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Lakewood May or May Not Be Heaven

August 04, 1996

"A Little Piece of Heaven in Lakewood" (July 15) about Don Waldie's new book on Lakewood highlights the precise mythology that has defined the town since its beginnings.

Waldie's refusal to deal with the meaning of the Spur Posse for many young women and girls is as predictable as it is horrifying. From Lakewood's earliest days to its present incarnation, the voices of women and girls have been undervalued and demeaned. Girls, some as young as 10, were sexually assaulted. Do tell me what "piece of heaven" that provides?

Waldie's Lakewood is utopian daydream combined with the freedom of armchair empiricism. I would be more than happy to provide him with the hours and hours of tape-recorded interviews I made for a book about Lakewood that present a very different town. [This book, "Tomorrowland at 40," is being bid on by publishers. An excerpt from it will be published in the anthology "Rethinking Los Angeles" to be published this month by Sage.]

ALIDA BRILL

Lakewood High School

Class of 1967

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