Page 1






HISTORY Gold Medalist Remembered


From Skid Row to the Red Carpet


One Man’s Journey in L.A.




TIMES CO N T E N T S THE MASTERS 10 18 24 30 46

‘Grande Dame’ Takes a Bow The Shampoolio Experience Dangerous When Wet Measured By Meters Roll Call LACC


6 Vets Shoot for the Stars 8 A Matter of Faith 20 Danny’s Dream


34 What’s in Your Sandwich? 36 Cupcakes: Affordable Luxury in L.A. 37 Juicing for Life


32 Camping with California’s Kings

ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT 12 14 16 22 38 40 42

Drama Face The Journey Toward Sunshine Wrapped in the Fabric of Dreams School Rocks Movies with a Hero Complex Almost Famous The Bards of LACC


4444 Summer Summer Horoscopes Horoscopes 2013 2013

The college magazine is published as a learning experience, offered under the college journalism instructional program. The editorial and advertising materials published herein, including any opinions expressed, are the responsibility of the student staff. Under appropriate state and federal court decisions, these materials are free from prior restraint by virtue of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Accordingly, materials published herein, including any opinions expressed, should not be interpreted as the position of the Los Angeles Community College District, Los Angeles City College, or any RIÀFHURUHPSOR\HHWKHUHRI © 2013 Collegian. No material may be reprinted without the express written permission of the Collegian.









HISTORY Gold Medalist Remembered


From Skid Row to the Red Carpet


One Man’s Journey in L.A.

On the Cover: Esther Williams smiles as she swings from a trapeze in this U.S. government-produced image from 1956. Rights Managed (RW) © Bettmann/CORBIS






“I believe that within each of us there is a ‘consciousness of supply,’ a wealth of possibilities and we only need to learn how to tap into that power to use it.”

Back Cover: Anna Kosovtseva captured by the lens of Luca Loffredo as she strikes one of Esther Williams’ iconic poses at the LACC swimming pool. Makeup and hair by Cristina Fabian

The Collegian Times is printed with the generous support of the Los Angeles City College Foundation.

Editor-in-Chief Denise Barrett Art Director Beatrice Alcala


EDITOR “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.â€?--Muhammad Ali “The Greatestâ€? did not attend LACC, but great ones to whom this quote applies, have. rClint Eastwood (Oscar) rDon Buford (Baseball World Series Champion) rDianne Reeves (Grammy) rCharles Gordone (Pulitzer Prize) rWillie Williams (Super Bowl Champ) rFrank Gehry (Pritzker Architecture Prize) rLawrence Klein, Ph.D. (Nobel Prize) rRonnie Ray Smith (Olympic Gold) ‌ The list is as impressive as it is long. Success can be elusive. It is not guaranteed by Ivy League degrees, or even a famous last name. More often than not it is the little things that make the difference. It is hard work. It is sacrifice. And a little bit of luck. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we simply don’t dare enough. The stories in this issue of the Collegian Times are all about accepting the dare. Mamy artists, activists, entrepreneurs and dreamers grace these pages. Most lost their way at some point-whether it was Esther Williams nearly failing her math class in high school, a veteran made homeless in pursuit of his dream, or a hairstylist stuck in a rut, not knowing what to do next in his career. For some, it was one class, for others it was two years or more, but all came to LACC for a foothold on a path that would ultimately lead to success. We don’t know all of the names of those who have passed through these halls. They are not all Hollywood stars or world-class athletes. They are also educators, scientists and parents who quietly leave their mark on the world each day. One thing is certain, though: No path to greatness is easy; most struggle along the way. But the great ones profiled here all survived, even triumphed, exhibiting a virtuosity of perseverance we can all learn from. So, look inside these pages and be encouraged. “The impossible is potential,â€? and the future, my fellow Cubs, is brighter than you may think. Shortly after finalizing this publication, Esther Williams passed away. Her steely determination and willingness to dare greatly helped inspire the “virtuosityâ€? theme of this issue. Thank you, Ms. Williams, for the inspiration.

Managing Editor Richard Martinez Photo Editor Luca Loffredo Copy Editors Marsha A. Perry Chris Rodd Graphic Designers Rocio Flores Huaringa Gegham Khekoyan Nadia Lukyanova Reporters Federica Chiara Basile Mariangela Basile Clinton Cameron Michael Casey Ethan Edwards Jonathan Filipko Tanya Geddes Matthew Mullins Diana Nakayenga Marsha A. Perry Amanda Scurlock RĂŠgine Simmonds Olga Tatarenkova Sarah Weiss Svetlana Yurash Photographers Inae Bloom Jorge Ponce Illustrators Julius Roches Jose Tobar Multimedia Dave Martin Adviser Rhonda Guess

PHOTOGRAPHY 001 - ELEMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY (CSU) - 6.00 UNITS PREREQUISITE: Photography 10 with satisfactory grade or better, or approval of B&W portfolio by instructor prior to HQUROOPHQW7KLVLVWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWFODVVLQWKHGHJUHHSURJUDP$QLQWHQVHFRQWLQXation of Photo 10 with emphasis on professional view camera, studio lighting and darkroom techniques. (Concurrent enrollment in Photography 28 is strongly recommended.) PHOTOGRAPHY 010 - BEGINNING PHOTOGRAPHY (UC:CSU) - 3.00 UNITS ADVISORIES: English 28 or equivalent;Íž and Photo 28. Basic principles of photography from the mechanical creation of WKHLPDJHZLWKFDPHUDDQGĂ&#x20AC;OPWRHQODUJLQJWKHSKRWRJUDSKIRUGLVSOD\ZKLOH applying the guidelines of composition, communication and self-expression. 35mm single lens camera required. Automatic cameras are OK, but they must have manual shutter speed and lens opening capability. An approximate supply cost LV<RXPXVWDWWHQGWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWOHFWXUH PHHWLQJRUEHUHSODFHGE\VWXGHQWVZLVKLQJWRDGG7KHĂ&#x20AC;UVWVFKHGXOHGFODVV LVWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWOHFWXUHPHHWLQJ'RQRWDWWHQGWKH Ă&#x20AC;UVWODEPHHWLQJ/DEVZLOOPHHWRQO\DIWHUDQQRXQFHGLQOHFWXUHFODVV PHOTOGRAPHY 028 - LABORATORY PROCESSES - 1.00 UNIT ADVISORY: English 28 with a satisfactory grade or better. This course is designed for the photography student who wishes to increase laboratory skills, relative to concurrent photography classes, through extended contact with equipment and faculty. Students will not be permitted to use any of the photo lab facilities if they drop or are excluded from the main photo lecture section.







Olga Tatarenkova

into beans, yellow rice, tomatoes and tortillas with a side of paper plate were smashed on the sidewalk along with cigarette butts and trashed newspapers and magazines. It was the middle of Skid Row. The smell of fast food mingled with the smell of tobacco and urine. “Be careful,” said Mark Montue as he jumped across a puddle, “it might be human.” Trae Triplett and Mark Montue walked through a block of empty concrete buildings on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles on a weekday in early spring. Trae and Mark are in their early forties, but they look at least a decade younger. Trae wore a loose black T-shirt, skinny jeans and a knitted hipster hat. Mark wore a cream-colored shirt over a long-sleeved T-shirt. Their camera straps stretched across their chests as they canvas the streets in search of the

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perfect photograph. “You just have to sit here and watch. You don’t need a TV because people are funny, especially when they see the camera,” Mark said. “There is always something going on.” Earlier in the week, another photographer that Mark knows walked on the same street with a camera in his hands. His flash turned on, causing a young woman to turn around. She chased him for a few blocks, demanding to know why he had taken her picture. Trae and Mark took a turn and ventured into the world of photography after serving in the military. They met in the dayroom at the Weingart Center, a shelter that serves 3,000 homeless people every year and is located on San Pedro and Sixth Streets, the heart of Skid Row. The room was on the fifth floor and belonged to the Veterans Transitional Housing Program. The two men started a

conversation when they met for the first time and could not stop talking. They had a lot in common: the experience of life in a shelter and their veterans’ past. Still, there was something else that made them friends and led them both to Los Angeles City College. It was their mutual love of photography. “We had a TV and there was some black and white movie going,” Trae said, “but we were not interested in TV. We had lots of things to discuss.” There on the fifth floor at the Weingart Center, two homeless veterans decided to go to a network mixer where photographers meet and exchange contacts and ideas. It was the first time Mark put a camera around his neck and presented himself as a photographer. It launched a new profession for him. Long before Trae and Mark became homeless and took shelter at the Weingart Center, they served their country. At some point in their military careers, both served in the state of Virginia, but their paths would not cross until they both were homeless and on Skid Row. In 1993, Mark began working as a bus driver in Washington, Va., for an honor guard in the U.S. Army. He handled transportation as a driver and also helped organize funerals for local fallen soldiers. During his service in 1999, Mark had a three-month tour where he served as an office worker in the U.S. Army Garrison in the Yongsan District of Seoul, South Korea. Despite his seven years of service, he ended up jobless in Virginia in 2009. A year later, he lost his home and decided to move to California to follow his dream of becoming a photographer. “I felt as though I reached the end of the road,” Mark said. “I had nothing to hold me. I could do what I wanted to do for a long time.” The decision to move to Los Angeles seemed spontaneous. Mark was determined to succeed as a professional photographer in Hollywood. “I purchased a one-way bus ticket at Greyhound,” Mark said. “So, with one suitcase, my camera equipment and $435 in my pocket, and no clue of where I was going to stay, I headed west.” The first three weeks Mark says he walked the streets, taking pictures and downloading them on the Internet. He also searched for jobs on Craigslist. He found the Hollywood area was hardly as glamorous as it appeared on television, but there was a certain excitement. Usually, Mark walked the whole day and after midnight, he went to the place where he was planning to sleep. He slept near wherever he could pick up Wi-Fi and often stayed up until 3 a.m., searching for a job, or editing and uploading pictures. “It was almost like camping or sleeping in the field when I was in the Army,” Mark said. “When I was cold I had to add layers, and when I was hot, I took it off.” Still, sleeping on the street was not always happy camping. One night, Mark slept on the roof of some hospital building on Sunset Boulevard. The rain poured down. That was one of the nights when home and a bed were recalled with nostalgia. Mark looked for something to protect himself from the rain. He found rugs, conveniently left by someone on the roof and built a canopy for shelter. “The exciting part of that was, that I didn’t know what the following day will bring,” Mark said. “I only knew that I had to take steps to go after my dream. A lot of people told me: ‘I feel sorry for you,’ but I felt very excited.” Mark and Trae served in the Army and Navy during the same time period. Trae served as an operational specialist in the Navy. The Apprentice school where he got his training was located in Virginia Beach, Va. During the Gulf War in 1991, he fought in Operation Desert Storm. His job was to follow the radar and chart everything he saw in the water. Trae’s family practiced the tradition of serving the country: His father was a soldier during the Vietnam War, which brought him several medals. His sister and a cousin served in the military as well. Still, Trae’s decision to serve was partly influenced by Hollywood. He decided to go to the Navy after watching the movie “Top Gun.”

“If you saw a guy in the movie who stands behind the ship’s captain drawing something on the board — that’s me,” Trae said. Trae’s job was searching for naval mines and explosive devices. The operation for discharging mines posed a serious threat to the ship and the crew’s safety. Yet it was in the Navy, not at home, where Trae felt most protected. He grew up in a Southside neighborhood of Chicago, Il. During his teenage years, Trae says he had five guns pointed at his head. He started going to funerals when he was in the 7th grade and two of his classmates were killed. Trae believed going to the Navy was the right decision. “I never was scared while being in the Navy,” Trae said. “We were protected in our ship, and we always looked after each other.” Trae says the military allowed him to travel and see the world. While in the Navy, he visited 50 countries, all over the Caribbean, South America and Middle East — places he says he would never visit as a tourist. After he returned from the military, he got a job as a patrol officer with the Chicago Police Department. But after returning from the Middle East, being a cop in a restless Chicago neighborhood meant risking his life. “I was chasing three guys at some point and thinking, ‘what am I doing? It’s dangerous,’” Trae said. His career as a policeman did not last. That is when Trae said he began to search for jobs related to his passion. Trae is reluctant when discussing the series of events that led to his homelessness. Both veterans share a military past and the dream of becoming fashion photographers in Hollywood. As they continue to troll Skid Row, they pass a group of people sleeping along the wall with their heads shoved into heavy blankets. Next to them, a small group of men plays cards. For Mark, these scenes and the memory of sleeping on the street is in the not-too-distant past. Each night, he goes home to the Weingart Center with many other homeless people. Trae, however, has moved into his own apartment on Skid Row. As the day wore on, Trae and Mark approached a tiny door of a red tile building. A paper sign on the door read, “Veterans in Photography Club.” The club is located in the same block as Gladys Park, at the intersection of Gladys Avenue and 6th Street. “They call it 'the crack park' because they sell crack out there,” said Trae pointing in the direction of the park with a group of basketball players. “They play basketball all day long not to attract cops’ attention.” Mark and Trae opened the glass door and entered a rectangular room with large tables and a bunch of yellowed chairs in a row along the wall. Michael Blaze, the founder of the club, greeted the two students. Last year, Mark joined the Veterans in Photography Club. Its members refer to it as a VIP club where homeless veterans receive a free camera and a positive outlet from their day-to-day grind on Skid Row. Mark’s work captured Blaze’s attention. “Mark is very creative,” Blaze said. “Some people take pictures of landscape and surrounding, but Mark always photographs people.” Mark and Trae’s first joint photoshoot at the network mixer led to another and then another, until the two began to receive more photo gigs. When they are not working, they study at LACC. Their Facebook pages flash with photographs from major Hollywood and red carpet events. During the last two years, Mark has shot for “Star Chat Magazine,” and “Elements of Jazz TV.” Trae has photographed for “Today’s Black Woman Style Report,” “InStyle Fashion Magazine,” and L.A. Fashion Week. Their eyes light up when they talk about photography. They both say that without it they would never have made it. “When I see all this sparkling life, Hollywood and the Fashion Week, I feel like my skills got me here,” Trae said. “I throw away self-doubts. I know I’m good, and I’ll be successful. With photography, I’m in the right place.”

