Author Archive


Elegy for John Bogert

Elegy for John Bogert

This is a piece I never wanted to write. My dear friend John Bogert succumbed to cancer on July 29, 2012. He was 63, a longtime newspaper columnist, a Pasadena resident, and a devoted dad to his three darlings, Caitlin, Rachael, and Ian. I was a latecomer to his life, having met him in 2010. Back [...]

What’s Old Is New Again

What’s Old Is New Again

During several summers following high school, I, like nearly every teenager in Orange County, worked at Disneyland. Early in my career, one of my pals introduced me to another coworker in the parking lot. Actually, this new acquaintance was crawling out of the rumble seat of a 1939 Packard, if memory serves me. And as [...]

A Better Life Rings True

A Better Life Rings True

“Teacher, why are you showing me such a sad movie? I’m gonna cry all day.” “Miss, I’d kill to have a father like that!” Sometimes I strike gold while watching a film with my students. It happened last week when we saw the summer 2011 independent film A Better Life, directed by Chris Weitz. It’s my [...]

Make Mine Lemonade

Make Mine Lemonade

Dare I cite the old bromide, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade?” Now I actually love lemons in their every form. So naturally, the other night I chose to visit Lemonade, a restaurant which opened on South Lake two months ago. The occasion? A delayed birthday meal for one of my valiant friends who [...]

The Boy Who Taught Me How to Be a Teacher

The Boy Who Taught Me How to Be a Teacher

Once you get old enough, you start to develop a perspective about how life’s random puzzle pieces have come to connect. Some pieces attach by sheer force, some settle gradually; but there are others whose fit becomes apparent only after the passage of years. I was fortunate enough to be hired as a high school [...]

22 Miles Across the Sea

22 Miles Across the Sea

Catalina is a local destination I’d never visited before. The occasion? A day trip with a dear friend who was celebrating her birthday. Since she’s more in the know than I am, she had acquired a free boat pass courtesy of the birthday promotion at CatalinaExpress.com. (Take a look! The offer is legitimate and it [...]

Children of the Street

Children of the Street

“To all those who dare to care” is the dedication in the newest novel by Pasadena author Kwei Quartey. Children of the Street has just been released in paperback. It’s a book unlike any you have read, unless you are already a fan of his first detective tale, Wife of the Gods. Both books are [...]

Pssst! Word of Mouth! Go See Terri

Pssst! Word of Mouth! Go See Terri

Terri is an intimate, autumnal-lit film about an overweight high school boy and his unexpected relationship with his assistant principal, Mr. Fitzgerald. Though we locals can sense that the movie was filmed right under our noses, the location is meant to be a woodsy Anywhere, USA. The players are Everyman. Their situation is both heart-rending [...]

Just Imagine: Club 21

Just Imagine: Club 21

The volunteers at Club 21 are wrapping up spring session. I help there every Wednesday at ECAR, the Every Child a Reader tutorial. I am one of a cadre of ten teachers who report from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Each of us is assigned to a student with language and developmental needs. All the [...]

I Call Him Sugar

I Call Him Sugar

“Oh, come give me some sugar!” Miss Lois McLeod would greet us children when we’d arrive those summers to visit our granny. Nowadays we’d refer to Lois as a spinster. She was a bred-in-the-bone North Carolina Presbyterian lady. She worked as a secretary for Gulf Oil and for years she rented room and board from [...]

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Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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Camelot and Vine

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