The Chandlers Invent and Reinvent L.A.

Bob Nelson of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Those of us who were a part of the Golden Age cannot hope to see its likes again in today’s faltering fortunes of print journalism. Perhaps a sequel to this book would be not so much inventing L.A., but reinventing the Los Angeles Times.

Thunder Over West 44th Street

times-square

But when you’re two fiercely independent, highly emotional people every day is a journey through a dense jungle, a shot into space, a dive to the deepest parts of the ocean, a race without a finish. Nothing is easy in a collusion of spirits.

Things Get Cleaner with Coke

cocacola

According to the Internet mailing, a can of America’s Drink can also remove rust from chrome bumpers, loosen rusted bolts, remove grease from clothes, clean windshields, dissolve T-bone steaks or clean truck engines.

Love, Political Style

Donna Rice, Gary Hart

If I hear one more apology from a politician caught humping like a dog in a cornfield with some beguiling pretty while his wife was home I’m going to be sick.

A Requiem for My Traveling Pants

old-blue-jeans

We calculate time by different methods, beyond the persistent ticking of a clock. Some measure it by seasons, when autumn leaves turn to rainbows and fall from the trees; some by the growth of their children with height marks that rise steadily up a kitchen wall; and some by the longevity of their favorite jeans. […]

AARP and the 26 Positions

swimming-couple

I was flipping through an AARP Magazine the other day when I was stopped by a full-page ad that featured the photograph of a man who appeared to be licking the neck of his giddy female companion. An overline in red said, “Sex. It’s Never Too Late to Learn Something New.” I turned the pages […]

The Way We Were

online-newspapers

It is a day of unrelenting light in Southern California, a moment in the burgeoning spring that forces the sun into every crevice of one’s life, whether he wants it or not. I am writing in our gazebo where diagonals of light trace criss-cross patterns on the tiled floor, and the warmth on my back […]

B-B-B-Benny and the Beeps

elton-john

So I’m tooling up I-5 doing 70 in the slow lane from L.A. to my spiritual home, which is San Francisco, listening to Elton John doing B-B-B-Benny and the jets when I hear a horn beep-beeping in that very same rhythm. I say to myself that it’s one of God’s coincidences, relying on my scant […]

The Lonesome City Blues

transients

A friend who lost his job in a newspaper washout some time ago said it made him feel alone and isolated in the city. He was describing the intense feelings of rejection that accompany sudden unemployment. He was talking about the loneliness that an outcast feels. I know that feeling. I became like him on […]

Up Paula’s Nose & Other Stories

national-enquirer

As newspapers struggle to enhance their appeal to younger readers by dressing up their pages and limiting the use of words that exceed three syllables, I am filled with a growing need to help them survive. Readers of my column may have noticed that my own strong response to the effort is to be less […]

When They Drove Old Dixie Down

They should have played “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” when Barak Obama was elected president of the United States. It’s a song about a defining moment in the Civil War that saw the old South and all that it stood for going down to defeat. They should have put the version by Joan […]

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