Photograph by John Malmin / Los Angeles Times
July 22, 1959: Carole Tregoff waits to be questioned by investigators.
Los Angeles Times file photo
Feb. 19, 1960: Students on Market Street in San Francisco protest the upcoming execution of Caryl Chessman.
|Feb. 27, 1960: Attorney A.L. Wirin defends Caryl Chessman and Mickey Cohen. Years ago, I interviewed Wirin’s partner, Fred Okrand, who said that defending Cohen paid for their ACLU work. Notice that The Times identifies Cohen as a “former hoodlum.” |
Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
“When a Feller Needs a Friend,” by Clare Briggs.
|Feb. 27, 1920: “How Ya Gonna Keep Them Down on the Farm?” You can’t, according to The Times’ Harry C. Carr, who says former servicemen are abandoning farming in favor of work in the cities. |
The Court Is a Stage
One of the travesties of court procedure is that most divorces are obtained on grounds that have little or nothing to do with the breakup of the marriages.
The ladies come into court and testify that their husbands stayed out late or complained about their cooking or used profanity and the mental cruelty became simply unbearable. They avoid mentioning the real cause of most breakups, usually a third person, to avoid embarrassing their spouses, who have agreed on that basis not to contest.
All that is hardly a secret, but reporter Charles Ridgway had never heard it spelled out so clearly as the other day as he rode down a Courthouse escalator behind a handsome but graying actress and her attorney and overheard this exchange:
"Well, were you nervous?"
"Not too bad."
"At one point I thought you were going to crack."
"No, but I'm glad I memorized the script so well."
IF BOB ANDREWS hadn't heard the lady say it, he wouldn't have believed it. Bob, who lives in a nearby city, complained about a $3.25 overcharge on his phone bill and demanded an accounting. The bill was rectified but the phone company lady said he was at fault.
"You dial the phone too slowly," she said."
SWITCH TO AIR
My lungs can now function,
My throat isn't sore,
I am smoking much
And enjoying it more.
IT'S AN OLD refrain that down in Mexico they have got no snow. Likewise in L.A. But that hasn't kept youngsters from enjoying the same thrill, tobogganing down grass-covered slopes on homemade sleds. It has been going on for generations.
This year, a lady who lives on what she calls Whitening Heights reports, it's earlier and bigger than ever, due to the impetus of the Olympics. Usually the kids wait until summer when the grass is dry and slippery, but the snow stuff in Squaw Valley has them eager. She reports they're using old boards with runners, even heavy pieces of cardboard, and she has imparted her knowledge of the subject to them by suggesting they put wax or bacon rind on the runners.
Let them enjoy the sport while they can. The way things look, pretty soon there won't be any empty hillsides.
"WORDS FAIL ME," Frank J. Heffler writes, "as I leave to clean up a direction sign near our church at 79th and La Tijera Blvd. Some idiot has painted a swastika on it. I can't understand the senselessness of this act. I pity these people. It seems that narrow-mindedness is on the upswing here as well as in some sections of the South. Our church of Christ is a progressive, Protestant, Christian institution open to all peoples.
ANYONE ELSE besides George Newman catch the irony in the story from New York that a $22,300,000 housing project to provide homes for 1,317 families has been approved for Ebbets Field, former home of Brooklyn Dodgers? Meanwhile, on a clear day in Chavez Ravine, once designated as a housing project, you can see where second base is going to be.
OOPS, the instructor in a class on investments at L.A. High night school said, "The forces of interest make a blond fluctuate." Could be but it was a fluff. He meant bond . . . J.G.Novotny, history teacher at Fulton Junior High in Van Nuys, rewards pupils who turn in perfect exam papers with one Blue Chip stamp. Now there's a real incentive.
MISCELLANY -- A passenger in Sam Berk's cab confided he'd won $20 on Chessman's reprieve. Didn't say whether he favored the decision or simply thought it was a good bet . .. Racketeers are taking advantage of the nation's religious revival by peddling fake recordings and blessings and soliciting funds, Dick Mathison warns in Coronet. So beware . . . One thing about leap year, Frank Barron says, we beat the landlord out of one day this month.
|Feb. 26, 1964: Hedda Hopper writes, “Stanley Kramer's remarks before presenting Paine Knickerbocker, of the San Francisco Chronicle, as best critic of the year were insulting. We all cringed.” Now I’m wondering what he said. Anyone have any idea? |
|Feb. 26, 1960: Gov. Pat Brown will answer questions about granting a reprieve to Caryl Chessman … and on skid row, Officer V.P. Farmer shoots an ex-convict who is holding a gun to the head of Officer Ernest Searles Jr. "I'm no marksman but I guess we had God on our side," Farmer says.|
|Feb. 26, 1910: The Santa Fe’s California Limited cuts hours off the trip from Chicago to Los Angeles, hitting 65 mph between Gallup, N.M., and Winslow, Ariz. |
“Corvette Driver,” by Marion Eisenmann
|Feb. 22, 2010: Marion Eisenmann sends a drawing of a Corvette and its driver that she saw over the weekend. |
Marion writes: After heading out for a bike ride with two male friends at Bonelli Park, I short cut the second loop and made it back to the parking lot a little bit earlier. Similar to the cyclist of the “Les triplettes de Belleville,” I arrived there with my last breath. Suddenly, my attention was consumed by a lady leaning onto the back of her red Corvette.
