Monthly Archives: December 2013

Baby Boomer Cultural Intervention!

An anonymous drawing of Cafe de Leche found in Cafe de Leche. I am at Cafe de Leche in Highland Park this morning and a little while ago I heard the woman at the next table tell her companion that … Continue reading

Posted in Hollywood, Television | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated)

And for the last mystery photo of 2013, we have this New Year’s Eve mystery woman. Yes, it’s Gloria Swanson. And why would there be a photo of Gloria Swanson on New Year’s Eve? To reference this scene, set on … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Stories of the Year — 1943

Happy New Year’s Eve 1943 from the pen of Ernie Bushmiller! Dec. 31, 1943: The Times lists the top stories of 1943. For Los Angeles, that included Zoot Suit Riots (June 7), the 48-hour work week (July 21) and Frank … Continue reading

Posted in 1943, Art & Artists, Comics, Film, Hollywood, World War II, Zoot Suit | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo

Here’s Monday’s mystery chap, courtesy of writer Christopher McPherson.

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Studio City Revolves Around Movies

The Studio City Theatre, courtesy of Mary Mallory. Celebrities and movies have existed as an integral part of Studio City’s economic life from its very beginning. Established as a motion picture district in 1928, Studio City would see entertainment-related businesses … Continue reading

Posted in 1938, Film, Hollywood, San Fernando Valley, Theaters | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Abbotwares Radio – Kitschiana!

An Abbotwares radio, known as “Atwater Kent’s love child from a drunken night in a trophy shop,” has been listed on EBay. Usually these radios, which were made in Los Angeles, take the form of horses (or the elusive Hula … Continue reading

Posted in Baseball, Found on EBay, Radio | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Christmas With a P-40 Squadron, 1943

Dec. 27, 1943: The British sink the Nazi battleship Scharnhorst off the coast of Norway. With the loss of the Scharnhorst, and the sinking of the Bismarck in 1941, the Nazis were left with the Tirpitz, the sister ship of … Continue reading

Posted in 1943, Columnists, Tom Treanor, World War II | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Drinking Guide — Pisco Punch

Just in time for New Year’s, we’ll take a look at a “lost drink,” making a brief inquiry into San Francisco’s Pisco Punch, made famous by Bank Exchange saloon owner Duncan Nicol (often spelled Nichol or Nicoll), who  died in … Continue reading

Posted in 1915, 1934, 1939, Food and Drink, San Francisco | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

LAPD: Parker Center Cop Shop Files — Slaughter at Bob’s Big Boy, Part II

1980 was a bloody year in Los Angeles, with more than 1,000 killings for the first time in its history. For the LAPD, homicides increased 30% from 1979 to 1,038 in 1980.  The Sheriff’s Department also a reported a 7.9% … Continue reading

Posted in 1980, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD, Parker Center Cop Shop Files | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

LAPD: Parker Center Cop Shop Files — Slaughter at Bob’s Big Boy

  Suspect 1, DR-80-585-895 Suspect 2, DR-80-585-895 Dec. 14, 1980: The takeover robbery of Bob’s Big Boy at 1845 S. La Cienega Blvd. was part of a rising tide of violence in the 1980s. As The Times noted, “the latest … Continue reading

Posted in 1980, Art & Artists, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD, Parker Center Cop Shop Files | 2 Comments

The Santa Claus Massacre

Last night at work, we got to talking about the Bruce Pardo case. He’s the man who dressed up as Santa Claus and killed nine people, including his ex-wife, at a Christmas Eve party in 2009. Here’s the story by … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, Homicide | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Will Someone at City Hall Please Turn on the Lindbergh Beacon?

A not great photo by me showing the Lindbergh beacon in December 2006. I noticed several weeks ago that the Lindbergh beacon at City Hall hadn’t been turned on and I thought maybe I was being premature. But as of … Continue reading

Posted in 2006, City Hall | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Los Angeles Celebrates Christmas, 1913

Dec. 25, 1913: The Times carries a biblical passage across the nameplate (notice the artwork of the new and old Times buildings) and a Page 1 cartoon by Edmund Waller “Ted” Gale. “Cartoonist Gale” frequently drew a character known as … Continue reading

Posted in 1913, Art & Artists, Food and Drink, Medicine | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas on the Radio — Jack Benny

Jack Benny at the microphone, a photo listed on EBay for $9.97. Here are some of Jack Benny’s Christmas shows, courtesy of From 1936 | 1938 | 1941 | 1944 | 1947 | 1948

Posted in 1936, 1938, 1941, 1944, 1947, 1948, Radio | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Drinking Guide — The Bronx Cocktail

Dec. 20, 1934: In case you doubted me (but you wouldn’t, would you?), here’s a recipe for the Bronx Cocktail, from the Amsterdam Evening Recorder, courtesy of In case you plan to mix one up, a Bronx Cocktail is … Continue reading

Posted in 1934, Food and Drink, Suicide | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Shaming the Pets — Does It Work?

Posted in Animals | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Time for That ‘Other’ Christmas Movie

Martians kidnap Santa Claus in the heartwarming Christmas favorite “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.”   OK, everybody has had their yearly fix of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Time for *my* traditional Christmas favorite: “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.” Via Hulu. … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , | 7 Comments


To the person searching for “clod cases in San Francisco”: Check your spelling. On the other hand, you might be able to find a clod case in San Francisco. Or two.

Posted in Cold Cases, Crime and Courts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Nothing Says ‘I Love You’ Like Hollywood Deaths and Scandals

I found this inscription last night at the Last Book Store in a copy of “Hollywood Death and Scandal Sites” by our old nonsense-slinging friend E.J. Fleming of “Wallace Beery beat Ted Healy to death in the parking lot of … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors, Downtown | Tagged , | Leave a comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Shopping Guide — Last Minute Edition

The Santa Claus newsboy cap, available for $32 here. It’s Christmas Eve! Are you still wondering about a last-minute present? It may be too late to get a Santa Claus newsboy cap, but here’s a gift that lasts all year, … Continue reading

Posted in Fashions, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment