SF knows how to treat its columnists


Walking along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, I was startled to see a stub street named for the famed Chronicle columnist (1916-1997), although I’m afraid the master of three-dot journalism is a bit overshadowed by the promise of sweeter morsels.

Doesn’t L.A. deserve a Jack Smith Street or a Jim Murray Square? I’m just sayin’.

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  • John Clifford

    Hmmm, haven’t seen any but the city of LA does name intersections after prominent (maybe) people. Off the top of my head I know that there’s Famous Amos Square at the corner of Sunset and ???? where his cookie store was, there’s Langer’s Square where that famous Deli is located, I believe close to Amos’ square is Art Laboe Square where his offices have been located for many years, and the corner where Ray Charles Studios are located on Washington Blvd is designated as Ray Charles Square. Of course the corner of Hollywood & Vine has been designated Bob Hope Square.

    I’m sure that a little public input could certainly get a Jack Smith Square if it’s not already there.

  • Ramona

    And somewhere in the IE there ought to be a “David Allen Place.”

    [It could lead to a sewage treatment plant. — DA]

  • Bob House

    Over the years, I had the pleasure of reading all three on a daily basis at various times. Perhaps worth noting is that Caen’s columns span twice as many years as Smith or Murray. I was shocked to see how short Jim Murray’s Wikipedia entry is — and without even the usual note to help out by adding more material.

    Harlem Place and Werdin Place, both off 3rd St., near the Times Building, are less-than-one-block “stubs” that could easily be re-named for Smith and Murray.

    I also enjoyed Al Martinez’ columns in the Times (still there I believe after 25 years or so).

    [Actually, he got dumped a few months back. Jack Smith had no Wikipedia entry until I wrote one (a long one). Somebody should expand Murray’s. — DA]

  • I’m with Ramona on this one. I can only imagine the spirited debate that will take place decades hence when community leaders convene to decide whether the Inland Empire Columnist/Bloggers’ Hall of Fame & Gift Shop should be located at 909 David Drive or 909 Allen Avenue.

    [With my luck, 909 1/2. — DA]

  • Bob House

    You mentioned your work on the Smith Wiki entry earlier — I had forgotten. On re-reading — nice work!

    P.S. You haven’t been drying your clothes in your microwave have you?

    [That’s another Claremonter! For the mystified: See a very funny story in today’s DB. — DA]

  • Bob Terry

    I couldn’t resist this…Allen Ave….Blackstock & Brewster Blvd…Leung Lane…Whitt, Woods & Wrye Way…Sholley Street…Rodriguez Road…Roche Route…oh, the horror.

    [Indeed. — DA]

  • Allan

    Congratulations on having La Verne’s Allen Avenue and the corresponding Allen Avenue Elementary named after you. That’s what it should say on a Wikipedia entry, anyway, along with a photoshopped image of you at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. With enough people, this could be a wikiality!

    [No doubt some people would even say, “Yeah, I remember seeing you there.” — DA]

  • Charles Bentley


    Wait, there already is a namesake drive for you here in Ontario. Allyn Avenue runs from Holt Boulevard north to Fourth Street, and then picks up again at Fifth Street up to the I-10 Freeway. The perfect site for your “square” (oh, let’s not start discussing the appropriate naming of that locale!) would be at the intersection of D Street and Allyn.

    D. Allyn Square. It works!

    Now all you need do is use a little of your political clout with the City of Ontario and I’m sure you could get the ‘y’ changed to an ‘e’, at least on the sign closest to the site.

    And just FYI — Jim Bryant Park in Ontario is named for the longtime Daily Report Sports Editor. So our area isn’t totally without appreciation for local scribes!

    [Good point about Jim Bryant. As for my (ahem) political clout with the City of Ontario, would this be the same clout that failed to get anything at the library named for Beverly Cleary? — DA]

  • RichP

    Al Martinez still has a blog. I got on the mailing list because I sent him a note about one of his LAT columns. You might try http://almartinez.org/wordpress/?p=39.

    Jim Murray was well loved by many, and probably a great guy to know. But, I learned not to take him seriously. He wrote too many columns about stuff he had little knowledge of. With his predilection for overstatement, he often came across to me as an uninformed amateur.

    A good example was a column on former Upland HS star Steve Scott in the early ’80s. At that time, Scott was a strong contender for best in the world, and dominated the scene one year until late in the season. Murray’s column went on and on about how he was a miler as opposed to a 1500m runner. Anyone who understands middle distance running knows that the difference between the two distances is trivial in terms of relative abilities of the runners. What Murray failed to mention is that, by then, the world standard race was 1500m, and that Scott won the mile races because the top non-US runners didn’t enter frequently. The real scene was Europe, where the mile was run only occasionally. In other words, Murray totally missed what was really going on.

    [“Uninformed amateur”? Them’s likely to be fightin’ words for Murray fans. As for Al Martinez, mark your calendar: He’ll be in Pomona on Saturday, Oct. 10. More on this closer to the event. — DA]

  • Linda Frost

    I’ll put in a plug for Jack Smith, the quintessential columnist and my favorite. I’m still looking for that copy of God and Mr. Gomez. I think you need to be a little older to get a street named after you. Grow some gray hair, and maybe we can get a David Allen Lane. There are many possibilities in Baldy. Only the streets in the Village have names; those on Forest Service land do not. It would really help the UPS man out.

    [I shouldn’t have to grow any hair if the street is in Baldy. — DA]