The REAL Aviator

February 9, 1927
Los Angeles

deathdefyinSure, while we’ve repeatedly reported to you about blindfolded drivings—today was announced something that actually guarantees splintering wood and crunching metal.  

Finley Henderson has a really good idea:  dive an airplane from a height of 1,000 feet, clip the wings from the machine between two telegraph poles, and crash into a bungalow with the remains of his plane at sixty miles an hour.

Don’t worry:  he wears the shoulder and shin guards of the football field, the breast pad of the baseball umpire and a catcher’s mask.  Kids, try this at home.  Above your home.  Into your home.

Sponsored by Earl L. White and KELW!  Come on out to Burbank’s Magnolia Park and watch the fun!

FearlessFinleyFor the record, when the stunt was performed on February 20, Finley emerged unscathed, smoking a cigarette.  And then noted for the wowed crowd and boys of the press “The stunt is easy if you know how to do it.”

Finley made the news again in June, when, at the Glendale Airport Air Rodeo, just as he was stepping into his plane (this time, to crash into a barn), in front of all those eager spectators, United States Deputy Marshal Charles F. “Spoil Sport” Walsh served Finley a summons.  Hot on Walsh’s heels were pansy Capts. Walter F. Parkin and William B. Breingan, of the recently created Aeronautics Branch, United States Department of Commerce (oh, Mary), there to enforce their writ of injunction restraining Finley from performing the stunt.

Apparently, these hi-falutin’ aeronautics fellows have just made stunting within five miles of a regularly established and operated air line against the law…apparently also is flying a plane that is wholly unsafe, and is likely to collapse upon the audience when in flight.

But wasn’t that part of the thrill?  No wonder we went into a depression.

Women of Daring

April 25, 1927
 
rodeoheroine
 
Today, women on the outskirts of town performed astounding acts of bravery, whether they were defending themselves, saving lives, or simply defying their mothers.
 
In Glendale, early this morning, Paul Courts broke into the home of Anna and Lucille Sousa at 3050 Menlo Street, and "attempted to press his attentions" on Lucille, 17.  The girl seized a revolver and pointed it at him, at which point, Courts fled the Sousa home and was arrested for disturbing the peace.
 
150 miles away, the Deer Creek Cattlemen’s Association’s annual round-up and rodeo in White River was just another day at the fair until an unpiloted car began rolling down a steep hill towards a crowd of spectators below.  Mrs. Burt Smith averted tragedy by jumping onto the car’s running board, steering it through several groups of children, and crashing it into the racetrack.  Smith suffered a few bruises, the car, only a crushed radiator.
 
burbankgirlAnd back in the fair city of Burbank, 17-year-old Mignon Jones parachuted from a height of 2000 feet clad only in a sailor suit.  Jones’s mother had discovered her daughter’s plan, and notified the police in the hopes of stopping her.  However, by the time Burbank police officers arrived at the airport, Jones had already made a perfect landing and vacated the premises.  She was later found at a local skating rink.
 
Little Mignon then faded from the pages of the Los Angeles Times, which comes as something of a surprise.

But the Line Is Straight

Feb. 28, 1907
Los Angeles

An old and massive California live oak used to mark the division between three Spanish land grants lies in pieces on the ground because an Edison foreman refused to run a transmission line around it.

“The tree was a full hundred feet in its spread,â€Â The Times says,â€Â and stood on the end of a little plateau, all alone in its greatness. The massive trunk could not be circled by three men stretching their arms and touching their fingertips—hardly by four men. Above, it split into four great branches that spread out and out and then again downward, containing with an evergreen shield a refuge where two full companies of soldiers might have bivouacked in comfort.â€Â

The live oak marks the junction of the San Rafael, Los Feliz and Providencia land grants, The Times says, adding: “The tree itself stands within the Providencia but it was a starting point from which direction was taken.â€Â

“The foreman is said to be in grave danger of losing his position and is very repentant,â€Â the paper says. “He bawled like a spanked bad boy before the board (note: the property was owned by the Water Board, which had given Edison permission to run the line). However the great old tree is lying among a smother of chips and there is no way to replace the work of nature’s 300 years.â€Â

Bonus fact: The San Rafael, Providencia and San Rafael land grants touched at a point in Burbank that is circled by the on-ramp for the southbound Golden State Freeway at the westbound lanes of Burbank Boulevard.

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