View Edward Guthmann's profile

Dad’s Las Vegas, My Las Vegas by
25
(25 Stories)

Prompted By Family Trips

/ Stories

Vegas was totally different in the early ’60s. With 100,000 residents it had one seventh the population of today, and while it had a certain tacky sheen it hadn’t approached the aggressively grotesque grandiosity you see today. It was quieter, more modest, less inclined to force itself down your throat.
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Watching Whoopi Get Famous by
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(25 Stories)

Prompted By Interviews

/ Stories

The first time I encountered Whoopi Goldberg, she was doing her act at a tiny performance space in San Francisco’s South of Market district. The proprietor at 544 Natoma, a friendly madman named Peter Hartman, invited me to drop by and catch a new solo performer. The name sounded like an old-school Borscht Belt comic.…
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My Journey to Rwanda by
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(25 Stories)

Prompted By Volunteering

/ Stories

Monday, June 9, 2008. Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. I awake early and hear my hostess Shirley Randell swimming in her pool. The goat outside my window bleats. A bit later Shirley, dressed in the sari that’s her daily costume, is rushing off to work. I arrived yesterday, bleary and beat. Shirley was on the…
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Confessions of a Recovering Film Critic by
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(25 Stories)

Prompted By Fame

/ Stories

I never asked to be a movie critic. And yet it happened. People don’t believe me when I say this; they assume movie reviewing is such a plum job that I must have scrambled and hustled to get there. Not really. In 1991 I’d been working at the San Francisco Chronicle seven years when the…
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The Day I Met Lucille Ball by
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(25 Stories)

Prompted By Fame

/ Stories

I’d heard how tough and intimidating Lucille Ball could be, but on the day I interviewed her at her home in Beverly Hills she was warm, unguarded and down-to-earth. It felt like hanging out with a favorite aunt. Lucy picked up quickly on the fact that I was a fan, and since I was young…
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My Brother Dan by
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(25 Stories)

Prompted By Birth Order

/ Stories

Compared to most mid-century couples, my parents married very late. Dad was 34, Mom 29, and they figured they had no time to waste in starting a family. My brother Danny, born August 25, 1949, came first, and for a brief time he reigned unchallenged, the celebrated prince. For Dad, it was a long-deferred dream…
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Don’t Cry for Me, West Covina by
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(25 Stories)

Prompted By My Hometown

/ Stories

January 1, 1955. My father is watching the Rose Bowl on television. It’s freezing in Chicago that day, but bright and glorious in Pasadena where Ohio State trounces USC. Everyone looks happy, healthy. “Wouldn’t it be nice to raise these boys in California, where the sun shines all year long?” my dad asks my mother.…
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The Hope Sisters by
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(25 Stories)

Prompted By Aunts & Uncles

/ Stories

The more I got to know my aunts the more I appreciated the ways they’d survived a childhood that, for all its adventure and exoticism, was marked by long separations and displacement.
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The Year I Played in “Oliver!”: A Stage Debut by
25
(25 Stories)

Prompted By Dreams

/ Stories

With a beginner’s naïveté, I wrote a letter to the producer Danny Dare and told him why he should cast me: “Dear Mr. Dare, I live in West Covina and I’m a talented actor. I can do an excellent English accent and I can sing. You should cast me in Oliver!”
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Libraries and Me: A Lifetime Love Affair by
25
(25 Stories)

Prompted By Libraries

/ Stories

My relationship with libraries is deep and affectionate, and I feel a strong sense of offended justice when I see library books that people have defaced or underlined or otherwise mistreated. What’s even worse is people who check out books and never return them.
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