Thursday, November 6, 2008

La Cañada Valley Sun: Around Town: She can be versatile

It was a hot night in the foothills. Our dog, a black lab mix named Miss Audrey Hepburn, had taken me for an evening stroll. Suddenly, Miss Hepburn began to whimper.

That’s when I saw the 2002, Harley Davidson Anniversary Edition Dyna Lowrider. Seated atop was a familiar person.

Of course, it was she. The Anonymous Source, an attractive lady in her 40s, a local history buff always prepared with the historic tidbit.

Tonight, she was in a different mood.

“Why,” she asked, “have you stopped writing about historical homicides?”

“Why,” she continued, do you persist in writing about the Los Angeles Dodgers?”

Could it be? Is the Anonymous Source a Cubs fan?

“Look,” I replied, “I’m sorry, but baseball is my life.”

“However,” I continued, “I’m not a one-trick pony. I don’t have to write about the Dodgers. I can write about football.

“Football!” she snorted. And with that, she was gone. No envelopes. No news clippings. Nada.

Suddenly, I noticed something drifting to the ground.

It was a photograph of a large bell.

Could it be? Was this the earliest-known photo of the UCLA-USC Victory Bell? Right here on Foothill Boulevard?

For the uninitiated, Stanford and Cal can keep their “axe.” Army, Navy and Air Force can have their Commander in Chief’s trophy.

The biggest and best big game trophy is the UCLA-USC Victory Bell.

It all began in 1941. The (almost) 300 pound locomotive bell had been a gift two years earlier to the Bruins from their Alumni Association. Suddenly, in 1941, the bell went missing.

Near-violence and endless pranks resulted after a photo of the Victory Bell was published in “The Wampus,” a Trojan magazine.

Tempers flared. Pranks were traded. Eventually, there was a truce.

In November of 1942, the student body presidents from each school signed a truce. From that day forward, the bell became the coveted trophy of the annual UCLA-USC game.

For the Bruins, the re-acquisition of the Victory Bell is always worth the wait. When the Victory Bell returns it is repainted Bruin Blue. All of Westwood celebrates.

The UCLA Alumni Association once reported that “on November 28, 1950, more than 5,000 Bruins spilled out into Westwood to celebrate UCLA’s 39-0 thrashing of USC and the return of the Victory Bell after three long years in the hands of the hated Trojans.”

On Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006, the Victory Bell was rung by then-head football coach Karl Dorrell at a home basketball game to celebrate that year’s unexpected victory over USC.

When USC wins the bell, they paint it cardinal.

Anything can happen at the UCLA-USC game.

The bell’s color today?



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@

La Cañada Valley Sun: La Cañada Flintridge, California--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Published Thursday, October 30, 2008 4:12 AM PDT
Around Town:
She can be versatile
By Anita Susan Brenner

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