Woken With A Bang

Sleeping Joe Schutton was roused from his rest by an ungodly clash and clatter, and when he lit his lamp found a pair of thrashing man’s legs dangling from the ceiling as the man above made obvious attempts to escape back onto the roof through which he’d broken. Irked Joe would have none of that, and clung to the kicking feet, screaming loudly for aid.

Patrolmen Sweeney and Kierscey were quick on the scene, and taking an accounting of the situation, raced to the roof where they extracted O.W. Coppington, 35, and asked what the hell he thought he was doing.

“I’m the victim here,” swore Coppington, who told a convoluted tale of being halted at Winston near Main by a pair of highwaymen, who he’d eluded by racing up the first stairwell he spied, then out onto one roof, then another, then another–searching for an open skylight he could escape through. But when he leapt from a tall roof to a lower one, the shingles, lath and plaster broke away, waking Joe Schutton and leading to Coppington’s arrest. Skeptical, Sweeney and Kierscey took their prize back to City Jail for further conversation, while Joe Schutton shook the ceiling chips out of his sheets and tried to get back to sleep.

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Kim Cooper

Kim Cooper is the creator of 1947project, the crime-a-day time travel blog that spawned Esotouric’s popular crime bus tours, including The Real Black Dahlia. She is the author of The Kept Girl, the acclaimed historical mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe, and of The Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the Salons and forensic science seminars of LAVA- The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. When the third generation Angeleno isn’t combing old newspapers for forgotten scandals, she is a passionate advocate for historic preservation of signage, vernacular architecture and writer’s homes. Kim was for many years the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture. Her books include Fall in Love For Life, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves and an oral history of Neutral Milk Hotel.

4 thoughts on “Woken With A Bang”

  1. Thanks for this guys! I now have a gallery at this address. It was built in 1887 and has a very interesting history. I would love to touch base with Kim and see if she has any more info or ideas where I can get more info regarding 118 Winston.

    I pulled the history of the building from the dept. of building and safety and have the permit history which shed a great deal of light on the space.

    Here’s our site for the building: http://118winston.com/

    I love what your doing!

    best,

    sz

  2. Thanks for your feedback, SZ. You have a wonderful old building!

    There are quite a lot of “hits” for the search string “118 Winston” in the Los Angeles Times digital archives (aka Proquest) which can be searched by anyone with an LAPL card (try this link on the LAPL site, with your card and PIN number). I haven’t read them all by any stretch, but you should definitely poke around with them and I hope you’ll come back and tell us what you find.

    Early on I see that there was a family named Gardner there who had a piano business, and they had a grandson who petitioned the court to permit him to change his name from Sellenscheldt to Sherman.

  3. Thank you kim!

    after Mr. Gardner it was sold another man (don’t have his name right now, it’s at the office) then in the 40’s it was bought by a Mrs. Sylvia Cresswell who was doing business as “Sister Sylvia’s Soul Patrol”. Apparently she ran it as a free boarding house for alcoholic G.I.s returning from WW2.

    It was that until the 50’s then it became a series of labor halls with men living on the top 2 floors in bunk beds and the ground floor being a kitchen and hiring hall.

    In 1974 it was taken over by “American Indian Involvement” which ran it as a rescue mission for homeless native americans.

    They left in the early 80’s and it became a toy district store and warehouse.

    That pretty much brings us to the present day.

    I LOVE this building but it is unfortunately in pretty bad shape. The wife and I are doing our best to repair it slowly but it’s a lot of work and money for someone who only leases it.

    Oh also, a major scene in the movie “The Sting” was filmed here. They had it painted as a Western Union office and while pressure washing years and years of paint and graffitti I found the sting’s yellow paint.

    BTW, both my wife and I are 4th generation Angelinos.

    Thanx for the info and for all that you do!

    best,

    sz 

  4. Sister Sylvia’s Soul Patrol?! Good gravy, that’s like a funk band, a great lost blaxploitation film and some really sweet real-life social work all rolled into one. Thanks for caretaking this place, and for sharing its amazing history.

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