An article written at a time when L.A. was a very different city - with a population of merely ten million, the city's detractors often called it "Iowa by the sea"; today they compare it to the Balkans:
"The point is that in  Los Angeles the individual leads his own life and plays his own games rather than lose himself vicariously in the capers of professionals."
Click here to read about the San Fernando Valley.
Before there was social media, there were the personal ads.
"And what, as a general rule, is the personal column used for? To communicate, to sell, to plot, to advertise, to complain, to hope, to invite, to reject, to pray, to love, to hate, to express appreciation - in fact, anything."
These historic pen portraits were compiled and re-worked for publication some fifty years after the San Francisco Earthquake; together they serve to illustrate the collective, yet individual, acts of suffering and heroics that took place April 18, 1906:
"On the front steps of an abandoned house she had seen a young Chinese mother nursing a baby. The mother's face was besmirched, and drawn with weariness. Her own child slept in swaddling blankets beside her. The child on her breast was white."
Here is a 1929 magazine article that makes clear for us in the digital age just how appealing the fad of flag pole sitting was to the YouTube-starved teenagers of the Twenties. This article tells the tale of Avon "Azie" Foreman and Jimmy Jones, two courageous flag pole sitting sons of Baltimore who inspired their feminine Maryland counterparts, Ruth McCruden and Dorthy Staylor, to ascend to perch. This journalist was probably not alone in believing that anyone who was capable of placing their keister where the flag should be was a rare and distinct breed of individual - possessing a faultless character and was destined for great things in the future.
Good; they will need such sturdy souls in two months - when the bottom falls out of the N.Y. Stock Exchange and the Great Depression begins - you can read about that here...
Matthew Weiss is a German-English translator specializing in historical texts, bringing old language into the present without sacrificing its sense of heritage and with an emphasis on idiom, colloquialism and immediacy. Areas of translating expertise also include poetry, fiction, Holocaust and war documentation, diaries, theatrical and motion picture scripts, film subtitles, librettos, but also journalism, technical writing and all manner of online content.
Click here to read his translation of a 1914 short story.