When Men Were Men, and Dahlias Black


I admit to being a total sucker for shaggy dog laments about the late, great tabloid dailies of yore, but you don't have to be a collector of William Randolph Hearst's office memoranda to appreciate this Cathy Seipp nostalgia trip about the long-dead L.A. Herald-Examiner. Especially for her account of the marvelous, underappreciated Watson family of early Hollywood child actors-turned pioneering TV cameramen and tabloid photographers. Sample:

Watson pranks are still the stuff of legend. At a Forest Lawn funeral with a 21-gun salute, they had a dead duck fall from the sky just after the shots were fired. Outraged by the eviction of families from Chavez Ravine to make way for Dodger Stadium (and annoyed by competition from TV helicopters), they ruined all the TV footage by getting fellow photogs to lie on the ground spelling out the f-word.