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

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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 “Evicted”

  1. And how do the young men of Los Angeles indicate their interest in a young woman? Do they court her with roses or candy or mash notes? In fact, ardent suitors have found that there’s no better way to a woman’s heart than with the hood ornament from a 1946 or 1947 Buick.

    It seems the chrome-plated circles make perfect bracelets and victimized Buick owners are writing furious letters to The Times.

    “I casually began counting Buicks and noting how many did not have the rings in a two-mile drive along Beverly and down Fairfax and found that 13 out of 17 Buicks have lost their rings from the hood ornament,â€Â wrote Bill Gilholm of Hermosa Beach. “Is it a gang doing this for profit or are they just kids trying to be funny?â€Â

    In response, F.D. Langton of Beverly Hills wrote: “Being the owner of a 1947 Buick which is ‘ringless,’ I would like to advise you that there is no mystery whatever connected with this phenomenon.

    “It is a well-known fact that the disappearance of rings from 1946 and 1947 Buicks can be attributed to teenaged boys who steal them off Buick automobiles and present them to their teenage sweethearts to wear as bracelets.â€Â

    “The theft of these rings has reached an appalling total. An insurance adjuster advised me recently that they paid in excess of $50,000 ($473,209.30 USD 2005) for replacements.â€Â (At $8.50 each, that comes to about 5,800 hood ornaments. Clearly the young men of Los Angeles are a romantic bunch).

    “The entire matter is a disgrace and ought to be brought to the attention of the P.T.A. and school authorities, because if the young ladies who are recipients of these ‘gifts’ were not permitted to wear them by both their parents and the school authorities it might have a decided effect on this new form of vandalism.

    “I, like thousands of other Buick owners, have not replaced my damaged unit because it would only be a matter of time before another young vandal would remove the new ring,â€Â Langton said.

    The rings remained as the Buick hood ornament from 1948 to 1953, but their continuing status as objets d’amour awaits further research. The “Vâ€Â in the 1954 hood ornament might make it difficult to wear and in any event the ring was replaced by a chromed airplane by the 1956 model year.

    Check this link for the history of Buick hood ornaments:


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