Debbie was dressed in a petrol-towards-green blazer and complemented her lips with pink. She was awaiting some of her 250 members of the PVCA, which stands for Pomona Valley Corvette Association.
We both laughed, and I quickly gave her back "Just caught the moment in time."
Note: In case you just tuned in, Marion and I are visiting local landmarks in a project inspired by what Charles Owens and Joe Seewerker did in Nuestro Pueblo. Be sure to check back for another page from Marion's notebook.
By the way, Daily Mirror readers have asked about buying copies of Marion's artwork. Naturally, this is gratifying because I think Marion's work is terrific, and one of my great pleasures is sharing it with readers. We have decided that the project is a journey about discovering Los Angeles rather than creating things to sell. Marion is busy with other projects and says she isn't set up to mass-produce prints but would entertain inquiries about specific pieces. For further information, contact Marion directly.
The prohibition era (1920-1933) was a long time ago but to many persons it remains the most unforgettable time of their lives. It had for them an aura of pleasurable deviltry.
It also provided the setting of the rise of gangsterism and lawlessness, but that's another story which can be seen regularly on TV.
Last weekend some people in Laurel Canyon who revere the memorable past invited 40 guests to an old-fashioned home brew party.
THEY PROCURED a big crock and the makings from one of the several markets around town which stock them, and put up four batches -- 56 quarts -- of the bubbly stuff. In their case, being somewhat on the sybaritic side, they used wild rice instead of malt.
The hostess reports that 48 of the 56 bottles were consumed and a fine time was had by all. And after the imbibers downed their first jug the same old silly smiles that she remembers from 1928 came over their faces.
Only one mad moment occurred. A writer moved over to a group where a surgeon was describing a particularly grisly operation he had lately performed. The writer, unaware of the narrator's identity, was appalled. Afterward he asked in deep concern of the man standing next to him, "Is he a doctor?" Assured that he was, the writer said, "That's a relief!"
SPEAKING OF home brew, a large lady in a Glendale Blvd. bar announced savagely that she would be a prime murder suspect if she ever located her spouse.
"Don't say that, ma'am," Leo the bartender said, "we're all gentlemen here!"
At which, Frederick Keller reports, she looked around and snorted, "Gentlemen! Why, this looks like the second Appalachian meeting!"
I always liked my game
My play is quite meticulous,
Chessmen are supposed
But this is most ridiculous.
MONDAY Bob Simmons, 30, of Bellflower, a phone company employee, went scuba diving with two friends off a deserted beach about two miles south of Laguna.
They had swum out past the breakers when Bob had difficulty clearing his face mask. He became exhausted and tried to head for shore. His companions went on, not knowing of his distress. His wife, Cindy, saw from the beach that he was in trouble but no one was around.
Just then three young couples on a picnic arrived. Told of Bob's plight, the three youths, about 18, rushed fully clothed into the 10-foot deep water and pulled Bob out. A woman nurse happened by and gave artificial respiration. Bob's heart had stopped. Meanwhile, one youth ran to the highway and waved down a policeman, who summoned help.
Bob, who was unconscious for hours, is going to be all right and his wife Cindy hopes the boys who saved him, the nurse and the officer may see this and understand how grateful they are. In the excitement she didn't get their names.
DR. Vierling Kersey, president of the L.A. College of Optometry, spoke on eyestrain at the California Optometric Assn. congress the other day and afterward held a press conference for high school newspaper reporters who were present.
In various ways they all asked the same question: "If we didn't get so much homework, we wouldn't get eyestrain, would we?"
Dr. Kersey, former superintendent of city schools, replied unblinkingly, "Are there any other questions?"
AT RANDOM -- Man I know received a token bottle of sweet-smelling stuff with this note from the press agent: "Only 72 hours ago the contents of this bottle, Arpege perfume, were succulent flowers peacefully basking in the warm sun of southern France. Only three dawns have passed since they were plucked, processed and placed on your desk." The next step is obvious. You order it from your favorite supermarket . . . Bob Ritchey thinks people will look back on February, 1960, as the month they had to look twice at the headlines to see if they were about Caryl or Carole.