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Phil, the tale just gets better and better. I was going to mention the British - American accent thing but thought that would never have been possible to keep up for years. I've known some people who pretend to be from places like Ireland, talk in their Irish accent to one person and turn around and talk to someone else in Black Country (my dialect). Then they get confused just who they were talking to and how. Brereton must have been a clever chap to carry off this scam.

Thanks for sharing his story, although I suspect there is many a tale about this remarkable chap that will never see the light of day.

Cheers,

Boz
 

George Behe

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Dec 11, 1999
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Hi, Randy!

Thanks very much for your glowing testimonial re: my article -- I really appreciate it.

>I have that copy of the Commutator with George's >article on the gamblers. It was the first issue >of the journal I got after I joined THS at the >age of 13!

Let's see -- that means I was in my late seventies when you joined the THS in 1982. :)

>I .... can still recall the dramatic sketch of >Rene Harris that accompanied it.

My sister-in-law Bonnie Berg did that sketch (and a few others) for me, and I'm glad you thought her work livened up the article a bit. I had always been struck by the inherent drama of Rene's emotional confrontation with the gambler on board the Carpathia, and I felt that Bonnie's sketch gave the reader a pretty fair sense of what the poor woman must have been feeling at the time.

>The issue is a bit worn and torn but I've saved >it in hopes that I can have George, now a good >friend, sign it for me someday (if we ever meet!)

You mean *when* we meet, Randy -- it'll definitely happen one day in the not-too-distant future. :)

All my best,

George
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Oh look out Randy - Behe will arrive at your house at 3.00am with a suitcase, he's one of those overnight guests who never leave and by the tone of his last sentence.....he's packing already!
 
May 8, 2001
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You always start interesting new posts when I am gone. FWIW, I actually drove past Breretons grave yesterday in Burbank! :) He, and most of his family are buried in the same cemetary as my grandfather and many of MY family. I have yet to see the houses, or the one that the suicide took place, but maybe soon! (Is it still there? Phil, Mike, anyone??)
Brereton's story is an interesting one, and I hope someone continues to seek out the concealed. As Phil stated, if there is criminal activity, this will be yet another facet of interesting California history.
Good posts... I am A.L.L. ears!
 
May 8, 2001
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In looking at the newly posted picture of Hazel Brereton.... She has stone cold eyes. Maybe she was just having a bad day, but gives off an impression of someone I would not like to be around. Wonder of her personality was as charming?
 

Arne Mjåland

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Oct 21, 2001
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Here is a bit from the will written by John A. Brereton. brother of George on the Titanic.:
Aug. 15 1950
My last will and testament whatever I posess I leave to my sister Emily B Lathrop, my nephew Eugene Lathrop and my brother Wm. E. Brereton. My sister to receive 50% my nephew Eugene Lathrop 25% and my brother Wm E. Brereton 25%.
FILED Jan 31 1951.
John died on January 22 1951 at Los Angeles.
The superior court of teh State of California made up the Brereton estate.
Emily B. Lathrop inherited $ 9153,19. Eugene Lathrop got $2728.25. Wm. Brereton got $ 2728,25.
As John probably had inherited some of that money from his brother George, one can wonder how much of it was earend by work, and how much was earned by George in card games on transatlantic liners.
A brother Clarence Brereton, and Robert Way, another nephew were also informed about the outcome of the probate.
In 1951 Robert Way lived at Hotel Hayward, 205 West 6th St, Los Angeles. George Fogelson, who sent me copies of the probate also sent me a picture of the hotel.It is supposed to be situated in one of the "bad" areas in Los Angeles.
Robert Way was 21 years old in 1951. He may still be alive?
 
May 8, 2001
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Yes, Hotel Hayward, on west 6th, is down by, or right at an area named Little Tokyo. I am fairly certain 6th street is what many will recognize as another name... Skid Row. It is now supposedly called the "Hayward Manor Hotel" and still exists, that is, unless it has been burned down in the last few months. This is 6 miles-- fairly straight down-- from the Brereton's old house on Mira Monte street, which is located nearby Florence street, (some will remember an incident in the 1960's at the intersection of Florence and Normandy)...in an area better known as Watts. I have been in the general area several times, and have wanted to seek out the hotel and house, but lose all ambition once down there, and my only thoughts are to get the heck out of there As Soon As Possible........
Regarding Robert Way, I have been searching for him, and have a suspicion that he is deceased. Possibly as late as one month before our grave tour in 2002.... (darn it.) Am still looking into it though.
 
Mar 10, 1998
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Arne,
By the time of Brereton's death he had little to leave behind. In his acrimonious divorce from Hazel she saw to it that Danny, their adopted son, would continue to get support. George didn't even have a home of his own by the time of his death and used his sister's address as his own. What few possessions he had became the sister's belongings when he died. It was a very modest little house and is still standing. When Emily Lathrop died she had no idea that the old Titanic menu her brother had saved would one day be worth a lot of money. Her granddaughter sold it and made a bundle.

