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Collection of seven daily calendar journals kept by a Los Angeles Policewoman
Los Angeles, 1934-1955. Seven daily calendars (approximately 5.5” x 8”) kept by Los Angeles Policewoman Sidney A. Ball between the years 1934 and 1955. Some calendars have more content than others; overall about 20% of the pages have entries. A number of newspaper clippings, notes, and department forms are attached or laid-in. The spine covering for 1955 is missing. All have some wear and soiling. Most of the entries in Ball’s daily calendars concern routine events, lists of officers and inspectors, lunch and dinner engagements, contacts, addresses, parties, opera and theater dates (“Oklahoma!”), Hollywood Bowl concerts, staff birthdays, attorney meetings, retirements, movies (Grauman’s Chinese and Egyptian), police functions, books (Alinsky’s Reveille for Radicals), an Admiral Byrd lecture (“He has penguins with him.”), vehicles and license plate numbers, trips (Acapulco, Death Valley, Alaska, Michigan, Canada, New England), recipes, Mexico shopping lists, etc. However, several multi-page entries in some of the calendars appear to be course notes, perhaps from the ground-breaking classes specifically for policewomen provided by the University of California at Los Angeles, and many entries relate to Ball's police work. The entries made while Ball was working at the jail or with vice are quite telling about her job; simultaneously humorous and depressing. Here are a few of them: * 17 Jan 1937 – “Ed. Threw snowball at motorcycle officer – I take blame.” * 2 Jul 1946 – “74 men killed in line of duty – no pension . . . Just what is the protection offered for our $5.80?” * 31 Jan 1947 – “Tonight we booked a mean old Irish Biddy – who told me I looked like a mean old Bull-dog – later when I went close to where she was she said Say, There’s going to be a dog show in Glendale on Sunday. Wish I could enter you.” * 10 Mar 1947 – “Drunk arrested accused of Prostitution denied charge – ‘I only tricks with my Boy Friend he takes Five tricks a day and gives me $10.00’” * 19 Apr 1947 = “D.T. in drunk tank There is a man in tree who just shot an arrow at me – There he is an indian he had a feather in his hair.” * 8 Jan 1950 – “Came in with 25 good rings – 7 w.m. watches some diamond incrusted + 5 of the rings must have cost around 1000.00 – married to Colonel N. . . . living with 3 men off E. 5th Children locked in garage set fire with candles” * 23 Feb 1950 – “Mamie Floyd came in with . . . long blade knife – White handle. Mamie said knife was hers She carried it to kill man who killed her Bro – No one could mess with her blood” * 19 Aug 1950 – “She was Samoan – Had been a dancer – even when drunk walked with a graceful elegance – Had a proud look – verging on a sneer – But corrupt language & a fighter when drunk. Narco-Mainliner . . . Brilliant became user thru illness” * 16 Nov 1950 – “Richardson, Nellie Bk Very nasty with p/w Smith when being booked – Kept calling her “nigger’ take hands off me – what they would do to her in South – Pled with her to behave – Miss Smith never said anything in return . . . claimed Smith broke her arm – went to X-Ray following day 1015a – Negative!” * 14 Dec 1954 – “Wo prisoner bit finger off. Found by trusty who went to clean-up stepped on finger.” * 10 Feb 1955 – “I’m glad you officers caught me and got here when you did this man was about to ride me to death.” “Yes, I’m married but here on a visit and wanted to try a strange piece.” This is a fascinating record providing insight into the life of an early female professional in a career-field dominated by men. Sergeant Ball, who retired with over 35 years of service in 1965, was one of very few female officers when she joined the Los Angeles Police in 1929. Although women had served as jail matrons or in specialized social-work-type positions in other forces, the Los Angeles Police Department became the first department to routinely employ policewomen with powers of arrest when in 1910, it swore in Alice Wells and assigned her badge number “1”. By 1937, the department employed 39 policewomen; one was Sidney A. Ball (nee Kirkpatrick and later Retzer)
      [Bookseller: Read 'Em Again Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2016-11-26           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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