A new web project from editrix Kim

Birth announcement: Subcrawl

Announcing the launch of Subcrawl, a new group linkblog overseen by yrs truly whose subtitle is “tomorrow’s zeitgeist today.” Our brilliant editors, many of whom also contribute to Scram, a journal of unpopular culture, will be presenting a hand-picked selection of their most intriguing online discoveries. We hope you’ll tune in and enjoy the show.

Subcrawl is at https://www.subcrawl.net
and we welcome your feedback.

Comes the Death Ship

September 30, 1947Honolulu

The Army transport ship Honda Knot, her hull draped with flowers, moved slowly out of Pearl Harbor today on its somber voyage to San Francisco. Inside her hold, the corpses of 2292 American war dead bound for repatriation. Among them were victims of the Japanese attack on Hawaii. This is the first shipment of what will ultimately be tens of thousands of American bodies returned from the Pacific Theater. More here.

On this day, the abstract expressionist, and mentor to editrix Kim, Michael Charles Longdo was born.

Yet More Donlevy Dirt

September 29, 1947
Los Angeles

Superior Judge Allen W. Ashburn ruled today that Marjorie Lane Donlevy’s February divorce from actor Brian was no longer valid, despite Mr. Donlevy’s assertion that he had not encouraged Marjorie’s infidelity with a blue-blooded New Yorker.

He denied that he had entrapped his estranged wife, who was discovered in a hotel bed with James Hannan on December 15 by Donlevy and four witnesses. Further, Donlevy refutes claims by William M. Cameron and his sister-in-law Mal Simpson that he kept one hand in his pocket to suggest the presence of a firearm during a drunken visit to their home at 1239 S. Beverly Glen Dr. last New Year’s Eve.

Donlevy estimates the couple’s marital property as $200,000 at the time of her fling with Hannan, and claims he has already given Marjorie $100,000 as a settlement. Tell it to the judge, McGinty!

Further reading: Preston Sturges’ The Great McGinty

Three Cheers for Bunky

September 28, 1947
Los Angeles

Bunky’s a tiny poodle mix puppy whose mistress, Mrs. Marguerite Lawson, is even more fond of today. That’s because the foundling, an adoptee from the SPCA, savagely attacked the strange man who attempted to mash Mrs. Lawson as she walked home from a market near her home at 1325 S. Dewey Ave. Saturday night. Bunky reacted with the courage of a much larger (and less fluffy) canine, and when the rotter released his hold on Mrs. Lawson to lunge for Bunky, lady and Bunky got away.

The Return of Nathan

People everywhere stop me on the street and query “What up dog, where you been?” I consider this, wonder why they’re talking like that, and go on to tell them that while I’ve been away, I’ve now returned and am, I add, in full effect.

Seems I went off and did this -– (I’m not only a first-class cameraman, but can portray Karl Benz in a Velomobile with the best of them) — and simply neglected to cease traveling. Lot of crime scenes in Cuzco and Sumer to be investigated after all. Sadly, my photos of Atlantean gang killings were “lost” by the lab. Damn Illuminati.

Anyway, I’d left McCarthy at the dock, so trusty Packard and I immediately set forth, traversing town to catch up on old posts. Which are now live-witness twenty-five brand-spanking-new entries au go-go,five for July, eleven in August, another nine in September.

Love and kisses, and death to all those who oppose us,


How you know when it’s time to move

September 27, 1947
Los Angeles

For the fourth time since August, and in the second time this week, a runaway car ended up inside the home of Mrs. Howard White, 8442 Kirkwood Drive. The latest unwanted vehicular guest belonged to 23-year-old Earle Ray Dugan of 5426 Virginia Ave. It rolled from a hill above the White home, plowed into the living room, hit the chair the lady had just vacated and ended up against the mantle, where it shattered the fireplace and several priceless antiques, among them a bowl whose twin is in the (other) White House… where, one hopes, the fence is stronger.