Phil
 
May 8, 2001
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RE: the name Brereton. English: habitation name from places so called in Ches. and Staffs. The former gets its name from OE brí¦r, brer briar (see Brear) + tun enclosure, settlement.

Brear=topographic name for someone who lived by a briar patch.
2. nickname for a prickly, difficult individual, from the same word as in 1, applied in a transferred sense.
-----------------------------------------------
So, could we conclude what Brereton was, by definition??
grin.gif
 
May 8, 2001
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Robert B. Way ( B. was for Brereton) who resided with the happy family of George Brereton for a short while, born in November of 1904, died in 1990, in Contra Costa County. (Northern California.) He was married, and it is my belief that due to the age of the person in the will, the Robert Way listed, was that of a son.
The closest listing I have come across thus far, is that of a son, born in 1925, which coincides with the father's data stated above. If this is the same, he died in September of 1997. I will hopefully continue a search though...
Oddly... I noted another Robert B Way, which could have potentially been his grandfather, who was a Constable in Whittier Ca. around the same time that my G-grandfather was a constable in Norwalk, the next city over..... Time to look over old family pictures again!
 
May 8, 2001
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CORRECTION... RE: Florence and Normandie.. This was where the Rodney King Riots started in the 1990's, NOT the riots that ravaged the community of Watts in August 1965. They were approximately 3 miles further down the street from where the Lathrops lived. These incidents happened within 5 miles of each other. All three make sort of a "V" as far as equal distance between them. (Sorry for that mistake.)
 
Mar 10, 1998
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Another photo of Brereton as well as one of his second wife Hazel, were added to the new gallery this weekend--neither very flattering!

Phil
 

Arne Mjåland

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Oct 21, 2001
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Tahnk you for additional information about the Breretons and Robert Way.
Here is another story about George:
It is from a San Diego paper April 30 1935:
DORT.ERNEST: BRERETON, GEORGE
The board of Supervisors by a vote of three to two today enacted an ordinance making two years residence in the county compulsory to eligibility for any county employment. The measure is aimed at Sheriff Dort, who retained Brereton protege of August Wollner and nationally recognized crominologist, as under-sheriff, and hired five other noted man-hunters from outside this county (San Diego)
 

Mike Herbold

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Dec 13, 1999
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Arne:
Thanks for sharing that interesting article, but it is definitely not about the George Brereton of Titanic fame.

Brereton seems like a fairly uncommon name in the United States, but there were and are a lot more of them than you think. You will find five George Breretons and one Thomas George Brereton in the California Death Index alone, only one of which is our infamous gambler.

The George Brereton you cited was a highly respected Chief of Police here in Southern California. I've run across numerous internet articles about him and his influence in police circles in the 1930s. He was no relation to the Titanic Brereton.
 

Mike Herbold

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Dec 13, 1999
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Colleen:
Yes, the house where George Brereton committed suicide, the house belonging to his sister, Emily Brereton Lathrop and her husband, still exists on Miramonte Blvd., just north of Florence Ave. (Seems strange that Miramonte is a Blvd and Florence is an Ave -- seems like it should be just the opposite.) It's just two blocks east of the Metro Blue Line route, and roughly halfway between the 710 and 110 freeways. The neighborhood is part of LA County, and borders Huntington Park.

Two other homes that were occupied by either George or Emily are about a mile away on the south side of Florence Ave. Another house he lived in right near the corner of Florence is now a coin-op car wash. The area is not too bad, but it's definitely more working class than yuppy, and a lot of the homes and yards are starting to show their age. (The famous Florence and Normandie corner of Rodney King Riot fame is way over on the west side of the 110 freeway.)

The last time I took pictures of the Miramonte home, I went to the house and met the current owners. They are a middle-aged hispanic couple, and only the husband speaks English. They know absolutely nothing about Brereton or the Titanic, and looked at me like an encyclopedia salesman (no offence intended Mr. Hind).

We'll have to make this one of our stops on our next Southern California Titanic tour. Actually, its not that far as the crow flies from the Titanic Exhibit. Not too far from Karen Abelseth Little's gravesite that we visited last time, either.
 
May 8, 2001
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Hi Mike! Great to see your name on the board.
You got yourself a deal... regarding another Southern California Titanic Tour! Look forward to seeing some of the houses.
Will look into Daniel's house out this way.
smile.gif
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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Seconding Colleen's remarks above and Phil G's elsewhere on the board, Mike - great to see you here posting again! Your input is always first rate. So is the area the Brereton's lived in 'downwardly mobile', or was it always hovering there, do you think? Quite an eyeopener to see how some Titanic residences have slipped a few grooves on the social scale since the subjects of our interest lived in them. On the other hand, no doubt there's many a Dockland home were a stoker or AB once lived that has felt the sweeping winds of market change and is now a yuppie terrace!
 

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