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(Leota Whitaker Gandrau Collection)

Above is a very young Charles 'Slim' Whitaker, 1920s photo.
Slim Whitaker
2004 and 2012 Updates



(Leota Whitaker Gandrau Collection)

Above is a 1930s photo of Ethel and Slim at the front porch of their Hatteras Street home in North Hollywood, California. Their neighbor was Billy Barty.
2004 update:

There's two bits of controversy and both relate to information on Slim Whitaker's death certificate. The death certificate notes he was "a cook at Jerry's Cafe". Secondly, the death certificate shows the spelling of his middle name as "Orbie".

Tom Bahn's writeup on Slim went online in the Summer of 2001. Since then, he has done some further checking with family members and they recall that Ethel's restaurant was initially named "Larry's" (as Ethel married Larry a few years after she and Slim divorced). Larry later re-named the restaurant "Tiny's" (Tiny was Ethel's nickname because she was 4' 10" tall). After he retired, Slim used to hang out at the restaurant which was located in Sunland, California at the corner of San Fernando Road and Sunland Blvd. Years ago Debbie and Rose drove by the location and the restaurant had become a bar.

Tom was unable to find any one who recalled Slim working as a restaurant cook. Confirmations on this came from several family members including Slim's grandson Chuck Whitaker who said that his grandfather never worked as a short order cook. He remembers that after his grandfather retired, he worked as a bartender at a cowboy bar in Sunland and later as a guard or a fireman. He remembered the bar because it had hitchin' posts out front. He also remembers that Slim would visit Larry's Cafe for a meal or just to drink coffee and chat with his ex-wife. According to Chuck, his grandfather was completely retired prior to his death.

Leota (Slim's daughter) also recalled that her father was either a guard or a fireman in later life.

Slim, Slim's son Chuck and grandson Charles (Chuck) all have the same middle name of Orby. Charles told Debbie that Orby is the correct spelling (not the oft-reported Orbie).

The "informant" on the death certificate information is listed as Slim's daughter June, who at the time of her father's death, was having some difficulties, including the end of her fourth marriage. She may have been confused or mistaken when asked for info on her father.


2012 update:

As noted above, there's been a bit of controversy over Whitaker's middle name being "Orbie" or "Orby". The 1942 World War II draft registration for Slim has the spelling of his middle name as 'Orbie' and he also signs the registration as Charles Orbie Whitaker. That WW2 draft registration form is at:
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16371-30087-84?cc=1861144&wc=MMRW-1VV:1818083642





(Leota Whitaker Gandrau Collection)

No date or info on this photo which shows Slim third from the left. That certainly looks like a fire engine ladder truck in the background and none are wearing gunbelts and carrying sidearms. Closeup of Slim's face shown below. Tom Bahn writes: "At the time he may have been working for the studios as a guard or fireman. Based on the family movies I've seen, I'm going to guess that this was taken two or three years before he died."

Webmaster's note: I took the above photo and showed it to our local Fire Chief and asked him about the badge/emblem on the hats. His response was immediate - is the "Iron Cross" which has been used for years by Fire Departments everywhere.






(Courtesy of Debbie and Tom Bahn)

Slim is interred at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood, California.



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