Apr 232012

Okay, I confess, I went for the lobster roll.

Toasted white bread crammed with lobster dripping with butter – it is divine.

Fortunately for me, I beat the ten-mile queue.

And then, well, the highlight of day 2 of the LA Times Book Festival was – let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start – first movie I ever saw at the pictures – da daaaaa, the von Trapp children.

Haha, doe a deer, true story, four of the von Trapp children, including little Gretel, appearing on stage together to promote their Sound of Music ‘scrap book’.

And praise their moms, who kept all that stuff.


But not as cute as Betty White, who is not cute at all but commanding, I’m sure.

Not that I saw her, not even close.

There weren’t many queues at the festival, which was breezy, cruisy, easy come easy go – until Betty.

They queued a mile for a glimpse of Betty, young and old, men, women and children waiting for their dazzling moment with the queen of . . . what? American TV life, I guess . . . you are sixteen, going on seventee-five, ladies and gentlemen, the von Trapp children.


The von Trapp children (not the one on the far left, she was the panel host)




Apr 232012
There are those in our midst who cannot speak with a voice most of the rest of us are willing to hear or understand.
This column is dedicated to them.

The old woman sits curled into herself on a bench, waiting for the same bus as everyone else. She is small, with a distant Chinese face, her hair like grey straw pointing arrow straight to the ground, with the exception of her fringe, which spikes out over her forehead like the shade of a baseball cap, as if the wind is perpetually at her back.

It occurs to me she might not be so old, perhaps even my own age. Her chest is sunken, with a sigh of invisibility; her spine no longer straight, as if looking out at a merciless world is now too much for her to bear.

She wants the bus to come. Mostly, she wants to make sure the growing queue of eager book festival commuters will not crowd her out, again.

I imagine, if she could speak to us with a voice we would hear, she might say this:

I do not mind being one among the rest of you filled with so much life and hope.

I do not mind being cast from your world, by my own doing or yours, it matters not.

Please, though, stand back and let me board your bus with ease.

 April 23, 2012  Tagged with: ,  No Responses »