Matt Weinstock, April 13, 1960


Sweden and Chessman

Matt Weinstock     David Stone, instructor at John Adams Junior High School, plans a trip to Europe this summer with another teacher.  Not long ago he wrote a friendly letter to a newspaper in Sweden giving the date they would be there and expressing the hope they might meet interested persons for an exchange of information.

    Stone has been shocked the last few days to receive three replies, all disturbingly striking the same note.

    One, from a  religious order, stated, "Sir:  Why do you want to come to Sweden?  You are representative of a country where a criminal must die eight or nine times.  God allows a human being to die but once."

    Another:  "Sir: Come to Sweden by all means.  Explain to us your judicial system.  We are full of admiration for the procedure in the Chessman case.  You surpass the Nazis and the Bolshies.  Ten Swedish Mothers."


 April 13, 1960, Abby
    The third began, "The decent citizens of Sweden are filled with disgust-"

    It is possibly significant that the letters had no return addresses.  Stone and his colleague are more eager than ever to visit Sweden, if only to learn the reason for such passionate points of view on the Caryl Chessman case.


I know has an infallible ruse to make people smile or at least get a little animation on their faces.  No, he doesn't suggest "Say cheese!"

    To men he whispers confidential "Think about women!" To women, "Think about men!"


Flowers, flowers,
    blooming bright,
Because of you I'll
    wheeze tonight.


A small dog wearing a salt-and-pepper jacket stood at the entrance of the Capitol Records Building during the Monday morning maelstrom, obviously looking for someone.  He would approach the door with a person entering, change his mind and turn away.  A secretary named Miriam reached down to pat him but he ignored her.  One employee, waiting in the lobby for the elevator, said, "Maybe he doesn't remember whether he's early or late for his appointment."  Miriam heard another retort, "Naw, he probably has a song to sell — they all do."


    THE WAY the proofreaders view it, the case of William Johnson, 57, trusted 'Brinks' armored car driver in Chicago who wandered off with $30,000, to go on a drunk, requires an agonizing reappraisal of the word Brinkmanship . . . An editor who has been reading a colleague's copy of the magazine Think, published monthly by IBM, now receives his own.  "At least," he said, "I can do my own Thinking!"


in the TV show "The Verdict Is Yours" portrayed an attorney accusing a  witness of operating a disorderly house.  She denied it hysterically, whereupon the lawyer said, "No more questions."  The judge then said, "You may step down, madam."  Lew Pearson of La Crescenta contends the judge's remark was prejudicial . . . Sylvan Title keeps wondering about the commercial showing a man  with a miserable cold who says his sinuses are killing him.  After all these months apparently the recommended medicine didn't help.


A new type of vending machine installed in an Inglewood market gives a trading stamp with each penny gumball.  Mrs. Karl Kusche thought people ought to know . . . Congressman Chet Holifield of East L.A., profiled in the Atlantic, says he doesn't aspire to be a senator.  "I am able to make  a campaign on $500 or less," he says.  "It takes $500,000 to be elected to the Senate in California."  He has been a congressman for 16 years . . . Overheard in Beverly Hills:  "It was the kind of party we should have never gone to and should never have been given in the first place!" . . . Rich Fowler's appraisal:  It must be safer to live in the badlands than with the Aadlands.


About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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