Further reading: Porcelain Repair and Restoration

Shameless Plug, Worthy Cause

It isn’t every day you get to have some pie at Johnie’s. In fact, it isn’t any day, since this slice of postwar Los Angeles has been closed up for the last five years. So go on this tour next Sunday and be served a cup of joe by a glamorous costumed waitress beneath a breathtaking 1955 roofline straight from the strange, mad brains of Armét and Davis-

The Case of the Tipsy Toddler?

September 26, 1947
Los Angeles

Songbird Marjorie Lane Donlevy’s February divorce from actor Brian Donlevy is not going well. In fact, the lady has filed to have it voided.

She claims that last December, the actor–who when he wasn’t ignoring her talked constantly of divorce– suggested she go to New York. While in the east, she met and was wooed by James Hannan, who shocked her with an almost immediate proposal of marriage. She succumbed to his attentions.

During her travels, Donlevy kept their 4-year-old daughter Judith in an unknown location, and refused her access to the child. Soon he revealed knowledge of her affair with Hannan (and possession of compromising photographs), and used that information to force her to consent to a “grossly unfair” divorce decree, lest he take the photos to the newspapers.

Mrs. Donlevy now believes that Mr. Hannan’s woo was being pitched at the behest of her ex-husband. Further, she denies the claim of her daughter’s nurse that the child once drank a glass of gin that was sitting unattended on a table within her reach.

There will be a hearing in Superior Court Judge Fred Miller’s court on Monday. For now, Miller has ordered Donlevy to pay $2100 in his ex-wife’s legal expenses.

Further viewing: in 1947, Mr. Donlevy appeared in Kiss of Death… and in The Trouble with Women (which is not available on DVD)


September 24, 1947
Los Angeles

John Donald La Chance and his young family have been evicted from their Quonset hut home in Rodger Young Village. The 32-year-old former marine private claims his rent has gone unpaid because his $60 monthly disability check for September hasn’t arrived.

But Ed Leibeck of the City Housing Authority counters that La Chance has failed to pay his rent repeatedly, and would have been bounced in May had the VA not stepped in to help. He has also received aid from Public Assistance. Now, since La Chance refuses to take a test to see if he is able to work, and the rent is three weeks late, La Chance, wife Ruth, and little Barbara Ann and baby Donald Lee have been removed from hut #1038.

La Chance enlisted in June 1942 and was discharged 14 months later, after suffering an injury at Camp Pendleton.

Further reading on the ex-servicemen’s community of Rodger Young Village is in The Provisional City: Los Angeles Stories of Architecture and Urbanism; see also these message board posts

Sugar is sweet… and so’s a poker to the skull

September 23, 1947
Arcadia, CA

Those battling Spreckelses are at it again! Last night, sugar heir John D. Spreckels III, 37, brained wife Lou Dell with a fireplace poker during a liquor-fueled argument at their home at 201 Santa Cruz Road. Call it a housewarming gift: they’ve been in the new place for all of two weeks.

Lou Dell ran from the house in a confused state and found herself at the nearby home of Laurie Connor, 215 San Luis Rey Road. Connor is a former relative by marriage of Mrs. Spreckels. John D. followed her, and began pounding on the back door threating to “kill” someone inside. This resulted in a call to police, and a charge of disturbing the peace, later expanded to assault with a deadly weapon and drunkeness.

Interviewed by officers, Lou Dell claimed she recalled raising her arms to prevent being struck by the poker her husband swung, but did not remember being hit. She does not know how she got to the Connor home. Mrs. Connor explained that she discovered Lou Dell on her back stoop after opening the door on her way to Pasadena.

Lou Dell indicated that she was willing to prosecute John D. on an assault charge, and was taken to St. Luke Hospital in Pasadena for stitches and treatment of a possible concussion. John was bailed out by Groves Bonding Co. with a call to appear in Arcadia Police Court at 9:30am. The bent poker remains at the Arcadia Police Station as evidence.

Further reading: Claus Spreckels: The Sugar King in Hawaii