Matt Weinstock, Dec. 29, 1959

dEC. 29, 1959, Peanuts  
Dec. 29, 1959, Peanuts

Blacklist Blunder

Matt Weinstock           The case of writer Louis Pollock, who was unaware for five years that he was on a film and TV blacklist through mistaken identity, has recalled an even weirder case.

          About a year ago a studio executive told his story editor that the work of a writer on his staff could not be used.  The story editor wanted to know why.  He was told evasively that there was something subversive in the writer’s background.

          The story editor persisted over a period of time and finally broke down the executive, who told him, “He was a member of the Office Workers International.  It’s on his record.”

          The story editor had never heard of any such organization and asked to see the writer’s biographical file.  Sure enough, there it was, the writer’s own statement that he’d served with the OWI, the Office of War Information — which some moron had interpreted to mean the Office Workers International.

          As a result of this ridiculous charge the writer didn’t work for seven months.


Dec. 29, 1959, Bloody Christmas             ONLY IN L.A.  — A footnote on the disappearance of another landmark, the Rainbow bar on Hill St., comes from Fred Winckel.  Workmen stripping the interior of the once famous bat cave were observed by him carrying out, among other objects d’art, a pot.  Let us hope this disclosure will restore the faith of the true believers that there is indeed a pot at the end of the Rainbow.



Even though I possess


There’s a steady undertow

That has me constantly


Right flat on my apropos.

         –JUNE R. DRUMMOND


          AWESOME TALES of the Christmas shopping frenzy are still trickling in.  One concerns an arrogant matron who stormed into a small notions store in Alhambra.  She went through the greeting cards like a whirlwind, leaving them scattered all over the counter.  Then she barged over the toilet goods counter and upset everything there.  She was burrowing furiously through the lipstick when the manager came over and said plaintively, “Lady, would you please do your future shopping at Woolworth’s? They have more things to mess up than we do.”


          THEN THERE WAS the group of children in Rolling Hills strolling through their neighborhood singing Christmas carols.  As they broke into song in front of one house, Mark Bailey, 2, looked at them as if he thought they’d lost their minds, then, broke away from his mother and dashed up to the front door.  He rang the bell and, when a woman appeared, shouted jubilantly, “Trick or treat!”


            SINCE THE quiz show and payola scandals, the networks have been extremely sensitive about truth and honesty.  All in all, it has been a soul-searing experience — well, searing, anyway.  Now they’ve swung in the other direction.  For instance, announcers sign off some shows with the comment, “Portions of the proceeding program were prerecorded,” which is a little silly.

          Things have been particularly furtive at CBS, where everyone cringes under the scowls of Dr. Frank Stanton, the boss, who has come out strong for purity.  Imagine the consternation then of a CBS executive Christmas week when his daughter, 8, confided that she wasn’t sure she believed in Santa Claus anymore.   It was a terrible moment.  What should he tell her?  Fortunately she saved the situation for him.  She said she wanted him to know that regardless of her feelings she wouldn’t spill the beans to her 6-year-old sister.


          WHAT IS THE state of the world, with 1960 around the corner?  Several psychiatrists at the Reiss Davis Clinic for Child Guidance were chatting about the anxieties they encountered and one said, “The standard of living is way up, people are eating better than ever, but underneath there is greater insecurity, tied up with the fast pace, the pressures and tensions, and the bomb!”

          “It’s like the old joke,” another said.  “People used to insist two and two were five, now they tell us they know two and two are four but it bothers them.”

Dec. 29, 1959, Abby



About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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