Television May Be Influential, but Who Knew How Far Its Powers Extended?

An "X-Files" follower? Terri Merryman, a former anchor at KCAL-TV Channel 9, told the media Web site that she once received a phone call "from a younger woman who claimed I was trying to steal her husband." How? By sending psychic messages "to him through the television set to meet me after the newscast."

More from the psychic coldline: Mike Sharkey of Ventura came upon a newspaper ad for a psychic who specialized in "perditions." Since perdition is defined in my dictionary as "irreparable loss; ruin; the loss of the soul; damnation," I suspect the blurb was supposed to say "predictions." (When I phoned the number all I got was a recording; I could have predicted that.)

Anyway, I got out my prized collection of psychic sign photos (see accompanying) and was struck again by how often these seers seem unable to anticipate errors in their own advertising.

How about a loud-tie display? The L.A. Downtown News reports that the new Museum of Fashion Designers is searching for a home, and one of the candidates is the old L.A. Herald Examiner building on Broadway.

What smiles that would bring to the not-so-fashionable news hounds who once labored there.

An old reporter told me that the dress code for L.A. newspapers in the 1950s was coat and tie at the Times and the Mirror, socks at the Examiner and socks optional at the Herald-Express (which later merged with the Examiner).

When I was at the Her-Ex, one circulation employee who did wear a sport coat was an ex-jockey named Danny. Trouble was he slept in the coat, living as he did in the shaft of an abandoned elevator in the building.

Another colleague wore a gold blazer that had a nasty rip on one side. (He caught it on a fence that he was scaling, he told me, offering no further explanation.)

Not that formal attire was unknown in the Her-Ex city room. One reporter went to a fancy bash, never made it home and staggered into work the next morning still wearing his rumpled tuxedo. A phone number was written across his dress shirt--in lipstick. He stuck his chin into the well of his typewriter and promptly went to sleep. Ah, the beautiful people!

miscelLAny: Kathleen Cuney points out that the intersection of Haveteur Way (as in Have It Your Way) and Unida Place (as in You Need a Place) can be found in San Diego.

Cuney, who once had a place on Unida, says: "According to a friend in the city planner's office, these names were quite a joke around the office. The streets were named by a group of young planners who hoped to get these names past their supervisor without detection--and succeeded."

They had it their way.

Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LA-TIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012 and by e-mail at

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