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Letters to the editor

The glory of Watts Towers; California's water wars; the future of Afghanistan.

August 31, 2009

Re "Traveler in her own backyard," Opinion, Aug. 25

I have read a ton of articles about Watts Towers and Simon Rodia (I've even written one or two myself) but I've never seen one that so well captures the feel of the place from the point of view of a newcomer as Robin Rauzi's Op-Ed article.

I worked at the center and heard that film so many times -- we used to laugh at how strange the music was. I could almost hear it in my sleep.

Simon Rodia was full of so many passions, so many highs and lows, but he was a true artist and visionary, even if completely un-self-aware.

Thank you for rekindling some of my favorite memories. And I'm here to tell you that even three-quarters of the way through your life and beyond, you can start building something new.

Linda Campanella Jauron

San Fernando

::

It has been almost exactly 50 years since the city of L.A. tried to tear down the Watts Towers.

Perhaps if Rodia had hired a Hollywood press agent to write his legacy, his reputation as an artist would not have been so easily dumped in the "folk art" ghetto.

Rodia was a fine artist of epic proportion. He said he wanted to "do something big," and he did. In a perfect world, the towers would have been immediately recognized as a seminal, mixed-media work of art.

They might have become the signature visual icon of Los Angeles rather than a dilapidated real estate sign that had nothing to do with the entertainment business until some celebrities adopted it. Someone needs to adopt the towers before they crumble into history.

Ron Resnick

Altadena

::

I was there in 1959 during the demolition hearings, when a key stress-test was run, which the towers passed with flying colors -- only a few small seashells fell.

My father, Jack Levine, was the attorney representing the towers committee. The dedication of the people who saw the historic and artistic value of the towers was so important, especially the technical work of structural engineer Bud Goldstone.

I am so glad that the plight of the towers is being brought into view, and hope that more Angelenos will drop by for a visit.

Deborah Levine Zimmer

San Jose

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