A Time to Remember

I had not seen Rose Toren for almost 15 years, until last weekend, when I decided that if anyone deserved tribute on this special holiday of memory and celebration, it was she. Memorials apply to many sorrows. She had just reached the age of 90 and, beset by failing health, seemed frail and detached, paying the price of time and grief in a prevailing mood of sadness that had deepened over the years. But, despite that, one could also clearly …

A Senior Nursery Rhyme: And We All Fall Down

I did not gather you here today to form a circle and lead you in a child’s game of Ring Around the Rosy, at the end of which we all fall down. It was fun when we were kids and could bounce up off the play yard like balloons, laughing and clapping in delight. Well, it ain’t so much fun anymore. The death and injury rate among seniors who take spills has risen steadily over the years to become the …

Fire in the Wind, Heroes in the City

It is raining this morning, May 6, over greater Los Angeles. It began tapping at our rooftop shortly after midnight and was still coming down as night blossomed into a gray and gloomy day. I felt like cheering. The rain, with its accompanying low temperatures and high humidity, meant that a fire that had burned through almost 30,000 acres of brush and timber in the mountains 40 miles west of the city had been beaten. We had come through another …

Time to Transubstantiate?

It’s not enough that Latinos are primed to “take over” California,  the United States and America’s institutions of higher learning by the sheer growth of their numbers, now they’re threatening to take over evangelical Protestant churches. Sort of. My earlier blogs have noted that Hispanics have become the largest ethnic minority group in the nation and that by next year, we will outnumber California’s Anglo population for the first time in history. Well, add to that a report by the …

Ruben Salazar in Art and Reality

I never intended a visit to the Museum of Latin American Art to revive memories of an old friend whose stature as an icon of courage began rising the moment his life was ending. In fact, the gallery in Long Beach was filled with far more compelling work than the simple portrait of Ruben Salazar by the noted Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. But only Salazar’s image managed to stop me in my tracks. It was personal. He was a …

When it’s All in the Family

We had a family gathering last Sunday to observe the advent of spring, the second anniversary of our daughter’s death, and the 65th anniversary of my first date with Cinelli. We greeted them all with noise and laughter. It didn’t feel like spring. It was raining on our town in the Santa Monica Mountains and the sky was as gray as steel . But the peach trees in our yard had blossomed into shades of white and strawberry pink and …