Wanderlust At Sea

manfound!October 7, 1927
Long Beach

Between Christ’s wanderings in the deserts of Jericho, and Kidder’s huddlings in the gardens of Glendale, there was Robert Sankey.  

Sankey, 44, a prominent Riverside contractor, was in a splendid mood September seventh last; he had no domestic or financial troubles, and bid his lovely wife and 13 year-old daughter goodbye that morning in his home at 270 Bandini Avenue before a trip to Laguna Beach.  He made it to Laguna Beach, and picked up $12,000 ($132,359 USD2006) in cash which he had been paid by the Colton School Board for the construction of Colton High School.

Sankey then told friends he was going for a swim, and left his bag, clothing, glasses and  shoes at a hotel near the beach.  From there he disappeared…the sea was dragged repeatedly for his body, but to no avail.  Had the briny deep swallowed Sankey?  And what became of the money?  And what’s this?—a few days ago, some Sankey acquaintance came forth and reported having seen Sankey on a Seattle-bound boat a day or two after the disappearance.

Today, Mrs. Paul McKenzie peered nervously through the window of her home at 4010 Massachusetts, Long Beach.  There was a dazed, raggedy man wandering aimlessly up and down in front of her house for the better part of two hours.  When she got up the nerve to confront the torn and tattered stranger, all a-jibber-jabberin’ to himself, it was, you guessed it, her brother, Robert Sankey.  Oh no, he insisted, I’m Andrew Borg.

Well, the Borg, I mean Sankey, had only $500 left (in checks issued by a Seattle bank) of the twelve grand, and even less of an idea as to where he’d been or what he’d done.  He could only confirm that his clothes had been given to him by “the skipper,” and that he’d been to sea in a small boat with two men and a woman.

Further investigation revealed that Sankey recently boarded the steamer Evanger at San Francisco (booking passage to Buenos Aires as “Andrew Borg, grain dealer, Witchita, Kan.”), but put ashore at San Pedro the day he reappeared in Long Beach.

Sankey remains in his Borgian state at Seaside hospital, where Riverside county authorities are vexed with Seaside staff; the Sheriff is itching to serve two warrants on Sankey, each charging sixteen counts of violating the State wage law, but the pesky physicians demand that officers wait ‘til Sankey’s physical condition permits such activity.

Whether amnesia or grift, please bear in mind…steer clear of small boats, and beware "the skipper."

theskipper! 

 

Wither Sim Cross?

April 27, 1927
Los Angeles

Sim Cross is alive, ALIVE! The Los Angeles man, resident of 4195 Third Avenue, was believed a suicide by pals after a full suit of clothes but the underpants were found on the beach at Redondo on April 19. Mugs were raised, his good and bad points debated, and perhaps the pals even parcelled out his nicest ties among them. But on the 21st there came a telegram, signed Sim and sent from San Francisco, announcing that reports of his demise were not to be believed.

In time, he returned home, bearing a singularly peculiar tale. The last thing he remembered, see, he was fighting a riptide. And then, inky darkness. He came to 48 hours later in an SF hotel room, with bruised feet and no idea how he got there. In the room, clothes and a suitcase he’d never seen before. He dressed, and stepped into the street, where two men accosted him. It was thanks to them, they said, that Sim was in this spot. And now all they needed was for him to take someone’s place in a hospital for a few more days and…

Here Sim drew the curtain over one of the most perfect descriptions of cliche detective’s peril as we’ve ever read. He claims that he simply demured and came home.

Was it all fantasy? Or did once there dwell strangely maleable hoodlums, who would conk a guy while he swam and spirit him away to play a part in a bandage opera, then let him go when he said he wasn’t in the mood? We’ll never know, for after this one extraordinary incident, Sim Cross vanished from the record, but never from our hearts.

Belles Are Ringing


March 6, 2007
San Francisco (VIA Associated Press)

The Irish of San Francisco are furious over a play at the Davis Theater called “The Belle of Avenue A,â€Â which features a character named Mrs. McCluskey who drinks a glass of beer in the first act.

“Three times, about 40 people charged the stage and the actors and actresses feared they were about to be attacked,â€Â The Times says.

“Indignant because the woman’s part in the first act called for the drinking of a glass of beer, two score men, members of the Irish societies of this city, charged the stage and for half an hour refused to allow the play to go on.â€Â

The riot was reported to the police and the protesters were eventually thrown out of the theater.

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Bonus shot:

Los Angeles, before the days of Google Earth, at the junction of Main Street, Spring Street and 9th Street, 1873.




To Our Friends On The Bay

April 18, 1907
Los Angeles 

On the one year anniversary of the terrible conflagration that struck down our northern neighbor, the great town of San Francisco, the citizens of Los Angeles send fond wishes for its continued rebuilding… but hasten to point out that the climate, society and business atmosphere south of Tehachapi is far superior to anything offered on that shaking, scorched penninsula.