Sunday, May 19, 2013

Elegy to Flower - May he have many happy travels in Bastet's Fields

Crossposted from Blogetary:

Above, Flower, sitting in state on "his" gold silk comforter, May 3, 2009.

No one really knew how old Flower was, or what his real name was. Heather, my sister, dubbed him "Flower" because of his sweet face. He was a wanderer who had other "real owners" who had micro-chipped him, but he always found his way to my sister's back garden and chose to spend most of his time there with her. He hunted, he slept. He spent four or five years working his way into my sister's life to make sure she was okay. He had adopted her and had plans for her. He had a schedule and he kept her to it and took care of her in that way. He was able to be with her through thick and thin, loyal and loving, never deserting her. Flower was a good cat.

No one really knew how old he was, not even his "real owners." Last week, my sister noticed he was limping and obviously in pain. When she contacted the owners of record through the microchip, there was no number left to let them know their cat was sick. So, Flower and my sister faced the vet together and found out he had bone cancer, and had probably had it, and been in pain, for quite a while, but was just now showing signs of being in pain. She went home with pain killers and options and started to think about how to deal with this. It's tough when our four-footed friends are ill. They can't really tell us what they want, so we have to figure it out as best we can on our own.

Saturday morning, she found blood in his urine. Saturday afternoon at the vet's they advised that it was time for Flower to go and my sister had to make that tough decision many friends of the animalkind need to face, putting them to sleep.

Flower will be missed — is missed — and I hope he's hunting and sleeping in Bastet's Fields and no longer feeling the pain he had probably been in for so long.

So, to Flower, who was a good cat and a good friend to my very dear sister.

To Flower, 2003 (?) — 2013, who was a good cat.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Larchmont Chronicle 50th Anniversary

 Crossposted from Blogetary:

Once upon a time there was this girl named Jane. She had a lot of what some people used to call “spunk”. She was outspoken (she was from New York state, after all). She was a Girl Scout. She worked on her high school paper in Rye, New York. She went to a good mid-West college (Beloit) and then moved to New York City and began working at Cosmopolitan Magazine. Eventually she joined the military as a Recreation Director and helped organize activities for lonely G.I.s serving overseas. This is where she met her husband, Irwin.

But, “Happy Ever After” doesn’t stop there. I mean, in the stories it does. In real life, there’s more to it. She and her husband eloped to Las Vegas and then went on to Denver where she became a copywriter writing advertising copy. She was bored. This was not what she went to school for. This was not the great career of the young woman who’d once worked for Cosmo.

So, she and Irwin pulled out stakes and moved to Los Angeles to see what dreams are made of here. They landed in a little known strip of L.A. suburbia (at the time anyway) in Hancock Park on Larchmont Boulevard. It was an old fashioned street. There was a gas station. A grocery store. Local merchants.

Jane befriended another ambitious young woman, Dawne Goodwin, who excelled at selling ads. Together, in a kitchen, the hatched an idea, a really big idea, to start a paper all their own. It was 1963. I wasn’t even born in 1963.

To keep people from getting all hinky about “gals” running a newspaper, they did the traditional first initial thing (because you know how nervous some guys get when women start to work in their wheelhouse). And set about creating a neighborhood newspaper. Dawne got the advertising. Jane wrote the copy. They presented it as the Larchmont Chronicle published by J. Gilman and D. Goodwin. Their first issue had 12 pages and the mailed it out to as many people in Hancock Park and the surrounding areas as they could.

The local businessmen gave the six months before they thought the paper might fold.
FIFTY YEARS LATER, the Larchmont Chronicle now averages 60 pages an issue each month. Still privately owned and operated by Jane and Irwin Gilman, it is read by approximately 77,000 people in the Los Angeles area. More if you count the ones who get it mailed to them all over the U.S.

Besides being a publisher of a paper that’s been around for 50 years, however, she’s also contributes to the community. She’s involved in Hope-Net (and started the Taste of Larchmont fundraiser that helps contribute to Hope-Net each year), is one of the founding members of the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society, is part of the Miracle Mile Civic Coalition, the Wilshire Community Police Council and the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.

Four and a half years ago I had used up the last of my unemployment, hadn’t found a job yet, or been able to build up my freelance business. I got desperate and from desperation comes inspiration. I sent out emails to businesses in my neighborhood who might be looking for part time or occasional office work or proofreaders, freelance or otherwise. One of the places I contacted was the Larchmont Chronicle. Jane emailed me asking if I’d be interested in a receptionist job. I said sure. She asked if I could make it for an interview in 15 minutes. It was the end of a hot summer. I hadn’t showered. I brushed my hair, pulling it back into a ponytail, changed my shirt, pulled on a skirt and walked down to see if she’d have me. I was hired as a receptionist/Girl Friday and I’ve been there ever since.
I have learned so much from this woman. Not just here, but to be able to work with all the phenomenal women who have worked at the Chronicle for so many years has taught me so much. And to be able to be at this gala event at the Ebell of Los Angeles with many of the people Jane has worked with in the community to celebrate all the work she’s put into this paper was wonderful, astounding, fantastic, and a lot of fun.

Below are a couple of pictures from tonight.

Above, Assistant Editor Laura and Associate Editor Suzan. They kick my ass every single month.

Jane Gilman, publisher and editor of the Larchmont Chronicle with Yvonne, our accountant. They can both drink me under the table, swear like sailors and behave like the ladies they are. They also kick my ass every month.

I missed getting pictures of Maria (graphic designer) and Pam (Director of Advertising) because I got distracted, but you get the idea. It’s a special group of people, of women, of ladies, and I treasure the time I have spent them and have learned from them. And I know that through the years they have made positive impacts on others as well.

 I had a great time tonight and I wanted to share this so people would understand what I mean when I say:

I. Love. My. Job.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Star Trek Reboot – Mark II

Crossposted from my Blogetary: