Thursday, May 1, 2008

La Cañada Valley Sun: Another Drink with the Anonymous Source

La Cañada Valley Sun: La Cañada Flintridge, California

April 24th

Around town:
Another drink with the Anonymous Source
By Anita Susan Brenner

It was a cool morning in La Cañada. Surprisingly cool.

I had stopped by Zeli’s for a quick cup of coffee. That’s when I noticed her, sitting inconspicuously in the corner. It was her. The Anonymous Source.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

She pulled an envelope from her vintage brown leather motorcycle jacket and tossed it onto the table.

Once again, I asked her the pivotal question: “There was a jail house in Montrose?” advertisement

The Anonymous Source frowned.

“Yes?” I asked expectantly.

She looked straight at me and said: “Your column. Too philosophical. Crime sells.”

With that, she was gone.

Nervously, I opened the envelope. It was a court docket from 1952. I began to read:

W. B. Barnes died May 15, 1939.

Barnes? As in Barnes & Noble? I continued to read:

For many years prior to his death Barnes had been employed by Brodie Bros., Inc., a corporation. After his death it was discovered that from 1934 to the time of his death Barnes had embezzled substantial sums from his employer.

Maybe not. But what did this have to do with the Foothills?

Among other things, the plaintiff alleged that certain of the misappropriated funds had been used to purchase a piece of real property on Waltonia Drive, Montrose, California.

Waltonia? I looked more closely at the paper. The street number of the purloined house was faded. It contained four digits. I looked more closely. The house was in the 1900 block of Waltonia Drive in Montrose. The first two numbers were a “1” and a “9” but I could not make out the last two.

So far as the real property located on Waltonia Drive is concerned, there is no merit to the contention that the findings do not support the conclusion that the misappropriated money was used to purchase this property. The referee found that this property was purchased in 1936 for a total purchase price of $3,150, of which $1,234 was paid in cash; that installments were paid from the Bank of America account in which salary and additional sums (obviously part of the misappropriated funds), were deposited

My head began to fill with questions, mostly unanswered. Waltonia? Where on Waltonia? Why Zeli’s? And what did any of this have to do with the Montrose jail?

To be continued


ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. E-mail her at">anitasusan.brenner@

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