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Al Martinez

Biography:

Al Martinez, Pultizer Prize-winning journalist, author and recently
annointed "Bard of L.A.," brings humor, wisdom and a sometimes quirky, perspective on life to his weekly AARP blog. The former Los Angeles Times columnist riffs about aging, current events, who he is, who we are and everything else. At 82, he's got more than a few things to say.

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Al Martinez'sPosts

Doris Roberts Leaves ’em Laughing, but No One Knows Why

Posted on 08/7/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeDoris Roberts is the kind of dinner partner who can keep you laughing through the French onion soup, the Waldorf salad, the poached salmon and even the strawberry short cake, although afterwards you wonder what it was she said that made everything so funny. I pondered the subject over a glass of cognac one gentle summer evening during a party at the home of a mutual friend while Roberts entertained a guest on her other side who, later, also couldn’t …

When Life’s Race Nears the End

Posted on 07/31/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeIt was quite a contrast. When Cinelli and I married in 1949 I was 20 years old and could run like the wind. Life was a thunder clap back then and my very existence was packaged in a race to a goal I never bothered to define. There was a kind of glory to the rush that trailed fire and dust; we were young and strong and loud, raucous children of a hurricane that never stopped forming. That is no …

Rocking and Rolling on the Coastal Starlight

Posted on 07/25/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeHere we are rocking and rolling down the coast out of Seattle, not with a band, but aboard an Amtrak train that bumps, jumps, sways, jerks and hurtles all at the same time, knocking me around like a dog in a shipping crate thinking that at any moment I might go airborne. I love it. It is our transportation of choice for a week in the Northwest, and now we are on our way back to the homogeny that is …

A Deer in the Garden, a Cat in the Box

Posted on 07/17/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeThese are the gentle years, beyond the rages of youth and the desperation of middle age, seasons of summer warmth, and skies so intensely blue that it hurts the eyes to gaze upon them.  Only God and the artist Magritte could paint such skies and implant such peace on a softening day in July. I was sitting on a bench in our garden, a half-acre spread that my wife has transformed into Eden, when it occurred to me how much …

Seeking Freedom on the Open Road

Posted on 07/10/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeIt seemed somehow appropriate that Irv Thomas—author, philosopher and world-class hitchhiker—would die on the eve of Independence Day. The anniversary of America’s birth, after all, represents freedom of the individual and Thomas represented freedom of the spirit. He disliked the structured notions of life, like a 40-hour-a-week job, but hailed the distances that his soul would take on the highways of Europe and the United States, his hitchhiker’s thumb extended, anticipating the adventures that a freelance form of travel would …

Will Fast Food Save the World?

Posted on 06/26/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeI once took it as a personal affront for anyone to suggest that I chow down at a fast food eatery. I do not necessarily dine at five-star restaurants every night but never would I lower my cultural standing by being seen at a place that serves fat-soaked burgers and French fries deep-fried in pig lard or whatever. But I think I may be changing my mind. My U-turn is based on an article by Bruce Watson in a newspaper …