Art Jordan, left, with members of the Detroit Urban League in the early 1950s.



rt Jordan was only 14 when he heard the Nation of Islam’s (NOI) leader, Elijah Muhammad, speak. Muhammad’s thin voice had strength and confidence

as he addressed the crowd of suburban, middle-class AfricanAmericans. The small crowd of local residents was enough to fill the cottage-style home’s basement in Detroit. Most of the men wore suits. The women wore skirts just below the knee. As Jordan sat in the stairwell of the residence among the overflowing crowd, he was most attracted to the sincerity of Muhammad’s voice. Clinton Cameron

From Dream to Reality Jordan began to understand the importance of a “liberal education” at age 17, when he served first in the Civil Air Patrol for a year, then joined the Air Force and finally the Navy—all before he was 21. While in the service, Jordan managed to maneuver around the politics of racism and eventually landed the photography job he always desired. Getting there was a matter of faith and perseverance. “Brothers—blacks had limited jobs: cooking, cleaning, etc. I had a Bible,” Jordan said. “I prayed. The Lord told me to ‘walk around [the naval ship] and see what you’d like to do.’” He recalls walking into a photography studio to ask for an apprenticeship and being rejected immediately. He accepted an apprenticeship at the dentist’s office next door. This move would eventually lead him to attend the U.S. Naval Dental School where he received a certificate as a dental technician in 1956. His prayers were finally answered when he landed a job that left him in charge of the photography department. “I didn’t have to answer to anybody. I had a 4 by 5 speed graphic camera: the press camera of those days. I had one of the first electronic flashes,” Jordan said. His combined skills as a photographer and dental assistant allowed for many job opportunities. Jordan took pictures of operations for the Bethesda Naval Hospital, and became the official photographer of the post-graduates. He ran the movie projector for student training films. He also learned how to monitor a closed-circuit TV at the National Institute of Health. “It was like lapse photography. I would periodically monitor the camera to check the acceleration of growth of cancer cells,” Jordan said. Harassment and Opportunities Jordan’s time in the service from 1955 to 1957 included a variety of experiences beyond photography and medical assistance. He worked the midnight shift as a fantail watchman on a six-fleet USS flagship and sat in an F86-D jet simulator. His experience and uniform did not make him immune to racism. While in Baltimore, he recalls entering bars in full uniform only to be denied service. He also remembers being harassed by police. “In Baltimore I caught hell. I was in uniform. ‘I think you’re going for a ride.’ the police told me,” Jordan said, “but they let me go once I told them I had to be back to base at a certain time.”

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By 1957, the Navy offered Jordan a scholarship to Boston’s MIT. His heart was still set on attending photography school so he declined their offer. “I would have to sign up for six more years,” Jordan said. “I didn’t see what a premier school was. So, I turned it down. My aim was to go to photography school in Belgium.” However, Jordan’s request to be discharged in Belgium was denied. “I think they were getting even with me for not accepting the MIT thing,” Jordan said. His next move was to apply for the New York Institute of Photography. When he was turned down there, he decided to set his sights elsewhere. By 1958, he moved to Los Angeles. Los Angeles, Jail and the Nation While in Los Angeles, a series of life-changing events occurred for Jordan. Though he is elusive concerning family, Jordan concedes he married twice. Neither marriage lasted, but he cites his first to Billie, a hairstylist in the entertainment industry, as the most significant. They were married when he was 21 and she was 28. The alliance resulted in Jordan being introduced to prominent political figures Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt’s brother, James Roosevelt, then Congressman Augustus Hawkins, and 1960s Los Angeles mayor Sam Yorty. During the early 1960s, he became involved in what he now affectionately refers to as the “underworld.” His understanding of photo images and access to official government seals eventually tempted him to counterfeit documents. He claims he wasn’t greedy and never accumulated a lot of money, but attracted enough attention to get caught. Jordan was arrested and convicted by a federal grand jury. “Because I was ‘forthcoming’ with the judge and didn’t run a ring, the judge gave me a deal,” he said. “For the four counts they had me serve consecutively, which was about six months.” After putting some distance between him and his legal issues, Jordan began to revisit his ideas on faith. Black consciousness began to play an important role in his spirituality when an acquaintance named Thomas 6X Hill re-acquainted him to the Nation of Islam by giving him a copy of Muhammad Speaks, the Nation’s official newspaper. Jordan continued to explore NOI’s teachings while in Los Angeles and received his “X” in the summer of 1969. Arthur Jordan became Arthur X.

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Replacing his last name meant making a commitment to the organization. He soon became close to Raymond Sharrieff, a high-ranking officer in the Fruit of Islam, the NOI’s paramilitary wing. “We were really tight because he was down to earth,” he said. “I’d go with the Fruit of Islam at four-thirty in the morning. We’d meet up and do calisthenics.” In his recent biography on Malcolm X, Manning Marable describes Sharrieff as a central figure in the plot to assassinate Malcolm. Jordan joined the Nation four years after Malcolm’s murder. He is still hesitant to speak about issues concerning Malcolm X and his assassination. “I try not to have any feelings about that,” he said. “Most brothers just stayed away from any strong feelings about it. ” Today, Jordan sees himself as a non-active member of the Nation and views his membership as the finale to a search for spirituality. “These interludes with different religions were part of my spiritual quest,” Jordan said. “Now I am a Buddhist. I still have all the beliefs I’ve been through to support my spiritual growth.” The Jazz Venue After the Watts Rebellion, Jordan and some of his Muslim friends took advantage of the community’s lowered rent. They took a two-floor, 6,000-squarefoot space and turned it into an after-hours jazz venue. The venue was named International Juice and Jazz. “Because we didn’t drink, we carried Hansen’s Juice. We served that as a drink. We didn’t run into any curfews because we didn’t serve alcohol,” Jordan said. He recalled how he and his business partners hired the rhythm section from the Professional Musicians Local 47 union and horn players would stop by just to play. Included among the guest musicians were jazz greats such as Roland Kirk, Horace Tapscott, Art Blakely and Bobby Hutchinson. “Bobby Hutchinson was hired as part of the rhythm section,” Jordan said. “When Art Blakely and the Jazz Messengers played, my partner Charles and I, we cooked breakfast for them in the morning.” The club’s cover charge was $3.50 and it opened at one in the morning. According to Jordan, it ran less than a year when the venue was sublet to a group from the San Fernando Valley and a shooting occurred during their watch. “The guy we dealt with from the Valley, he never came back,” Jordan said. “We

didn’t have a confrontation. He just never came back.” Ali Throughout the 1970s, Jordan continued his education, worked a series of jobs and was promoted to lieutenant in NOI. Though he was one of the youngest in the group, his promotion afforded him the opportunity to work with a team of Muslims involved with helping Muhammad Ali launch a campaign to promote Mr. Champ’s soda. Ali was forced to give up his passport for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War. He was also suspended from boxing in the U.S. and was in need of financial support. When an announcement was made in the mid-1970s concerning the launch of the soda, Jordan photographed the event in Leimert Park. “I had pictures of me with him, but I never recovered them. I had to turn the film in to the lawyers,” Jordan said. The soda eventually launched, but was not the success everyone anticipated. The team was dismantled and Ali refused to mention the business venture to Jordan again. Importance of a Liberal Education When he decided to go back to school in Los Angeles, Jordan took advantage of the GI Bill and attended Los Angeles City College. “I went to LACC primarily because I wasn’t qualified academically to go to a four-year university,” he said. “I was taking anthropology and didn’t know what anthropology was.” It took a while for him to adjust, but eventually he obtained a degree. “I didn’t get a degree until ’78 when I got my legal assistant certificate as well as my A.A. degree,” Jordan said. “It helped me on my job, taking these courses while I was working for the law firm. My involvement in all cases was to know as much as the attorneys.” The Spiritual Connection At 76 years of age, Jordan continues to evolve. He now creates monotypes, an abstract medium of art. His work has been exhibited periodically in Los Angeles galleries since the 1990s. He sees his creations as an extension of his life experience and takes a spiritual approach to art and education. “Education is more than just diplomas and degrees,” Jordan said. “It’s striving for an understanding of life.”





Tanya Geddes

n 1973, Maria Reisch looked out from the upstairs window of Classroom 202, in the South Gym at Los Angeles City College. The view was perfect: The fabled Hollywood sign, the classic observatory and the green Hollywood Hills made up the landscape. If a set of eyes were in the O’s of the famous sign, they would have peered back into the dance room to see Reisch teaching students the folk dances of the Balkans, Israel and Slovenia while traditional music played on an old ‘RekO-Kut’ phonograph. As the dancers turned, so did the records, with titles like “Dances from Yugoslavia,” “Romania, Romania,” and “Israeli Folk Dance Party.” Maria Reisch is retiring this year after 40 years of teaching folk dance, modern, composition and ballet at LACC. She served as department chair twice and vice president of the academic senate three times, and was chair of the curriculum committee, as well as a member of the educational planning subcommittee. In addition, she founded and heads the dance demonstrations at the end of every semester. “I think Maria Reisch is an institution on this campus, and I love to refer to her as the Grande Dame of Los Angeles City College,” says Dan Marlos, a friend of Maria’s, and chair of the photography department. Dan Wanner, the chair of the music department uses the same term to refer to Maria. He says she is a leader who helped shape the campus. “She’s been on the curriculum committee for many years, and she has an institutional memory like you would not believe,” Wanner says. “She was always there as a mentor … she was just a force.” The curriculum committee is responsible for keeping courses up to date, creating new programs, and ensuring that LACC course credits are transferable to other colleges and that they qualify a student for certificates, transfers and graduation. Dean of Academic Affairs, Allison Jones, is familiar with committee operations. “Basically the academic senate, statewide and locally, is in charge of curriculum … now there are tighter guidelines,” she says. “We need to do student



learning outcomes or ‘S.L.O.’s. That’s tied to our accreditation now. If you’re going to change anything for a class, it has to be approved. So that’s what Maria, as the chair, was responsible for.” Maria guided curriculum at a time when it was critical for LACC to make sure its academic probation was lifted. Short Course Paves the Way to City College Considerable expertise in curriculum is not what first brought Maria to the “urban oasis of learning.” In 1973, L.A. City College needed an instructor of folk dance—which was to become Maria’s specialty. She went after the job. “To get my master’s I needed one unit of folk dance,” Maria says, “so I actually went to a folk dance camp for one week—so I could get rid of [the requirement] was the thought! I just fell in love with it automatically.” When she returned to UCLA to complete her B.A. and M.A. in dance, she and some fellow dancers started a Mexican dance group called Los Rancheros. They performed at fairs and parties in the area, and had sewing parties where they made their performance-wear, based on the authentic costumes of all the regions of Mexico. “We performed dances from the Jalisco—from Guadalajara, Veracruz— Jarocho, the Norteno, Michoacan down on the coast, Oaxaca, Yucatan—all totally different styles of music and costume,” Maria says. “It was a lot of fun.” Within a few years, Maria was part of a thriving physical education scene at the college. However, folk dancing disappeared from the schedules by the early 1980s. “I was very much into folk dance, and that whole folk dance world,” Maria says. “That has gone by the wayside now—it changed a lot. Folk dance was also social—ballet was never social. It was always a strict class.” Maria et Al: An Artistic Collaboration In 1981, pianist Al Jamaitis joined LACC. If ever a buddy picture were going to be made of two faculty members, it would have to star Maria Reisch and Al Jamaitis. “Let me tell you one of Maria’s faults,” Al says.


Six years ago when I took her class, there was a kid who said ‘I don’t care about being corrected.’ So I said, ‘Can I get extra corrected?" —ROBERTO AGUILAR, A FORMER DANCE STUDENT

'Grande Dame' Maria Reisch Photo DANIEL MARLOS

“I have faults?” Maria asked her colleague and friend. “Sometimes she gets very rude when somebody tries to help her,” Al says. “At my house once for a party … well you see, navigating my driveway was a little difficult, and here I am trying to help her to back her car out and she’s yelling at me over the motor for some stupid reason ...” “Stupid reason?” Maria says. “The car was about to go over the cliff!” The two of them banter back and forth trading quips without missing a beat. Al’s wonderfully skilled musical accompaniments replaced phonographs and cassette players in Maria’s ballet classes. He says Maria has high standards. “Always on time, always here. Students need that—they need consistency,” Al told the Collegian Times. “One time we were learning a piece to the ‘Polonaise in A-flat major,’ by Chopin. We took on one of the middle parts which is very, very fast—like 10 times faster than the ‘Meow, Meow, Meow,’ commercial.” There were advanced dancers enrolled in the class, and according to Al, some of them were “almost semi-pro.” However, they still could not pick up the steps, so Maria divided the class into groups and repeated the choreography over and over. “She had to show every group,” he says. “They’re getting breaks in between and she’s not—and they’re complaining, ‘Oh, I can’t do this, it’s too fast!’ So her endurance was phenomenal.” A Generation of Hollywood Standards If the ballet barre seems incredibly high for those who study with Maria, it is understandable. Her creative and artistic roots run deep. Maria’s mother, Elisabeth “Liesl” Reisch, danced with the Vienna State Opera Ballet before coming to the United States with her husband, the late Oscarwinning screenwriter Walter Reisch. Maria’s father penned more than 100 screenplays at MGM and elsewhere, including “Ninotchka,” with Greta Garbo,

and “Gaslight,” with Ingrid Bergman. By the time Maria was four, she was studying ballet. Eventually, she would study with great masters such as Nico Charisse, David Lichine and Tatiana Riabouchinskaya. She was disciplined and dedicated. “With dance, ballet, I was willing to go to class every day. I went every day after school and we had rehearsal Saturday and Sunday,” Maria says. “I stopped my senior year; I knew I would never be a prima ballerina and I’d never lose enough weight. I knew I was not going to be a professional ballet dancer. I was definitely too heavy. To lose enough weight, one has to be scrawnier than you!” The elusive prima ballerina silhouette did not detract from Maria’s ability to teach one bit. “I’m there to teach and correct,” she says. “I teach, but as soon as they should be learning it, I stop so I can see what they’re doing and I can correct them. If I’m moving, I can’t see what they’re doing. That’s always been my philosophy.” Her parents were not disappointed that she did not pursue ballet professionally. “They were very supportive,” she says. “They let me make whatever decisions I needed to make. They were both very happy when I came here, and I know my father thoroughly enjoyed the original faculty here, and they enjoyed him.” In 1979, Maria created the dance demonstrations at LACC. All-day competition between intramural sports classes inspired Maria to start the exhibition. “We taught our classes and there was the final phase, and those who learned it well enough were asked to do it,” Maria says. “It was not just having the whole class perform; it was a totally different aspect. I wish these teachers would think about that. It’s not just aiming [for a performance].” Maria demanded excellence from her students, and by extension she expected a high caliber to be presented at the dance demos. It is common knowledge among students that this is not the class for those who cannot accept constructive criticism. Maria tells those who do not want to be corrected to find another class. “Now I want you to know, the floor is not that far away!” Maria says. Good advice for those afraid to dance, to fall, to try. Ruben Amavizca Murua looks forward to weekly classes with Maria. He has been studying dance with her for years and brings homemade flan to class regularly. “I love her, and I’m going to miss her immensely,” he says. In the fall, Maria will be gone. An atmosphere, a presence, a force, will be gone from LACC as well. “She has that old Hollywood elegance, the charm, that high society,” Park says. “She has that, and she has that expectation of her students.” Perhaps some of her expectations will remain in the wooden ballet barres, in the grand piano, or on the campus—to inspire future students. “I know she’s not going to be teaching anymore, even hourly, which is a shame,” Wanner says. “The dance department is certainly going to lose someone—she is irreplaceable.”


How Face Exercises Can Unlock More than Clenched Jaws


Students in Theatre 242 - “Voice Development Workshop,” - do facial exercises to release tension and unwind from class.

Michael Casey

he lighting within the Los Angeles City College Camino Theatre gives it the intimate feel of a saloon or small chapel. The students rise from their seats, stretch, and center themselves both physically and mentally. They just completed 30 minutes on sonnet phonetic analysis which, though interesting, is not as visually compelling as what is to come. Professor Chris Fairbanks leads them through a series of facial and body warm-ups in the course, Theatre 242 – Voice Development Workshop. The students pair up, give each other shoulder rubs and shake their bodies in what Fairbanks says might release them from a legacy of repression in the United States--or garner stares on the Metro Red Line. “We’re talking about freedom, like actual freedom to breathe and to move easily and to experience the life we have as opposed to an idea of freedom which is often a sales pitch,” Fairbanks says. “In America there is a lot of conformity that is sold as freedom and other countries actually have more genuine freedom.” Massaging your jaw, breathing and doing movements that are similar to the Haka Dance performed by the indigenous Maori might, as it does in New Zealand, provide a unifying and healing outlet for people in our own culture. Theatre Academy student Daniel Palma used to deal with nerves before going on stage by making choices that were not always the healthiest. Palma says that he finds his true self through the exercises in the workshop. He describes how he’s found better ways to cope with the insecurities of being a young adult in Los Angeles that don’t involve artificially altered states of consciousness. “I no longer need to fill my body with different substances, just because I want to relax or I want to be free,” Palma says. “So this has really helped me personally, on how to be on the stage and present and be there.” Fairbanks describes how insecurity and even physical manifestations of stress such as claw or ulna hand, a condition in which the hand can become permanently clenched, are rooted in Puritanical values which permeate American society. He goes on to describe how we carry our cultural baggage in tight necks, stiff jaws and furrowed brows. It even changes what we hear on television. According to Fairbanks, FOX Network removes words from reruns of Thirty Rock that originally aired uncensored on NBC. It is not easy to unfetter the trappings of internal censors. The students start slowly, doing lip trills and neck rolls. They vocalize as they touch their toes and massage each other’s backs. Loud yawns are welcome as well as giggles and sighs. It is not a time for regimentation, yet as they sway back and forth, it is much more than chaos. Fairbanks prompts the class to intentionally connect with each movement in order to get the full benefit of the exercise. Many speak of how they carry such mindfulness into unexpected parts of their lives.

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Aisha Bakkum uses these exercises to reach out and reconcile with her family when she visits them on breaks from school. “When you really don’t feel like going there, it helps to breathe, relax, get into your body, your self, check in,” Bakkum says. “It really helped with my family’s communication, we sat in a room and breathed and talked and that released a lot of tension.” Facial exercises have been used before in the US. An early pioneer of physical fitness Jack LaLanne instructed thousands of 1960s viewers on a series of strenuous facial exercises. Although his delivery might seem quaint to modern audiences, his message of self care and counter-consumerism echoes with some of the exercises in the Theatre Academy. “You can put goop on your face, but it’s got to come from inside,” LaLanne said when he described what he posited as an alternative to face-lifts. Author, Jessica Krane in the seventies prescribed an exercise of immobility called Face-O-Metrics which instructed women to not express any emotion with their face, thus “preventing wrinkles.” Fairbank’s methods are different because through them he consciously seeks to embrace what is within and not push down any outward expression of the self. “Maybe you’ll have less crazy angry lines and more spontaneous laughter lines,” quips Fairbanks when describing the results of his approach. Amidst the levity of the workshop, Alison Joseph describes how many of the techniques give her an outlet for her anxiety. “I forget that I have this ability to release my tension without any sort of medication,” Joseph says. “ … I completely have the power to control how my body is reacting to my mind ... it’s really a form of catharsis.” As the students wind down, some touch their toes, others stand up straight. Some drift out to wash their hands or have a friendly chat. It becomes clear that something has changed, even if it is a small something. The students return to their seats, and get ready for whatever comes their way with straighter backs, softer smiles and lighter steps. “We were told education was there to lead us to a fuller, happier life ... I have high school students that are dropping out because of the stress ... young people taking these medications, these pills to test well,” Fairbanks says. “What education claims to be and what it is, are two incredibly disparate things.” Fairbanks says he wants to educe from the students a sense of their own importance. He also seeks to reassert the importance of the arts in education. “Any chance I get, I am fighting to overcome the misperception that all we do is lie around the floor and pretend to be bacon,” Fairbanks says. “We’re working ... to make a contribution to society. When we walk out into the world with less anger, we make the world less angry, so what we’re trying to do here is, end war, I guess, by ending the war within ourselves.”


These exercises may improve the modeling of your features, stimulate circulation, and strengthen muscles.

With mouth closed, push jaw to one side. Keep eyes closed, contracting muscles about eyes. Reverse.

Stimulate muscles under eyes and increase circulation. Draw features together, contracting muscles.

This helps to prevent wrinkles around Strengthen mouth muscles and help to Relieve the tension of contraction induced exercises. Open mouth wide mouth and to mold chin. Close eyes and prevent laugh lines. Purse lips, lifting the eyebrows. and stretch as much as possible. push eyebrows up. Concept for photos based on Joe Bonomo’s “Another Bonomo Handy Pocket Manual, No.4.”

To prevent wrinkles in forehead and around eyes, draw down corners of mouth, at the same time open eyes.

Avoid double chin, fill out under eyes. Thrust out jaw as far as possible, pushing lower lip up toward nose.

JOURNEY TOWARD SUNSHINE The road that led her to Los Angeles was hard to travel and hard to find. With courage and determination she made the journey, discovering who she is and what she wants to do in life. The counselor helped me find my own path. He made me talk about my experience and the things that I like to do. Together then, we found the perfect major for me: 3D animation. It was a revelation and I was excited about school for the first time in my life.” —ROSSELLA DI NARDO

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Federica Chiara Basile


or Rossella Di Nardo, a 24-year-old former Los Angeles City College student, leaving her hometown behind in Italy was not easy. She had to break through her family’s wall of doubt, the same wall that made her think maybe she was not able to live up to her dream of moving to the United States. She also had to shrug off the talk of an entire small town too caught up in the business of others. But she made it and has now been living in California for more than three years. Di Nardo never had a good relationship with the English language. She struggled to learn the basics when she was in school and she was never really interested in improving. “In my teenage years I was very carefree,” she said. “I thought I’d always have time to figure things out later and I did not really worry, in my present, about building something for my future.” Growing up, Di Nardo found herself sharing a dream with her cousins: the dream of moving to California. More than anything, she wanted to live there but there were a few obstacles in her way. It was then that she realized that she should have paid more attention to what she was doing as a young girl. Gaining Trust and Letting Go “My very basic knowledge of the English language was not the only thing standing in my way,” Di Nardo said. “My parents had many doubts about me succeeding in a foreign city far away and their doubts also weighed on me and my self-confidence.” Moving to another city, let alone another continent, is not easy for anyone. Di Nardo knew this from the start, but she wanted to show her family and herself that she could make it. Her parents, a middleschool teacher and a bank cashier, had always lived in the same town all of their lives and they could not picture their daughter’s destiny so far away from that town. “My parents expressed many doubts, but I showed them that I had a plan,” she said. “I was going to L.A. at first for one year so that I could learn the language well; I found LACC’s [English Language Academy] online and it seemed perfect for my purpose.” Di Nardo’s parents eventually let her go to L.A. for her English course and showed her that they trusted her living abroad. She had always been the troublemaker in the family and she knew the fact that her parents’ let her go had an important meaning. It made her feel like she could do it. She felt empowered.

Illustration JOSE TOBAR Gaining the trust of her parents was the first milestone and it meant the most to her. When it was time to leave, Di Nardo realized that everyone in town was talking about her and gossiping. At that point, she became even more motivated to leave. She wanted to be free to do what she wanted without being judged. That would never be possible among the small-town environment where she grew up. Mastering English and Finding Her Own Path Di Nardo’s first year at LACC literally flew by. She passed her English Language Academy course with flying colors and the news was received cheerfully and with satisfaction among members of her family in Italy. “I could not believe that I made it, for the first time ever I felt confident with my English,” Di Nardo said. “My teachers at LACC were very helpful and they made it easy for me to do my best in order to learn the language.” After language school, Di Nardo had to think of her future. In her hometown she attended a high school with a focus on the arts and she also took several classes at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, Italy. She knew she wanted to stay on that path, but she did not know exactly what to do and how to make it possible in L.A. She went to see the counselor at the LACC International Student Center, and after a couple of visits she knew what to do. “The counselor helped me find my own path. He made me talk about my experience and the things that I like to do,” Di Nardo said. “Together then, we found the perfect major for me: 3D animation. It was a revelation and I was excited about school for the first time in my life.” The Present Persistence and passion guided Di Nardo to L.A. and made her stay. She enrolled for a semester at LACC and then found that Glendale City College had more useful courses in her major, so she transferred. Three years earlier, she would never have dreamed she would be where she is now: in a foreign country

completing a college major and ready to move on with her future knowing exactly what she wants to do. “It feels good attending school knowing what you are doing it for,” she said. “In all my school years before L.A., I felt like school was not for me, but now I really enjoy it and it is really incredible even to this day that I am doing it all in English.” Di Nardo is a straight-A student at GCC, as she was at LACC. She has turned her life around. From a carefree young girl, she became a resolute young woman worthy of her parents’ and her own trust. What the Future Holds Di Nardo has received several compliments on her school work and she knows that animation is the right field to build her career. “My dream for the future would be working at Pixar and stay here in California,” she said. “I really have a passion for what I am doing and I can see myself doing it all my life. I just hope to find a company to hire me; it is not easy here in the USA at the moment.” She has one more year of school before worrying about her career, but if there is one thing she has learned from experience, it is that planning ahead keeps you one step ahead. “I don’t want to be like I used to when I was a teenager,” Di Nardo said. “I know that I have to think about what I am doing and make plans. But I also know that it’s more than okay to dream. My dreams got me exactly where I am today and I would not change it if I could.” Di Nardo is a girl that has learned a lot from her experiences, especially those of the past three years. There have been struggles and times when she thought she might give up, but they have passed. She is looking at her future with positivity, and like her journey toward California’s sunshine taught her, if she truly wants something, she can have it.




Valentina stands in the Museum of Textiles and Clothing, Elena Aldobrandini, in Naples, Italy, where she contributed to the preparation of the exposition of the Baroque era.

The creation of a colorful dress symbolizes building a dream career for Valentina Iannone. It is a passion that would lead her half way around the world. With imagination, perseverance and


willpower, she knew she could make it, one way or another. Mariangela Basile

alentina Iannone spends most of her time thinking about and creating clothes. She likes to sketch, and she develops her personal ideas for scarves, gloves, sweaters, dresses and more. Fabric has been her biggest passion as far back as she can remember. It consumed her long before she traveled to the United States to become a student at LACC Theatre Academy, majoring in costume. Growing up in her hometown of Naples, Italy, clothes and textures had always fascinated her. She says she used to enjoy watching her grandmother knit. Very early on, Valentina tried her hand at sewing doll clothes. “I remember that when I was a little girl, I was always fascinated with the

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colors and patterns of clothes,” she says. “I loved to mix and match different outfits for my dolls.” After high school, Valentina decided she would make something out of her passion for fabric and clothes. She enrolled at Napoli’s Accademia di Belle Arti (Naples’ Academy of Fine Arts). She did well and earned good grades, and was offered work in local productions for noted Italian artists. Valentina was living out a part of her childhood dream; she helped create dramatic, baroque-themed costumes for exhibition. She also completed an internship at the Museum of Textiles and Clothing in Naples. However, she soon realized that it was not exactly what she had envisioned for her life. “I got to do what I always wanted to do and I was paid for it,” Valentina says. “But in Italy, it is very difficult to make a living out of this type of career and I always felt like I was going to be underappreciated and definitely frustrated for

(Left to right) In the workshop of Elena Aldobrandini in Naples, Valentina is hard at work on her craft. Photos courtesy of Valentina Iannone;; A character from the LACC play, "Maker of Dreams," wears one of Valentina's designs. Photo Luca Loffredo

my whole life if I could not find better.” In 2009, things got interesting when she traveled to Los Angeles to enroll in an English course for the summer. She recalls having a wonderful time. At that moment, it occurred to her that she should find a college where she could pursue her passion for costume design in the USA. “I started looking for courses online, but everything was a little too expensive and mainly focused on the fashion industry,” she says. “By chance, I met a student from LACC on a social network, and she was the one who told me about the Theatre Academy and the program.” Valentina knew exactly what she would do next: She returned to Italy after the summer English course ended; finished her studies and graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples. Nine months later, she was back in Los Angeles, eager to begin a new chapter in her life at the Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy, in the Professional Costume Program. Working on theatrical productions was an exciting change for Valentina, and she acquired new skills and found different ways to use techniques she had learned in Italy. She moved up the ladder from wardrobe person to designer. It was an intense hands-on learning experience. In costume design, accidents and unforeseen situations happen all the time Valentina says. Sometimes actors forget to change costumes or they show up late or they may tear a costume. Tailors must be there, ready to repair the damage. “Once I remember that one actor lost a big fake scar that he had on his head, while he was reciting his line. It was not supposed to happen, but of course he kept on going and the show worked just the same,” she says. “In general, there aren't big moments of embarrassment or big accidents, because everything is studied very carefully and prepared ahead before the actors even step on stage.” In 2009, the Theatre Academy produced Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s “School for Scandal,” which tested Valentina’s ability to make period costumes. She says it brought a realistic dimension to her hours in the laboratory. “I had the chance to make a pannier, a waistcoat, a pair of knee breeches and several alterations,” Valentina says. “This experience in the lab was very helpful for improving my skills and it was also the first time I sewed 18th century garments.” Valentina assisted with costume construction in several productions, but by the fall of 2011, she got the chance to be a designer on a production. The play was “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” directed by Louie Piday. Valentina says it was rewarding and one of her best experiences at the Academy. Even though it was

hard work, she says she delivered quality costumes for the play. “I first had to read the script, then talk with the director and compare our ideas, trying to find common solutions, then I started researching for period images, books, and information online to have a clearer idea in my mind of what the style was at the time and what color palette to use,” Valentina says. “There were 25 actors in the play, each one with at least one costume change. Unfortunately we did not have the time or money to make all of the costumes, so we asked for a few pieces from other schools’ costume storages. It was really a heavy load of work, but it was all worth it in the end.” The intense training made Valentina a more skillful designer. In a city that is all about cinema and theatre, she says she now had a better chance to do what she loved and be appreciated for it. But she says it is not the only way moving to Los Angeles helped her. “I realize there is a lot more competition here in Hollywood, but there [are] also a lot more opportunities for designers,” she says. “Back in Italy, especially in Napoli, I did not have all of this hope in front of me of building a career for myself in this field. The productions in which I worked sometimes did not even pay me regularly. It was not gratifying at all. And I did not feel the rush and expectation I feel today.” Looking back on her hopes and dreams as a young girl, Valentina says she is fulfilling her dream and accomplishing her goals. Sometimes, she reflects on her childhood and the time spent at her grandmother’s house, watching her knit, or the hours passed, trying to design or make clothes for her dolls. She says it fills her with a sense of happiness. With a Theatre Academy certificate in hand, Valentina returned to Italy last year, where she says the study abroad is paying off professionally. She is a designer for a costume house in Naples that lends to theatre productions, private parties and ceremonies. She says the certificate is respected in Italy and regarded as “unique and important.” “The Academy helped me get better at drawing and designing,” Valentina says. “It also helped me to gain a more complete idea on the process of costumes creation from the reading of the script, the research, to the illustrations, patterns and sewing.” Coming to the U.S. was a risk, but it helped Valentina complete her education. She says it changed her outlook, and she would not hesitate to do it all again. “I cannot wait to see where this career takes me,” she says. “I cannot see myself doing anything else.”




Diana Nakayenga

t the corner of Melrose and Heliotrope, the hair salon “A Shampoolio Experience” stands out. And the owner has more in common with L.A. City College students than anyone might think. A record plays in the background as hairdresser Julio Romano sips on a glass of water in the vintage-styled salon he owns. It is also the place where he sells his hair care line, which he creates from scratch. The road to the top was no quick ride. The California native rocks the beachy wave hairstyle, a graying black-brown beard, and layers of shirts and vests to set off that hipster, rock legend look. He worked as a hairstylist for nearly 20 years before making the leap to ownership. He started as a shampoo guy. “I was the shampoo guy because when you get hired, that’s your first job. You either get hired to sweep or shampoo. My case, I got hired to sweep and shampoo,” Romano says. Between lathering and tidying up salons, he became better at washing hair, which led to hair styling. “It was a lot of fun because you really can change somebody’s day by the way you shampoo them. And that’s how I got my nickname, Shampoolio, because I was really good at shampooing. I was really good with my hands, really good at massaging the scalp and manipulating the head,” he says. “In the beginning, I jumped around quite a bit to get different training. But you know, like anything else, you grow out of it. That was a natural progression of being a shampoo guy and going into being a stylist.” Throughout that time, he apprenticed at different salons to get different training. As time passed, he perfected his craft and worked his way up to management. Romano then started managing salons of other people. But that did not cut it for him. He knew there was more to life than working for someone else. “Sometimes it’s harder to wake up for people. I’ve worked for people my whole

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life and I’ve made that work, but now, I wanna make it work for me,” he says. Though the desire, ideas and skills to move up were present, he was not sure what his next move should be. “I was tired of sitting on the fence and I was really fed up, you know, wanting to do something different and inspire my life and reinvigorate my career,” Romano says. “I had achieved everything. I had become artistic director. I had become education director.” There was one thing left for Romano — to become an owner. The owners of the last salon he worked in had approached him to be a partner, then he realized he would have to put in $50,000 just to make partnership. Romano thought, with that amount of money, he could open his own shop and keep the profits for himself. “So it just made sense financially and economically to do my own thing,” he says. “And I figured once they approached me about partnership, I knew I had become something special.” Soon the way became clear for Romano. He set out a path that would lead him to success. The 20 years in the trenches were finally going to pay off. “I worked at about, probably, seven different hair salons … and that is over the course of 20 years. I think when I apprenticed, I worked at about five different shops and then after my apprenticeship was over, I stayed a little bit longer as a stylist,” he says. Life is pulsating in the area where his salon sits. It appears to be a small town within itself, with a piercing shop covered with tinted windows for privacy, a clothing and swimwear store showcasing mannequins in the latest wear, a barber shop, a spa, a bike shop filled with all kinds of bicycles peeking from the entrance, an espresso bar, and a gallery of antique furniture like couches and lamps on display through the glass window.

“Here it’s more mom-and-pop. [The shops] are all individually owned. There [are] a lot of kids around here. We’re able to connect with [that generation] and also, of course, we need the older [generation as well],” Romano says. “Everything is great and everything’s unique. You’re not gonna find the same stuff.” But getting there was not as simple as it seems now. He just could not find the door to get started. Romano felt like he was in a rut. He needed a push toward the path to success and about four years ago, the doors to L.A. City College opened. Romano walked through. “I finally decided to take a business course at LACC which really inspired me to make it happen. It was a semester course. Basically, what I got out of that class was to go for it,” he says. Even with the business course, he felt a piece of the puzzle was still missing. So Romano took on a community services extension class. It was called “Making Beauty Products at Home.” “Which I do now,” the former LACC student says. “I make my own products at home, which was also important to the next step.” The class taught him a range of new skills, from choosing and mixing ingredients, to labeling and packaging. He planned to launch his own line. “The school was the beginning of everything,” Romano says. “The basic ingredients and almost everything I make, I learned over there.” It would ordinarily take three to five months to obtain all of the information provided in this course, but the L.A. City College student had to learn and process it all within a much shorter amount of time. “It was just one night. [The teacher] told me where to get the packaging, how to source labels and design your own, how to create lotions, how to create soaps, how to create lip balms,” he says. “She broke it down and made it easy and it was up to me to take it whichever way I wanted.” A few hours on one night turned into an exciting journey filled with opportunities for Romano. He began to make his hair products at home by turning items such as lip balms into hair pomade. Soon his hair products line, Shampoolio, emerged. The line includes a saltand-sugar base volumizer; smoothing treatment for blow drys; curl treatment for curly hair; scalp tonic for dry or oily scalp; and pomade. For those who do not have time to wash their hair on a particular morning, there is dry shampoo, a soft white powder-based product made from finely ground corn and lavender oil. “You put it in the part of the hair. In other words if you don’t have time to shower in the morning you put it in your part of your hair and it eats up the oil and or takes away cigarette and or alcohol smell … it’s a dry shower,” he says while rubbing the very soft and light to-the-touch powder on his hand. All of Romano’s hair products are natural and are soon to be certified organic. “It’s all nourishing, it’s all treatment based, so for instance, it’s all to make things healthier … Shampoolio makes people happy,” he said. With the success of his product line, he put his new business skills to work and opened the salon named A Shampoolio Experience. “When we got this place, we had nothing. We had no furniture. We had no art,” Romano says. “All we had were our scissors. And we had one month to fill the place and make it work. I have a staff, and I always think in terms of “we” because the team is very important even though I take all of my responsibility very seriously as an owner. But I am nothing without my team.” The salon certainly did come to life. As you walk in, you see large mirrors on the walls, counters topped with hair products, small statues, a town scrapbook and small plants. Salon chairs fill the room; and as you move through the salon, a waiting room corners a section that contains a soft, yet comfortable brown sofa. A couple of chairs sit under hair dryers, and images of nude women wearing masks decorate that section of the wall. Some of the services at the salon include perms, men’s and women’s haircuts, coloring, extensions and beach waves, which is a natural type of conditioning perm performed with an ionic solution. The cost for services ranges from $50 to $100. The hair line products, stored inside beautiful glass-door and wooden cabinets, can also be

The school was the beginning of everything. The basic ingredients and almost everything I make, I learned over there.” —JULIO ROMANO purchased at the salon. Even though walk-ins are welcome, Romano says most of their bookings are made online. Providing clients top-notch service is a priority. He even serves cocktails and plays records in the salon as clients get their hair done. “I’m very serious about hairdressing … everyone here is a hairstylist. It’s only people who do hair who work here, which keeps it pure … people want wearable hair, not something they have to wake up and spend an hour blow drying every day. They want to be able to maybe get it done once a week and wear it four or five days. It lasts. It’s wearable for long periods of times, so there’s no interference of anything else. So if you’re here, you’re here to do hair,” Romano says of his staff. “And I also think too, like, if I was in my chair getting my hair cut, what would I want? I would want somebody who is focused and who has prepared.” The wealth of knowledge he obtained from the two courses he took at LACC led to a peak in his career. He says the hair products line has been open for two years and the salon for a year. He has built a very loyal clientele. In his early 40s, it may have seemed like it was too late to start over, but Romano jumped at the chance to go after what he wanted. He triumphed. “Out of the two courses I took, I opened a business — actually I opened two businesses, the salon and my hair product [line],” Romano says. “You have to take a chance and you have to believe in yourself.”


NOTES FROM A JAZZMAN Clinton Cameron Origins in a Shoebox Danny Newmark’s character is understated compared to the personalities he describes from pictures he pulls from an old shoebox in his file cabinet. His father, Danny Sr., was a gifted poet and actor who sometimes worked as a ghostwriter. The senior Danny spent most of his childhood in a Jewish orphanage. The famous bootlegger Bugsy Siegel was his first cousin. His mother Pearl was a “red-hot” Stalinist whose mental illness was exasperated by news of Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953. Danny often found himself taking the streetcar across town to his grandmother’s house in order to avoid her mental breakdowns. There are stories about the days spent in the Army during the Korean War and the days of jamming with some of the jazz greats during the height of the South Central jazz scene, but so far only images of family are showing up in the shoebox. He looks at a picture of him and his mother taken when he was 17 years old. “You would never guess. She looked this way all of her life. She looks fine. But every time she would flip out I would take the streetcar from the Cedar Avenue Projects to my grandmother’s house. There I was able to get something to eat,” Danny said. Danny spent a lot of his time with his uncle Emil who was an accomplished musician. He made his own violins in a shop at his home. “He was my surrogate father,” said Danny of his uncle Emil. “My father was a


waste. As talented as he was, he never held down a job. My Uncle Emil taught me how to use the tools in his shop. This is part of why I am here today surviving.” In the Army Now By 1951 Danny was drafted into the Army, but he never fought in the Korean war. Most of his time was spent overcoming illnesses. “First I got dysentery from eating German food. Then I got pneumonia,” Danny said. His illness worsened when he had an allergic reaction after he received a shot of penicillin. He spent 10 days in an oxygen tent. He also contracted bronchiectasis, a disease that causes a widening of the airways. “I looked like Auschwitz and I felt like Auschwitz,” Danny said. The remainder of his time was spent on jobs that avoided combat. Then the war was over. “In 1953, Eisenhower declared the Korean War over. He was the only president in the history of the United States that ended a war without the permission of Congress,” the veteran said. Move to Los Angeles The same year the war ended, Danny moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles. A warmer climate would help his bronchiectasis. It was there that he discovered the world of jazz. From 1953 to 1958, he visited jam sessions every opportunity he had. Danny felt that any opportunity to meet recorded legends in the jazz world


was worth taking advantage of, and Los Angeles was a virtual cornucopia of jazz greats. “One of the places I used to go was the Big Top. This is where I met many of the greats: Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Les McCann, Ornette Coleman,” he said. He visited many clubs hoping to meet with heavyweights such as Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. Oftentimes, the more popular the musician, the less accessible they became. Many of them were known for being callous and unsympathetic. He had looked forward to meeting legendary trumpeter Miles Davis, but was let down, to put it mildly. “When I first met Miles Davis I was really excited. I reached out my hand to shake his and he said, ‘I don’t shake hands with whitey,’” Danny said. “After that I didn’t care too much for him and he let it be known he didn’t care too much for me.” This didn’t stop Danny from performing and recording with many of the musicians he met. He switched from guitar to piano and joined the musicians’ union. This became an issue because many of the sessions he played and recorded on were nonunion. “I joined the union in 1954 and quit in 1987, and haven’t been a member since. I recorded with Dahood Balewa from Nigeria. He put my name on the recording which caused all kinds of problems. It was nonunion and I had to pay a fine,” Danny said. By the late 1950s, Danny found steady union work with saxophonist Ornette Coleman. It was the closest he had come to anything that looked like steady work as a musician. “I had $100 in the bank which felt like all the money in the world. We worked sometimes five days a week,” Danny said. Family Reunion One night during a job at a club in Venice, California, Danny ran into a relative, his uncle Abe Siegel. Abe was the brother of Bugsy Siegel. The band leader and other musicians recognized him as one of the venue’s owners. Danny recognized him as one of the gangster relatives he moved away from Cleveland to avoid. Abe was involved in the family crime business but was serving time in prison by the time Bugsy Siegel helped build Las Vegas. “Abe took me outside and opened up the trunk of his car. It was filled with bags full of money. He pulled out a stack of cash and asked me if I needed anything. My jaw dropped. I told him ‘no thank you,’” Danny said. Once Danny found out that Abe was involved with the venue, he left immediately without collecting the money for the gig. “I moved all the way from Cleveland to avoid my relatives. I almost shit my pants when I saw him … the only reason he stayed alive as long as he did was


Opposite page: Danny poses for a family photo at his grandparents’ house. This page, left to right: Bugsy Siegel, Abe’s brother and Danny’s cousin, helped build the family’s crime business Danny left Cleveland to escape. Photo from American Photography;; a regular on the Los Angeles jazz scene, Danny was disappointed after meeting an unfriendly Miles Davis, an early idol of his. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported;; the jazzman with his mother in Cleveland. Photo courtesy of Danny Newmark.


because he was in the pen,” Danny said. The Real World It was 1955 when Danny met the now famous saxophonist Charles Lloyd during late night jam sessions. “I use to pick Charles Lloyd up from his dorm and drive him to gigs and jam sessions, and we became friends on that level.” After attending a seminar in orchestral conducting with Lloyd given by Igor Stravinsky at USC, Danny decided it was the right time to go back to school. He wanted to enroll but found it to be too expensive. “I first went to USC. I wanted to go school. Get my degree, “ he said. “I think it was $3 a unit. So if you take 16 units it’s around 40 or 50 dollars. At $3 a unit, that would have been all of my money. So I decided to go to City College and there I enrolled.” Danny attended Los Angeles City College from 1955-1957 and received his associate degree in music. From there he transferred to Cal State Los Angeles where he received his bachelor’s. It was during his studies at Cal State L.A. in 1957 that Danny met his wife, Louise. For the following 10 years, he juggled a new career in the advertising business, jazz gigs at night, running a theatre company with his wife, and raising three kids. “I was trying to keep up with the middle-class life. I don’t think I’d do it again but it worked then,” he said. But it seemed that the gangster life he thought he left behind in Cleveland caught up with him through his son. In 1979, Danny’s oldest son Donald became a low-level drug dealer. He also struggled with mental health issues. When the police shot his partner and confiscated the drugs. Donald was hired to sell, his suppliers wanted their $100,000 back. Donald’s body turned up in the national forest. “The police never solved the murder. I don’t think they wanted to,” Danny said. The tragedy destroyed Danny’s marriage. He was officially divorced in 1986. Reflection Now retired, he relishes the time he has to sit up late nights writing music. His latest piece is entitled, “Danny’s Dream.” The pictures are sorted and most of them returned to the box. Today, Danny is 84 years old. “I really didn’t start feeling good about myself until I turned 63,” Danny said, reflecting on his life. “That’s when I got Social Security. That’s when I felt free. I felt like I was let out of jail. That’s when I really started to write. My father’s dead, my mother’s dead, and Donald is dead, and I can put it all behind me.”




Ethan Edwards


hotography was not my first love. I came to LACC in 2011 hoping to learn studio lighting and photography was just an aside. As I progressed through the departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curriculum, photography came to be more than just pointing a camera and hoping for the best when you clicked the shutter. Everything in the viewfinder mattered. Where everything was in the space mattered. Little kernels of knowledge built up on each other and helped me to reach higher levels of understanding as a photographer. More than just taking a picture, being a skilled photographer means I can visualize the image before shooting it and achieve that vision with ease. When I think of art in the classic form, I envision a painting or drawing. But why not a photograph? With the

22 CollegianTimes

power of Photoshop, why stop at simply retouching photos to look their best? Why not use that tool to completely change real photos into art? The artistic photographs here are the results of combining the photography and Photoshop skills I learned at LACC. In each photo, both the person and guitar are real. The backgrounds are made using filters, drawings or altered photographs such as sheet music or ocean foam. Sometimes a clear idea would appear to me and the final piece would take no more than an hour to create, while others needed a more elaborate process. In all, I shot 14 models and have produced approximately 50 finished photographs. My deeper purpose for this project was to show that everyone has a hidden rock star inside.

