Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hurrah for the telephone!

November 30, 1947
Los Angeles

Hurrah for the telephone!

First, Mrs. L.B. Beddoe, 4587 Date Ave., La Mesa, received a call from daughter Pamela Evans, who said she was going to kill herself. Mama called the LAPD business office and asked if someone could please stop her.

Radio patrolmen J.P. Hooper and T.A. Gibson raced to Pamela's pad at 104 N. Catalina, where the 19-year-old department store worker was passed out beside an empty pill box. The officers rushed her to Hollywood Receiving Hospital for a stomach pumping. Pamela presently revived, and murmured of the financial woes that had inspired her act.

But happily the phone had still been working, and so the lady lives. Moral: always pay your phone bill first.

1 comment:

Larry said...

A little grid, 13 boxes square, full of obscure words and frustration, the crossword emerged in The Times in November 1924 as the craze swept America following the publication of Simon and Schuster’s “The Cross Word Puzzle Book” the previous April.

Provided by the Bell Syndicate, the puzzles first appeared weekly in the Sunday magazine, including instructions on how to solve them, but soon became a daily feature.

The syndicate’s 1947 puzzles (small by today’s standard of the 15 by 15 grid) are not particularly difficult compared with current puzzles. Although many words endure (ali, eel, era, ewe, ode, ute, atone, denim) the 1940s puzzles are remarkable for their lack of compass directions, Roman numerals, books of the Bible and use far fewer foreign terms. On the other hand, words like “gerent” (a person who governs or rules) and “hispid” (covered with rough bristles) have vanished from even puzzlers’ vocabulary, as have obscure definitions: “to spread for drying" = ted.

“The Cross-Word Puzzle Book beneath a bough,
Pencil, eraser, dictionary, thou
Beside me, solving in the wilderness.
Wilderness were Paradise enow.”

Grant Overton, after Omar Khayyam.

Quote of the day: “But why do dogs have to die? What can’t they just go on forever?”
Meredith Davis, The Trouble About Having a Dog, The Times, Sept. 14, 1924