RAINMAKER To stave off a drought in 1924, wheat farmers in the Tulare Lake bottom hired Hatfield the Rainmaker man and paid him a hefty fee, for he was in demand throughout California. Sodbusters in the San Joaquin Valley employed him for eight consecutive summers. A “moisture accelerator,” he liked to refer to himself as, with over 500 documented successes. (Attempts to bring rain by sideshow hucksters had waned since the advent of fraud laws, with the exception of rain-dances and other forms of prayer.) He promised the city of Los Angeles 18-inches of rain--and delivered --from his headquarters, Esperanza Stadium in Altadena. Hatfield was a former salesman with the New Home Sewing Machine Company, yet, he created his own method of producing rain: a secret substance of 23 chemicals in large, galvanized tanks, with hollow tubes and cables inserted into liquids change the structure of clouds, by manipulating streams of orgone energy-- the primordial cosmic energy --that induces rainfall, and forces clouds to form and diffuse atop a wooden tower he built, where he stood releasing the smelly mixture into the air from the deepest part of the lake. Many of those standing around watching secretly hoped for rain to get out of work. A rain that may fall in an instant or take several days to deliver the goods. Other observers feeling for coins in their pockets thought it was going to rain anyway.