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Matt Weinstock, March 12, 1960

March 12, 2010 |  4:03 pm


Bookie Problem

Matt Weinstock     A character who goes by the name of Front End Freddy was sounding off the other day about a nasty situation which prevails among bookmakers.

    "For years around here," he said, "bookies have been arbitrarily limiting their payoff to 15, 6 and 3."

    Catching my puzzled expression he explained patiently, "This means that the most you can get is 15 to 1 to win, 6 to 1 to place and 3 to 1 to show.  Even if you have a $100 horse on the nose all you get is $62."

would like to see things, bookmaker should pay track odds.  "They wouldn't get hurt," he said, "because it's rare that a horse paying $60 wins.  But they've got this unwritten agreement."

    "About 10 years ago," he recalled, "a place on Spring St. which had room play as well as police protection, paid track odds and the players flocked there.  On Saturdays you couldn't get into the joint." 

 March 12, 1960, Abby
    He concluded, "Now if you newspaper guys want to do something constructive why don't you get a campaign going to bust up this unwritten agreement.  Anyone can see it's a straight violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act."

    Front End Freddy was reminded that bookmaking was illegal.  He snorted and walked away, waving his hand in derision.


    THE WEEK'S prime instance of mistaken identity is claimed by Alberto Diaz of Belvedere.  He received a card from an auto agency stating, "Your recent purchase of  a 1960 Cadillac is very much appreciated and it was a pleasure to serve you.  May we take this occasion to wish you many miles of enjoyable motoring."

    Only trouble is, Al's Cad happens to be a 1951 Chevy.



Grunion will arrive March 15- News Item.
O grunion from Pacific deep
What mystic schedule do
    you keep?
To dance on Monica's moonlit
Eluding every clutching
O grunion brave, beware
    the ides
When you essay to dare our


basketball, a major sport that is sadly neglected locally, is in its final throes (free throes, of course) and this is an apt moment to recall a rather classic highlight of the season.  It occurred last Saturday at the Sports Arena when UCLA beat SC 72-70.

    With 29 seconds remaining, a fight broke out and instantly players, fans and officials were all over the floor, throeing and catching fists and elbows.

    After the melee subsided and three Trojans and two Bruins were removed from the game, the public address announcer said sternly, "The names of the men ejected from each team will not be revealed!"

    This is roughly equivalent to telling a man who has just fallen out of a 13-story building, "Now I want you to pretend you don't have a broken leg!"


retakes, the final scenes of "Spartacus," the movie laid in 74 B.C., were shot this week near Universal City, just off the freeway.

    As has happened many times before, the director yelled, "Cut!" as three jet fighters from Lockheed roared overhead.  At which Peter Ustinov shouted to his crew of Roman gladiators, "Hit the dirt, men, it's those Greeks again!"


Man just released from Veterans Hospital in West L.A. asks a posy for Agnes Holland, a volunteer worker, who donated three days a week to patients.  Warned that a certain patient was mean and might strike her, she went over and said, "Now listen here, young man, I'll take you down if you don't behave!"  He did . . . A letter addressed to "The biggest Furniture Dealer in the World, L.A."  from a man in Tucson was received okay by Lenard Simon, who weighs 485, give or take 10 pounds . . . Joe Hillegass saw this car sticker in Alhambra:  "Are you headed for recreation or wreck creation?"