Around town:

It was a bright Tuesday at Conrad’s. Breakfast was over. I sipped coffee and leafed through a pile of vintage news clippings.

I heard the rumble of a 1969 Triumph in the distance, followed by sirens.

They’ll never catch her! I muttered to myself.

The clippings had been left by the Anonymous Source, an attractive lady in her 40s, a motorcyclist who is adept at quick escapes.

Her bikes are retrofitted with liquid nitrogen. She knows all the flood control channels. She knows the hidden tunnel that runs from City Hall to the Edison right-of-way. Some say that she knows the secret location of the JPL wormhole, which catapults her, at will, into other times and dimensions.

Ancient La Cañada is dimension enough. A few months earlier, the Anonymous Source had alerted me to the arson trial of 14-year-old Lemuel Veilex. He was charged with burning down the La Cañada Schoolhouse in 1893. His defense attorney played the race card. His twin provided an alibi and the jury hung. After the mistrial, the case was dismissed.

Recently, the Anonymous Source alerted me to young Lemuel’s second case, In 1895, a local named J. C. Joachim swore out a criminal warrant against Lemuel. Joachim alleged that Veilex and two buddies shot at him with a rifle.

And now, another tidbit. The Anonymous Source had provided me with the obituary of John C. Joachim from the Los Angeles Times. The year was 1905.

Mr. Joachim died at the age of 65.

The Times reported that Joachim was an “old soldier” with many ailments acquired while serving in the Army. When he died, he left a widow, but no children.

A number of Civil War veterans settled in our Foothills. It is unclear whether Joachim was a Civil War veteran. The American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865, so he would have been 15 years old when the war was over. But he did have a lengthy military career.

You won’t find John C. Joachim’s name in our local history books. You won’t find him honored with a plaque at City Hall. There’s no mention of him at the Lanterman Museum. According to his obituary, John C. Joachim was an old soldier and one of the “pioneer settlers” of La Cañada.

Which made me wonder: What would the Anonymous Source find for us next?


ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada resident and a regular Valley Sun columnist. She practices law in Pasadena.

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