Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Mike Sheehan's Sketchbook: Bill Rosendahl stands tall at the VA groundbreaking

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Artist Mike Sheehan has been sketching his Los Angeles for Off-Ramp. This time, he follows LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who is doing his best not to let cancer keep him from his duties.

I'd been hoping to sketch Councilman Rosendahl for a few months now, and last Friday, I got a call that he wanted  to meet me at a ceremony at the Veterans Administration in Brentwood.  So it was a mad dash to his office in West LA, then to the ground breaking of building 209 on the VA campus. It'll eventually house 65 veterans.

Homeless Veterans are one of Bill's big causes.  He arrived on a walker. What a gregarious guy. Everyone was very supportive. His speech was supposed to be 3 minutes; I think he went fifteen. Really uplifting and positive.

Afterwards, I showed Bill some of the sketches and he said, “Thanks brother, how about a hug?” 

Before he left, he asked to see a protester, and told me, "This guy was out in front of the VA  giving them hell." Rosendahl said he'd have been out there with him, but needs to stay positive or no one would listen to him.

It was nice to see an event like this that will result in some vets getting off the streets. I didn’t expect to go away inspired -- I can be as cynical as everybody else -- but I did.

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