Row 1 (left to right): Untitled 1;余 Lightning Rock 2;余 Untitled 2;余 Cartoon Rock Row 2: Gift from the Rock God;余 On Guitar C

To see more of ETHAN EDWARDS' work, scan this QR code with your smartphone, or visit: post/53424269117/school-rock





ES TH ER WILLIAMS 1921-2013 RÉgine Simmonds

ilm idol Clark Gable first dubbed her “Mermaid,” but “American Mermaid,” is what Hollywood stars, filmmakers, studio executives and press called 1940s film star Esther Williams. She starred in 26 films for MGM, a studio that had a vision for her beauty, poise and Olympiccaliber swimming. Before the “mermaid” emerged, she enrolled at L.A. City College (LACC) in 1939 to study liberal arts. After just three semesters, she caught the eye of a Hollywood talent scout who eventually led her to MGM—the break that enabled her to realize her dreams. Billy Rose was the first to spot Esther at an audition while he was casting for his 1940s dance, music and swimming theatre spectacle, “The Aquacade.” The director invited Esther and 75 other actresses to a casting call. The star of the show was Hollywood legend, Johnny Weissmuller – the original Tarzan. Weissmuller was the undefeated winner of five Olympic gold medals, 67 world, and 52 national titles for American competitive swimming.


At 5’8”, Williams was a curvy size 10. She had strawberry blonde hair and green, almond-shaped eyes. Weissmuller chose Williams. It was 1940 and it was Williams’ first big break onto the Hollywood scene. But before Hollywood discovered her, she found opportunities for advancement at LACC. The Inglewood native says LACC was a great fit for her at the time. She needed an affordable alternative for her education. “Like so many working class Angelinos attending City College, it was a great opportunity, an alternative to the more costly USC,” Williams said. “I found it to be exciting and innovative, a place I could truly nurture my mind.” MGM courted Esther for more than a year before she decided to sign a contract with the studio in 1941. MGM invested in Esther by paying for her singing, dance and finishing classes. She would ultimately swim more than 1,250 miles in 25 aqua musicals for MGM. In her first movie in 1942, “Andy Hardy’s Double Life,” she played Shelia Brooks, Mickey Rooney’s love interest.


By 1944, she was making a splash in her third film, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bathing Beauty,â&#x20AC;? which was also her first swimming movie. Williams played a heartbroken schoolteacher. With more than 50 cast members, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bathing Beautyâ&#x20AC;? was a box office hit for the studio, grossing $3.5 million. The movie introduced a new sub-genre in Hollywood, according to movie reviewer Paul Mavis. He describes the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extravagant sets with swimming pools and â&#x20AC;&#x153;water geysers with huge jets of flames.â&#x20AC;? He also says studio executives reacted once they saw the former LACC studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s swimming sequences: MGM took top billing in the movie away from established comedian-actor, Red Skelton, and gave it to Williams. The new aqua genre introduced a wide audience to Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; synchronized swimming, and the public fell in love with her. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When Esther Williams was in the water, nothing else mattered,â&#x20AC;? wrote Turner Classic Movies Spotlight reviewer Christopher Kulik. Before Hollywood In 1939, MGM produced the American fantasy adventure film, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Wizard of Oz,â&#x20AC;? and the romantic, Civil War epic, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Gone With the Wind.â&#x20AC;? NBC broadcasted its first black-and-white TV images, and a gallon of gas cost 10 cents. During that year, enrollment at LACC hit 6,600, and Esther Williams was one of the students. She did not travel far to get to LACC.

She was born in Inglewood in 1921 to a family with modest income. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My mother took refuge in her spirituality while my poor father was barely able to bring home enough money to keep food on the table,â&#x20AC;? she said. When she was just a toddler, she began to swimâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;taking the first steps toward becoming one of the most famous competitive swimmers in America. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have time for anything but perfecting my abilities that would lead to many championship medals,â&#x20AC;? Williams told the Collegian Times. There was no pool in the Williams backyard to help the future star, so she rode the trolley or â&#x20AC;&#x153;Big Red Carsâ&#x20AC;? to the beach where she swam with her sister. Williams started working at a young age folding towels at a local pool to make money. There, she was given access to the pool on her lunch breaks and she practiced her swimming techniques. By the time she was 16, she trained at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, a members-only club located on Seventh Street in downtown Los Angeles. Members included Hollywoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest, such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Johnny Weissmuller. Her training at the Athletic Club eventually paid off. In 1939, she won three national championships for the breaststroke, considered by some a challenging swimming style for a woman to master due to the considerable upper-body strength required. She also became proficient in the butterfly stroke, another

A TIME FOR LOVE I have always believed that a positive attitude, a dream, a passion to make that dream come true and the willingness to work hard for it are the keys to success!” —ESTHER WILLIAMS




A swimsuit is the least amount of clothing you can wear in public. If you are going to wear two Dixie Cups and dental floss, you better look good in it!” sharealike 2.0 generic


LACC’s Siren of the Seas male-dominated style she learned from male lifeguards. “I attended LACC shortly after graduation from George Washington High School in 1938 and remained there until 1939,” Esther said. “At which time I had qualified for the 1940 Olympic games after winning the 100-meter freestyle at the national championships. The games were later cancelled for safety reasons due to the outbreak of World War II.” The first U.S. synchronized swimming competition took place in 1939 at Wright Junior College between Wright and the Chicago Teachers College. Synchronized swimming did not become an official Olympic sport until summer 1984. “Esther Williams is a Hollywood icon who launched our sport,” said Julie Swartz, executive director of USA Synchro. “In 1984, synchronized swimming was named an Olympic sport. A lot of synchronized swimmers owe their gratitude to her whether they want to acknowledge it or not. She started the beauty and glamour in Hollywood.” A Head for Business Esther Williams had a knack for success. Her time at MGM was spent not only training and working on her craft, but also learning about business. While there, Williams purchased a restaurant in Los Angeles, and invested in a gas station and metal products line. She also built relationships with those behind the scenes. “I was very inspired by two highly respected MGM costume designers with whom I worked on designs for my movie roles, Irene and Helen Rose,” Esther said. “My relationship with these two women would later inspire my very successful swimwear collection.”

Williams sold her own signature swimwear online under the label, EW. Specializing in full-figure sizes, her swimwear is made for every woman. Celebrities flock to her line, including Taylor Swift who was spotted wearing her red and white polka dot swimsuit last summer in Cape Cod. “A swimsuit is the least amount of clothing you can wear in public,” Esther said. “If you are going to wear two Dixie cups and dental floss, you better look good in it!” A Time for Love Amid all of the success, this Hollywood starlet found time for family. Williams met her first of four husbands, Leonard Kovner, a medical student, at LACC. They married in 1940, two months before she turned 18, and remained married for four years. In 1945, she began a tumultuous 14-year marriage to Ben Gage, a radio singer and announcer. Gage’s substance abuse and gambling eventually led to the couple’s demise. When they divorced in 1959, she was a broke single mother of three: Benjamin, Kimball and Susan. Kimball passed away in 2010. Benjamin currently lives in San Diego, and Susan now resides in Idaho. Despite the rough start, Williams still believed in love and in 1969, she married Argentine actor Fernando Lamas. It was not a perfect union, however. During their marriage, Lamas refused to allow her children from her previous marriage with Gage to live with them. That demand drove a wedge between Williams and her children. She stayed married to him for 22 years before she was widowed. He died of cancer in 1982. In her autobiography she described her feelings. “Along with my deep sense of loss, I wrestled with feelings of anger and frustration. Mixed with the many rich hues of love were profound dark streaks of resentment,” she writes. “Once I married Fernando, I became invisible.” Sometimes it takes three frogs to get to your prince. Williams became Mrs. Edward Bell in 1994. “We have been together almost 30 years and we celebrate our anniversary in October,” Bell said. “The first time I met Esther, my mind raced back to the girl I had first seen at Radio City Music Hall, 40 feet high, gracefully stroking across the pool. I knocked over the whole table at a restaurant where I had been waiting for her when I got up to greet her. It was very embarrassing.” Williams died on June 6, 2013 in Beverly Hills where she lived with her husband. She woud have turned 92 in August. With all of Williams’ stardom and awards, she never turned down a fan’s request for a photo or autograph; she would stay until everyone’s needs were met. Her fans are still active and have created multiple websites dedicated to her. “I believe that within each of us there is a ‘consciousness of supply,’” Esther Williams said in a message for LACC students. “A wealth of possibilities, and we only need to learn how to tap into that power to use it. I always believed that a positive attitude, a dream, a passion to make that dream come true and the willingness to work hard for it are the keys to success.”



Like so many working class

Angelinos, attending City College was a

great opportunity and alternative to the

more costly USC. I found it to be exciting

and innovative, a place I could truly

nurture my mind.â&#x20AC;?





Illustration JULIUS ROCHES

People poured into two spacious rooms with rows of wood benches and cushioned chairs. They retold stories of the past, and shook pointed fingers at one another. They hugged and joked loudly. While they slapped each other on the back, they talked about track events over the course of years, world-record times and heartfelt losses. Nearly 100 men and women clutched a perfectly folded glossy sheet of white paper. The group had something quite special in common that brought them together again. Marsha A. Perry



wo Americans walked across the field wearing black socks, one concealing his right hand, the other his left, in a single pair of black leather gloves behind a shoe. They had a plan. They approached the podium to receive a gold and a bronze medal for the United States. Olympic organizers played the national anthem. As Tommie Smith, the gold medalist, raised his clenched right fist, John Carlos raised his left in a black power salute. It was one of the most pivotal moments in Olympic history. For the first time, athletes used the Olympic Games as a forum for protest. It coincided with the struggle for blacks and others in America at the height of the Civil Rights movement. While this silent stance for social equality unfolded before millions, elsewhere on the field, American sprinter “Ronnie Ray” Smith would also win an Olympic gold medal. Ronnie Ray ran the third leg on the relay team. The former LACC sprinter was not aware of the protest. Ronnie Ray trained at LACC a year earlier. His training regimen helped him to set a new world record of 38.2 seconds in the 4x100 meter relay race in Mexico City. At the time, this win was a considerable accomplishment, given the high altitude in Mexico City that shortens an athlete’s breath during endurance events. John says Ronnie Ray was probably one of the greatest athletes in track and field history. Friends and competitors dubbed him “Rocket Start Ronnie,” ”Beautiful Sprinter,” and “Speed Icon.” 30 CollegianTimes

“But most individuals don’t get the title as world’s fastest human or world record holder,” John said, “and Ronnie had that dubious distinction to say, ‘I am a world record holder, I had the world record, I broke the world record’ ... I think he did a fantastic job running in his career period because he didn’t do anything but excel all the way until the time he retired.” Teammates say the 19-year-old, 5-foot-8-inch Los Angeles native was extremely soft-spoken. John and Tommie were the focus of controversy, but Ronnie Ray did not oppose them. John says Ronnie quietly approved. He says the salute was not a black militant move, but a quest for human rights issues. He says it was a statement on behalf of all of the oppressed and impoverished people around the world. It was a statement that got John Carlos and Tommie Smith banned from the Olympic Games and the Olympic Village where they trained while in Mexico City.



ormer LACC sprinter Phillip Underwood and Ronnie Ray attended rival high schools. Phillip spoke highly of the once famed Manual Arts High School student. The two runners competed against each other in approximately 12 high school races. Phillip and Ronnie Ray met again in 1967 when both runners briefly attended LACC. “He was a very quiet guy,” Phillip said. “A lot of guys get on the team


and would joke around and have fun and just participate, but he was a dead serious runner. He was the guy that would keep me up late at night preparing. On the weekends everything I did was geared toward competing against him.” In all, the LACC sprinter had at least two world records and numerous wins. Following the Olympics, Ronnie Ray continued to compete in track and field events as a student at San Jose State University. He went on to work for the Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Los Angeles, and later as a doctor’s assistant. He also repaired and sold computers. By 2012, the quiet sprinter had disappeared from many of his friends’ radar. Reggie Morris found his track and field buddy residing at an L.A. convalescent home. They talked about old times, but Ronnie Ray still suppressed his feelings about his Mexico City win decades earlier. “He seemed to just downplay everything. Nothing excited him and nothing was a big deal even though it was to me and other people. Ray looked at it like OK well I did that and that’s OK,” Reggie said. “This

(Above) Tommie Smith and John Carlos protest at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City with the black power salute moment. Silver medalist, Peter Norman looks ahead. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. Phillip Underwood (far left) of Dorsey High, edges out Manual Arts’ Ronnie Ray Smith at the Southern League Meet Finals in the anchor leg of the 880-yard relay on May 5, 1966.

is not a negative thing, but he was a real private kind of guy. I’m not saying he was introverted. He didn’t gravitate to a lot of people.” In late March of this year, “Rocket Ronnie,” the “Speed Icon,” died as quietly as he lived in the Los Angeles convalescent home where Reggie Morris caught up with him just months before. Meanwhile, in the two spacious rooms with rows of wood benches and cushioned chairs, the camaraderie and the laughter subsided. A large gathering of former athletes and family members came to pay their last respects to Ronnie Ray Smith at a funeral service in the South Bay. He was 64. Phillip called his friend a very serious-minded, focused individual and a man of action. “You couldn’t casually become a world-class runner,” Phillip said. “He was one of the best in the world … The Mexico City Olympic team is without a doubt the greatest Olympic team that America has ever assembled. The 1968 [team] had the overall, the greatest athletes we ever sent to the Olympic Games. So for him to be on that team is very significant ... I will never forget knowing Ronnie Ray … His name will live in the annals of track and field in the city of Los Angeles for years.”

(L) The vantage point from Moro Rock provides a beautiful view of San Joaquin Valley. Looking GRZQRQWKHWUHHWRSVJLYHVWKHVHQVDWLRQRIÁ\LQJ (R) The General Sherman is located in Sequoia National Park and is the largest tree in the world. It is 2,200 years old, 275 feet tall, 25 feet in diameter, and stands like a silent titan among the conifers.







