On March 6, 2012, social historians, bloggers and tour guides Nathan Marsak and Richard Schave spoke to students in Dr. J.B.C. Axelrod's History 395 course "Reading and Writing L.A." at Occidental College about their work on the 1947project time travel blogs, including On Bunker Hill, and the many ways of telling the many stories of Los Angeles.
We direct your attention to Frank Stoltze's wonderful KPCC radio feature on Weird West Adams. This link goes to a transcript with a button you can press to listen. Please listen, Nathan gets some zingers in.
The 1947project elves have been hard at work, updating our Cafepress shop with a delectable assortment of swag and oddities certain to enliven your life and spark conversations with local crazies.
Surely, your Gremlin would be racier still were its bumper decorated with this jaunty slogan (also available as a license holder):
And for that little tyke in your life, perhaps a Beth Short bib? (Also available as adult and kid Ts)
The tyke's not out yet? How about a maternity T featuring our very own Nathan Marsak in a pensive pose. Let your friends speculate about the significance of the imagery, which is also available in a more discrete edition which we like to call "The Betsy."
Also in stock: Tooth Decay Fiend Ts and treasures.
Suffocution Device throw pillows.
And of course lots of lovely 1947project gun logo items, too. We hope you'll drop by and have a look and decide if "The Betsy" is right for you.
Tim Coyne of The Hollywood Podcast rode along on The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour and prepared a cool little piece for BBC 5's Pods and Blogs program (or programme, if you will) explaining Beth Short and our fascination with 1947 LA and the odd characters in her orbit to a nation that doesn't know the case.
Here's a link to the MP3 of Tim's interview with Nathan and me.
Why yes, Pasadenans, that was our own Nathan Marsak glowering out at you from page three of the Sunday paper, doing his little AH impression on the former site of the American Nazi Party Headquarters in deepest El Monte, as part of the Blood and Dumplings Crime Bus Tour. To read Molly R. Okean's story, which oddly enough in the web version doesn't feature Sarah Reingewirtz' striking photograph, just click here.
We had a great day exploring the San Gabriel Valley with a bus full of charming passengers, including a stop for dumplings at Monster Park (sorry about the soy sauce shortage!), turn-of-the-century bungalow poetry from co-host Richard Schave, black cats crossing our paths and some truly chilling tales of forgotten crimes and misfortunes. Thanks to everyone who joined us, especially Sister Kelly and Brother Nathan, and watch this space for announcements of upcoming tours, criminal and otherwise.
Yesterday's Pasadena Confidential Crime Bus Tour was a hoot, as we glided around the Crown City in our air conditioned murder bus with a happy coterie of grisly lookyloos. Here are a few photos snapped along the way...
Below, Crimebo honors the lucky Miss Cathy with a pre-birthday litany of all the horrors that happened on the day she was born.
Here, Crimebo and hosts Kim and Nathan take a mid-tour breather at Connal's on Washington Boulevard, conveniently loated between the sites of a hammer murder and a bathtub suicide. Plus their malts is yummy!
And another view of that scary clown Crimebo... don't you want him at your birthday party?!
All the world loves a clown... especially a Crime clown! And when the editor of Pasadena Weekly heard about Crimebo, he upgraded Carl Kozlowski's planned feature on the Pasadena Confidential tour from the arts section to the cover! Sneak a peek, online or in person, and don't miss Matt Craig's evocative photos.
In the early 1990s, 1947project bloggers Kim Cooper and Nathan Marsak collaborated on a demented college radio program in Santa Barbara called The Manny Chavez Show. Nathan played Manny, a washed-up Catskills comic with a soft spot for bizarre thrift store records, while Kim manned the boards and giggled at Manny's unfunny gags in the character of daffy twins Mandy and Candy Dubois. A lowlight of their broadcast career was the night Nathan got arrested on his way to the studio, and the County Sheriff agreed to let him phone the show if he'd deliver an anti-drunk driving message.
These days, their collaboration is somewhat more scholarly, though still demented: they blog historic Los Angeles crimes of 1947 and 1907 at the 1947project website, and lead Crime Bus Tours to scenes of forgotten mayhem.
This Friday night, July 14 (and into the morning of the 15th), from midnight to three, Kim and Nathan return to the airwaves as special guests of Stella, whose KXLU (88.9 FM) program Stray Pop has been providing an eclectic disarray of music with in studio guests since 1980.
They'll be sharing favorite local true crime cases from their upcoming Pasadena Confidential Crime Bus Tour, spinning incredibly odd thrift store vinyl, plus talking about Kim's projects like the Bubblegum Achievement Awards, Lost in the Grooves, the long-lived journal of unpopular culture Scram and her recent 33 1/3 book on Neutral Milk Hotel and the Elephant 6 collective. Listen for a special visit from Manny Chavez and his moldy joke book, and call in with questions or comments.
What: Manny Chavez Show Reunion
When: Friday July 14/Saturday July 15 from midnight-3am
Where: KXLU 88.9 FM in L.A., streaming at http://www.kxlu.com
Request line: (310) 338-KXLU
Welcome, gentle reader, to the new and much-improved 1947project blog. After one full year blogging the crimes and oddities of 1947 Los Angeles, we begin Anno 2 by leaving behind the clunky primitivism of Blogger (no categories? no tags? single RSS feeds? come on!) for the cutting edge power of the Dumplingfeed engine (thanks, Richard!).
The biggest change you'll notice is the inclusion of our longtime king of comments Larry Harnisch to the official roster of 1947project bloggers. He brings extraordinary depth as a researcher, a sly wit, and a propensity for remixing historical content into intriguing new media. Welcome, Larry, to the front page!
And then there's the little matter of subject. Since I started this blog last March, people have been asking Nathan and myself: what comes after you finish the year? Will you start in on 1948, or something totally different? Nathan goofed at a party that the next year might be 1923, which was picked up by LAObserved. Sorry about the faux-scoop, Kevin--we actually had yet to decide what came next when Nathan set his gums to flapping.
Well, if you've found this URL in advance of Tuesday's official changeover, we feel you deserve a little insider information. As hinted broadly in Larry's horsey video below, we are about to plunge into the strange and fascinating year 1907.
Our initial research has shown us a Los Angeles that is deeply unfamiliar, despite the streets whose names we know. The locals were strange, the newspapers florid, and money flowed like wine. We look forward to exploring this year with you, and to learning more about a Los Angeles that seems very different from any of the versions of the city we feel we know.
The new site features cross-referencing by types of crime and by neighborhood, so readers can delve into subjects that most interest them without having to follow a strictly chronological path. We've added tags (a sort of keyword), adding additional organizational data to each post.
Readers may, if they wish, subscribe to any search result by clicking the little orange XML button that appears on the bottom of any page. Want to know whenever someone gets poisoned or tossed out a window? Use a feedreader like Bloglines and subscribe to the appropriate feed, and you'll be kept up to date. Or subscribe to the full feed for every little thing we publish.
So hop into the Wayback Machine, gentle reader, and join your hosts Kim, Nathan and Larry as we touch down in a very weird and wonderful Los Angeles. We're still called 1947project, but out the window it's 1907... and we can't wait to show you around!