Paul V. Coates–Confidential File

Aug. 24, 1957

There are two basic rules for pretty girls who wish to set Hollywood on its pink, shell-like ear.

The first is to meet the right people.

This one has nothing to do with me, so I’ll dismiss it.

The second is to get their names in the columns.

And here, I’m directly concerned. Because I — like certain other people in town — am a columnist. I, in a manner of speaking, write.

Adjectives, verbs, nouns –I’ve got a basket of ’em.

Struggling young starlets (or their struggling young press agents) begin lining the hallway in front of my office door every morning at dawn — each with some fantastic personal experience which happened to them, personally, which is really true and which they made up on the way over from Schwab’s.

They come in bath towels, bikinis, serapes and/or motorcycle boots. Anything to stand out from the mob.

As they’re ushered in, one by one they tell me of their fights with octopi, their subjugation into white slavery, their secret uranium mines.

I listen, intensity written all over my kindly face.

I agree 100% that theirs are stories that should be known.

“But,” I add sorrowfully, “it’s just not quite my type of story.

“Now the man who’d really appreciate a scoop like yours is Matt Weinstock.”

Dutifully, they thank me.

And move along toward Weinstock’s office.

With the exception, that is, of the 50% whom he referred to me.

They insert, I’ve been told, a Mexico angle and go see Pepe Arciga.

Except for the 50% whom HE referred to me.

It’s a nice, time-devouring game.

But every now and then you run into an aspiring starlet who throws the whole operation out of kilter.

Like yesterday.

When Sanita Pelkey walked in.

She was a tall, healthy-looking girl — dressed modestly in boxer’s trunks and a sweatshirt labeled, if memory serves me, “Property of the Beverly-Wilshire Health Club.”

She smiled, graciously, and I smiled. Graciously. “Your story?” I asked. “What happened to you?”

She looked at me blankly. “Me? Nothing. Yet.”


“Yet! I’m here,” she said, “to break into Hollywood.”

I nodded. “Break, then.”

She laughed, stiltedly, like she wished it had been a funny remark so she could have laughed naturally.

“I’ve been told,” she said, “that it helps to get your name in the columns. That’s why I’m here.”

“The man you should see…”

“I was Miss New York in the Mrs.–excuse me–Miss Universe contest. Semifinalist. I went home afterward, but decided to come back and…”

“is a chap named…” I interrupted.

But she interrupted right back. “I like dancing, swimming, ice skating, acting. Maybe I should put acting first. More diplomatic.”

“Weinstock,” I said. “Matt Wein…”

“I’ve also worked the Town and Country — that’s the largest nightclub in Brooklyn — the Ice Review, Guy Lombardo’s Arabian Nights at Jones Beach…”

“Weinstock is a personal friend…”

“And I don’t believe all those rumors about a career and marriage not working out. It depends on the individual. If I find the right man I wouldn’t hesitate…”

“of mine,” I continued doggedly.

“Besides which, I’ve won 13 other titles. Miss Potato Salad, Miss Jet Age, Miss Stetson Hat, Miss Smiles, Miss Fluidless Contact Lens…”

She took a deep breath and went on.

“I was once Miss Salami…”

“Were you the one?” I asked.

“Sanita nodded. “They gave me a Kosher salami as a prize. About three feet long.

“That,” she added, “ought to make a good story for you. Write it up.”

[Note: “Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow,” one of Sanita Pelkey’s few screen appearances.]

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Columnists, Matt Weinstock, Paul Coates, Pepe Arciga and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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