Feet loose: We’re sorry to report that...


Feet loose: We’re sorry to report that another Southland cultural attraction has shut down--Long Beach’s Foot & Toe Museum.

This shrine to the human hoof, which is listed in the travel guide, “Medical Landmarks USA,” was started several years ago by Dr. Thomas Amberry, a podiatrist. He amassed 9,000 pieces of memorabilia, ranging from foot-shaped lamps to the tiny shoes of Gen. Thomas Thumb, the circus midget. When Amberry retired, he passed his collection along to an associate, Dr. Harry Harbison.

Harbison’s office confirmed that the museum has closed but wouldn’t trot out any other facts.


The Foot & Toe joins the ranks of such departed repositories as the Hopalong Cassidy Museum of Downey, the Coca-Cola Museum of Burbank and the Exotic Dancers Hall of Fame of San Pedro. Luckily, we still have the Banana Museum of Altadena.

If the Foot & Toe’s demise was a matter of economics, it’s too bad in retrospect that it didn’t merge with another attraction with somewhat similar interests--Malibu’s now-defunct Big Foot Museum.


Taxi trip to the Twilight Zone: Funny how TV reruns can take on different, sometimes eerie, meanings. The other night, Kerry Kelaher Fredeen saw a circa-1980 episode of “Taxi” on Nick at Nite in which Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman) is about to leave his homeland for America.

“His mother,” says Fredeen, “is trying to convince him not to go to a place where ‘they eat chickens and keep dogs as pets.’ Latka says that America is a great place and produces a piece of ‘underground propaganda’ that he has gotten hold of--People magazine. He flips through the pages and triumphantly points out to his mother:

“See! In America, anyone can be like O.J. Simpson!”


List of the Day: What follows are the origins of some terms for entertainment awards. We hope the items aren’t as boring as some of the shows themselves.

* Oscars (first presented in 1929): The statuette was nameless until 1931, when a secretary who worked at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made a wisecrack that was overheard by a reporter. She said of the statuette, “It looks like my Uncle Oscar.” The “Uncle” part didn’t survive.


* Razzies (1981): A shortening of “raspberry”--meaning “a sound of derision, contempt, etc.” in this case--the show was founded by publicist John Wilson to “dishonor the worst achievements in film.” Oddly enough, despite the recognition, no “worst actor” or “worst actress” nominees have ever attended these awards.

* Emmys (1949): The talkathon’s name was a variation on “Immy,” a nickname for the television set’s image orthicon tube, according to “Les Brown’s Encyclopedia of Television.” No wonder the show’s so dull.

* Grammys (1957): A shortening of “gramophone,” the name for the recording arts show was chosen in a nationwide poll won by a Mrs. Jay Danna of New Orleans. Author Thomas O’Neil (“The Grammys”) notes that, surprisingly, none “proposed the alternative shortening of ‘phonograph.’ ” Too bad. The Phonies would be so much more Hollywood.

miscelLAny Palisades Flowers on Sunset Boulevard invites Simpson case fans to “show your appreciation to your favorite trial personality” by ordering flowers “for a free delivery on Friday to the Los Angeles Courthouse.” Flowers for trial personalities? Why encourage them?