A Flood of Youths

September 2, 1947
San Francisco

According to a poll conducted by the California Committee for the Study of Transient Youth at the state borders and in 15 California cities, up to 400 young people, 18-22, are entering California each day without their families. Most have left jobs in their home states in the belief that prospects for employment are better in California, and are “puzzled and resentful” to find this is not the case.

Further reading: A World of Its Own: Race, Labor, and Citrus in the Making of Greater Los Angeles, 1900-1970

Everybody’s in Showbiz

September 1, 1947
West Hollywood

Yesterday, Marguerite Kelly’s apartment door, at 1334 Olive Drive just off the Sunset Strip, was framed with fragrant honeysuckle. Today, the County Coroner defaced it with a sticker meant to seal the contents until her next of kin could be notified.

Marguerite, 29, was a blues chanteuse who never quite made it. After seven years in Hollywood, her small trust fund was nearly depleted and occasional cafe gigs weren’t replenishing it. Her longtime friend Charles T. Young, 59-year-old retired market exec, took her out to fancy dinners, but seemed disinterested in making things more permanent. She began making notes to herself, analyzing her sad situation.

So after one such evening out with Mr. Young, Marguerite topped off the champagne cocktails with a shot of gas from the stove. Arriving the next morning, Young smelled rotten eggs mixed with the floral vines. With the aid of apartment manager W.J. Ferry, he forced the triple-locked and bolted door.

Inside lay Marguerite, nude, tangled in her blankets, nearly dead. Beside her, a note to Young, calling him the greatest man in the world. It begged “don’t cut my hair, just cremate me.”

Young expressed surprise that his ladyfriend had felt so strongly for him, and suggested that had he known, he might have done something about it. Too late now. She died and was taken to Utter-McKinley mortuary.

Marguerite has a sister in Milwaukee who may come and claim her sheet music and other remnants of life in Los Angeles.

Suggested reading: Hollywood Babylon : The Legendary Underground Classic of Hollywood’s Darkest and Best Kept Secrets

1334 N. Olive To-day

Curious that the blues chanteuse should off herself before she had the chance to play the very House of Blues itself. The site of her old place smells not of honeysuckle, now, but of the HOB parking lot which replaced it.

Now that’s something to sing the blues about. That and our having lost the Utter-McKinley where she was taken. Where, we trust, she was cremated, hair and all.