|Sweat shop then,
EX-NEWS REPORTER PAUL
WEEKS TOURS OLD NEWSROOM
by Paul Weeks
It was a sweat shop at Pico and
Los Angeles - even more than the one we left last on December 18, 1954.
We were there at the gracious
consent of the current owners or lessees. So let's not ask Lu Haas to
get up on the old city desk again and extol the benefits of the union
shop. Maybe they already have one. We didn't ask.
Endless rows of sewing
machines droned, each with a rod rising up from it like bayonets of
marching soldiers, where once old Underwoods clattered raucously and
someone was hollering, "Copy, boy. Copy!"
A handful of us - and don't
for a minute think of us as the walking dead - had just come from
Genio's in Burbank where the Old Farts Society had hosted a reunion of
Daily News survivors. Rip Rense, son of the sports department's Art
Rense, needed people, color and art for his assignment to write a memoir
for the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine.
Don's Bar and Grill was gone
from the corner of Pico and Main - the place where Lee Goodman once said
to me one too-early morning over Maud-the-cook's fried eggs, toast and
coffee, "Paul, we just don't know what we want to do when we grow up."
The hot dog stand across the street was no more.
There was no steak cooking on
a hot plate back in the morgue off the city room, no phone call from Pat
O'Hara on the DA's beat with a new lead on the Beulah Overell yacht
bombing case. "Hello, dahling," he would always say - never gender
The sweat was as pervasive as ever. The cloud of cigarette smoke
wasn't, nor were the desks scorched by unfinished cigs. No one had
gotten around to installing air conditioning. Walls had been torn out.
The third floor, where Leslie sat in the slot of the copy desk to the
other end where Ned Cronin ground out those sparkling sports columns,
was humming, humming, humming, turning out garments galore.
(CONTINUED on Page 2, Col. 2)
Why a Daily News website?
A word from Rip Rense
The Daily News Story---
by Ralph Story, that is. . .
NEWSIES TOUR OLD DIGS!
HEAR "A Newspaperman
Meets Such Interesting People," written by Daily News reporter VERN PARTLOW.
Recorded by Pete Seeger.
Q&A'S WITH THE NEWSIES:
HELEN BRUSH JENKINS
(With sneak preview of documentary on
Helen's life, "Flashes of Light.")
ROY AND VIVIAN RINGER
MARY KITANO AND
PROF OF JOURNALISM,
ON WORKING CLASS JOURNALISM.
AUTHOR OF "RED INK, WHITE LIES"---DEFINITIVE DAILY NEWS/L.A. NEWSPAPER
THIS JUST IN:
"THE CAMELLIA FOREST"
MCGARRY'S lovely essay about Manchester Boddy and
"GALILEO AND ME"
author of "Imagining Los Angeles" (and former Daily
News delivery boy) remembers the Daily News, and old L.A., in joyous detail.
HAVE A DAILY NEWS MEMORY?
E-MAIL us at firstname.lastname@example.org
LU HAAS: BADGES? I DON'T NEED NO
Website researched and assembled by
by Will O' the Wisp
(Daily News Staff Writer)
Survivors of the original Los Angeles Daily News, for decades
"The Only Democratic Newspaper West of the Rockies," reunited at the old
building at Pico and Los Angeles Streets for an L.A. Times article.
Jack Jones, Lu and Jan Haas, Roy and Vivian Ringer, and Helen Brush
Jenkins trekked downtown and back into the largely forgotten
building---now a garment district "sweatshop"---for an article by
freelance writer Rip Rense (son of Daily News sportswriter Art Rense.)
laughed Jones, who joined The News in 1949, "it was a sweatshop then!"
It was easy to picture the old city room, as so little had physically
changed since the paper went out of business Dec. 18, 1954.
on Page 3, Col. 1)
Veteran scribe Jones recalls copyboy days
at Daily News
by Jack Jones
(Daily News Staff Writer)
During my earliest days at
the DN, I was the early morning copy boy, which meant, as well as I
remember, arriving in the city room at 4 a.m.
The late night city desk man
was long gone by that time with the overnight police beat reporter at
LAPD headquarters in the basement of City Hall (pre-Parker Center)
responsible for keeping a finger on what was going on in the city
The early copy boy turned on
the lights in the city room, started the coffee brewing back in the far
corner of the morgue, re- placed the exhausted paper rolls in the UP
machines along the brick wall next to the picture desk, then telephoned
early rewrite man John Clarke to make sure he was awake so he could get
to the office by 5. (John had a bit of a drinking problem and would
arrive with a thermos in his briefcase--along with a movie script he was
always working on--that contained coffee laced with bourbon).
After phoning John, I had to
take copies of the morning Examiner and Times and clip
all local stories, placing the clips on the city desk so that Asst. City
Editor Aaron Dudley, who was to get in at 5, would be able to flip
through them and
(CONTINUED on Page 2, Col. 1)
|Looking west on Los Angeles
Street toward Pico, mid- '40s. City room was on top floor, with the
sports department at the corner; the second floor was all business
and advertising; and the presses---which had a tendency to
catch fire--- were on the first. The building, now a garment
factory, started out as a car dealership in the '20s. When the
presses rolled, the place shook like an earthquake. The paper was
the opposite in spirit, content, and architecture of the pompous
Hearst flagship, the L.A. Examiner, two blocks away. The News
also shared office space---and breaking stories---with United Press.