November 10, 2013 |
His was the last face I saw, the final voice I heard before I stepped backward off the 100-foot cliff. Even now, nearly two decades later, I can envision his weathered features and wispy white hair, and I can recall much of what he said. My fear, he told me, was not only natural but essential both to my survival and to that of the species. Human beings were not meant to jump from high places. He then hastened to add that I should have no doubts about doing exactly that. My ropes and braking bar were in order, as was my climbing harness.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2013 |
In 1969 Col. Robert Rheault landed a long-coveted assignment in Vietnam: commanding the Green Berets, the daring U.S. Special Forces group championed by President Kennedy and glorified by John Wayne . He had held the job for only three weeks, however, when a scandal broke - one that Time magazine would later call "second only to the My Lai killings. " Rheault (pronounced Roe) and five of his men were accused of murder and conspiracy in the death of a suspected South Vietnamese double agent.
October 22, 2013 |
What started out 33 years ago as a cathartic purge of Vietnam combat trauma demonstrates artistic staying power and relevance in the hard-hitting revival of “Tracers” at the AMVETS Post II Building in Culver City. Depicting the fates of infantry soldiers from basic training through deployment in Vietnam to the difficult reentry difficulties they face on their long way home, “Tracers” is as much a visceral experience as a dramatic presentation. Director-author John DiFusco developed the play in collaboration with seven fellow Vietnam War veterans, who originally performed in it as the characters they each created.
September 3, 2013 |
TELLURIDE, Colo. - Donald Rumsfeld is no Robert McNamara. Just ask filmmaker Errol Morris, who has taken on both controversial former Defense secretaries as documentary subjects in their twilight years: McNamara in 2003's "The Fog of War," and now Rumsfeld in "The Unknown Known," which had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day weekend. "The Fog of War," which won a documentary Oscar, revealed McNamara, a chief architect of the Vietnam War, as a reflective man in his late 80s willing to acknowledge errors of judgment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 2013 |
Curtis Tarr, the director of the U.S. Selective Service System who altered the lottery for the draft during the Vietnam War to make the process more random, died June 21 of pneumonia at his home in Walnut Creek, Calif. He was 88. His death was confirmed by a daughter, Pam Tarr of Valley Village. About three months after the first draft was held on Dec. 1, 1969, President Nixon appointed Tarr to oversee the Selective Service System. At the time, government sources said they believed Tarr, then 45, had been chosen for his experience dealing with young people as president of Lawrence University in Wisconsin and because of his own relative youth.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 2013 |
"On the night of June 23, 1967, the meaning of 'police brutality' took on an electrifying reality for thousands of respectable middle-class residents of Los Angeles who participated in a peaceful anti-Vietnam demonstration that was to have taken them the few blocks from Cheviot Hills Park past the Century Plaza Hotel, where President Johnson was addressing a $1,000-a-couple Democratic fundraiser. Most never made it. " - From an account of the march written a few days later by my father, Richard Abcarian, a San Fernando Valley State College professor who'd brought his family to Century City that night.