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

Lou Dobbs Leaves CNN; Editing Paris Review a “Lifelong Dream.”

When the news came the other day that Peter Gourevitch was leaving the esteemed Paris Review, we thought nothing of it. Now, with Lou Dobbs' surprise exit from CNN , it all seems as clear as a George Plimpton essay.

Just read Dobb’s farewell speech:

"Over the past six months, it's become increasingly clear that strong winds of change have begun buffeting this country and affecting all of us," Dobbs said early in the program. "Some leaders in media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond my role here at CNN and to engage in constructive problem-solving, as well as to contribute positively to a better understanding of the great issues of our day, and to continue to do so in the most honest and direct language possible."

How could it be clearer?! He said he’s being urged to “go beyond” and “engage in constructive problem solving.” What would be more likely to lead to international rapprochement of the big issues of the day – of the millennium – than for him to take the reins of the world's -- and perhaps the universe's -- premiere intellectual journal? And what language is more "honest and direct" than French?! When they say "non," they mean it, and heck, the French didn't even have a "w" until about twenty years ago.


A Few Veterans Day Photos from John Rabe

A few years ago, some folks remade what had been a nasty little triangle at Cypress and Pepper in Cypress Park, my neighborhood, into a beautiful little park dedicated to MIA’s. The flag – US and MIA – are kept flying and of course are at half-staff right now after the shootings at Fort Hood.

The park is always clean of trash, the flowerbeds weeded, and memorials placed and cared for.

Ever read “Peanuts” around Veterans Day and wonder who Bill Mauldin was? Mauldin was a cartoonist who portrayed the lives of the infantry in this book.

Mauldin won some enemies among the brass for his candid observations, but he won a million fans among the fighting men and women.

My copy of Up Front (a first edition) was owned by one Thomas M. Williams of Fletcher Avenue in South Pasadena. If anyone know who this was, please leave a note in the comments section below.


The Rockin’ Rock Inn – An Oasis Just An Hour (or so) Away

Some people at Sunday’s birthday party – who have lived in Los Angeles all their lives – had never been to the Rock Inn, let alone Lake Hughes. So I feel better that it’s only taken me about ten years to find it.

Lake Hughes is on the northern edge of the Angeles National Forest, about midway between the 5 and the 14. The air is clear and – for you transplants from the Midwest and Northeast -- the leaves are turning.

There’s a lot of indoor and outdoor space, a full bar and full menu (Wednesday’s food special is all you can eat spaghetti, served by the Lakes Town Council, and dancing and live music Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The address is 17539 Elizabeth Lake Rd Lake Hughes, CA 93532

Many of the customers are bikers – it’s a beautiful drive/ride – but it’s a pretty mixed crowd. Sunday it included a bunch of workers from The Painted Turtle, one of the Adler+Newman camps for seriously ill children, celebrating after a long week. The handsome young man who came over to our table to say hello explained that people are always saying “no” to these kids, and when they come to the camp, they get to hear “yes.”


Off-Ramp to Mark Sayre Fire Anniversary

This weekend, Off-Ramp joins many others in marking the one year anniversary of the devastating Sayre fire, which decimated the Oakridge Mobile Home Park in Sylmar.

The team that produced The Ashes of Oakridge -- KPCC’s Frank Stoltze, Queena Kim, and Jackson Musker, plus videographer Tanya Miller – return to the park to see how the residents and the park are doing.

(Image courtesy KPCC’s Frank Stoltze.)


From Mystery Fork to Mystery Tree – Off-Ramp® Calls for Sleuthing

Attention Off-Ramp's Semi-Pro Mendicants!

The attention generated by the Fork In The Road art prank inspired an e-mail from listener Jane O'Neal, who has her own mystery* she needs help solving.

Hi Mr.Rabe

I once met you at my friend Mimi Pond’s house. She was kind enough to give me your e-mail after I told her about the mysterious art "tree" that has appeared in the little triangle park at Prospect and Hollywood Blvd.

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I heard your program tonight about the "fork in the road" and thought that maybe you could solve the mystery of the strange little "tree" that is hung with lanterns that glow.

My partner, Pat Smith, is the landscape architect who redid the little park recently and she has no clue where the "tree" came from.

Anyway you should take a look at the "tree". It has a sign on it that offers no clues.