Tonight's cuppa: decaf Barry's Irish breakfast tea
You never know when you're going to run into history.
Last week, in search of better cell reception, I wound up in an out-of-the-way hall on the first floor of the Los Angeles Times building, located on Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles, where I now have my office.
Like the other walls on the first floor — and perhaps the other floors as well, but I haven't been upstairs yet, so I don't know for sure — this one featured framed reprints of stories from Times' past. The tale on the two framed pages in front of me was a doozy.
On Oct. 1, 1910, a bomb planted by union activists collapsed a big chunk of the newspaper's headquarters, killing at least 20 and injuring many more. The story recounted how the surviving members of the staff rallied to put out a paper despite the devastation.
Click here for a YouTube video recounting the bombing and its political implications (which were considerable); here for the Wikipedia account; here for an account from the archives of the University of Southern California (USC); and here for the Times' own recollection of the event, on its anniversary in 2008.
It's a whopper of a tale, involving union unrest, private investigators, high-profile arrests, political intrigue and all sorts of machinations from famed lawyer Clarence Darrow.
Don't know about you, but this sounds like an HBO or Showtime movie just asking to be made, or maybe an AMC miniseries. Feel free to offer writing, directing and acting suggestions in the comments below.
Off the top of my head, I'm thinking "There Will Be Blood" writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson doing the same tasks here; with Sean Connery as Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis; Gary Sinise as celebrated private detective and former Secret Service agent William J. Burns, the "American Sherlock Holmes"; Ian McShane as labor-union leader Samuel Gompers; and Tim Robbins as Darrow.
As a bonus — and at the suggestion of one of my Twitter followers who wanted to see what the insides of a major American newspaper looked like (while there still is one) — I took my smartphone back out into the halls and shot the following pictures (click on image for larger version).
The story in question…