By the time they were spotted from a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter around 4 a.m. Thursday, 13 USC students had used sheets to cover the H in the big HOLLYWOOD sign on Mt. Lee and were working on the first O.
"They were going to change it to read 'USC,' " said Hollywood Division Sgt. Hal Dravidzius, but I don't know how they were going to get the S in there."
The rest of it apparently was clear to him.
He was also aware that the big USC-UCLA game will be played Saturday.
In any event, Dravidzius reported, "They were good guys. They all surrendered when ordered by the helicopter to go to the road and wait for police. They did that. There was no damage to the sign itself."
Police did not arrest the Trojans, but spoke sternly to them and then asked the city attorney's office to cite them for violating a municipal ordinance against wandering around in a mountain fire district.
Some old-timers are getting together late today and Saturday at the Viscount Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport to wallow in nostalgia about the days (and nights) when folks sat around their radios listening to Jack Benny, Fred Allen, "Fibber McGee and Molly" and "Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy."
The Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama will put the emphasis on comedy, with a re-creation of "The Great Gildersleeve," starring Willard Waterman (who took over the role from Hal Peary). An actress named Simply Marvelous will do the maid.
There will also be a "Meet Corliss Archer" reunion of Janet Waldo, who played Corliss; Sam Edwards, who was Dexter Franklin, and Irene Tedrow, who was Mrs. Archer. Carleton E. Morse, who wrote "One Man's Family" and "I Love a Mystery," is to be there too.
If you recognize any of those names, you probably weren't at either of the U2 concerts.
Pat Murphy, 59, says you should have seen the whale he caught, but it got away.
The retired La Crescenta plumber and his wife were fishing with friends off a Southland pier when other nearby anglers began shouting that a whale was approaching parallel to the surfline. Murphy recalled that it appeared to be a California gray, 20 to 30 feet long, and that it suddenly turned and swam alongside the pier toward deeper water.
"I was just standing and looking back at it," Murphy said, "when all of a sudden my line went zooooooom. It was burning my fingers. I got kind of panicky. I didn't know what I was going to do with it."
He said he finally tightened up on his drag enough so that the line snapped and the whale was gone.
"We could hardly believe it," Murphy added.
Which brings up the complaint of a young lady named Lynne, who attended the Tuesday night concert with her husband. After standing in a Coliseum ladies room line for more than a half hour and advancing only about 15 feet, "I followed an angry mob of disgruntled female concert goers--escorted by their male companions--into the men's room," Lynne said.
The ladies, she said, were "desperate, in more ways than one." Plainclothes police officers, however, ordered them out.
Although Lynne recognizes that the situation could be dangerous for unescorted women, she begs "somebody in a place of government to stand up and help remedy this very real and uncomfortable problem."
The Restroom Equity Law, authored by state Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles) after he wearied of waiting for his wife to go through the rest room line at Coliseum events, will go into effect next Jan. 1. and will require a 3-to-2 ratio in facilities for women.
But, said Margaret Farnum, assistant general manager of the Coliseum, the big stadium already has more individual stalls for women than for men: 190 to 73. However, she said, the turnover for men is speeded up by 604 linear feet of urinals. "If you figure 2 1/2 to 3 feet per person. . . ."
In "extreme circumstances," Farnum added, such as events attracting more women than expected, some men's rooms are turned over to women. In any event, she said, "when we really have the money, there are plans to upgrade our rest rooms."