L.A. Daily Mirror Reader Survey — Part 4

Final Thoughts

These were the most popular words in the final comments of the reader survey.


OK, here are some final comments and responses:

Q: what happened to eve’s column? i enjoy her snarky wit.

A: I miss them too, but Eve has taken on other projects.

One reader said:

thank you for writing this blog. it’s fascinating. your blog reveals the past, warts and all. i read something on your blog, and may spend a half hour or more googling something from one of the articles. since i’m retired, i have the time. and i’ve always liked doing research. your articles about the trip to the genealogical archives were very interesting. i’ve done some research on ancestry.com. i’m surprised by the richness of my ancestry.

Another reader said:

we think that this is one of the better and more accurate blogs, if not the best, we have seen. larry’s attention to the facts make it that way for me. we do think, however, ( we actually do think), that the obsessive focus on the black dahlia story got kind of boring. there is no question that this blog is run by a professional who is interested in imparting the facts! ( a lost art in today’s instant gratification world we live in.) one major improvement would be to let the readers know, formally, and in a significant format, who the mystery celebrity finally turns out to be, including some of the more interesting anecdotal information about them. e.g bob steele, the actor (b western movie star in the 1930’s-40’s) character actor with 100’s of film credits in successful films in later years , and his twin brother, actor , and that he came from an entertainment family. etc. high grades from us go to the l.a. daily mirror blog and it’s editor larry harmisch. good work!!

Which brings us to the subject of the mystery photos.

Most of you are longtime readers, so you will remember when the blog was at latimes.com and I would select a mystery guest of the week. When The Times canceled the blog, I lost the ability to use pictures from The Times photo library. Steven Bibb, Christopher McPherson and Mary Mallory were generous and allowed me to use many of their scans, but otherwise I have had to resort to my quirky collection of DVDs.

Picking the photo or movie is always tricky. I may get a few complaints that a photo is too hard, but that’s nothing compared to the loud chorus of groans when a photo is too easy  (as when I once ran a series of Lucille Ball photos). The consensus seems to be that readers want the mystery photos to be difficult.

I almost always pick a movie that I don’t know because the blog is a journey of discovery for me. (For example, I recorded “City Streets” years ago, but I hadn’t watched it until recently). The Daily Mirror Brain Trust, however, is much more literate in films than I am and when everybody nails the film the first day I have resorted to “Back of the Head Guy.” What amazes me is that so many people in the Brain Trust can identify somebody from the back. Very impressive.

Several readers said they would like more information about our mystery guests or mystery movie. I would too.

The problem is this: When the blog was at latimes.com, I was given one day a week to devote to the blog and I could spend my spare moments at work (if any) on it. Since The Times canceled the blog, I have had to do it entirely during my off-hours. I’m always in danger of having the blog eat up every spare moment – and I am trying to write a book. Hence the refrain: So many stories, only one Larry Harnisch. If I can add something about the person, I will. But I often don’t have time for the amount of research involved to do what I consider a quality job.

So there you have it. I won’t promise to ban Back of the Head Guy – or newsboy caps – but I will keep them to a minimum in 2014.

And if someone is sitting on 365 old photos that they wouldn’t mind scanning, we would be most appreciative!

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Film, History, Hollywood and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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