Nose humor and gangsters… a serendipity tale..


ose picking is not a popular topic but we all do it, some more gracefully than others. My music teacher, who was also my voice teacher, did it on stage with a tissue. When she sang opera on stage she could transform from being a 40-year-old woman to a youthful angelic being, and just as lovely while waiting for the class to get ready, with her finger up her nose. I watched her put that tissue with a finger way up there and then she pulled it out and acutely looked at it. She was not embarrassed or self-conscious about it either and I thought to myself,

“How does she do that…to pick ones nose and not care? Doesn’t she think about all of us watching her?”

My dad told me a story once. He was on Hollywood Blvd. and a big limousine pulled up alongside his car. They were both waiting at the stop sign when he saw a woman picking her nose in the back of the limousine. I guess in the 1940s not all big limousines had tinted windows. She looked over at Dad and seemed to blush and then she gave him a big smile. It was a youthful Elisabeth Taylor.

Hollywood and Santa Monica was the “cat’s meow” back then for movie stars, gangsters and the common folk. They mingled nicely back then. Things were spread out and people were intimate. Dad said that at some of the night clubs that he went to there were a number of actors and gangsters present. One night he said hello in passing to Bugsy Siegel while in a Santa Monica restaurant. He said his eyes were piercing blue and as cold as ice. I think this was a few days before he was actually found murdered. Maybe he wasn’t killed by the mob for money laundering or for his wheeling and dealing in Vegas; maybe they caught him picking his nose.


Honey cooler

Wipe that smile off your mug!

~ Eddie Kagle


Tony from 1932 Scarface

I just saw Angel On My Shoulder on TMC, ( starring Paul Muni, Anne Baxter and the infamous Claude Rains. Wow what a winner. The film is based loosely on the motif of Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which is the old story of making a deal with the devil. Romance is a tight theme in this film too and as in Faust it is love that outsmarts the devil once again !

What is so endearing about this film is how Paul Muni’s character Eddie Kagle talks the gangster talk. He has it down. He is an amazing gangster actor to study. I have viewed a few films with Paul Muni over the years, as the 1932 Scarface,  but this one really gets me. Ya, I’m a sucker for them bad boys.  Next to James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart… I prefer Paul Muni!

So sit back with some giggle water and rest your lambs on some Joes or should I say trouble boys… all the way!   This film is well worth your time!

Jenny Lens Punk Photographs

The women of punk rock may have to fight a lot harder to push their way in and Jenny’s photography needs to be proudly displayed in our musical museums as well.

If you are into the creation story of punk rock you have to view these images taken by Jenny Lens. The feeling from her pictures jump out at you and it is all about those crazy wild punks.

This is the root system of the LA  punk rock scene and beyond and it’s amazing history.  Jenny Len’s images yell out loudly about the  history of punk rock and the continuity of a music scene in general.

A Lark down Hollywood Blvd with Marilyn Monroe

I wanted to be treated as a human being who had earned a few rights since her orphanage days. ~ Marilyn Monroe 

Ruth took this picture. Holly with Flowers.

The Crusstos moved into the neighborhood when I was twelve. This meant saying goodbye to my best friend Wayno who left the house they moved into.

I was sad. The neighborhood parents talked about the new neighbors John and Ruth. Later they all became good friends!

Ruth had beautiful red henna hair and a slim figure which she always showed off. I heard she once was a dancer in Las Vegas. I did not always listen to her stories.

I wish I could go back now and listen more intently. I do remember what she told me about Marilyn Monroe.

Ruth also came from a troubled past. She met Marilyn when they were living at a boarding house for young girls without families.

“Norma was her name then.” Ruth said.

“You knew an actress like her?”

“Norma always was a little dramatic with her gestures…she was not an actress then…we were just a couple of teenagers who liked going out on a lark.”

“What do you mean?”

“Norma and I would often break out at night and walk Hollywood Blvd and have so much fun together.”

Then Ruth said,

“She was a wild girl, that Norma.”

Looking at Ruth she still had a wildness about her. She pronounced her words very clearly and often made comments to me on how to pronounce words properly.

One thing I knew about her, that I found very strange, is that she did not wear underwear under her dresses or pants. The neighborhood parents talked!

John Crussto was a Fire Chief at the local fire-station. Ruth was a waitress at a local steakhouse on Ventura Blvd. I often saw Ruth drink her liquor straight up.

Ruth taught me how-to put-on mascara. It was vintage Maybelline mascara in a little red box. She carefully showed me by holding a little black mascara comb with a generous supply of mascara up to her eyelashes. Then she let the eyelashes do the work by blinking. The blinking put a generous supply of makeup on her eyelashes

There was always music playing on the stereo at the Crusstos. Frank Sinatra’s hit song “Tramp” was her favorite song.

Looking back, I am amazed that at fifty Ruth could still kick her leg up as high as a girl in a chorus line, just be careful where you were looking.



Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine Covers from 1979 to 1989.

Check out Hudley Flipside’s author page! via @amazon