Svetlana Yurash

s an outdoor lover, I look for ways to get away from the hot, dirty summer air of Los Angeles. This time, I looked to the Sequoia National Park as my destination. I thought that the sight of the largest trees on the planet would be well worth the four-hour drive. The road leading to the national park winds its way up the mountain like a black ribbon and gives way to the sight of various shades of green. The landscape slowly changes and mountains and trees grow higher. As we reach our destination, mighty trees stand; wide and tall like silent guards watching over the forest. According to, the Giant Sequoia is the largest tree on earth. They are not the world’s tallest trees – that honor goes to the giant redwood – they can grow to 311 feet tall and up to 40 feet in diameter. A mature tree can weigh up to 2.7 million pounds. Sequoias are unique to California and only grow between 5,000 and 7,000 feet elevation. Regardless of how big sequoias are, they are not commonly logged like redwood and cypress trees. “Sequoia trees are not endangered, because the wood is not good for building. The sequoias have very soft bark,” said Colleen Bathe, park manager at Sequoia National Park. “We protect trees. There is logging regulation and policy. People can’t log trees. We also put fences, so people can’t step on roots and cones.” Fire crews start controlled fires on a regular basis to clear the area, and because fire opens the sequoias’ cones and allows it to keep reproducing. “General Sherman” as it is known, is one of the most famous trees in the forest. The "General" is estimated to be 2,300 to 2,700 years old, according to an information post in its vicinity. It stands approximately 275 feet tall and 102 feet wide. It is believed that the "General" is the world’s largest living organism and the fastest growing. This tree is so unique that it is has a fence placed around it, so no one can disturb it. Despite having to admire some of the scenery from afar, the forest is very welcoming to visitors. There are a few campgrounds where people can spend the night. Some, like Lodgepole and Dorst Creek, are available only during the summer. There are also year-round lodges available in Wuksachi Village. We found a wonderful camping spot with picnic tables and fire pits near the mountain river, Kaweah. Sequoia National Park is home to a variety of wildlife. Bobcats, skunks, gray foxes, pocket gophers, wood rats, squirrels, mule deer, mountain lions and many others species make their home here. According to the National Park Service website, grizzly bears no longer live in California, but black bears remain active in the Sequoia Park area. Visitors are strongly advised to store food properly and deal with trash accordingly to keep

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the bears safe. There are metal storage containers next to each campsite, where campers can store food. Campers will find themselves immersed in the sounds of the forest. The light breeze flowing through the trees, birds chirping, the murmur of the river, the cackling of the campfire, and maybe the scratching of a bear’s claw on your metal storage unit. Fortunately for us, our night was quiet and bear-free. We fried fish and barbecued meat on the fire, told stories and sang songs, while millions of stars shone bright through the giant trees. After a peaceful night, we rose early for a morning hike. We followed a popular trail next to the river and saw a baby bear and its mother uphill from our position on the mountain. She looked at us cautiously, like she was trying to inspect us. We felt like we made her hungry, but the little bear turned and walked away, so the mother had no choice but to follow. This reminded me of the old, Russian fairy tale, “Three Bears.” It is a tale about a little girl named Masha who went into a forest and got lost. Perhaps the little family of bears has a house somewhere deep in the forest, and they have come looking for Masha to bring her back home. Our next stop was a granite dome rock called Moro Rock. To get to the top, we climbed a stone staircase that according to was about one-third of a mile long. It took 400 steps, but we were treated to a miraculous view of the forest. Everything seemed small. “When I stood on the top of this rock, I felt ready to fly,” said Natasha Gulakova, a camper. “I wanted to be a bird that can fly all over [the] beautiful trees located far down there. It was so high, that everything looked like a little forest in a book. It was truly amazing and unforgettable.” Sequoia National Park is full of amazing places to visit, like Crystal Cave and its bizarre stalactites and stalagmites that look like pieces of art from nature. Another attraction is the Giant Forest Museum. Here, people can find a lot of interesting information about sequoias and even see how they measure up against the Statue of Liberty and the average space rocket. Tourists can also head to Hospital Rock, where they can get up close to ancient Native American pictographs; Beetle Rock where hikers stand on a granite slope and contemplate the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. There is Tunnel Log, a sequoia tree that fell across the Crescent Meadow Road in Giant Forest and was carved out into a tunnel shape. The tunnel is big enough for cars to drive through. Camping in Sequoia National Park was an unforgettable experience. I found inspiration and I relaxed. I admired the eternal beauty of nature. It is definitely one of the most amazing places I have ever visited.

Getting There

The easiest way to get there is by car. The area is also accessible by bus, from Los Angeles to Visalia for an estimated price of $28 to $42 one way. From Visalia, take the Sequoia Shuttle to the Giant Forest Museum, and transfer to the free in-park shuttle. A round-trip ride from Visalia to Giant Forest Museum is $15 and covers the park entrance fee, according to To get more details about the shuttle, visit Are you planning a visit to the Sequoia National Park? Tell the Collegian about your trip. Send us your pictures, and we may publish them in the fall. Email us at losangeles. Crystal clear waters from the Kaweah River rush from the mountaintops. The sound of the fast moving water can be heard in our campground nearby.


Luca Loffredo




for more delicious sandwich facts

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ome like it hot, served cold, or pressed. Sandwiches, panini, bocadillos, torta, croque or gyro—you name it. We all eat them and we all have a favorite. Though no one knows where the sandwich was invented, Mr. John Montagu, IV Earl of Sandwich in England, is often credited with the term. He used to eat cured meat in between thin slices of bread during his card games. This way, he could eat with his bare hands without getting his playing cards greasy. Stories about celebrated sandwiches abound. Like the Muffoletta, from the Central Grocery in New Orleans, or the French Dip from Philippe’s in Los Angeles. And how can we forget the Sloppy Joe. Born in New Jersey, this sandwich is better known as a staple of the the Key West restaurant of the same name, once frequented by the illustrious Ernest Hemingway. In Italy, there are thousands of variations of sandwiches, or “panini” (“panino” singular), made with a bread roll rather than sliced bread. There, a sandwich made with sliced bread is strictly called a “tramezzino.” Each panino is meticulously filled with Italy’s best delicacies, from the simple “Prosciutto e formaggio” (Italian cured ham and cheese), to the renown caprese with mozzarella, tomato and basil. Or one could follow local tradition with “la colazione” (lunch or snack on the go) filled with robust, delicious ingredients like rapini and sausages, or the popular eggplant parmigiana. The open-face sandwich or a flatbread topped with various ingredients is also an option. In Italy, these are simply called “bruschetta.” Today, open-face sandwiches are a chic and elegant way to start a meal or entertain guests with delicious small bites. For centuries, sandwiches were a simple, quick lunch or a snack on the go usually eaten at work, at school or while enjoying the outdoors. It was a low-cost, unpretentious way of eating, no matter where you were in the world. Sandwich culture exploded in the 1980s, bringing endless variations of the once humble dish to the tables of sophisticated restaurants everywhere. From a simple grilled cheese or an ice-cream sandwich, to the exotic soft-shell crab sandwich, or even a truffle burger or delightful s’more, restaurants continue to cash in on the trend. Fast-food tricksters offer artisan bread sandwiches with so-called premium ingredients and extra-large sizes that capture customers’ attention—and money. In return, these unlucky patrons receive unhealthy imitations of the real thing for what seems a reasonable price. The real cost can be seen later in excess weight and an unrefined food palate. But both four-star eateries and local diners understand there is a certain pleasure to eating with your bare hands. Feeling the food between your fingers as you lift the sandwich to your mouth and take a bite that unleashes a burst of flavors in your mouth—the experience is quick and sensational. It is also a great way to get a balanced meal during long days. Vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, dairy and sometimes fruit are all a part of a typical sandwich. A really good sandwich is not difficult to prepare. It just requires good ingredients, a bit of creativity and a hefty dose of love. There are some factors to consider, though, like type of bread, texture, amount of ingredients, serving temperature and when the sandwich will be eaten. But most of all, it’s about the ingredients. Choose ingredients that reflect your taste and personality, or even heritage.

Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Make a Chicken Salad Sandwich To make a chicken salad sandwich on whole grain can be very simple. You could be very adventurous and prepare all your ingredients from scratch. However, it is also easy to find quality ingredients in the nearby deli or supermarket. Making a sandwich is like designing a beautiful building; you want to have a solid foundation and stable roof, with all the floors in between proportional in weight and size. First, choose the type of bread. In many cases, the bread will already be sliced, otherwise slice it not too thick. If using a bread roll, slice it lengthwise. Choose a quality spread such as an olive oil mayonnaise, olives tapenade, pesto or even hummus. The ideal spread is one you like and pairs best with the other elements. The spread should be applied on the bottom and top slices with moderation. You can also apply two different spreads to make your experience more exciting. Feel free to experiment with alternative spreads such as hummus, or a soft cheese instead of mayonnaise. But if mayonnaise is your spread of choice, select a real mayo made with olive oil. Now for the star ingredient: chicken salad. One container will make two to three sandwiches. Distribute the chicken salad evenly. You could use almost anything, sliced ham, smoked salmon, grilled veggies the choices are endless, but always layer your ingredients evenly. Apply in a wavy motion. The final effect will not just be visual, but structural as well. Next, add greens, lettuce, dandelion or bean sprouts. If you like, you could also use cooked greens like escarole, collard or mustard greens. Make sure that lettuce or any other type of greens are washed and dry. Along with the greens, add some onions, raw or caramelized, or pickles. Washed, thinly sliced tomatoes can be added seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Cheese is optional. Finally, top the sandwich with the last layer of bread. Apply light pressure to the sandwich to settle all the elements. Now, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready to eat, or wrap it with parchment paper to store for later. Sandwich making can be fun and creative. Once you have mastered the technique, and become familiar with the different flavors and ingredients, it is easy to do. As Nancy Silverton said in her sandwich cookbook, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Be creative and think outside of the sandwich box.â&#x20AC;?

LETâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S MAKE A


GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH Choose the bread and cheese of your liking. Layer sliced cheese on sliced bread and place the sandwich on the griddle or in the toaster oven. Cheese should be melting, but not bubbling. Choose a type of cheese that melts easily. Lightly toast the bread so it is crunchy outside, but still soft inside. Serve warm. (The sandwich in the image above is made with whole grain bread, Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar cheese, toasted on a panini press.)

THREE CATEGORIES OF SANDWICHES '!! " with simply combined ingredients like a bruschetta. '!" "%!!   bread-roll, filled with ingredients and served hot or cold. ' #"& ! "! between at least three slices of bread, like the a Club Sandwich or the iconic Big Mac.




Give me cupcakes or give me death.

ot quite the words that inspired a state to war, but the nation’s devotion to these petite treats are often taken just as seriously. Americans love their cupcakes. According to Harvard Law’s Bill of Health Blog, cupcake consumption increased 52 percent between 2010 and 2011, and U.S. consumers ate over 770 million cupcakes last year. To an organization like the American Diabetes Association, these statistics are alarming. For Sprinkles Cupcake Bakery, these statistics mean business is booming. Candace Nelson, the Donald Trump of cupcakes,


opened Sprinkles in 2005 in Beverly Hills. Since then, haute cupcakeries have sprung up all over Los Angeles looking to strike gold in the cupcake boom. A cupcake in Los Angeles will cost anywhere from $1.50 to $8.00, thus making the treat an affordable luxury for many. A cupcake isn’t like a candy bar that sneaks into a purchase at a liquor store line—a cupcake is an experience. Typically the bakeries are uniquely personalized and staffed by seemingly stress-free folk. The following three cupcakeries are all close to LA City College and each offers a variety of delicious offerings. There are suitable options for everyone, even kosher eaters and vegans (and their dogs too).


1200 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038 (323) 467-1080 Frosted, located on Highland Avenue, came highly recommended on Yelp! with a review claiming this cupcakery to be the “real deal.” Frosted takes freshness to heart, and even posts disclaimers at the counter limiting each walk-in customer to two-dozen per purchase. Any order larger than that would deplete the Frosted pantry of fresh goods. The counter girl was coy and hesitant to divulge any serious secrets, but she did say, “We all really love each other and we are all really good friends, so I feel like our cupcakes are made with love.” Between the 1950s doo-wop and the teal-painted walls, Frosted is a destination for someone looking for a little cupcake R&R.


216 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004 (323) 464-8400 Widely known for their oversized cupcakes and seasonal flavors with quirky names, Crumbs is another Larchmont treasure that caters to the serious sweet tooth. With 200 flavors (showcasing about 30), the newly corporate cupcakery regularly sells out their Red Velvet, Carrot and Milkshake flavors. The atmosphere is slightly sterile, reflecting their corporate culture, but the staff is knowledgeable, friendly and proud of their confections. The counter girl said, “We make ours fresh everyday, which is key. One time I went to a Sprinkles Cupcake and the cake was hard.” Red Velvet is a winner. Just the right amount of sweetness and chocolate, it’s a more satisfying cupcake; more than likely because they use real butter and flour, as opposed to their neighboring competitor. However, indulgence has a ceiling, and you’ll reach it after a couple hefty bites. Crumbs’ cakes are better shared among friends, while Babycakes is a solo act. In the end, it all comes down to preference.


236 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004 (323) 643-2023 Originally from NYC, Erin McKenna turned her food allergies into a booming bakery. Known for their unique take on doughnuts, cookies and cupcakes (vegan, gluten/soy/wheatfree) Babycakes has made quite a buzz in an already health-conscious city. The staff here will tell you that their doughnuts are supreme. “I do like the doughnuts a bit better than the cupcakes, definitely check those out next time,” said the counter attendant. Upon walking into the store, expect to be greeted by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, bright pink walls, and 1950s era décor. They boast a consistent menu available year round, with some seasonal changes. Cupcakes are smaller (gone in two or three bites), more like muffins. The frosting is simply sweet, with a marzipan texture—not too overpowering, and figure friendly. The atmosphere begs for casual conversation and Instagram photos. It may not be the most fulfilling of cupcakes, but the little touches like the “No cell phone use while at the counter” sign and other hand-written notes around the shop, keep patrons returning for a neighborhood-friendly ambiance.

