Matt Weinstock, Feb. 16, 1960
February 16, 2010 | 4:00 pm
Father vs. Son
Jimmy, 19, got off to a bad start, no question about that. His mother took off when he was 7 and there was a divorce. He started getting in trouble early in his teens. He was made a ward of the court and had a year of psychiatric care before he got into the Navy, which, it was hoped, would straighten him out. It didn't. He came out about a year ago addicted to narcotics.
His father hadn't seen him for along time -- he'd heard he was staying with relatives up north -- when Jimmy appeared last November in the Hollywood restaurant where the father works. The boy said he was on a vacation. He hung around for several days.
ONE DAY as the father opened the restaurant at 6 a.m. Jimmy came in. The father said he would cook him some breakfast and went into the kitchen. Jimmy followed, shoved a revolver in his father's stomach and demanded money.
"Don't be a fool!" the father said.
"Give it to me!" Jimmy said desperately, "when I need a fix I don't care who I hurt or who I kill!"
The father recognized the gun, a .38. Jimmy had stolen it from his mother. He took all the money in the place, $22.
Later the father had the agonizing experience of testifying against his son at a preliminary hearing held in a closed courtroom. The last he heard. Jimmy was under sentence of five to 15 years in San Quentin on another armed robbery.
"It's an awful thing to say," the father told me yesterday, "but I've had it from him." He hopes there's a lesson in this story for others -- parents as well as young people.
A LADY NAMED Ethel, who spends about a third of her life handling telephone complaints for a large firm, has realized a longtime ambition. A customer phoned the other day and, when Ethel took down her name and address and promised to take care of the matter, the woman said, "Are you a record?"
"Yes," Ethel said, and hung up.
Your arm so warm lulls me
Hot water bottle mine,
But in the night, cold
Quit leaning on my spine!
EVIDENCE THAT the trading stamp hysteria may have reached a new plateau of absurdity comes from a man Corky Duncan.
A little old lady made a 25-cent purchase and demanded three stamps. The market man said they were given only in multiples of 10 cents. She protested but when he held firm she snapped, "Give me a pack of gum then." It happens the market sells gum for four cents, making the purchase price 29 cents and he still refused the third stamp. The l.o.l. shrilled, "Well, then, charge me a nickel for the gum!" Pretty silly, considering the actual cash value of a stamp is less than one-tenth of a cent.
A MARTINI drinker I know, a 6 to 1 man, phoned and said, "Hey, did you know there's a verse in the Old Testament about a drunken sparrow? Book of Amos, Chapter 3, Verse 5."
Sure enough, it states, "Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? Shall, one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?"
I also found that the dictionary defines gin not only as a strong alcoholic liquor but as a snare or trap.
Everywhere you turn, jokesters.
AT RANDOM -- Natural water is available again in Fern Dell, Los Feliz and Western, to persons who prefer their aqua pura untreated. It's piped from deep wells in Griffith Park. A minor tempest occurred last October when the Fern Dell spring was shut off because it was contaminated. It still is . . . Among the boxes of books donated for the annual rummage sale tomorrow at All Saints Episcopal Church was a Baptist hymnal.