The Public Guardian

Sept. 27, 1907
Los Angeles

Ringling Bros. manager Charles Davis said farewell to Los Angeles, leaving $50 ($1,026.18 USD 2005) and some choice words for local authorities.

Child welfare officer Robert W. Reynolds spent several days attending the circus to ensure that there were no performances by underage children (The Times is a bit vague, saying younger than 16 in one story and younger than 12 in another).

Death at Sea

September 26, 1907deathinsea

Dan Bulkeley was a Pasadena man, well educated and of financial means, living with his cousins Lucy and Jennie Bulkeley at 58 North Pasadena Avenue.  Every summer since ’95 they’ve passed the season in a tent house on Sumner Avenue in the city of Avalon, on the Banning Brother’s Isle of Santa Catalina, off the Los Angeles coast.

Lucy and Jennie departed for Pasadena today and Dan, despondent at being left alone, engaged the launch Adelade to take him on a fishing trip.  Near the Seal Rocks, Dan stood up and told the boatman that there were letters to be found under the seat, and that his pockets were filled with rocks.  With that, Dan Bulkeley stepped from the boat and into the Pacific, his final home.

There was one letter to Lucy, one to the boatman containing five dollars, and another to a J. L. Wegman containing fifteen dollars, and instructions regarding taking down his tent.

Speaking of the briny deep, what was the biggest story of September, 1907?  Why, that honor would go to the maiden voyage of the mighty Lusitania, wherein supremacy over the sea was regained by Cunard over the Hamburg-American line.

The Day the Clown Cried


September 25, 1907
Los Angeles 

The Ringling tents went “dry” today as Restaurant Inspector Schwegel turned whole tubfuls of pink lemonade into the sewer.  He told the circusfolk that while the lemonade might do for an aquarium, it wasn’t fit for human consumption.  The lemonade booth was too near the animals, Schwegel said, and that besides the fleas and putrescent gunk within, it appeared to be contaminated with clothing dye.

City Chemist Miller added that the average circus lemonade is about as healthful as wood alcohol.

Something to remember next time you journey to the big top, or out to the County Fair (‘til October 1st!).

Our Prolific Poets

Sept. 24, 1907
Los Angeles

A First Day in Los Angeles

Roving, roving, ever restless, drifting
On from strand to strand.

Have I see the years slip by me,
Seeking for the promised land.

From the palm trees of Jamaica and
The Golden Spanish main.

To the gray and sullen northland when
The snow was on the plain.

But today I cease from roaming and
My soul is well content

And in Black Dahlia news…

You may think you’re up on your Black Dahlia lore, but you might have missed two recent books that take very different approaches to the case. First, there’s the memoir from Jacque Daniel, "The Curse of the Black Dahlia." Daniel was daughter and secretary to police psychiatrist Paul de River, whose involvement in the case was tinged with controversy. See her site for ordering info and her rebuttal of the claims in Donald Wolfe’s recent, worthless contribution to the genre.

Then there’s "Exquisite Corpse" by Mark Nelson and Sarah Hudson Bayliss, which takes as gospel the Steve Hodel theory of mutilation murder as homage a l’art moderne, and digs into the notion of the posing and abuses of Beth Short’s body as a Surrealist art piece. While not quite as loopy as Gareth Penn’s "Times 17" (Zodiac Killer as earthworks artist), it does sound rather outrĂ©.

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