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Good news/Bad news from Off-Ramp host John Rabe




Piper Laurie re-enacts
Piper Laurie re-enacts "Carrie" with Off-Ramp host John Rabe.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Waiter Alonzo "Panama" Castillo has worked at Musso & Frank for 42 years. He's part-time now and says he might retire soon, "but then where would I get my exercise?!"
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Victoria Price, Vincent's daughter, at Carlos Almaraz: A Life Recalled, at ELAC's Vincent Price Art Museum
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Marc Maron, author, broadcaster, comedian, in L.A.'s Highland Park neighborhood.
John Rabe/KPCC
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Steve Soboroff and his Jim Murray typewriter (and glasses)
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Miss Chinatown 2011 Shirley Zhang with Off-Ramp host John Rabe and his cowlick.
Michael Cao
Piper Laurie re-enacts
At the LA Mission before the homeless count, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti mugs with LA City Councilman Gil Cedillo.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Phyllis Lutjeans, 85, the TV talk show host "held hostage" by Chris Burden in 1972, in her garden in Irvine.
Chris Burden's friend Phyllis Lutjeans (John Rabe)
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Kenturah Davis with her self-portrait at Papillion Art in Leimert Park in South LA.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Amy Inouye, of Future Studio Gallery, with Deborah Brown's Cock Bob sculpture in Glassell Park.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
The cast and crew of "This Old House" tapes on a rooftop in Silverlake. That's host Kevin O'Connor in the blue shirt, learning about attaching clay roof tiles from the roofing contractor.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Jazz singer Barbara Morrison in the Ella 100 section of her brand new California Jazz and Blues Museum in Leimert Park in South LA.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Jeanne Cooper, 83-year old star of "The Young and the Restless," with Off-Ramp host John Rabe.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Piero Selvaggio, about to celebrate his 53d Thanksgiving in America, in the special events room of his restaurant Valentino in Santa Monica.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Angelyne posing for a free, and hence veiled photo with John Rabe, inside of her Camaro.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Outgoing LA Times food writer Russ Parsons at his "home away from home," Grand Central Market in downtown LA. His last day at the paper is the day before Thanksgiving.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Off-Ramp's John Rabe and Chaya Leah Esakhan in the Off-Ramp studio
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
George Takei (right) and his husband Brad Altman
John Rabe/Grant Wood/Michael Uhlenkott
Piper Laurie re-enacts
KNX reporter Pete Demitriou
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Off-Ramp host John Rabe at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
James Ellroy, the famously technophobe crime novelist ("LA Confidential") fends of John Rabe and his iPhone. Rabe and Ellroy met at the LAPD Museum in Highland Park to talk about Ellroy's new book, "Perfidia."
Novelist James "No Tech" Ellroy fends off John Rabe's iphone. (KPCC/Benjamin Brayfield)
Piper Laurie re-enacts
81-year old Ruth Gerson prepares for her 67-mile ride down the Backbone Trail of the Santa Monica Mountains.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Ken Kelly, Harriet Glickman, and Franklin, the first black peanuts character. Kelly and Glickman wrote to Charles Schulz and convinced him to include a black character.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
No sartorial slouch, Vic "The Brick" Jacobs goes for a different vibe.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Historian Anna Sklar, who discovered a treasure trove of photos taken by the City of LA's engineering department from about 1890 - 1980. She's at the Baldwin Hills Rec Center, site of a years-long peat bog fire.
Anna Sklar takes Off-Ramp to the nicest places. Image: John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
One of the most obvious physical changes, as Bob Tur transitions to Zoey Tur, is that Zoey has breasts. Bob never really had a butt, Zoey does. Inside, Zoey says she's a much happier person than Bob ever was. "It was like living under the El in Chicago, and moving to Iowa. The noise has stopped."
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Pepe Aguilar, in his office in the Valley, wears his mantle as the scion of a cultural dynasty comfortably. His new album, his 24th, pays tribute to his father Antonio Aguilar's rival Vicente Fernandez, "the last of the Mohicans," as Aguilar calls him.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Director and animator Genndy Tartakovsky in his office at Sony in Culver City, March 6, 2017.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Singer Larry Davis, 74, closes his eyes at Miles Recording and Mix as he records the followup to "Close Your Eyes."
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Film and television star Kristen Bell, at KPCC's Mohn Broadcast Center on February 27, 2014. The movie version of "Veronica Mars" opens March 14.
Kristen Bell is a member of KPCC. Are you? (John Rabe)
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Off-Ramp Host John Rabe conquers his fear of spiders and holds a Chilean Rose-Haired Tarantula in the care and conservation area for reptiles and insects at the Los Angeles Zoo on Tuesday morning, Oct. 4, 2016.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Angels pitcher and race car driver CJ Wilson at the Long Beach Grand Prix.
John Rabe
Piper Laurie re-enacts
Ron Perlman and Nameer El-Kadi at the Mohn Broadcast Center, 1/19/2011.
John Rabe


I’m very excited to tell you some really good news.

One of my bosses at KPCC said a very nice thing about Off-Ramp a few months ago: "Off-Ramp sounds like it's wrapping its arms around all of Southern California."

That's exactly what we set out to do almost 11 years ago when we started Off-Ramp. The idea was to tell stories from all over SoCal that encouraged all of you to take the off-ramp, to explore our city. As Mark Twain wrote in a letter to the San Francisco Alta California in 1867, "...nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people." That goes for traveling to Timbuktu ... or to Bakersfield.

With luck, some of that has rubbed off on me over the last 11 years. I hope producing and hosting Off-Ramp every week, meeting thousands of Southern Californians in that time, and relating their stories on the radio, has made me a better person.

Check out the slideshow for some of my favorite guests over the years!

You know where this is going.

While I've loved doing Off-Ramp, it's time to try something new and a little scary. Over the last few months, my bosses worked hard to craft a position for me here that will let me bring the essence of Off-Ramp to the whole station, and starting July 5, I'll start my new job as KPCC's Production & Promotions Director. I will be working with everyone at the station who wants to do better radio.

The final Off-Ramp will air July 1 & 2. While I’ll be sad to see Off-Ramp end, this is something I've been thinking about for a long time, and frankly, Steve Julian's passing death kicked me in the pants and made me ask myself: "Self, am I doing something that challenges me in a new way? Am I doing something that's a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit scary?" This new job will be a huge challenge, and I think a very rewarding one.

I’d like to thank everyone who made Off-Ramp a success for the last 11 years, from the producers and interns, to the hundreds of thousands of YOU who listened every week -- including the many of you who are KPCC members.

And especially, thanks to the thousands of Southern Californians who let us tell their stories. If I started naming them, I'd never stop. You know who you are, and your generosity and trust have enriched all our lives.

It's been an honor.