Frank Luckel — Collector of Weird News

In the world of weird news there are the professionals (such as Chuck) who write about weird news, and there's also a larger group of weird news collectors whose hobby is finding and saving items of oddness from the news, often sharing what they find with the professionals. Chuck, for instance, has his Board of Editorial Advisors.

The collectors tend to labor away in relative obscurity. However, a few have risen to prominence.

For instance, the English eccentric George Ives (1867-1950) kept scrapbooks in which he kept clippings of weird news items he found in papers. His scrapbooks were posthumously published as Man Bites Man: The Scrapbook of an Edwardian Eccentric.
Then there's Frank Luckel. For decades (the 1920s to the early 1960s) Time magazine ran a weird news column under the title "Miscellany," and throughout the 30s and 40s Luckel was a steadfast contributor to this column, sending the magazine hundreds of odd news items he had found — without ever receiving any financial compensation for his effort. Eventually Time singled him out for praise as their "Champion Contributor." From Time (Mar 4, 1946):

We are also indebted to you for some of the items in MMP [Milestones, Miscellany, & People]. In that category, however, our champion contributor is Capt. Frank Luckel, U.S. Navy (ret.), who has been sending us items—many of which we have printed—consistently for the last 16 years.

Capt. Luckel has a nose for Miscellany. An inveterate collector of the odd in news items, he snips them out of the newspapers, jots them down from the radio. He sent us his first contribution in 1930 because it especially amused him. It was a little item about a Washington, D.C., woman who won a divorce from her husband because of an infidelity he allegedly committed 31 years previously.

Capt. Luckel is also one of our oldest and most traveled subscribers. He began reading TIME shortly after our first issue appeared in 1923. and has kept on reading it throughout his tours of duty all over the world. Now that he has retired from his World War II job as naval censorship administrator for the Northwest Sea Frontier, his contributions have increased and he has decided to run for the California State Assembly. To old-TIMER Luckel, good luck, and thanks for the Miscellany.

Luckel achieved minor fame in another way as well. After retiring from the Navy, he served for a number of years in the California state legislature, during which time he authored a bill that became known as the "Luckel Act." It "prohibited known Communists from being employed by State Colleges."
     Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 20, 2016

The irony here is that a large portion of California are effectively socialist/communists
Posted by Bill M on 12/20/16 at 09:25 AM
That's a main reason I left my homestate twenty years ago, Bill.
Posted by KDP on 12/20/16 at 02:26 PM
The inmates took over the asylum. Or, as attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright, "The continent is on a tilt and everything loose winds up in California."
Posted by Virtual on 12/20/16 at 11:44 PM
I just love it when all the wackos start foaming at the mouth whenever California is mentioned. I understand now why the Cheeto in Cheif did so well. Thank god I had the good sense to move to Sweden.
Posted by F.U.D. on 12/21/16 at 02:18 AM
Isn't it funny when people who wouldn't know a hammer from a sickle accuse people of being communist? In my country, I'm only moderately left-wing - barely socialist - but in California, I'd be a dangerous radical, and in the rest of the U.S. of Insanity, a dangerous Trotskiist.
Posted by Richard Bos on 12/21/16 at 11:31 AM
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