Matt Weinstock, June 30, 1959

An Arena At Last

Matt Weinstock Suddenly it
seems, after a decade or more of anticipation, Los Angeles has its
sports arena. It didn't come easily. One by one obstacles had to be
knocked down. But obstacles are quickly forgotten when you inspect such
a jewel as this beautiful, modern, postless stadium, which cost $5,950,000 and has a maximum capacity of 22,400.

No
one person can claim credit for such a dream come true, but William H.
Nicholas most merits the distinction. When Bill took over as general
manager of the Coliseum Jan. 1, 1946, he told the Coliseum Commission
that once the huge saucer was on a solid operating basis the goal
should be a major indoor sports arena.

On Jan. 15, 1946, the commission authorized architects and engineers to make preliminary plans, but these were abandoned.

ON JULY 6, 1954, plans were revived. In April, 1957, Welton
Becket was named architect. In 1958, L.E. Dixon was named contractor.
But for a long time there was only an immense hole in the ground and an
immense pile of dirt to remind passers-by that sometime in the future
an arena would rise there. The hole was dug by Guy F. Atkinson Co.,
which paid $23,000 for the dirt. It was used for the Harbor Freeway
fill, saving $200,000 in excavation cost. Construction finally began
April 7, 1958.

Most difficult problem of construction, according to Ray Otti,
project engineer, was spotting two huge cranes used to put the 1,550
tons of steel beams into place. The crane trucks had only a half inch
leeway, and a surveyor's transit was used to locate the crane trucks.

::

SOME PEOPLE
in the entertainment and advertising worlds make a great point about
the tempo of New York being faster than Hollywood's. Not so for an
easterner here briefly on a big exploitation deal. He has an ulcer but
his doctor permits him one drink a day to relax his tension. The other
day he groaned to a friend, "I've only been here four days and I'm
already up to Feb. 22, 1960 in my drinking."

::

NOT EVERYONE can afford to indulge himself with the luxury of indignation but some persons are more impulsive and daring than others.

A
man bought a portable T.V. set recently and connected his radio with
the speaker so he could get stereophonic music. It wouldn't work on a
recent Friday, he complained. He was told a service man would not be
available until Monday. He tinkered with it some more but it still
wouldn't work and on Sunday, in his fury, he dumped the offending set
at the store's front door. Over the week someone stole it and the
resulting hassle is still reverberating. Meanwhile, the thief is
probably building up a bad case of frustration, too.

::

HOW FAST do you read? Normal speed is 200-250 words a minute. But you can train yourself to do better.

Classic
example is Bob Kirsch, Times book editor and author of a best-seller,
"In the Wrong Rain." He reads up to 1,700 words a minute and drinks in
the average novel in less than an hour.

While taking graduate
work at UCLA he was faced with studying a mountain of books in a short
time for a comprehensive exam. He looked into speed reading and got up
to 700 words a minute. He has kept improving. Confidence and practice,
he says, are the most important things.

Most people are verbal readers. He isn't.

"The
reading process isn't merely absorption of symbols on a page," he says.
"It's remembering what you read and letting the impact form in your
mind." He has to. Sometimes he reviews a book days after he has read it.

::

PUBLIC AT LARGE — Harold Mallon says he found this message in a fortune cooky: "You are capable of anything — see a psychiatrist immediately" … Robert O. Atkins overheard a friend in this malaprop: "He looks emancipated but he's just naturally skinny" … So-called patriots are protesting the appearance of Pete Seeger, noted folk singer, in Veterans Memorial Auditorium tomorrow and Pasadena Civic Auditorium Thursday.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Columnists, Matt Weinstock. Bookmark the permalink.

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