MAILBAG MONDAY: We are giddily romping along in the smear-tactics portion of our campaign for a 5th District council sinecure, and some people, it seems, don't have the stomach for a ruthless campaign.
Last week we wrote briefly about our sole opponent so far, Joseph D. Luyben, owner of JDL Packaging Systems, a Paramount-based company that sells, we're guessing, packaging. We also guessed that the JDL in Joseph D. Luyben's company's name stands for the terrorist Jewish Defense League. A few readers reckoned otherwise.
"You owe Joseph D. Luyben an apology," one woman sternly told our phone machine. "The company's name, JDL, comes from Joseph David Luyben. So put that in your paper, that you misprinted a few things and that you're gonna own up to it."
A man claiming to be a cousin of J.D. Luyben, takes us to task, righteously, for calling Luyben a St. Anthony boy when in fact, says Cousin, "He went to your favorite high school, Lakewood High, home of the Lancers."
We regret the error, especially because we could have used it against him had we just checked. Bringing a guy who didn't go to school in Long Beach, and who exports jobs to the faraway land of Paramount, as a member of the Long Beach governing group? It's not what the 5th is looking for at this critical point in its history.
Another reader, Jim Hayes, also takes issue with the whole JDL nomenclature business as well as our statement about the connotations of the Luyben family name after its years in the mortuary business.
"The Luyben Family Mortuary has brought solace and grace to Long Beach families over many years," writes Hayes. "To be cited as `grim and sorrowful' makes me think Mr. Grobaty will not feel anything in his afterlife, nor will his family and friends feel for him."
Dang. Actually, we fully intend to leave a gaping void on this planet when we leave to claim our eternal reward.
Family and friends are already rushing to our cause, committing to letting us pound a lawn sign into their front yards and volunteering to host campaign parties for us.
"Thank you for the best laugh I've had all week," writes Denise De Sisto. "Add me to your list of supporters. We have a great double lot in Lakewood Village. Does that mean two yard signs?"
Joykiller Robert Proctor, sniping at us on Facebook, advised that we "leave humor to the professionals," while, getting back to the business of two yard signs, Maureen R. Bykerk, of Cal State Long Beach's School of Nursing, also volunteered sufficient acreage for two signs on her corner property.
Don Knabe, county supervisor for the 4th District, writes, "Sounds like a perfect campaign, but you forgot two important things. 1.) Promise to fix EVERY pothole and trim EVERY tree in the district and 2.) You need to set up an interview with the P-T Editorial Board! Ha!"
YET ANOTHER MISTAKE: In our almost embarrassingly rave review of Gerald Locklin's trilogy of genre fiction, we indicated, or just outright declared, that all three books have been re-released by Spout Hill Press. That is true only of the first in the trilogy, Locklin's famous and well received "The Case of the Missing Blue Volkswagen." The subsequent books, "Come Back, Bear" and "Last Tango in Long Beach" were written on the tail of "Volkswagen," Locklin tells us, but languished for years for a variety of reasons.
The three books, then, are available for the first time as a set and can be purchased through the cold-hearted amazon.com as well as your neighborhood bookstore at Gatsby Books, 5535 E. Spring St., in our 5th District. Gatsby also, we're not abashed to say, has copies of our two books for sale.
PLAYLIST PEEVE: In our Friday Playlist, we kicked off the first of four February lists featuring black artists in honor of Black History Month.
"You forgot Stevie Wonder," complained a caller.