leaders," he said, "how about a testimonial dinner for me? I think I deserve one. I'm the only real complete failure in the world."
Ptex, a huge, jovial gentleman with a gray goatee, didn't come by this distinction without considerable strain. He has been everywhere, done everything. He has worked on newspapers, taught school, promoted weird schemes, advised men in high places, helped plot revolutions and, he admits frankly, washed dishes professionally and recently.
Now at last, he said, he wants to do something big. With the money he would get from the testimonial dinner, say $3,000 or $4,000, he would charter a "cotton picking yacht" at Balboa and run a cruise for 30 or 40 interested persons through the Panama Canal to Yucatan. He figures $1,000 each would be about right. And he has his mate's papers, you know.
"YUCATAN," he sighed dreamily, "that's the place!" There's a house in the town of Progresso, on the Mexican coast, he said, that could be used as a base for trips to the Mayan ruins. He would, of course, act as guide for the persons fortunate enough to make the trip.
Meanwhile, I asked, how are things?
Well sir, he'd just been over to the blood bank and picked up $4. He pulled up his sleeves to show the bit of gauze Scotch-taped to the inside of the bend in his arm. And he was eating, not good but all right, at the missions.
And after the $4 was gone?
"If I can't make it on four bucks," he said confidently, "I can't make it!"
YESTERDAY a dispatch from Moscow reported that M. Agrest, Soviet scientist, was claiming that visitors from outer space landed in the Libyan Desert at least 1 million years ago and, failing to convey their wisdom to the stupid earth people, blew up the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with their excess nuclear fuel before blasting off.
Tonight Reinhold Schmidt, Bakersfield grain buyer, is scheduled to speak in Pasadena on "My Recent Trips in Spacecraft" if, a press release states, "he returns in time from a flight to the Great Pyramid of Gizeh in Egypt," Underneath which, he claims that his friends on Saturn have told him, an ancient space shift is buried.
A skeptical photog placed these two items on my typewriter with a plaintive note, "Tell me it's so -- I want to believe." I have recommended to his boss that he be taken off the Finch trial. Obviously he has been there too long and his imagination's gone.
TO ALL THE people who turned and laughed at seeing three station wagons loaded with youngsters, skis, toboggans, WHEEL CHAIRS and CRUTCHES on San Berdoo Freeway the other day, let Kay Wannell explain. They were cerebral palsy youngsters who can hardly stand, going to the mountains to enjoy the snow . . . Speaking of which, singer Johnny O'Keefe, here from Australia to record for Liberty, was asked what he'd like to see. Disneyland? Nope. Snow. There isn't any in Sydney. He was taken to Big Bear.
He lived to be
one hundred five.
Just why he didn't know.
I'll tell you why he
He stashed away his dough.
JOSEPH P. KRENGEL
AT RANDOM -- How ironical can things get? At the time fire swept through his apparel plant at 825 S Los Angeles St., Sunday, causing $25,000 damage, owner A.Blum was at home trying to fire up his barbecue. He had trouble getting it lit . . . Mrs. Clinton Tompkins blinked as she passed an El Monte market that gives trading stamps. A letter had been deleted from a sign so that it seemed to offer "Blue Hip." Probably a cut of meat from the blue hippopotami which have been known to roam the saloons.