Monkey, Free for Week-end, Brought Home

August 4, 1947

Monkey on the loose! Tiny Chris, a Panamanian Rhesus monkey recently mailed to Pasadena as a household pet, spent the weekend swinging around the 1100 block of Rose Avenue, ignoring the increasingly frenzied calls of owner Mrs. Ruby Whitehead. The little guy spent his freedom hopping from tree to tree, occasionally dipping down to harass a chicken in its coop.

Neighbor Pearl Scanlon spotted him at 1151 Vinedo Street and called the police. The cops turned the matter over to the Humane Society, but they couldn’t catch him, either.

Chris’ lost weekend came to a natural end when he got weak from hunger and hung listlessly from a eucalyptus. When Ruby came by, Chris permitted her to bring him home to 1103 Rose Ave., where he feasted on grapes and bananas and was repeatedly reminded what a bad little sweet wee rotten monkey darling he was.

Suggested reading: The Complete Adventures of Curious George

Published by

Kim Cooper

Kim Cooper is the creator of 1947project, the crime-a-day time travel blog that spawned Esotouric’s popular crime bus tours, including The Real Black Dahlia. She is the author of The Kept Girl, the acclaimed historical mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe, and of The Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the Salons and forensic science seminars of LAVA- The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. When the third generation Angeleno isn’t combing old newspapers for forgotten scandals, she is a passionate advocate for historic preservation of signage, vernacular architecture and writer’s homes. Kim was for many years the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture. Her books include Fall in Love For Life, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves and an oral history of Neutral Milk Hotel.

One thought on “Monkey, Free for Week-end, Brought Home”

  1. Fourteen-year-old Patsy Pfeifer has two ambitions in life. One is to see a rodeo. Like many teenage girls, she is crazy about horses. When she’s not reading about them in stories by Will James, the straight-A student paints pictures of them.

    Her other ambition is to walk. Patsy has been bedridden since she got polio around Christmas 1942. One day, after she had been in the hospital for a few months, she was surprised to see actress Shirley Temple at her bedside, giving her an award for her essay on “What Florence Nightingale’s Life Means to Children.â€Â

    By 1947, having undergone seven operations, Patsy was at home, 316 N. Bonnie Brae St., where the walls of her bedroom were lined with books. A teacher from the Infantile Paralysis Foundation paid four visits to give her art lessons. After that, she hitched herself up on one elbow in bed to paint watercolors of whatever she could see from the window: flowers, the sky and clothes drying on the neighbors’ lines. Or whatever she could imagine, like horses.

    Sheriff’s Capt. A.D. Guasti read The Times story about Patsy’s wish to see a rodeo and Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz invited her to the one being sponsored at the Coliseum by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Relief Association.

    In September 1947, Patsy, her mother, Margaret, and brother Jackie visited Childrens Hospital to donate one of Patsy’s watercolors to Mrs. Richard M. White, executive secretary of the Los Angeles Chamber of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.

    There’s no telling what became of Patsy after that or whether she ever walked again. Her name never reappears in The Times, but neither does it appear in the California Death Index. To those who would maintain that the past was a simpler, less complicated time, I can only say: Not when it comes to medicine.


Leave a Reply