Shortly before beautiful actress Lana Turner’s lover, Johnny Stompanato, was knifed to death (read all about it on p. 70 of Beverly Hills Confidential) a young teenager, Gary Jaffe, had a run-in with “The Stomp.” Gary’s a bit older now, owns Jaffe Estate Wines, and has this story to tell in our first guest post:
Back in the late 50’s I was a teenager and I had a job that required me to go to the post office in Brentwood once a week to mail the newspaper to subscribers of the “Brentwood Breeze” Parking was perpendicular to the curb and I had a 1941 Ford sedan. I parked, mailed the papers and jumped in my car to go back to the office. As I backed out I heard a bang as I moved out from the curb turning to get me started in the correct lane. With horror I saw that I had clipped the left rear of a ’56 T-bird that was so much lower to the ground than mine, I never saw it until after the “crash.” Knowing my parents would take away my driving privilege I panicked and drove away. Someone, of course had seen the incident and wrote down my license number. I was summoned to the District Attorneys office and went accompanied by my Dad. The D.A. explained to us that he had checked my school transcript and found that I was a good student with no previous run-ins with the law. He handed my driver’s license to my Dad and told him to keep me off the road for a while to teach me the lesson. He further explained that the T-Bird belonged to Johnny Stompanato, and that he was calling every day to make sure that “justice was done” and they were glad to finally get him off their backs.