Lucinda Andrews meets the Long Beach Car

Location: 240 South Olive Street
Date: December 2, 1903

After the dust cleared on the foggy tracks of the Pacific Electric Railway and the smashed Long Beach car was extricated from its unwelcome union with the Whittier car, Motorman F.A. Brewster was asked why the heck he’d stopped dead and allowed his machine to be smashed. The cause, it transpired, was a deranged old resident of the address above, Mrs. Lucinda Andrews, who had bolted from her relatives’ home "while suffering a temporary aberration" and wandered aimlessly through the night before presenting herself "staggering about unsteadily" immediately ahead of the oncoming Long Beach car. Brewster set his air brakes and reversed, but fearing the woman had been struck, stopped and ran back with Conductor A.L. Healgon to see if they could help her. Lucinda was hiding in a nearby field and refused to come when called. Returning to their car, Brewster and Healgon heard the Whittier train approaching and went to start their own, only to hear the crackle of the "overhead" burning out. The Long Beach car was a doorstop, and the Whittier car came on inexorably. Attempts to flag it down failed due to the fog, and the crash followed. Lucinda ended up in distant Dozier a couple days later, where she caught a ride home with Conductor F.M. Bickenstein. When questioned by police she professed complete ignorance of the past days events… though when pressed, confessed the spectacle of the train crash had lingered with her. A call went out to Olive Street, and her relatives came and took the old gal home.

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Author: 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.

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