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Fresh juices high in nutrition combat disease and improve health


et’s face it, eating healthy is a challenge. Between finding the time and the latest information on the healthy foods of the day, it can seem an impossible task. In the last century, the United States Department of Agriculture has made numerous efforts to clarify what eating healthy means. Yet, neither the old food pyramid featuring bread, rice and pasta, nor the current plate-shaped nutrition guide with grains, vegetables, fruits, protein and dairy, seem to work— the U.S. remains among the top 10 fattest countries according to the World Health Organization. With the average American consuming 34 gallons of soda, 2,736 pounds of sodium and over 600 pounds of dairy per year, the growing rates of obesity and related illnesses can come as no surprise. Nutritionists and scientists agree that a diet of raw fruits and vegetables, and various types of beans and whole grains is the healthiest for the body. Juicing is an easy way to get those essential raw fruits and vegetables into our diets to nourish our bodies with the necessary nutrients. “The benefits of juicing are immeasurable,” says Brigette Davidovici of Clover Juice in mid-city Los Angeles. “[It does] everything from cleansing, revitalizing, energizing, and strengthening, to immune boosting, and digestion.” Living foods health counsellor and personal chef Dorit Dyke agrees. “Freshly made juices bathe the cells with highly nutritional and even critical minerals, vitamins and other vital compounds that can protect our cells against damage and disease and improve overall health,” she said. “The most obvious and noticeable benefits include increased feeling of vitality, reversal of constipation, radiant and glowing skin and hair, and sounder sleep.” With the busy lifestyles of many college students and most Americans, it can be difficult to find time to eat multiple servings of all the produce that our bodies need. Juicing condenses these servings and conveniently packages them into an easily ingestible liquid. Though popular in the 1990s, juicing began much earlier. Norman Walker, a British-born businessman, pioneered juicing in the early 20th century, opening a juice bar with a medical doctor in Long Beach, California, in 1919. Believing juicing was the key to gaining and maintaining good health, he created numerous recipes to address specific ailments of his clients. He later designed and manufactured the Norwalk Hydraulic Press Juicer, a model still in production today. In all, he wrote six books extolling the virtues of raw foods, juicing and vegetarianism until his death at the age of 99. There have been many popular advocates of juicing since Walker, including Jay Kordich, one of the fathers of the juicing and raw food movements, and “The

Jonathan Filipko

Juice Master” Jason Vale. Though many have subscribed to the benefits of juicing, it is not without critics. Commonly mentioned is the fact that juicing strips fiber from the produce. While you do lose the fiber-filled pulp when you press juice, the process of extracting fiber actually makes it easier for our bodies and cells to directly absorb the nutrients, notes Michael T. Murray, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and author of “The Complete Book of Juicing.” Critics also suggest juicing is laden with sugars. Some juices like orange or apple juice do contain a lot of fructose, the natural sugar found in fruit. Natural fructose, however, does not spike blood sugar levels as much as the processed sugars or high-fructose corn syrup found in sodas and many bottled juices. But it is the fact that juicing can be expensive to maintain that many critics question. If optimal health is the goal, buying organic fruits and vegetables is recommended, which adds to the cost. Commercially grown produce sprayed with pesticides and herbicides can cause bloating, indigestion, neurological damage, cancers and other diseases. According to Arun Mehta, M.D., internist and cardiology consultant, some rely too heavily on juicing and potentially cause greater harm, including muscle loss, weight gain and nausea. “Juice alone does not provide complete and balanced nutrition. Diabetics, for example, should not use juices since they can raise blood sugar too fast,” Dr. Mehta said. Despite these concerns, juicing continues to gain attention for its positive effects on health. “One of the key benefits of fresh fruit and vegetable juice, beyond their nutritional superiority, is their rich supply of antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and beta-carotene,” Murray wrote in his book. “Since oxidative damage is a cause of aging, and is also linked to the development of cancer, heart disease, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and virtually every other chronic degenerative disease, the consumption of fruits and vegetables is being shown to offer significant protection against the development of these diseases.” Once viewed as the choice of the most extreme health enthusiasts and latest celebrity diet fad, juicing has now gone mainstream to provide a quick fix for an unhealthy diet. “Juicing is for anyone interested in how their body feels,” said Davidovici. “It’s not about how they look, but it’s a feeling of care for the body, and what fuel you’re willing to take time to give it.”

Nutrition Facts Health benefits of fruits and vegetables according to the National Cancer Institute and N.W. Walker D. Sc, author of “Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices.” Carrot Orange: Oranges, carrots

Kale Lemonade: Kale, apples, lemons

Sweet and Spicy Apple: Apples, ginger, cinnamon


The Classic: Beets, oranges, apples

High in vitamin C, oranges enhance the immune system and collagen production, which gives skin its firmness. A large supply of flavonoids, also help prevent cancer. Carrots are loaded with carotene, which is great for vision. It also helps boost the immune system.

Apples are high in pectin, a type of fiber that helps push waste through the gastrointestinal tract and eliminates toxins. With calcium, iron and vitamins A and C, beets boost liver health and have potential anti-cancer properties.

Kale is a great way to obtain calcium and potassium. It is also high in vitamins A, C, and various types of B. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and potassium.

Good for treating motion sickness, ginger is also an anti-inflammatory, helps promote the elimination of intestinal gas and improves liver function. Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar.

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Illustration wJULIUS ROCHES



Amanda Scurlock

ook up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!” Yes, the “Man of Steel” is back this summer in what promises to be a blockbuster take on a story loved by generations. Written by David S. Goyer, who also worked on the story for “The Dark Knight,” “Man of Steel” represents a trend in new (and not so new) Hollywood: big-budget movies betting on plot lines, characters and settings from comic books and children’s stories for billion dollar returns. Three of the top five highest-grossing films of all time are adaptations from children’s novels and comic books, according to “Marvel’s The Avengers” raked in $1.5 billion worldwide while “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” grossed more than $1.3 billion and $1.1 billion respectively. Only “Avatar” and “Titanic” have earned more.

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Why do moviegoers enjoy films with familiar plots and fantastic visual sequences? What attracts people to return to old stories and acquaint themselves with post-modern digital effects? While moviemakers see dollar signs, some viewers look to these stories to reveal certain truths about human nature and the world. “The Grimm brothers created fairy tales to teach kids lessons,” said John Medici, an adjunct English instructor at City College, “but they are psychological and dark.” The treacherous and gruesome stories of the Grimm brothers were inspirational to the young cartoonist Walt Disney in the 1920s. He took his revolutionary idea of feature-length cartoons and told the stories in a way that captivated children, immortalizing Disney more than the stories’ original creators.

When Disney created the motion picture “Cinderella,” he omitted animating the parts where the stepsisters cut off their own toes and heels to fit the glass slipper. He also removed the role of the huntsman and the scene where the evil stepmother eats an animal’s heart for his first film version of “Snow White.” The imagery can represent more complex and traumatizing aspects to a person’s life, according to Dr. Jonathan Young, a psychologist specializing in myths and fairy tales. “The darker elements in some tales often reveal shadow energies in an action, an image, or even a setting. The deep, dark forest is a common representation of the feared elements within,” Dr. Young said. “The monsters live in the forest. The forest can reflect parts of ourselves that are never entirely tamed, that are always somewhat dangerous and chaotic.” Nowadays, writers embrace those cryptic undertones and even create darker hybrid storylines to the Grimm brothers’ stories. After finishing the series “Felicity,” writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis began brainstorming on a show concept that aligned with their unique sensibilities. They wanted to create a fantastical show with strong characters, according to their YouTube interview with Eric Goldman, an executive editor at Imagine Games Network (IGN). The two writers figured that the real world is the only place where evildoers from fairy tales go in order to succeed in their plots. This was the starting point for ABC’s hit show, “Once Upon A Time.” “Taking these stories that we all know, our idea was not to retell them, but to try to find something new about them and try to fill in blanks that we don’t know and to discover things about these characters that are new and exciting,” said Horowitz in the interview. Both writers are more focused on turning main characters from fairy tales into real people. They would rather put an original and less bubbly spin on fairy tales than pass the traditional stories down. “We’re not retelling Cinderella,” said Kitsis. “We’re much more interested in why ‘Grumpy’ is grumpy and what happened after the happy ending.” The movie and television industry has been digging through the archives of American culture for several other reasons. Nostalgia, for one. Feature films about superheroes and fairy tales renew the memories of childhood for adults otherwise too caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life to recall how being a superhero was their real aspiration. They also introduce iconic stories to younger generations too technologically savvy to appreciate the slowerpaced tradition of oral storytelling. According to Lauren Movious, professor in the media studies department at Santa Monica College, media plays a major role in modern society as children can do mundane tasks on a variety of devices available today. “It’s hard to tell whether children are impacted more by technology or reading because they can now use technology to read,” Movious said. “There is a certain power that images have that is different from books.” The use of images in fairy tales is imperative in the eyes of Dr. Young. He feels that visuals help the audience understand the symbolism in these stories. “Certain significant images communicate helpful information. The key is knowing how to decode the messages,” he said. “The tale is a visual experience. Any one of the symbols in a classic story is worthy of a close look.” While films and shows based on these characters are nothing new (“Superman” debuted as a TV show in the 1950s), what is new is how technology melds with old-fashioned storytelling to create dazzling, lifelike adventures. “We now have a better ability to recreate certain effects that would go alongside these larger-than-life films and TV shows,” said Jacob Rougemont, the owner of the “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Fan Page” blog. In the comics, images of muscular men in bright, shiny uniforms and armor tell the story along with words. The film interpretations of these stories attempt to maintain that strong visual component that illustrators contrived in comics and authors described in their fairy tales. In the movie “Thor,” elaborate graphics first introduce viewers to the land of Asgard. We also see strong computer-generated imagery, or CGI, in “Spider-Man 3” when the

villain Flint Marko (the Sandman) realizes he has been transformed into sand. “There was a time when things like Harry Potter’s spells, or Iron Man’s mechanical armor with all its moving parts and energy blasts, or even Bruce Banner’s transformation into the Hulk could only have been done using physical effects or animation,” said Rougemont. “Compare David Banner’s transformation into the Hulk from the 1970s TV series to Bruce Banner’s transformation in “The Avengers” movie and you will see how far [the film industry has] come in digital effects.” The integration of digital effects has become quintessential to most, if not all, fantasy and science fiction movies. Some, though, see it as a distraction from shallow plot lines and poor writing. “Before [digital effects] it was all about writing,” said Loretta Manill, an adjunct English professor at City College on the movie industry. “Technology is not an improvement.” According to Manill, American film focuses more on entertaining the audience as opposed to making them think. Unlike movies such as “Lincoln” or “Argo,” the plots of these action/adventure movies can be fairly basic. LACC’s Medici liked superheroes, but felt there was no deep intellectual content in comic books, and that perhaps that characteristic has carried over onto the screen. These types of movies can generate their message with speed and simplicity, a method familiar for people with ever-updating Facebook and Twitter news feeds. “Younger generations don’t have the patience with words that [older generations] have,” Manill said. “American films lack complexity in their plots and writing.” The hit HBO show “Game of Thrones” originated from a set of lengthy, complex novels by George R.R. Martin. The book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire,” consists of five novels, two of them more than 1,000 pages long. The many stories that unravel in the books impressed David Benioff and Daniel B. Weiss, the screenwriters of the TV show. Weiss discussed his first encounter with the books in an interview with Sky Atlantic, a British TV station. “I thought who on earth would ever read 4,000 pages?” said Weiss in regards to the total number of pages in the book series. “David [Benioff] called me and said ‘would you read this book “Game of Thrones” and tell me if I’m crazy or are these one of the most fantastic stories that you’ve ever read’ and I read it and he was right. It was one of the most fantastic stories I’d ever read.” Although the “Game of Thrones” story is compelling, not many people have time to read the 704-page novel. Adapting the story into a show was a brilliant idea. “Game of Thrones” continues to break viewing records. Fantasy movies and TV shows have left positive impressions among many. Danielle Stallings, a cinema instructor at City College, enjoyed “The Avengers” and thought the script was smart and well written. “You have to be a good storyteller,” Stallings said. Rougemont also gave kudos to “Oz: the Great and Powerful,” a film released this past March as a prequel to the 1939 hit “The Wizard of Oz.” “[It] made a perfect prequel to the ‘30s film and also left room for more prequels that take place after it, but before the ’30s movie,” he said. These iconic fairy tales fit in the category of good storytelling, and they still hold on to a certain level of popularity. Converting superhero stories and fairy tales into big-budget movies is an easy cash cow for Hollywood, according to Stallings. Movie companies create these films because their stories already have an existing fan base. Taking the chance on an original story is too risky when there are stories that people already like. “As long as the public has an appetite for these kind of movies,” Stallings said, “Hollywood will keep producing them.” Despite the ability to gain high ratings and ticket sales, these stories take the audience on a journey through a new world and even through themselves. “These tales are psychological mirrors. We become more complex as we mature,” Dr. Young said. “The storytellers intentionally loaded the adventures with heavy symbolism to reveal more meanings as we develop a deeper awareness of ourselves.”



Régine Simmonds

aising hell and taking names, Los Angeles-based indie band Fire in the Hamptons is on the verge of going mainstream as they receive recognition among executives in music’s inner circles. Will they be able to keep the same fanbase as they push toward the pop spotlight? Outside the Echo Park-based recording studio Bedrock LA, musicians and artists walk around with guitars and beers in hand. Some are dressed in jeans and cut-off shirts sporting tattooed bodies and ear piercings. I am greeted in the parking lot by a tall man with dirty blonde hair and fully tattooed arms and knuckles. He is Aaron Bilyeu, the extremely polite drummer of the band Fire in the Hamptons, or FITH for short. He leads the way into this sanctuary for local artists. Walking into Bedrock is like walking into the intimate lounge area of a trendy bar. In the corner seated at a small table, a guy with black hair intensely texts, then slightly lifts and turns his head. “Hi, I’m Emvy. Just Emvy,” he said. He is the pianist for the group. Two minutes later an excited Ian Dowd, FITH’s guitarist, walks in wearing jeans, a 1970s style vest, and a surprised look on his face. “I just came from the Hollywood sign and got chased by the cops and helicopters,” Ian says. “How cool is that? I’ve never been there before.” About five minutes later, lead singer Zack Arnett enters with a huge English bulldog and a mini entourage—all badass. He picks up the audio recorder that was set in the middle of the table for our interview and starts beatboxing and freestyling. “Ahhhh, mic check, mic check. Ah one-two, a one-two, check a one … ” Zack spits a little beat and adds some vocals to it to start off the interview. An instant mix-tape single in 60 seconds. It is a little like the Last Supper with all four members seated around the round table. There is a vibe in the air like it is about to go down, and it does. “We are all kings, purple royalty,” they all say in unison. In certain publications, Los Angeles-based FITH is described as an electropop indie band led by the multi-talented Zack. They describe themselves as Electro Hip Rock, and have a fanbase as eclectic as they are. These bandmates officially became Fire in the Hamptons March 12, 2012, and within a year, their songs “Blackout” and “I Met a Girl,” were featured on the song list of MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” while “Humanimal” appeared on the soundtrack for the final season of “Gossip Girls.” Their first live performance was April 2012 at the Viper Room in Los Angeles. There are 15 songs on their debut CD, “F.I.T.H.,” and 12 have been released. Childhood friends Aaron and Zack wrote a couple of songs together. Bert Selen,


FITH left to right: Emvy Venti (synth/piano), Zack Arnett (vocals), Aaron Bilyeu (drums), and Ian Dowd (guitar). Photo courtesy of Fire in the Hamptons

an award-winning music producer, wrote and co-produced some of the songs as well. For many of these guys poised for stardom, there is life beyond the band. Zack is a self-taught graphic artist on the side. Aaron studied journalism at Los Angeles City College, which is also where he met his first manager. Emvy spends his time perfecting his talent on the keys and learning drums, guitar, cello, ethnic percussion and bass. But if anyone questions their dedication to working together, just ask lead guitarist and former LACC English major Ian who drives 600 miles to and from Monterey every weekend to work with his band. His nickname is “Values” because of the little things he values in life. “If you really want to know what I value, I value my band, this is what it’s all about,” Ian says. Zack chimes in. “He’s not just our guitarist; he is our lead guitarist,” Zack says. “He plans to organize a concert to help support foundations and organizations that give back to the community.” So far, FITH has performed in L.A., San Francisco and throughout Northern California. “The last year has been not just trying to build a fanbase, but trying to build everything up as a band the way we want it to be,” Aaron says. “Now that we are sort of where we’re supposed to be, we are able to look into other shows where we would like to play.” The band says that their most memorable concert was in Monterey. “There were little kids there and for the first time we got to see live reactions from kids ranging in ages five to 10 years old,” Zack says. Although it has not been confirmed, the band plans to play Coachella 2014. Microphone Check - Live Studio Session with Fire in the Hamptons An immediate transformation takes place as soon as FITH enters the studio for rehearsal. All egos, concerns and questions are left at the door. Zack stands in the center of this psychedelic room filled with mirrors and color gel lights projecting the vibe of a concert in full effect. As they launch into “Stargazer,” Aaron is in rare form on the drums. His eyes disappear behind flying hands and drumsticks that are moving so fast that it appears as if two people are playing. Emvy’s hair and body swing back and forth as his fingers flow across the piano and synthesizer. Ian is on guitar, nimbly following every new adjustment Zack throws at him like a musical genius. As the music fills the room, enveloping players and listeners alike, you forget about everything else and take the journey with them to the stars.

