I spent some more time in the Los Angeles Times archives database, looking through hits for the search terms "burbank" and "death." This time I found 1949 and 1966 stable blaze deaths, the 1952 accidental electrocution of a lineman, a 1967 teen suicide pact, a 1959 "illegal operation" death of a sixteen year-old girl, a 1951 bar brawl murder, a bride who stabbed her husband to death in 1956, what looks like a 1951 mob hit on a BPD detective, a woman who died creating a trash fire in 1954, a 1967 shoot-out between the BPD and a bank robber (the BPD won), a mother who beat her two year old to death in 1963, the 1953 Mabel Monohan murder (which received nationwide coverage and resulted in I Want To Live!, the highly whitewashed 1958 Susan Hayward film), a 1951 pair of deaths via an Inspiration Point Jeep accident and a 1954 influenza fatality. There are many more. What am I going to do with all this morbid information? Other than report it in this blog entry, nothing.
I also found a 1964 mention that the Burbank library system has within its holdings the Burbank Family Bible. I want to see this, but my researcher pal Mike doesn't think they have it, but will check.
Bored, I restlessly went through Netflix' streaming video fare last night. I started with Season One, Episode One of Lost, the TV series some rugby friends have raved about. The Netflix software predicted I'd give it one star. I got though about ten minutes of it and thought, "Too modern, too Hollywood" and gave up. (A rugby friend once said, "If it's not at least fifty years old and in black and white, Brigham won't watch it.")
So I began watching Frederico Fellini's 1953 masterpiece I Vittelloni, which is more my style. I got about thirty minutes into that and felt restless again. I'll return to it, but I then switched to an HD documentary about ancient Greece narrated by Nia Vardalos which I found somewhat cloying. Still, I liked the caryatids coming to life and the computer simulation of what the Parthenon looked like just after completion.
I finally found what I was looking for with a juvenile delinquency film I haven't seen from 1958, Juvenile Jungle. Great, Daddio! Some of you may recall that I was into JD flicks a few years ago... This entry in the genre was only a little over an hour in length and starred the Prince of JD flicks, Richard Bakalyan, as "Tic-Tac," the volatile but funny thug. Bakalyan was to the JD film what Charlton Heston was to the Biblical Epic. In fact, he was so convincing as a JD that he was once grabbed by the police during a film shoot, loitering on a street. The directors had to bail him and a fellow actor out of jail. Later on in his career he was mainly seen as a goofball in Disney comedies, and as Detective Loach in Chinatown.
In general, 1950's JD flicks feature actors and actresses who look a little too mature to be teenagers, and this film was no exception. In fact, Rebecca Welles, who plays the hot waitress "Glory," was thirty when she made this! At one point she jealously asks a boy for whom she has the hots, "What's she look like?" "She's got all the parts... but you stack 'em better." Bakalyan also has a good line: "That's Kitten. Even before she meets ya, she knows ya." Later on he spills some beer onto Kitten's chest. Stay classy, Bakalyan! (I ought to mention that the beer swilled in copious quantities on the beach in Juvenile Jungle is the featured beer of film noir, Pabst Blue Ribbon. Judging from how often I see PBR turning up in old films, I'd say it must have been pretty popular.)
So, were there JDs in Burbank? Yes. Check out the L.A. Times entries here. 1955, teenager, black leather jacket and blue jeans? That spells JD to me.
Here's an interesting passge from the book I'm reading, Apollo's Fire by Michael Sims. What happens when you shut yourself up in a cave with no sunlight?
Our house guests return tonight from their jaunt in southern Virginia, Harper's Ferry and Pennsylvania. We have dinner, then tomorrow morning I get them to the airport for their flight back to Utah. I'll be sorry to see them go - they're fun.
Have a great weekend!