My husband Julian and I had a great time in Duarte today, where I served as Ambassador in the Duarte Route 66 Parade and Classic Car Show.
The event was pretty light duty. It involved eating a tasty breakfast at the community center, meeting event organizers and city officials (Congresswoman Judy Chu was there, too), riding in a convertible and waving, then meeting and greeting at the vintage car show and carnival after. Oh, and sending one of the city's worthy citizens into the dunk tank. (Two balls for a dollar; I spent $2.) I left too early to dunk a city councilwoman. Lots of great kids (like the DART volunteers who shepherded us around) and good people.
I met Zac Sunderland, the teen circumnavigator, who was the parade's Grand Marshall, and who posed politely for about two hundred photos -- including this one (by Julian Bermudez) -- and a signed a lot of autographs. His message: "Don't pigeonhole kids; give them an opportunity to live their dreams."
We're learning today that the government is dropping charges against Vang Pao, the Hmong hero who's been under house arrest in Orange County for a long time. Above, he's visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC in 2000. (LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)
Well, Vang Pao is my former colleague Doualy Xaykaothao's GREAT UNCLE, and she produced a profile for us that we aired on Off-Ramp in 2008. I've pulled it from the archives and hope you'll give it a listen.
The LA Times' Bill Plaschke makes a strong case today that the NFL's Washington Redskins need to change their name because Redskin is in a league with the n-word for offensiveness.
In my experience, the people who truly believe words like "Redskin" (and "squaw") are not offensive didn't grow up among Native Americans, like I did. Back home, in the Upper Peninsula, you wouldn't say either word in an Indian bar, which leads me to propose this compromise: Let Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell go to any bar on any reservation and bandy the word "Redskin" about loud enough for the patrons to hear. If they escape without a beating, they can keep using it. We can have somebody tape the event.
Think they'll go for it?
PS: My high school's teams were the Soo High Blue Devils, with a cool mascot and logo. The hockey team was great, and the football team was awful. The mascot didn't seem to make any difference.
I'm proud to say Dinner Party Download kicks butt this week, even if you only listen to the minute or so that British rocker Billy Bragg sings his version of the Ode To Joy. It's very moving.
Also on Off-Ramp this week, Julian Bermudez profiles artist Camille Rose Garcia, Michael Sigman celebrates his father Carl's (What Now My Love, Ebb Tide, It's All In The Game, etc.) centennial, and KPCC's Morning Edition host, Steve Julian, unveils his new play, "Checkpoint."
At 7pm Pacific, Off-Ramp starts live Tweeting Project Runway at KPCCofframp! If you're in church, heart surgery, or an important business dinner, this is the ideal way to not miss a single moment of the drama. Unless we get distracted, or pause the TiVo for too long, or start arguing and forget to update.
Read what the critics say:
"What's Project Runway? Something Ike cooked up?" (Russell Kirk, author, The Conservative Mind)
"I have an important business dinner. I can't spend time on something like this." (Eli Broad)
"I'm sorry I ever gave him my email address." (Robert E. Lee, Confederate General)
"Make it work." (Tim Gunn, sensible but sensitive Project Runway mentor)