October 28, 1998 |
Like many other Southern Californians, businessman Murray Lugash finds it draining to spend hours behind the wheel, stuck in traffic. But when he needs a break from freeway madness, Lugash turns to an alternative few people consider: He hires someone to drive him around town in his own car. These days in Southern California, personal drivers aren't just for Hollywood deal makers, celebrities and the most prominent corporate and government officials.
September 13, 1998 |
It's what driver's education would be like if your instructor was James Bond. Tire-screeching, rubber-burning, stomach-churning turns at 50 mph. Backing up at 25 mph, spinning 180 degrees, then speeding forward. Veering away from criminals shooting at your car. Crime is rising in Mexico, and business is thriving for companies that teach executives, their families and chauffeurs how to elude kidnappers, robbers and other criminals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 1997 |
Corinne and George Sidney sent along the minutes of a recent Recreation and Parks Commission meeting that mentioned "enhanced programming for community teens," including a proposed "scavenger hunt by limousine." Oh, did we say this was in Beverly Hills? The luxury frolic never occurred, much to the relief, one suspects, of the area's chauffeurs.
June 15, 1997 |
"In the old days we had so many elephants," says the guide, glancing sadly at the empty stables of the Royal Palace. "Now, there are only statues." Just a short jog from the 19th century palace--fairy tale remnant of a vanishing Cambodia--destitute migrants from the countryside prepare watery gruel over an open fire. Their threadbare sleeping mats are spread under the sheltering branches of a rain tree in the park.
September 13, 1995 |
Wearing a frayed, over sized sailor's hat, her round face flushed with anticipation, Betty Lee Silverstein of Roanoke, Va., settles into her cabin and resumes watching The Trial. She had to leave off long enough to travel from her home to the dock in San Pedro and to pass through customs. But now that she's tuned in again, nothing--nothing!--is going to interrupt her. Not Kathie Lee Gifford singing, "If They Could See You Now." Not the ship setting sail.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 1995 |
The day Suzette End first took her daughter to the ice rink, the girl's ankles were discovered to be remarkably straight. End was soon to discover that her boss was equally unbending. End, a single mom in Calabasas, had to give up her job when it became clear that 9-year-old Chantel was a potential Olympian who would require four hours a day on the ice. Someone would have to take her to the rink each afternoon. Someone who didn't have a full-time job.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 1995 |
Mayor Richard Riordan's proposal to eliminate 57 staff assistants--part of a package to trim about $8 million from the Los Angeles Fire Department's budget--has touched a nerve in a department already shaken by controversy. Although their jobs are little understood by the public, the assistants are trained firefighters who serve as personal aides to the department's battalion chiefs and deputy chiefs.
February 12, 1995 |
In rural, rugged Maine, where houses can be miles apart and public transportation is spotty at best, having a car can be a matter of survival. And in a state known for its independent-minded inhabitants, the privilege of driving seems more like a natural right. That explains why the reaction was so virulent when a state panel issued a report suggesting that all motorists over 40 take tests to ensure they are mentally capable of driving.
July 6, 1994 |
Along with the privilege of serving the Celebrated Classes in Los Angeles comes the obligation: the code of silence. Whatever goes on in the hairdresser's chair, the plastic surgeon's office, on the shrink's couch--or in the back of a limo--it is supposed to stay there. Under celebrity rules, it might as well be taking place in the confessional. Doctors are sworn to discretion. Hairdressers may thrive or die on protecting famous clients' follicle count and root color.
May 26, 1994 |
What other line of work would race drivers prefer? Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti dream of being fighter pilots, Lyn St. James would like to be President of the United States, Dominic Dobson and Jacques Villeneuve would be musicians and Roberto Guerrero would be a tennis or golf professional, according to a survey of drivers by a watch manufacturer. But how about Stan Fox and Hiro Matsushita?