Photos courtesy of LAPL. Credit: Jeff Robbins
A few weeks before Artist Josef Silhavy presented his distinguished oil portrait of Thomas Jefferson to the President and Executive Vice President of the Jefferson Savings Bank in Van Nuys, the Red Valentine Liquor Store at 6735 Sepulveda Blvd. was held up and robbed of $25 on Halloween Night 1963.
Goateed and white-shirted Raymond Carpenter was arrested, along with his accomplice Ronald Lee Ellmers. Both men were AWOL from Fort Ord, a US Army post on Monterey Bay, CA, which closed in 1994.
The Red Valentine Liquor Store was also the scene of a shooting on June 11, 1951.
To our modern eyes, accustomed to seeing oversized vaca negras in black, XXL shirts emerge from every televised car chase, these criminals of a half-century ago are lithe, fit and neatly groomed.
If they were young, alive and looked like that today, they might be sitting at Starbucks working on their blog. Or perhaps mixing mash at MacLeod Ale.