When she saw a pair of her late husband's tap shoes pictured in The Times early this week, Robyn Astaire was distressed. It just did not seem right to have anything that once shod the great Fred Astaire--autographed, at that--residing in the old Lincoln Heights Jail.
"He donated those shoes in good faith," said the former jockey who married Astaire in 1980. "This would be very upsetting to him. It just makes me sick."
The shoes are among filmland memorabilia stored in the former hoosegow by the City of Los Angeles, which is still trying to find a permanent home for the collection acquired 20 years ago when a long effort by Hollywood Museum Associates to establish a facility in Hollywood went belly up.
Astaire's widow anxiously called Linda Barth, who oversees the collection for the Department of Recreation and Parks, offering to keep the shoes until a permanent home is found. Barth told her city policy precludes returning donated items but promised to reconsider if a better storage place is not found soon.
Robyn Astaire might want to clean out a whole closet. Her husband, who died in June at 88, also donated a second pair of tap shoes, eight other pairs of shoes, a top hat, tuxedo, ties, scarfs and photographs.
An FBI agent arrested a jaywalker in Hollywood on Friday afternoon.
Franklin Lynch, 32, wanted in Alameda County for a string of crimes including the beatings and murders of seven elderly women, had the bad luck to stroll across Sunset Boulevard near Cahuenga Boulevard--right in front of the agent's car.
Los Angeles Police Lt. Dan Cooke said the agent, who with police fugitive detail officers was looking for Lynch after hearing from a tipster that he was in the neighborhood, had Lynch's photograph on his lap.
Bandleader Woody Herman's health may have gone flat on him, but his lawyer says he is fully aware of efforts by fans and fellow musicians to ease his crushing financial problems.
As big-name artists tuned up to perform in Friday night's benefit concert sponsored by jazz station KKGO-FM, attorney Kirk Pasich said the 74-year-old clarinetist "is doing better than a week ago."
But he did not suggest Herman can be expected back in front of the Herd any time soon. Pasich reported that his client is still on a respirator and pretty much immobile. He listens to the radio a little and watches some television, "but he sleeps quite a bit."
The Altadena house mover who carted off a Highland Park duplex has checked in with his version of the dispute:
"The man said we could have the house," contended Alfred Hampton, who concedes that he hauled the 30-by-60-foot structure away from its Benner Avenue site--but only after reaching an agreement over the telephone with its owner, Hollywood businessman Willard Michlin.
The latter had complained that Hampton failed to submit a written contract or a promised $1,000 deposit to guarantee completion of the removal, and hence had no formal permission to go ahead.
Hampton agreed that he did not send any paper work or his check for $1,000, but that he was already in the process of removing the house and thus "there was no point in putting up money to guarantee I would do it."
He said he plans to implant the duplex on a lot he owns.
The tension was fairly intense when 1,000 unhappy Malibu-area residents (starring Ali MacGraw, Olivia Newton-John and Christie Brinkley) packed the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors auditorium to protest plans for an expensive sewer system.
Consultant Frank Grant might be excused if he cringed slightly at the Thursday meeting when something or another fell to the floor with a loud bang while he was speaking in favor of the project and indicating that his firm might bid on the contract.
"You missed me," he told the largely unsympathetic audience.