Photo: James Richardson, city editor of the Los Angeles Examiner. Credit: Cover of “For the Life of Me.”
I incurred the wrath of Fibber some time ago with my post about James Richardson and “For the Life of Me.” Fibber reminded me – rather pointedly – that Richardson gave him his chance at reporting. And where would the Daily Mirror be without Fibber’s recollections?
Anyway, Richardson wrote another book in 1922 titled “Spring Street,” which was compiled from a series of short stories he wrote for the Evening Herald. As a book, “Spring Street” isn’t much – it’s a rather typical romance of the period. But Richardson has lots of wonderful descriptions of Los Angeles at the time.
On the jump, Richardson’s description of a newspaper office….
He was bewildered when he entered the editorial department of the afternoon newspaper of which Morton was sporting editor. Never had he seen such a busy place.
Telegraph instruments and typewriters clicked and clattered incessantly. Although it was broad day outside, electric lights burned brightly over desks. The floor was covered with discarded newspapers and scraps and balls of copy paper.
Men and boys hurried from desk to desk, back and forth, in and out of swinging doors. As he watched them, wondering if they really knew what they were doing themselves, they reminded him of ants around an anthill. He was thrilled by the life and energy of the place, the speed and earnestness of the workers.
At a flat-topped desk over which was a sign with the words “City Editor” sat a fat, bald-headed man wearing a green eye-shade, who spoke over his shoulder to a younger man at another desk close to his. This younger man wore a telephone headgear, receivers over both ears, and punched at the typewriter before him with the first finger of each hand. John saw he was writing what someone was dictating to him over the telephone.