Southern California was in a bit of...

<i> From staff and wire reports</i>

Southern California was in a bit of a social whirl this week, from the christening of 13 trash trucks to the dedication of a new rail yard and the declaration of Friday as Lou Costello Day in Los Angeles.

Hey, Abbbb-ott! Listen:

What do you christen a trash truck with? Forsaking Lysol, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley chose a more fragrant bottle of apple cider. The ceremony inaugurated a program in South-Central Los Angeles to speed garbage collection by putting plant material in containers separate from those holding other refuse. The yard waste will then be turned into a mulch for use as a fertilizer.

Bradley didn’t break the bottle on the side of the freshly painted (Caribbean-green) truck, however.


“He put it into a refuse container and the truck scooped it up and dumped it in the bin,” said Gyl Elliot, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Sanitation. “We were a bit worried about spoiling the paint job.”

The rail-yard extravaganza, set for Friday morning, is strictly BYOTO--bring your own transportation object.

The memorabilia will be buried in a time capsule on 208th Street in Long Beach at the unveiling of the main facility for the Long Beach-Los Angeles Rail Transit Project.

Goodies already promised include a toy that makes machine-gun sounds at annoying motorists, a tape of a radio station’s gloomy traffic report, and recordings of “Take the ‘A’ Train” by Duke Ellington and “The Trolley Song” by Judy Garland, said Roberta Tinajero, a spokeswoman for the County Transportation Commission.


Red Car memorabilia--celebrating (or mourning) Los Angeles’ once-flourishing rail line--will include a rail spike, a timetable and a token.

The time capsule is scheduled to be unearthed on the day when 150 miles of rail lines have been built in the county, assuming generations that far into the future are aware of its presence.

Bradley declared Friday Lou Costello Day in honor of the rededication of the Lou Costello Jr. Youth Center, which was built with funds that the comic actor raised with his partner, Bud Abbott. The Boyle Heights facility is operated by the Department of Recreation and Parks.

In this year of the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s inauguration, Don Bosco Technical Institute in San Gabriel thought it was only appropriate to hold a silver-dollar-throwing competition on campus. The winner was freshman Carlos Pina with a toss of 362 feet, enough to cross the San Gabriel (if not the Rappahannock) River.

One entrant in Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon asked to have his number changed, race spokeswoman Jackie Lapin disclosed, “because it had a 6 in it. He was worried that the 6 might have something to do with devil worship.”