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Giving Thing a Big Hand

March 19, 1998|Steve Harvey

I've heard from son of Thing.

Sean Cassidy, whose father, Ted, portrayed both the severed hand Thing and the butler Lurch in TV's "Addams Family," wrote from Tarzana: "Dad was so wonderful about making this disembodied hand a gentle, sophisticated personality that no one could duplicate it."

As for those scenes when Thing and Lurch appeared together, necessitating a stand-in as Thing, the son pointed out: "You notice two things. First, that the hand is much smaller. Second, that Thing acts with less character."

A SPIRITED MESSAGE? L. E. McCutcheon came upon a South Pasadena notice for a wine-tasting event that appeared to have been composed by someone who had gotten into the wine a bit early (see accompanying).

ONE DRIVE-THROUGH YOU MAY NOT HAVE TRIED: Robert L. Adams Sr. of Compton believes that his mortuary is the first in the West to offer drive-through viewing (see photo).

Adams sees it as a convenience, because "some people do not want to get out of the car," including some elderly mourners who have trouble walking.

"We hold 40 funerals a month and in about half of those the family requests the drive-through viewing," he said.

Adams first thought of the idea when he saw drive-through mortuaries in Florida and Louisiana.

"Theirs are not as plush as ours," Adams said. "They have small windows. We have much larger windows. We offer a full view of the whole casket and remains."

SACRIFICES, SACRIFICES: A woman at a Bunker Hill restaurant said to a companion, "I've given up liquor and lattes for Lent."

OSCAR NOSTALGIA: Sgt. Richard Longshore of the Sheriff's Department may be the only officer ever to arrest an Oscar winner still holding the Oscar.

It happened in 1983 outside Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Responding to a call that a private security guard had been assaulted, Longshore confronted an unruly Zbigniew Rybczynski, a Polish emigre who had won for best animated short subject. Rybczynski, who said he spoke no English, appeared to be intoxicated, Longshore said.

"I had a female detective with me who spoke about 15 languages," Longshore recalled. "She explained the situation to him. He looked at me and said, 'American pig, I have Oscar.' Then he tried to kick me in the groin."

Longshore called the command post to report the arrest of a male suspect and asked, "What should I do with his Oscar?" A long pause ensued. "I think they were afraid I had arrested someone like John Wayne or Jack Lemmon," he said.

The Oscar was booked as "property." The Oscar winner later said he had done "nothing wrong." The district attorney's office declined to prosecute Rybczynski, a Vienna resident, saying there had been a language problem.

NAME GAME: After the mention here of Dr. Sword, the hair-transplant surgeon, R. M. Jones of Rancho Cucamonga couldn't resist adding: "I know of an oral surgeon in Corona named Dr. Killcutts. He operated on my daughter for impacted wisdom teeth. I had a hard time keeping a straight face when I brought her in. Incidentally, he did a great job!"

WHICH CAME FIRST? David Childers reported he walked into a liquor store in L.A. to buy a soft drink and noticed a sign that said, "Whole Chicken Dinners--25 cents." The sign was above a jar of hard-boiled eggs.


Did you read that the designer of the La-Z-Boy reclining chair died? He lived to be 90. Man, I'm taking the rest of the day off.


Steve Harvey can be reached by phone at (213) 237-7083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by e-mail at and by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, Times Mirror Square, L.A. 90053.

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