Water, Water Everywhere — Except in Ventura

Bad Water

June 4, 1927

"Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over." – Mark Twain

Pasadena residents Raymond T. Wood and Cleo Wood have been married for three years. In March of this year Raymond decided to seek employment out of town. When he found a job in Ventura, he naturally assumed that Cleo would join him there. That’s when the trouble began.

Much to Raymond’s dismay, Cleo refused to budge. She claimed that she wanted to continue working in Pasadena and told her baffled husband that she couldn’t possibly move to Ventura because of the bad drinking water. Evidently Cleo and Raymond had never heard of Sparkletts.


Raymond doesn’t believe that his wife is being truthful about why she wants to remain in Pasadena. While working in Ventura he had discovered that his wife was spending every night alone together with their star boarder. “She became intoxicated with him.” Raymond said.

As far as Raymond is concerned, his wife’s excuses for staying in Pasadena don’t hold water.

Marriage, 1927 Style

unusual agreement

May 28, 1927

"I guess the only way to stop divorce is to stop marriage."Will Rogers

Everyone is familiar with the Boy Scout motto, Be Prepared, but newlyweds Grant Dewlaney and Ethel Hornaday have prepared themselves for marriage in a way that no Boy Scout ever could have imagined. divorce filings

Grant and Ethel hope to spend the rest of their lives together in blissful tandem harness, but what if the unthinkable happens and they fall out of love like the ten couples who filed for divorce today in Los Angeles?

In the event that their love does not endure, the pragmatic pair has taken an unusual step to avoid future battles over the house, furniture, and the family Ford. Prior to their marriage ceremony they filed an agreement with the Los Angeles County Recorder which may inspire other modern couples to do the same.

The contract states that if Ethel ever files for divorce she will accept a settlement of $500 ($5939.25USD 2007) to pay for an attorney, her separate maintenance and any other of her expenses. If Ethel files for divorce before their first wedding anniversary, she has agreed to accept the sum of $300 ($3563.55USD 2007).

Will this type of agreement ever catch on? Only time will tell.

Will the Real Charles Lindbergh Please Stand Up?

Lindbergh Reaches Paris

May 21, 1927
Le Bourget Field, France

You have may have heard songstress Sophie Tucker, the last of the red hot mammas, belting out “Fifty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong”.

Maybe 50 million Frenchmen can’t be wrong, but in smaller numbers they are capable of making humiliating blunders.

In the midst of the frenzy surrounding Capt. Charles A. Lindbergh’s successful landing today at Le Bourget Field outside of Paris, a horde of ecstatic French revelers hoisted a young American man to their shoulders. Believing that the man who had fallen and been trampled on was the famed transatlantic aviator, they triumphantly bore him to the American Ambassador to France, Myron Herrick, chanting “C’est lui!” (It is he!) Lindbergh Sketch

Held aloft by the cheering mob, the frightened man repeatedly screamed “Let me go! I am not Lindbergh!” But his entreaties fell upon ears fluent only in French. Squirming and shouting, he was carried for quite a distance and finally up a flight of stairs in the Administration Building, where he was to be welcomed by a delegation of dignitaries.

Ambassador Herrick took one look at the man’s disheveled business suit, wilted collar and torn necktie and immediately realized the crowd’s error. Members of the crowd could be heard muttering “mon dieu” and “merde” as news of their embarrassing faux pas made its way to the outer perimeters of the group. The throng of people then unceremoniously dumped the counterfeit Lindbergh at the Ambassador’s feet, and dashed off in search of the real flying ace.

Meanwhile, the genuine and more nattily attired Capt. Lindbergh had been rescued from the mob by several French pilots. The pilots had taken Lindbergh to a waiting automobile and were well on their way to Paris as multitudes of French citizens sought “Lucky Lindy” in vain.

History has recorded neither the name nor the fate of the man who was mistaken for Lindbergh.

The Fiend in Human Form


May 14, 1927
Long Beach

Miss Madeline Lindsley was on her way home from a party when shortly before midnight, the pretty 19 year old encountered a man who abruptly grabbed her by the neck, and threw her violently to the pavement. The attack occurred in front of 434 Pacific Avenue, one block from the victim”™s home and two blocks from police headquarters.

Summoned by Madeline”™s screams, four local men: H.K. Klingraef, 111 West Fifth Street; E.E. Peterson, 634 Cedar Avenue; Larry Moore, a Kress Store employee, and M.R. Hodges of 3117 Wilton Street rushed to her aid. The girl”™s cowardly assailant fled when he heard her rescuers approach.

The posse gave chase through several streets and unlit alleyways until they nabbed their man. Neighbors telephoned police and the suspect was taken into custody by two detective sergeants, Wright and Dixon.

“He acted like an insane man”, Miss Lindsley told police, following the ferocious assault.

The accused, Mr. Walter S. Pawling, lives with his wife and two children. He confessed to police that he is employed as a professional rum runner, and told them that he had just completed a trip delivering illegal hooch from Catalina Island to San Pedro.

Police discovered two ounces of chloroform and two eighteen inch lengths of rope concealed in Mr. Pawling”™s pocket. Accustomed as they are to the various tools of illicit trades, even police were bewildered by his peculiar choice of equipment. Without missing a beat, Pawling glibly explained that he uses the chloroform and rope to defend himself against hijackers while on his late night coastal runs. Police were evidently so stunned by his story that they failed to request a demonstration of the weapons.

Fleeing an angry mob or thwarting an attack by hijackers is a dangerous business, so Mr. Pawling may wish to reconsider the effectiveness of his arsenal. Packing a concealed bottle of chloroform and two flaccid lengths of rope is no way for a grown man to defend himself.

In the future he might consider hurling a snappy bon mot, wielding a rapier-like wit, or brandishing a snub-nosed .38.

Home, home on deranged

May 7, 1927
Mint Canyon

Mrs. Vera Sharp, aka Mrs. De Font, is a 35 year old widow and a resident of Mint Canyon. She is also a woman of many talents: artist, sculptress, ranch owner and cattle rustler. Mrs. Sharp stands accused of rustling a heifer, butchering it, then barbecuing and serving it to the patrons of her roadside restaurant, the La Jolla Lodge.

The primary evidence in the case against Mrs. Sharp consists of the hide of the doomed animal, which was discovered in a well, and a few satisfied diners at her roadside eatery.

Mrs. Sharp and a friend, Mr. Archie Cooper, a former deputy sheriff, allegedly pilfered the unfortunate beast from Mr. Guy B. Carson”˜s ranch in Palmdale.

Why did Vera and her accomplice herd the illegally obtained bovine through the nighttime streets of Palmdale to meet its fate? Was she so determined to grill a taste treat for the patrons of her restaurant that she risked arrest? Was she attempting to lure a restaurant critic to the lodge? Or was she planning a romantic dinner?

Apparently, the Mint Canyon gourmand is also accused of breaking into the home of M.S. Cairns to steal clothing and silverware ”“ must haves for an intimate dinner of barbecued heifer a deux with that special man.

Mrs. Sharp, accompanied by her attorney municipal judge-elect Dudley S. Valentine, appeared in court to deny the charges against her. She has been released on $3000 bail. Is she as innocent as she claims, or is that a smear of BBQ sauce on her chin?

Bon appetit, Vera.