June 9, 1958

The marathon Giants game yesterday wore me out. I couldn’t look at the newspaper this morning. Eating a meal didn’t even thrill me.

This “usher sting” was getting us nowhere. The Peanut Killer seemed to be wise to every move, and now he was just playing with me. Maybe I’d crossed a few people and punched a few faces in my journeyman travels, but what did I ever do to deserve this mental case shadowing me? I almost wished he would knock on my door with a club or switchblade or noose in his hand so we could have it out once and for all.

Bob and Chumpo were good pals, but they hadn’t been much help. The remedy was obvious: I needed to talk to Liz. I spent the morning re-dialing her home number in L.A. No answer. An editor at the Herald hung up when I mentioned her name. I tried her at home two more times, got no answer, and then got worried.

After calling in sick—a good move because Awful Antonelli and the Giants ended up sleepwalking through another loss to the Reds—I got out to my car unseen. Stopped at the bank for some cash, loaded up on petrol and jumped on the 101 highway south.

Nothing irons out your headache better than a gorgeous, gently curving road and the hope of a matching dame at the end. I wasn’t sure Liz would even talk to me, but I didn’t have to be back until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, more than enough time to find out. Misty mountains and valleys on my left, ocean somewhere on my right, fresh fruit every ten miles and good diner coffee in San Luis Obispo and Ventura to fill in the gaps.

It was early evening when I hit Los Angeles. Somehow I remembered the way to Liz’s canyon, and parked at the foot of her sloping driveway. The house was dark. I crept up the drive to peer in the windows but couldn’t see much. Returned to my car, uncapped a fifth of Hiram Walker I’d bought on the way, cracked open the window and began to wait.

The brandy was peachy and smooth. I thought I heard a phone ringing, but wasn’t sure which house it was from. I thought about going back up and knocking or camping on her front step, but I didn’t want to get accidentally shot. After a while, the long drive, the brandy, and a chamber orchestra of canyon crickets put me out…

* * *

BAM-BAM!! Not gun shots. The knuckles of a Japanese gardner on my window. It was morning. I sat up groggily, rolled it down.

“You seeing house?”
“What’s that?”
“Suppose to clean bushes. No seeing house until I clean bushes.”
“Why would I see the house?” Where’s Liz?” He stared at me blankly. “The lady who lives here?”
“Oh no. Lady gone. Nobody live here.”

This time I stared at him. Climbed out, hiked back up the driveway. Pressed my face to a window.

The house was cleaned out.

“Wait! Let me clean bushes!” He started clipping away behind me with his giant shears. I turned and grabbed his arms.

“Where’d she go?”
“Don’t know! Nobody knows….One day she here, then she gone!”

THE SKINNYS

CIN 002 130 000 – 6 6 0
S.F. 000 000 200 – 2 6 2
W-Schmidt L-Antonelli SV-Jeffcoat HR: Dropo GWRBI-Temple
The only NL game is a big snooze. Johnny Antonelli continues his march through Humilation Valley, dropping to 0-8 with a 6.59 ERA. The Giants get a rally going against Willard Schmidt in the 7th, only to have Hal Jeffcoat come in and chloroform them again.

DET 001 000 001 – 2 7 1
BOS 000 010 002 – 3 9 1
W-Sullivan L-Lary HR: Zernial GWRBI-Gernert
Frank Lary gets out of seven jams, but after Zernial puts the Tigers ahead with a solo shot in the 9th, the other boot drops. Runnels walks, Malzone singles him to third, Williams reaches on a kicked Bolling ball to tie the game, and one out later Gernert singles in the winner.

CLE 100 001 000 – 2 6 0
BAL 001 200 00x – 3 7 0
W-Brown L-Woodeshick SV-Loes
Jim Busby scores the go-ahead run in the 4th on a balk called on Hal Woodeshick, Ken Lehman and Billy Loes pitch four great innings of relief, and the Orioles are suddenly two and a half games out.

CHX 010 100 010 – 3 6 2
WAS 000 001 100 – 2 3 1
W-Latman L-Ramos HRS: Phillips, Lollar, Sievers
Because 3-2 is the only score allowed in the American League today, the White Sox win 3-2 and hey, look at that: the go-ahead run scores on a balk after a Callison triple in the 8th.

National League through Monday, June 9

Los Angeles 29 23 .558
Chicago 30 24 .556
Philadelphia 26 25 .510 2.5
Cincinnati 25 25 .500 3
St. Louis 25 26 .490 3.5
Milwaukee 24 27 .471 4.5
Pittsburgh 25 29 .463 5
San Francisco 24 29 .453 5.5

American League through Monday, June 9

New York 35 17 .673
Baltimore 34 21 .618 2.5
Chicago 32 22 .593 4
Boston 32 22 .593 4
Detroit 24 29 .453 11
Cleveland 24 32 .429 13
Kansas City 20 32 .385 15
Washington 14 40 .259 21.5
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