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Jan Harold Brunvand

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December 17, 1989 | Paul Jordan-Smith, Jordan-Smith is a Los Angeles free-lance writer. and
The way we told it, 30 years ago, it happened up on Mulholland Drive, where we all used to "park." A guy and his girl are making out and the radio is on (though I never left it on when parking up there myself). Suddenly the program is interrupted by a news bulletin to the effect that a maniac has escaped from Camarillo Hospital and made his way to the San Fernando Valley.
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December 17, 1989 | Paul Jordan-Smith, Jordan-Smith is a Los Angeles free-lance writer. and
The way we told it, 30 years ago, it happened up on Mulholland Drive, where we all used to "park." A guy and his girl are making out and the radio is on (though I never left it on when parking up there myself). Suddenly the program is interrupted by a news bulletin to the effect that a maniac has escaped from Camarillo Hospital and made his way to the San Fernando Valley.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 2004 | Leslie Gornstein, Special to The Times
A small wooden cabinet went up for auction on EBay. Inside were two locks of hair, one granite slab, one dried rosebud, one goblet, two wheat pennies, one candlestick and, allegedly, one "dibbuk," a kind of spirit popular in Yiddish folklore. The seller, a Missouri college student named Iosif Nietzke, described the container as a "haunted Jewish wine cabinet box" that had plagued several owners with rotten luck and a spate of bizarre paranormal stunts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 1986
A small item in the paper the other day told of a woman who became so flustered on seeing Robert Redford in a Santa Fe ice-cream parlor that she put her ice-cream cone into her purse. This story struck us as a bit fishy (if you'll pardon the mixed metaphor), so we weren't surprised when, the next day, Redford denied it. What had aroused our suspicions in the first place was the fact that we had heard that story before--involving a different celebrity.
OPINION
November 12, 1995 | Neal Gabler, Neal Gabler is the author of "An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood." His new book is "Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Cult of Celebrity" (Knopf)
The story goes like this: During dinner at an opulent wedding reception, the groom rises from the head table and shushes the crowd. Everyone naturally assumes he is about to toast his bride and thank his guests. Instead, he solemnly announces that there has been a change of plan. He and his bride will be taking separate honeymoons and, when they return, the marriage will be annulled. The reason for this sudden turn of events, he says, is taped to the bottom of everyone's plate.
NEWS
November 23, 1989 | TIM BLANGGER, THE ALLENTOWN MORNING CALL
He's a moderately successful author slouched in a moderately comfortable chair in an immoderately expensive downtown hotel lobby, his latest book cradled on his chest like a small pet. He's a folklorist, someone who studies stories with the moderately confusing name of urban legends. He's been moderately entertaining as a guest on TV's "Late Night with David Letterman" no less than five times--the last time out he actually corrected Letterman on the air. Still, he has been asked back.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 1997 | Steve Harvey
Marcos Baxter, age 3, was invited to a birthday party for two Polish youngsters who live down the street in a culturally diverse section of Sylmar. The other guests included Mexicans, Nicaraguans and Russians. The birthday boy's mom produced what she called a "baseball pole"--more commonly known as a baseball bat--and pointed the party-goers to a pinata. The kids flailed away at it and at last the colorful container broke, releasing . . . Nothing. The revelers found themselves diving for air.
MAGAZINE
May 6, 1990 | JACK SMITH
THE URBAN MYTH, or fable, is like the mythical dragon that can't be killed: Cut off its head, it grows another. (If there is no such mythical beast, I have just invented it.) We keep hearing these fables: --About the jealous husband who poured the contents of a concrete mixer into his wife's lover's convertible. --About the helpful driver (always a woman) who is told that to push-start a stalled car equipped with an automatic transmission, she must first get it up to a speed of 35 m.p.h.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 17, 2000 | Steve Harvey
You think your community has problems. My second-favorite L.A. newspaper, the Los Alamitos News-Enterprise, carried this police log item out of La Palma: "Marview Drive, 11:31 p.m.: A reported loud party was actually a resident practicing the bagpipes." Then there was this bulletin out of Cypress: "Knott Street, 9:47 p.m.: A resident reported a motivational meeting was being held weekly nearby, and the attendees were being very loud."
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