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Latino Life

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 the AARP blog. The former Los Angeles Times columnist riffs about aging, current events, who he is, who we are and everything else.

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Al Martinez'sPosts

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 …

A Second Chance for the Woodcarver

Posted on 06/12/2013 by |Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeA ruptured aortic aneurysm is known to cause death almost instantly. Basically a tear in one’s main artery, it pours out blood at a heartbeat tempo and leaves a lifeless victim in its wake.  The mortality rate from a burst aneurysm is 90% even if you make it to the hospital. Only a few survive. One of the survivors is Barry Lysaght, a master woodcarver who lives in the Santa Monica Mountains just north of Los Angeles in a small …

When the Brain Stops Working

Posted on 06/5/2013 by |Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeWe were in a movie theater watching a long and boring subtitled foreign film when it suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t know where I was. Literally. I had been slumped down in my seat day-dreaming about sex and money when the realization flashed into my head like a light globe in a cartoon illustration: I’m lost. I turned to my wife, the perceptive Cinelli, and whispered “Where are we?” She whispered back, “At the Laemmle,” which was the …