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Recalling the running of the rabbits: The magazine...

December 16, 1995|STEVE HARVEY

Recalling the running of the rabbits:

The magazine USC Trojan Family tells the inspiring story of a turn-of-the-century faculty member who noticed that fewer and fewer boys were showing up for his Sunday school class on campus.

The problem, he discovered, was nearby Agricultural Park, where "the saloons ran wide-open every Sunday, with dozens of boys going there each week to learn to gamble. The hotel on the premises had a bad reputation, while the running of the rabbits [at the park's racetrack] was brutal and demoralizing in the extreme."

The Sunday school teacher began a successful campaign to have the state take over the area, which today is Exposition Park, with its museums, rose garden and, of course, Coliseum.

We're not sure how the boys turned out. But we suspect that some of their descendants became Raiders fans.

LIST OF THE DAY: Thumbing through a new book called "We'll Always Have Paris: The Definitive Guide to Great Lines From the Movies," we noticed that its "Cities" section contains only one quote about the Southland. It's Lloyd Nolan's (admittedly great) line from "Earthquake" (1974) as the Capitol Records building and everything else in L.A. is crumbling. "This used to be a helluva town," he observes.

But that's all. So we're submitting some of our favorite geographical gems:

* "Do you think I was happy in Glendale?"--Joan Crawford's nasty daughter, Veda, "Mildred Pierce" (1945).

* "Probably dropped halfway to Pomona."--A witness to a flying saucer landing, "The War of the Worlds" (1953).

* "Who needs a car in Los Angeles? We've got the best public transportation system in the world."--Bob Hoskins, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" (1988), set in the 1940s.

* "Cylinder [flying saucer] reported down by Huntington Beach."--Army bulletin, "War of the Worlds."

* "I'm the assistant manager of Food World in Burbank."--John Denver, describing his credentials to be a messenger for the Supreme Being, "Oh God" (1977).

* "I need road service for, uh, I don't know, let's say Inglewood."--Kevin Kline, "Grand Canyon" (1991), just before a confrontation with gang members. (In real life, Inglewood officials pointed out that the scene was actually shot in L.A.)

* "The target for the A-bomb is the nest of Martian machines in the Puente hills."-- TV announcer, "War of the Worlds."

* "I'm just a guy from Glendale, California."--Bob Cummings, as a wartime worker unjustly accused of espionage, "Saboteur" (1942).

COULD BE THE NEXT SCORSESE MOVIE: Preben Sorensen took a shot of what appears to be a true money-laundering operation in L.A., which is still a helluva town as far as we're concerned (see photo).


Due to a gift from a patron, the Long Beach Public Library's scholarly reading materials now include issues of the National Enquirer. What would Marian the Librarian say?

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