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Matt Weinstock, Feb. 18, 1960

February 18, 2010 |  4:00 pm

Feb. 18, 1960, Peanuts

Squaw Valley Squawk

Matt Weinstock     Doubtless it is attributable to crotchety advancing age but the Squaw Valley gymkhana leaves me cold.  So a flock of virile young people are going sliding in the snow.  What does that prove?  Outside of the fact that the taxpayers get stuck for part of the bill, millions of dollars.
    Sure, it's part of the Olympic Games which provide the setting for international goodwill.  Perhaps it's momentarily buried under a snow bank.  So far, more has appeared.  Instead, the Communist East Germans scored a bitter propaganda victory over the free West Germans in a  preliminary skirmish involving appeasement.
    Then there's the game of hockey, a very rough, business.  Whoever heard of opposing players with sticks in their hands getting to love each other?  Mostly what has come out of Squaw Valley are squawks -- about the accommodations, about the ice and about the strange ways of foreigners.
Feb. 18, 1960, Chavez Ravine     But let us look on the bright side.  The Nevada gambling people never had such a windfall.
    IT IS CLEAR that Fred Whichello and Grant Cooper have done their work well.  Guests at Ben and Mickey Wayne's Valentine Day party were asked to represent great lovers.  Four couples came  as Dr. Finch and Carole.  "And each of us," whispers one of the four, "thought we were being terribly original."
She's aggressive, tyrannical,
    outspoken, bold--
Most frightening of all,
    she's just 5 years old.
    ANOTHER thrilling chapter in the fantastic adventures of Reinhold Schmidt, Bakersfield grain buyer, comes from a press release from the organization Understanding.
 Feb. 18, 1960, Beating    Schmidt, as reported here, was scheduled to speak in Pasadena last Thursday -- if he  returned in time from a  space ship trip with friends from the planet Saturn to the pyramids in Egypt.
    Miraculously, he made it.  To quote the press release:  "Schmidt was left off by his space friends in the mountains north of Pasadena approximately one hour before lecture time!"  The exclamation point is theirs but let us share it.
    He told of his trip, again quoting, "to and under the pyramids where he was permitted to see an ancient space ship buried there."
    So shame on all you unimaginative stay-at-homes who haven't accepted the space age.  You don't know what you're missing.
    ANY DAY NOW you may be seeing the slogan, "Help Stamp Out Phreatophytes."  It's the name of  a deep-rooted plant that absorbed and thereby wasted 25 million acre-feet of water last year in the western states.  Consider that the Department of Water and Power delivered only 515,000 acre-feet to the city's 2,400,000 residents last year.  Another comparison -- the thirsty plants drank more than the entire storage of Lake Mead.
    Perhaps the menace could be dramatized in a TV western.  The hero, whacking away at a water-rustling phreatophyte at the last water hole, is caught in the act by the sheriff.  "It was him or me, sheriff," he says, handing over his machete.
    Meanwhile, a bill has been introduced to Congress to investigate the unwelcome plant and find ways to eradicate it.
    AT RANDOM -- A scheduled interview with Page Smith, UCLA history prof, on the University Explorer program Sunday on KNX, dealing with Revolutionary War history, in connection with Washington's birthday, has been canceled.  Apparent reason: Smith has announced his candidacy for Congress in the 16th district . . . You'll have to take Mary O'Brien's word for it that a 16-year-old boy she knows saw the headline, "Five Asylum Escapees at Large" and asked innocently, "Where's Large?" . . . Publicist Elinor Churchin has instructed decorator Dean Reynolds to paper one wall of her Sunset Strip home entirely with subpoenas.  She has received about 30 of them, mostly civil suits in which she was a witness but also a grand jury summons involving Mickey Cohen . . . David Helfman of Santa Susana observes that the submarine in Argentine stays mainly on the under-scene.
Feb. 18, 1960, Musicians Union