October 31, 2014

Topanga Tim's Survival Tips— Emergency Supplies

 Fernwood Fred was loading the groceries in his car the other day and then covered the whole pile with a colorful blanket. He likes to carry a blanket with him as it can be used to keep his food cool, cover an accident victim, serve as a tablecloth for a picnic, or can keep him warm if he has to evacuate and spend a night in his car or a shelter. That’s something I could easily add to the bin of emergency supplies in my car. “Topanga Tim” is brou… [Read More...]

Al Martinez...On Everything Else, A Long And Lonesome Trail

 This column first appeared in LA Observed.com. Life seems lonelier these days, depleted by a swift rush of time that thins the ranks of old friends and leaves me wondering where all of my yesterdays have gone. I write down names of colleagues and close friends lost not to war but to old age or illnesses; men like Belcher, Levitt, Grant, Locke, Reck and Reed. Cigarettes and martinis took them from an era of excess, but so… [Read More...]

Kids In the Canyon: A Club Worth Joining

 “Humans are hard-wired for connection.” –Brené Brown It is fall and a little buzz is in the air at Topanga Elementary Charter School. This buzz is the hum of 11 busy members of the Topanga Elementary Charter School Newspaper Club. The club attracted an excited group of young writers, photographers and artists and is sponsored by second-grade teacher, Mrs. Sondra Tapper, and myself. Our new principal, Mr. Gedi… [Read More...]

My Corner of the Canyon: Brave New Birthday

 “I just have to have my party in Topanga!” Miranda had declared. “It’s where I grew up and it would make me really happy to have it at the Community House.” She had spoken. For the past two birthdays we got off easy, skating by on a Chipotle dinner, some stuffed animals and a Unicorn t-shirt. Our daughter was biding her time. “It’s OK, we don’t have to do much for this birthday,” she’d acquiesce. “But don’t forget my Sweet Sixteen is coming up.” The… [Read More...]