Le-Mon! Le-Mon!

Jan. 23, 1907
Los Angeles

Pity, for a moment, Felix Chavarino, caught in the grips, not of opium, morphine or heroin, but of citrus, for he is a “lemon fiend.”

He was arrested after begging for food in a small restaurant. Chavarino didn’t want anything else on the menu, pleading for a “le-mon,” a “le-mon.”

“Gaunt, unkempt and weird looking, he crouched there, disdaining all offers,” The Times says.

“With skin turned to the yellow hue of the lemon, lips drawn back sore and red, from protruding teeth, skin stretched tightly over cheekbones; matted hair, through which his fingers constantly moved; eyes bulging and glassy, he was a living picture of the effects of excessive use of the lemon.”

Someone gave him money to buy food, but took it away when Chavarino set off for the nearest fruit stand.

Chavarino, who had already served months in jail, was convicted of vagrancy and given 30 days. There is no further record of him in The Times, so we don’t know what became of him.


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Beer & Lemons

July 31, 1907

Despite the pleadings of well-situated friends, Eugene Parks, Junior is bound to face a Superior Court judge and answer to the charge of attempted theft of nearly a whole wagonload of lemons from the Whittier Citrus Association’s railway siding. Parks and his pal Kirchner were caught in the act by Superintendent Greeley of the State School, and all the lemons were saved.

In court today, the youngsters begged the judge to accept as an extenuating circumstance the fact that they were looped to the gills on strong beer, half a dozen bottles a piece, and to recognize that they were at heart honest boys from good homes. But he would have none of it. For if a little beer would make thieves of them, then thieves they were, and only a higher court could determine an appropriate punishment.