|I’m moving to LADailyMirror.com
|Henry Fuhrmann, one of the assistant managing editors at The Times, likes to say: “Always take the high road. The view is nicer up there.”
Henry is my friend, as well as my supervisor, and he and Mark McGonigle, my boss, have been strong supporters of the Daily Mirror, even when the decision was made at a higher level to shut it down. (And don’t worry; I’m still working as a copy editor on the Metro desk.)
I have poured uncounted days and weeks of personal time into the Daily Mirror in addition to my regular job as a copy editor. In fact, I didn’t realize how much personal time I was devoting to the blog until I was recently required to start keeping track of it. When people asked me: “When do you sleep?” I used to joke: “It’s like having a second job.” But as I was shocked to discover, it was literally another full-time job.
Naturally, when Henry told me the blog was being killed because of low Web traffic, it was a tough blow. But quite honestly, I think my readers – the “brain trust” – took it even harder than I did. I received a tribute from Jon Weisman on “Dodger Thoughts,” and Stacia of “She Blogged by Night” posted a tribute saying that she was heartbroken. A group of the brain trust even proposed a Daily Mirror lunch that I’ve been meaning to schedule, sometime in late July.
I was given the option of continuing the blog as a personal project and that’s what I have done. As a farewell post, I had planned a rather cynical, gloomy rumination on humanity’s lack of interest in history and how the collapse of civilization as we know it was imminent. Except so many folks told me how much the blog meant to them that I realized I was wrong. It was a bit like being at your own funeral and hearing how much you were liked and respected … even by people you don’t really know.
At first, I had planned to take a sabbatical – I have done a daily history blog for six years, two with the 1947project and four with the Daily Mirror. I figured I had earned a rest.
But my readers were so upset that I couldn’t bear their disappointment.
I’ve set up shop at LADailyMirror.com. One of the advantages of not being under The Times aegis is that the blog is open to outside writers. I’ve already persuaded author and photo archivist Eve Golden to write a weekly obituary roundup and author/archivist Mary Mallory of the brain trust to write about films, and I’ve asked other folks if they would be interested in contributing.
Since this is a new project, I’m starting small, with just a few people and the possibility of expanding later. This is, after all, a pet project now, like building a ferro-cement boat in the backyard – only more fun. And I don’t want to get overwhelmed.
Farther down the road? Well I have always talked about “so many stories and only one Larry Harnisch.” There’s the Lionel Atwill sex scandal and the “Hunchback Killer” of 1941 And a multi-part project on what really happened to the Red Cars. And fight over Chavez Ravine. And the Watts Riots… And World War II.
And then there’s that book about the Black Dahlia that I have been keeping on the back burner.
With all of that in the future, I have no time for bitterness about the past. I’m excited about a new project. I hope you are too.
Before I sign off here, I’d like to thank Aaron Curtiss, who approached me with the idea of doing a blog; Bettie Rinehart, who gave the green light; Tony Pierce and Lindsay Barnett, who offered advice and encouragement; and Dan Gaines, who helped clear the way for my interns. (Shout out to Catriona Lavery, Seda Terzyan, Devon McReynolds, Navid Nonahal and Sarah Jo – you were awesome!) I would especially like to thank Melissa McCoy, who was supportive from the beginning.
The Daily Mirror wouldn’t have been what it was without the contributions of Keith Thursby and Anne Elisabeth Dillon of The Times, and Marion Eisenmann, who shared her splendid artwork with the blog. And copy editing by Dave Bowman and Matt Ballinger. Thanks!
I’d also like to salute my readers.I didn’t realize they were so numerous until they came forward to express their regret that the blog was being killed … and their delight that I’m continuing at LADailyMirror.com.
This incarnation of the Daily Mirror will live on at latimes.com, I’m told. So it will continue to serve as an informal almanac on Los Angeles history, more than 7,600 posts from 2007 to 2011. And check out my new place; I think you’ll like it. We’ve booked Phlange Welder in the Plywood Room.
I guess we can label this a “happy ending,” with ladailymirror.com as the sequel. Wonderful news!
I’m glad you’re continuing the blog elsewhere, and I’m glad these archives are staying up! The new format should give you more free time, too, which you definitely deserve. I can’t really say goodbye since I’m already visiting you at your new digs, so I guess an “Until later” is in order!
Glad to hear The Daily Mirror will live on. Boo on The Times.
It was a red letter day when I stumbled in here. You’d already been hard at it for a couple of years so I put on a pot of coffee, wiped my glasses clear on my undershirt and settled in for a good read. I opened every post, read every caption. What a ride! I read pretty much straight through for three or four days until with great disappointment I came up to the most recent post. I’ve been with you ever since. I count this blog among my most prized possessions. It makes perfect sense that the suits don’t see the sublime value of what you do here. You should take deep pleasure that it is beyond their reach. I was born and raised in Los Angeles. Ours is the typical midwestern depression era story, my parents, my grandparents (both sets), all of my aunts and uncles rebuilt their lives here. Your efforts enrich us, validate us. Your new address is now in my favorites queue. Favorites. Never has the word been more appropriate.