LACC participated in the 2013 Reno Jazz )HVWLYDOFRPSHWLWLRQIRUWKHÀUVWWLPHLQPRUH than 30 years. Top row (left to right): Wayne Whitaker (trombone 1), Kwame Johnson (baritone saxophone), Bahiron "Fonzy" Morales (tuba), Danny Pereyra (trombone 2), Andrew Johnson (baritone saxophone) and James Grude (support staff). Second row (left to right): Barbara Laronga (band director), Michael Kessler (guitar), Vahan Bznuni (piano), Clinton Cameron (drums), Kevin Summers (trumpet 2) and Sean Rzewnicki. Front row (left to right): General Johnson (trumpet 4), Christopher Rios (trumpet 3), Carlos Ulloa (trumpet 1), Bobby Williams (alto saxophone), Owen Flannagan (tenor saxophone), Amanda Campos (alto saxophone) and Pedro Rodriguez (trumpet 2nd lead). Front FHQWHU.HLWD0HOOLRQ WURPERQH 2IÀFLDO photograph of LACC's Studio Jazz Band at 2013 Reno Jazz Festival at University of Nevada.

Scan the code to hear music from Fire in the Hamptons or visit




Congratulations to the winning writers of the 2013 Collegian Times Spring Poetry Contest DAVID STAMP: First Place


Then you wake, with sleep gasping from your eyelids. Sand polished the surfaces of your room and everything is a bit crisper than the day before. A sharp warmth that feels almost like the coolness of fog dances above and below your skin, movement drumming along your hairs, almost an itch … You sit and so starts the stitching, your fingers connected yet racing to escape, weaving and sewing your ideas into tangible, into shareable somethings. Your fingers carry a creature pace like the scuttling of a crab. 0 _____ , Blank Blank (

) nothing

And you’re back … drinking coffee and eating a sandwich, maybe you’ll watch some cartoons this afternoon.


Mi Amor Eterno

Su pelo negro como seda que acaricia al tocarlo Sus ojos negros son luceros que alumbran el bosque por la noche Su silueta se mueve como las olas del mar La voz suave que endulza mis oidos de amor El es unico en esta vida ... Edilberto

42 CollegianTimes

OSCAR OCHOA: Third Place

Dance (3:05)


A Cry for Help When there is dead, everyone weeps. When there is loss, everyone weeps. When there is injustice everyone cries. When there is pain, everyone tries. But the time to try is now. The time to move is here. Why wait when there is pain? Why cry when it is much to late? We all wish to accomplish. Never to be forgotten. But why wait for someone else to speak? Why wait for our courage to build its-self?

Night is highway of Echoes down the fresh water Well a small but cacophonous flood singing to the matriarchal Bones the patriarchal Shivers its lucid but always fleeting Dance a Memory Dream Sting an improvisational Rebirth swaying in Yesterday’s kisses waiting for Today’s Avalanche to unfold What is Sleep if not longing to be Awake?

Speak and act now. Think and want it all somehow. Look around you. Lead and pull others with you. When things seem far and lost. Look inside you, find the spark. Fuel the anger, feed the pain. Let us all unite today. One country. One love. One hope. Rise or fall. Never surrender, never forget. The millions who have died, for you here today. Fight for freedom, fight for peace A better life, ain’t far from reach. You are inspiration you are a human being. Peace, love and hope. For a greater me.


Mozambique Hot Summer days and warm Summer Sun Circling waves of motion for the beach Our young thoughts are now mindless and empty, so clear the way That is ... Until we learn one shocking lesson Of hopelessly lost people who have nowhere to run Not everyone in this vast world is having summer fun An endless civil war lost and won Only bitter corruption is within the nation’s reach The sadistic leaders stole and the people pay And there are kids dying of chronic malnutrition Now awakened to others we can teach And to a loving God by prayer we beseech

Not only by solemn thoughts but by words and actions to do and say Whirling inspiration for another Summer definition



AQUARIUS (Jan. 21-Feb. 19) (May 22-June 21)

After a turbulent beginning to 2013, the second half has you focused on partnerships--not the sexual ones, but the business kind. Saturn is going be in your zone of work for a couple of years, causing you to become more creative and more focused on your day-to-day life and routines. Don’t forget to stop and remember to do things for others around you; you could get muttled up in your own little world. Saturn also influences health, and you better stay focused and fit, or you could end up sick often this year. Focus on yourself; remember all others to focus on as well. You’ll get through it—don’t look for a twin, look within.


You know that you talk to yourself, right? This summer, it would do you good to listen. Anything that you think is right, probably is—so stop doubting. Jupiter is bringing luck and love into your life, a pleasant combination if you could stop analyzing it and dissecting it like a frog in 8th grade. Just roll with it. Jupiter wants to spoil you this year! If you don’t want to take in a new lover, love yourself instead! Sometimes, pretending you know absolutely everything about everything puts people off, so this summer, understand that being wrong only leads to being right later. Right?

44 CollegianTimes

(Sept. 24-Oct. 23)

May’s lunar eclipse heralded the introduction of Mars into your chart, tipping the scales in your favor. Don’t overthink and weigh out the possibilities too much, just try to make a decision quickly. The drumming of fingers around you isn’t because of a catchy tune; it’s frustration brought on by your time-consuming balancing act. Pluto and Uranus are fighting with each other above you; these influences should help end the overbearing friends that are taking up all of your time lately. A Taurus could do you good to be close with this summer, as you try to make up your mind about a family problem. Trust your instincts, Libra.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)

(Aug. 24-Sept. 23)

On July 8, Saturn will start helping you think more clearly allowing you to follow those sharp Virgo instincts about what you think is going on around you. Romance is in the air, just in time for some summer lovin’ that will have you relaxing with the one you have in mind as you read this. Jupiter is bringing the passion, and you are bringing the brains. Together, you are unstoppable. It’s nice to shed that cold demeanor for a second, isn’t it? Remember to focus on the things that are working, versus the things that aren’t working. Everything has its cycle, and this cycle won’t last long. So enjoy what works, and let the rest slide off your back.



(April 21-May 21)

May was a very busy month for you, almost too busy. But you managed your time and energy wisely. Relationships are key this year and you are going to feel the need to re-evaluate those around you, after both the lunar and solar eclipses passed over the last couple weeks. Saturn has moved into your opposite, Scorpio, for a few years. It will open your mind about what is missing in your relationships with others. Scorpio and Taurus are like two sides to the same coin, so maybe ask for some advice from a Scorpio to get some perspective. It’s also time to do a little house cleaning. Shake off a few of those fair-weather friends, but don’t ram them with your horns, bull. At the beginning of June 2013, a Jupiter sextile will bring more joy into your life lasting through August.


You have plenty of time to bring yourself to new heights in your career. Jupiter is influencing your love life right now, so take some time off from climbing the ladder at work, and instead climb into bed with that person you are eyeing. They are here for a reason, so seize the opportunity to find out who they are, inside and out. This could be the one. That’s right; stop scoffing. THE ONE. If you can extend your hand for once without doubt, the payoff could be huge. I said stop scoffing!

ARIES (March 21-April 20)

LEO (July 24-Aug. 23) Leo has some great traits: smart, beautiful and courageous. May’s lunar eclipse might have led you to a poacher of sorts. The light is shining on you (as usual) and this year, the stars are in your favor. Jupiter is keeping you social, so don’t be afraid to say hello to someone you admire. Love could be in the cards. A Cancer will help lead you to someone new, and as lucky as Jupiter makes you, don’t let your pride stand in the way. Love comes from mysterious places sometimes. Don’t overlook it.

A solar eclipse on May 25 drew your focus to hard decisions related to work. If you didn’t overreact, the change was likely good for you. This solar eclipse will probably affect you until mid-November. Are you thinking of moving? If so, Mars and Jupiter will be able to help you pack your bags in July. Uranus will throw you some good and bad surprises all year, so be sure to not over-react and charge ahead as you rams love to do. Being a leader, as you naturally are, also makes you an example for others to follow. Be sure to set the right example, and not forget who is helping along the way.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) Fortune and intellect. You have both things coming at you in spades through Jupiter this year. Jupiter will switch signs on June 26, leaving you with pay dirt in some way or another. Accept these coins graciously. Socially, you will climb to new heights this year, just remember the little people who got you to where you are now. The eclipses this year may bring you love, so don’t mess it up by being wishy-washy about commitment. Whatever it is you are drinking or smoking, or whatever, would be good to put down for a second, so you can truly experience these moments. Have an old friend over for dinner this summer. The changes in both your lives with help you see how you are actually more fortunate than you think.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) You are probably more self-aware than many people around you, so as Pluto goes retrograde from April to September, the constant movement inside your mind may come to rest for a while. Use this time to evaluate the people around you—are they helping you with your happiness, or are they weighing you down? Jupiter is guiding you along the search for identity in your 8th house until around June. Show them all that you are strong and have it all figured out. The rest of the year will be good only if you want it to be. Hang out with your family; they are the ones who actually get who you are, even the ones you are avoiding right now. Reach out.

PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)

CANCER (June 22-July 23) Like the moon, you wax and wane. It’s time to wax! Jupiter is moving into your sign on June 26, causing your homebody spirit to scream for something more. Go out more often, find a new hobby, and enjoy this while it lasts. With Mars influencing you from June to August, this could be one hot summer of love! Instead of living a ho-hum life, surprise the heck out of people by showing everyone that inner creativity outwardly. Saturn has put a fire under your feet this year, so you better start dancing or be burned. Career opportunities may bring your finances back in order—don’t over evaluate; just jump!

Neptune is carrying you to deeper waters causing you to deal with a lot of personal problems that are easier to fix than you imagined. But it also brings up highly personal issues that need to be dealt with. Starting in June, there is a grand water trine high above you linking Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune. This will help bring together the mental, physical and emotional aspects of your life and help you sail to clearer and happier waters. This is a good time for you to branch out, and do something creative with that brilliant mind that is usually not in sync with the world around you. Bust free of those instincts that tell you to not say what is on your mind and just say it. This summer will prove fruitful if you do.

ROLL CALL: SIX DEGREES OF LACC Emmys, Oscars and Nobels, oh my. If an institution as eclectic as LACC has a calling card, it is success. Just take a look at the sampling of successful alumni who got their start here first. Denise Barrett 1. LACC helped lay the foundation for this Nobel Prize-winning economist - Lawrence Klein

14. This LACC architecture student shaped the face of downtown Los Angeles with the Disney Concert Hall - Frank Gehry

2. No one knew he would go where no man has gone before - Gene Roddenbury

15. As the creator of the most widely seen modern dance work in the world, his work offers “Revelations” for anyone who sees it - Alvin Ailey

3. If her trademark Brooklyn accent doesn’t get you, her dynamic dance moves will - Rosie Perez

16. Before this author got her groove back, she studied African-American literature at LACC - Terry McMillan

4. This squeaky clean TV mom once wore the title of Campus Queen - Donna Reed

17. She completed her studies here before going on to win Soap Opera Digest’s Best Actress five times - Deidre Hall

5. Dubbed queen of American folk music by Martin Luther King Jr., this LACC music major performed for presidents and protesters alike - Odetta

IN MEMORIAM (18, 19) Producer, director, special effects artist and special Academy Award® recipient Ray Harryhausen, used the anatomy and art training he received at LACC in groundbreaking movies like “One Billion Years BC,” “Jason and the Argonauts,” and “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.” His brand of animation, dubbed Dynamation by producing partner Charles H. Schneer, was inspiration for contemporaries like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, James Cameron and other filmmakers. “Without Harryhausen’s effects work over the last five decades, there never would have been a ‘Star Wars’ or a ‘Jurassic Park,’” Spielberg wrote in a letter supporting a bid to get Harryhausen a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “His films continue to set our imagination on fire.” Harryhausen passed away May 7, at the age of 92.

6. Besides co-writing Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” he is a founding member of the Second City improv troupe - Alan Arkin 7. Even at LACC, he moved to a jazzy beat of his own making - Charles Mingus 8. Before his film premiered at Cannes Film Festival, he made two innovative shorts here - Albert Hughes 9. What LACC alum is the second-most nominated person in Oscar history? - John Williams 10. LACC’s child development center once babysat this would-be king of the world - Leonardo DiCaprio 11. A ‘D’ in high-school algebra didn’t stop this American Mermaid from reaching for the stars - Esther Williams 12. Whether driving Miss Daisy or leading the free world, this Oscar winner always plays it cool - Morgan Freeman 13. Which actor enrolled in LACC on the GI Bill as a business major before getting his start in film? - Clint Eastwood 46 CollegianTimes

From South Central to Rodeo Drive, 99 Cents Only stores have become an iconic part of the Los Angeles cityscape, like the Mann Chinese or Hollywood sign. Dave Gold, who attended LACC until forced to drop out to help his ailing father with the family’s business, founded the chain in 1982. “When I put a 99 cent sign on anything, it was gone in no time. I realized it was a magic number. I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to have a store where everything was good quality and everything was 99 cents?” Gold once said. In the ensuing years, Gold expanded the company to 300 stores in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada, only recently selling them for $1.6 billion. Gold died in Los Angeles April 22. He was 80.

PHOTO CREDITS: 1. The Wharton School;; 2.NASA;; Wikimedia Commons;; 3. Jocila Marano, Wikimedia Commons, 4. Trailer Screenshot;; Wikimedia Commons;; 5. Junction Festival;; Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike;; 6. GDC Graphics;; Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike;; 7. Tom Marcello;; Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike;; 8. Natasha Baucas;; Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution;; 9. GNU Free Documentation License;; Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution;; 10. Colin Chou;; Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike;; 11. Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike;; 12. jdeeringdavis;; Creative Commons Attribution;; 13.;; Creative Commons Attribution;; 14. Paul Morigi;; Wikimedia Commons;; 15. Carl Van Vechten;; Library of Congress;; Commons Licensing;; 16. David Shankbone;; Creative Commons Attribution;; 17. Albert Domasin;; Creative Commons Attribution;; 18. Teesside University;; 19. Edwin Folven, Park Labrea News/Beverly Press

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Edwin Folven, Park Labrea News/Beverly Press








“I believe that within each of us there is a ‘consciousness of supply,’ a wealth of possibilities and we only need to learn how to tap into that power to use it.”

Collegian Times: Virtuosity  
Collegian Times: Virtuosity