Sunken wagon wheel’s origin a mystery: Pony express, stagecoach or grain wagon? Experts, historians go to work analyzing a wheel, axle and part of the undercarriage of a cart found under Echo Park Lake.
Photo: Michael Kay examines what appears to be an axle from a 19th century wagon found in Echo Park Lake. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times
Nuns feel shaken and insulted after the Vatican rapped them hard on the knuckles for not toeing the line.
Steve Lopez takes a tamale tour of Los Angeles. The hallowed holiday tradition can leave a person filled with Christmas joy.
It’s Los Angeles, after all, and for many folks, tamales are part of the Christmas tradition. I figured that in the interest of public service, someone had to step up and do the difficult work of sampling some of the best. So I called an expert to see if she would assist me, and Sandi Romero of Mama’s Hot Tamales Cafe, across from MacArthur Park, was happy to oblige.
Uhh… we definitely need to do this…
Photo: Sandi Romero, a longtime community activist, opened Mama’s Hot Tamales Cafe as a nonprofit training center for food cart vendors. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times
Since July, Times columnist Steve Lopez has been writing about preparing for death and coping with end-of-life decisions for loved ones. “I find myself wondering why we’re so ill-equipped to accommodate, accept and talk about the fate we all are guaranteed.”
The stories people have been submitting are incredibly moving… go read them.
Photo: Polly Berger, 86, surrounded by family pictures, in her Westwood home. Credit: Christina House / For The Times
Librarian’s words are binding: A New Orleans librarian says that even in the Internet age, libraries perform a vital service to society. That librarian happens to be the son of columnist Steve Lopez, who writes:
So yes, I have a bias when it comes to librarians and libraries. I even got married in a library. And it’s no fun watching the profession and the institution take hits these days, with libraries shut or scaled back and in some cases privatized. Meanwhile, I’m struck by the number of people who see no tragedy in this and think society no longer has much use for libraries.
Photo: L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez’s son, Andrew, in New Orleans. Credit: Jeff Lopez
Disneyland workers answer to ‘electronic whip’: Anaheim laundry workers monitored by giant big screens aim to keep productivity high as they worry about paying more for healthcare. Steve Lopez writes:
By Local 11’s math, when Walt Disney ran the company in 1966, he made 108 times as much as one of his hotel housekeepers. Bob Iger, the current chief executive, makes 781 times as much as a housekeeper.
After making $28 million in total compensation last year, Iger’s base pay was just increased 25%.
Photo: A souvenir collection on display in the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
They vow to raise funds to pay for library aides whose jobs are on the line.
Steve Lopez: L.A. Unified lays off library aides and slashes their hours when it should be addressing huge reading deficiencies.
In the weeds of bureaucratic insanity there sprouts a small reprieve: Ron Finley planted a garden that fed both stomachs and souls in an area where healthful food is scarce. When the city demanded he remove it, neighbors protested and a councilman stepped in to mediate.
Photo: After taking a gardening class, Ron Finley planted vegetables, flowers and fruit in front of his Crenshaw-area home. It offers a free meal and a gathering place for the hard-pressed neighborhood. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times
A love of music brings Nathaniel Ayers out to the Foshay Learning Center to perform with kindred spirits, Times’ columnist Steve Lopez writes in his latest piece.
Ayers, some of you might know, was a former prodigy at Juilliard who had dropped out due to complications with schizophrenia. When Lopez found him, Ayers was living on skid row, playing violin atop a dairy crate. The columns turned into a book that turned into the film “The Soloist” with Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx.
Photo: Nathaniel Ayers stands in the crowd at the Hollywood Bowl before a performance by Placido Domingo, who was to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times