I am so glad you’re going to still be around. The Daily Mirror is usually the first item I look for in the LAT on line.
Thanks for all the good times Larry, I will be watching on your new location. Where else could anyone find out about Phlange Welder and the enumerably Mr. Frisbie. Looking forward to a factual book on the Black Dahlia.
I am thrilled that this will continue on it’s own elsewhere. I’ve been an almost daily reader but more lurker than contributor. What I dearly miss is the front page of The Times from 50 years ago each day. I learned so much from that each day to have become addicted to it and missed it terribly when it suddenly went away.
Okay people. I’m putting my money where my mouth is.
Domains and hosting costs “dough-re-me” (Guess the film).
Larry, are you looking for sponsors?
To the LAT, losing / consolidating your blogs was a BIG MISTAKE!!!
New site bookmarked. Glad to read you’ve still got a gig. Keep the comics going!
“So glad you’re not dead Indy”
I am so pleased that you will still be with us, I thoroughly enjoy the history and mystery pics. Even if I don’t always get them right, the quest can still be quite stimulating. Looking forward to the new site. Next step-bookmark it!
I’m so glad that the Times will keep this up on the web. There is so much factual information here for writers and historians. I learned so much about Los Angeles that I didn’t know, including quirky little stories I never would have stumbled across otherwise. This blog has been an invaluable link to the history and culture of Los Angeles and Southern California. I’ve already bookmarked the new blog, but hope you do pursue a Black Dahlia book. She needs a factual and respectful book.
Continued thanks for everything, Larry!
All of us ghosts, legends, gods, monsters and unsolved mysteries of the past are delighted that the Daily Mirror will continue to rake up little nuggets of genius, depravity and expressions of the innermost soul of this island on the land they call Southern California.
William Desmond Taylor
M to the Third Power
My parting shot….
Around the Thanksgiving Holiday, the LAT decided to play with the “tabs” on the front page and other pages which would allow people to jump to the Blogs such as the Daily Mirror and Outposts. The replaced the tab with “Shopping” and now “Deals.”
Even by making it more difficult, a solid core of readers still hung in there and enjoyed what few parts of the paper was publishing.
I thank Larry and his readers for making life a little bit easier, when reading the paper. If I have learned anything, it is that even when faced with the complexities of today’s world, we can learn from out past, but only if we can see it and refer to it.
We all know the LA Times “is never wrong, but in this case it was a little weak on being right” (Guess which movie), when a committee decided to cut back on blogs.
Sometimes you have to crash and burn, before one can learn from their mistakes.
Larry and fellow readers, I thank you for you wonderful column, blog and often witty guesses as to the “Movieland Mystery Photo.”
I am so happy to hear the news that the Daily Mirror will live on–and it sounds like it has the potential to be even better than ever! Look forward to following you to your new home…
Already got the new site bookmarked. I agree with Steven’s comment about the LAT decision, making it hard to find the blogs off an easy tab on the front page. It was the beginning of the end. I got used to finding the site map page and finding the Daily Mirror link there. I love this history column, and someday I hope to run into fellow UT grad Mary Mallory from the Brain Trust — what an interesting job you got post Harry Ransom Center!
Now it will be easier to read the Daily Mirror. The Times has hidden it to where I had to use the site map to reach it. I’ll be visiting latimes.com much less.
Thank you Larry — your blog here has been my favorite destination in reading the LATimes dot com. I’m looking forward to more great LA history in your new spot.
I am 60 years old and disabled, my wife would attist that if I didn’t have you to read about history,they would have had to put me away in a cornor, you have kept what little brain I have left busy for the last 6 years, within 5 minutes of waking in the morning I have booted you up. thank you
To me, The Daily Mirror has been one of the coolest and most informative sites for great historic info about The Times/Mirror and Los Angeles.
I know getting those Mirror front pages has been a pain…and for me and everyone else, has been a great spotlight into the older days of LA.
We can all plainly see Larry’s work has been tireless.
I will pledge any $$$ necessary to see this project continue.
Count me in…and as Mr. Hope said, “Thanks for the memories.”
Los Angeles and its newspapers are still a great story!
Hold the front page for a replate……………………….
I’m so glad you’ll be continuing the blog. I love reading it and look forward to keep on doing so!
I enjoy the Daily Mirror, Thank you Larry. Boo LA Times.
Just found out you were moving across town. Soooo glad you’re still in biz. This is one of my favorite blogs. You make LA’s history come alive, and i appreciate it!!
Thanks again, truly!