Carpenter’s Sandwiches, 1932

West Sunset Boulevard & Vine Street, Los Angeles, California.

(Click image for full-size version. Just look at those prices…)
Carpenter's Drive In

A wonderful memory of early Los Angeles – before my time, certainly, but along the same lines as some other unusual LA restaurants that I do remember.

Hoot-Hoot-Ice-Cream

I’ve mentioned Hoot Hoot I Scream before; another great collection of ephemera from Los Angeles can be found at Shelter From the Storm, including the coffee pot restaurant seen below.

Coffee Pot Restaurant

Most of these unusual eateries are gone, replaced by restaurants whose gimmick is found inside rather than outside. As for me, I miss places like this. I still grin when I drive along the freeway on a road trip and see a huge Sapp Bros. water tank decked out to look like a coffee pot.

Sapp

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The Internet Doesn’t Have Everything Yet

I have written before about things I’ve lost over time, seen in a magazine or a book or elsewhere, and my efforts to re-locate them. As time goes on, more and more material gets uploaded to the Internet, but despite some successes, there are many lacunes.

I remember a great advertisement that appeared at the end of the 90s or thereabouts – it was, if I’m not mistaken, for the Sony Nightshot video camera, and showed – taken in infrared light – a cat and a dog surprised in a compromising position on the couch. The caption was something like “You’ll be surprised at what you can discover when you come home unexpectedly.”

I know that ad existed, because I can see it in my mind’s eye as plainly as could be desired, but thus far I have found no hint of it in the course of as many searches as I know how to do. It appears to have vanished without a trace. Now that may be the result of an unfortunate urban legend which sprung up around the time of the Nightshot’s introduction, specifically that you could see through clothing with it – but I’m surprised I can’t locate this particular ad copy, because it was funny.

I guess some things are either lost forever, or I’ll just have to keep waiting until someone finds it.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The 1967 Aftra Strike

Images below found in Stand By! – February/March 1967. My mother can be seen in the first picture at top right, second from left.

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Anchors Away: Huntley, Brinkley, and Cronkite and the 1967 AFTRA Strike

Socolow, Michael J., Journalism History, Summer 2003
Extract of an article found at Questia

In March 1967, the American Federation of Television and Radio Actors (AFTRA) called its firstnationwide strike. Although almost all programming on the national television networks ceasedproduction, the evening newscasts continued to be broadcast. NBC’s Chet Huntley crossed thepicket line, calling AFTRA a union “dominated by announcers, entertainers, and singers.” Hispartner, David Brinkley, refused to work, and CBS’ Walter Cronkite also supported the union.The strike represents a pivotal yet often overlooked moment in broadcast journalism history. Itcreated the perception of tension between Huntley and Brinkley that would play a role in the“CBS Evening News” surpassing the “Huntley-Brinkley Report” as the nation’s most highly-ratedevening news broadcast in 1967-68.

On the evening of March 29, 1967, most of the approximately 10 million regular viewers of the“CBS Evening News” probably were surprised at seeing the unfamiliar face of a twenty-nine yearold CBS corporate executive peering out from the screen. Ernest Leiser, the executive producer ofthe “CBS Evening News,” had spent that afternoon auditioning several members of the CBS Newsmanagement team to fill the anchor’s chair. Each took a turn reading a four-minute script in thebrightly lit studio. None matched the delivery or screen presence of Arnold Zenker, the programmanager for CBS News, who earlier that same morning had delivered the morning news over theCBS-TV network. Leiser called Zenker at home and told him to report back to the studio, and afew hours later he began reading the day’s top stories to the national television audience.Nowhere in that evening’s script did he mention the fact that the program’s regular anchorman-Walter Cronkite-was out on strike. When the American Federation of Television and RadioArtists (AFTRA) called a strike against the networks that morning, he immediately supported theunion and walked out.1

The idea of a celebrity television news anchor participating in a labor action seems absurd today.Even in 1967, the notion of broadcasters earning more than $100,000 a year striking againsttheir management was considered strange at best, laughable at worst. As U.S. News and WorldReport noted, “never had the country seen anything quite like it.”2 Although the era of thecelebrity journalist had yet to fully bloom, viewers and critics alike shared skepticism that a TVanchorman could be considered a member of the working class. In reporting on this unique laboraction, the press often stressed its more humorous aspects. Newsweek joked that “Eugene Debswould never have believed it,” and on the strike’s second day, the New York Times reported that“Today” show host Hugh Downs was chauffeured to the picket line “in a Cadillac limousinesupplied by the network.”3

The 1967 strike was an important moment in the history of television news. It raised definitionalissues about the social and political status of celebrity anchormen, and it offered the notoriouslyhabitual evening news audience an excuse to change the channel and alter the ratings dynamicbetween the most popular programs. Yet while the significance is clear, the strike has beengenerally ignored in the scholarship of television journalism. In Edward Bliss’ comprehensiveNow the News, the strike received two sentences in 470 pages of text.4 Historians have generallyfollowed the lead of the journalists involved, who downplayed the strike’s impact. Rememberingthe strike in a 1995 interview, NBC’s David Brinkley called it “pointless and quite silly.”5

However, in his 1995 memoir, Brinkley admitted that somehow, in a difficult to define manner,the strike led to the end of NBC’s leadership in the evening news ratings competition. His boss atthe time, Reuven Frank, had concurred in his 1991 memoir, Out of Thin Air.6 Because the strikeaffected the ratings dynamic between the two most-watched evening news programs, it was apivotal moment in broadcast history. (Full article continues with paid subscription at Questia).

This was a bit of history that I remember. The strike was ultimately settled with a new contract, but I recall my mother telling me about her days on the picket line.

The Old Wolf has spoken.