Real estate slump? There’s still plenty of...

Real estate slump? There’s still plenty of money to be made in land, if you believe “Where to Find Gold in Southern California,” a book by James Klein.

There’s the Buried Pirates’ Treasure of Northridge, near the corner of Reseda Boulevard and Eddy Avenue, supposedly left by shipwrecked Spanish pirates (who must have hitchhiked north on the San Diego Freeway).

There’s the Burbank Train Robbery Treasure, which Klein dates to an 1893 robbery of a Southern Pacific freight train near Roscoe Boulevard. The loot was never found, though the bad guys were apprehended by railroad detective Whispering Smith. (Hasn’t Whispering been a guest on the Johnny Carson Show?)

Badman Tiburcio Vasquez supposedly hid stolen jewelry in caves between Newhall and Acton before his date with the hangman.


The Lost Hollywood Gold, which sounds like a reference to an investment in a Coppola movie, was left by 19th-Century bandits just south of Griffith Park.

And, finally, we’d warn you to stay away from the Cursed Cahuenga Pass Treasure, whose past hunters are said to have met sudden death. In modern times, of course, the pass is also cursed for--and by--rush-hour motorists.

In the networking ‘90s, everyone needs a business card, even if your business is demonstrating against wars, as is the case of Jerry Rubin of Venice (see photo).

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Whatever the outcome of his financial problems, Pete (“And that’s the truth”) Ellis has assured himself a spot in the pantheon of Southern California car dealers who’ve become synonymous with their trademark lines.

Ellis, and fellow fender-pounder Cal Worthington (“and his dog Spot”) are heirs to a tradition dating back to live TV and such dealers/personalities as:

1--Les Bacon: “Get off your couch and come on down to Hermosa Beach.”

2--Frank Taylor: “No Sunday selling.”


3--Earl (Madman) Muntz: “I’d give ‘em away, but my wife won’t let me.”

4--Ralph Williams: “Hi, friends.”

5--Dick Lane: “Get on down to Central Chevrolet--I’ll be there, will you?”

Lane, later a famous wrestling and roller derby announcer, was such a celebrity in the early days of the tube that literal-minded viewers would sometimes visit Central Chevrolet not to buy cars but to see him.


To further refute the notion that greater L.A. has no history, we wish to add another first to an already long list of culinary achievements.

You may recall that the downtown cafe Philippe’s claims to have invented the French dip sandwich--named for a cop named Frenchy who liked to have his sandwich dipped in the meat juice--early this century. And C.C. Brown’s says it introduced the hot fudge sundae in downtown L.A. in 1906.

And, now, American Heritage magazine points out that a local restaurateur was identified as the inventor of the cheeseburger at his death in 1964. Cooking at his father’s short-order joint in Pasadena in the early 1920s, the lad experimentally tossed a slice (variety unknown) on a hamburger “and lo! the cheeseburger sizzled to life.”

No doubt it was fate. His name was Lionel Sternberger.



Freeway-close: The slogan of Albuquerque, N.M., is: A Little West of Washington, a Little East of L.A.