Granada Hills, Then and Now

While a group of LA businessmen had formed a company called “Suburban Estates Incorporated” and parceled out the town of Granada in ’25, nothing was really built there til after the war. So poor Mr. Fuzzy was just lumbering about, wondering what the hell was happening. And they had to go and whack him. Poor bastard is on our state flag, after all. And the seal of Los Angeles.

Granada Hills backyard, 1950:

But in the Granada Hills frontyard of 1950-

For where in 1947 Granada Hills looked like this:

It now looks an awful lot more like this.

If we can reintroduce the wolf to Yellowstone, I say we can reintroduce the bear to Granada Hills.

Amour fou, for four

October 13, 1947
Salt Lake City

The three boys from Altadena just planned to see their lady friend off at the Pasadena bus terminal for a trip to Philly. But as the bus pulled out of the station, they jumped back into their coupe and sped after it, waving (one assumes less frantically as the hours passed). When the bus alit in Las Vegas, they called home asking that cash be wired to Salt Lake.

But instead of money, it was the Man who awaited the romantic fools. The cops held the youths until their parents could collect them, while the lady’s bus, freed of its gallant shadow, sped off for the East.

A lovely spot for a beating

October 12, 1947

Mrs. and Mrs. Leonard Wood of 416 N. Avenue 57 were shocked last night by the violent chiding given by Sheppard W. King III, 22, to his 2-year-old son and namesake.

The male Kings, of 1811 N. Whitley Ave., had sat separately from the boy’s mother inside the lobby of the Pantages Theater because of crowding. When the baby talked during the show, the Woods allege, his father took him into the lobby and hit him multiple times in the face, causing blood to spurt from the child’s nose. The Woods then followed the young family home, and called police to report the abuse.

Sheppard Senior was booked into Hollywood Jail, where he denies striking the child with undue force. Sheppard Junior, meanwhile, was treated at Georgia Street Receiving Hospital for two black eyes, facial and cranial bruises, and a cut lip, before being returned to his mother’s care.

(I will leave it to our staff detective, Larry Harnisch, to tell us if this is the same Shep King III who–under the monicker Abdullah and described as a Texas playboy–was divorced by world renowned belly dancer Samia Gamal in 1953 under mysterious charges of ill-treatment.)

A Night Out with the Kings

The mighty Pantages, last of Alexander P’s palaces, 1930 meisterwerk of prolific theater designer and irrepressible Scotsman B. Marcus Priteca. The Pantages was one of the Fox chain til Hughes picked her up in ’49. Here she is in 1952 (note Hughes’ RKO logo affixed atop the blade):

And today:

Over 40% of this baby was devoted to public spaces, lounges, lobbies-plenty of good Saturday night kid-smackin’ room. I mean, look at it. Who wouldn’t want to be scarred for life in such opulent surroundings?

As for the King residence on Whitley, where we can only assume more terrors were bestowed liberally –

They had an apartment in Leland “Sunset Tower” Bryant’s 1928 Fontenoy building. Note, if you will, the angelic, cherubic child above the entry. The child whose peaceful countenance mocked Sheppard, father of screaming tot.

Second Time’s the Charm

October 11. 1947
Los Angeles

For the second time in two weeks, pint-sized miscreant Thomas George Redhead, 14, has busted out of Juvenile Hall. This time the boy, whose initial offense was stealing a Pacific Electric bus, which he drove to San Diego, shimmied up to the second story of the detention center and dropped more than 16 feet to make a fresh escape. I guess it’s true what they say about Redheads…

Well I’ll Be A Monkey in a Corset!

October 9, 1947
Jacksonville, IL

Dr. Andrew C. Ivy. Vice-Prexy of the U. of Ill., needs just $5000 to fund his next study, with which he hopes prove that the decline over the past two decades in peptic ulcers among the distaff sex is directly tied to the Flapper-inspired loosening of their stays. To demonstrate his thesis, he intends to lock 40 monkeys in corsets of the sort being promoted by French coutouriers like Christian Dior.

Monkeys wearing the New Look? That’s daffier than anything the French have tried to sell us!


October 9, 1947
Huntington Park

Soon after the employees of the cooperatively-owned women’s fashion workshop Glamour Gauge Manufacturing Co, 2514 E. Gage Ave., voted not to join the A.F.L. International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, the threats began. Ventura Fashions of California, for which Glamour Gauge makes clothing, complained to Superior Court last week that a union agent had threatened to destroy their business, possibly with bloodshed.

But it was by stink-]shed that the attack came, by way of a half-brick tied to a fruit jar packed with noxious acids, hurled through Glamour Gauge’s transom last night. The smell was so foul that the adjacent market, novelty shop and typewriter shop were rendered unfit for use, and passersby on the sidewalk also held their noses and ran. Police and the D.A.’s office are investigating.

2514 East Gage To-day

Hey Glamour Gauge, why don’t you go by your real name? TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST?! Is that what you want? Huh? Oh you do? Fine. Damn co-ops.

The ILGWU started out well enough, when it was a collection of Hebraic ex-Wobblies, and gangsters like Rothstein worked to resolve strikes. After a spell Lepke Buchalter and his ilk were raking off dues and extorting employers, and once the union was no longer about wages and benefits, well, in comes the jar full of stinkification. Little matter. In time most production would go oversees-but not without Los Angeles gaining the honor of developing the largest number of sweatshops in America (in your face, 7th Avenue!).

The co-op, market, novelty and typewriter shop are now a beauty salon, bakery, auto stereo and tuxedo place, and any hint of transoms has disappeared (transoms having gone the way of typewriter shops) but the building maintains an incredibly sexy streamlined aluminum band of canopy across its façade:

-there are 5,000+ garment trade businesses in Los Angeles-and you think buying from American Apparel will alleviate you from the inherent disservice you do to humanity by being alive? Think again.

They asked her to bring water for the dog

October 8, 1947
East Los Angeles

7-year-old Paul Esparza Jr. is in Juvenile Hall today, but that’s an improvement on his home life. Discovered locked in a five-foot square windowless closet at 1341 S. McBride Street after his cries were heard by a woman who’d come to fill the family dog’s water dish, Paul was freed from his tiny prison after deputies broke down the door.

The senior Paul Esparza, a cement worker, and the boy’s stepmother reportedly locked him up for the past six days before they left for work. Paul was imprisoned while his 6-year-old brother Robert was in school and baby Richard cared for by relatives, due to Paul Junior’s contagious skin condition.

Paul senior was arrested on his return to the house and booked on suspicion of child neglect. Neglect? The kid had water and sandwiches!

1341 South McBride To-day

Kim? The kid had water and sandwiches? He also had something else. A contagious skin condition!

In 1947 there were 1.9 million citizens of the city of Los Angeles. Who was going to care for 1.9 million feverish, screaming people, their purpuric skin bursting open, their dripping subcutaneous fat oozing yellowish, pus-like blood? Do YOU have enough hyperbaric chambers in which to put these people, or steel drums to hold all the amputated limbs? You don’t think they’ll drop the Bomb on Los Angeles in a heartbeat to contain an army of delirious, sepsisized necrotic humans?

Juvenile Hall. Yeah. That’s where they took li’l Paul.