Thursday, June 30, 2016

MY WIFE: THE RELUCTANT HEALER



By: George Cunningham


My wife Carmela would make a great nurse, even though she would hate it. She hates hospitals, she hates all the messy blood and ooze, and most of all she hates sick people. Even with her own husband, after a couple of days, her patience wears thin. It’s like are you going to get better now, or are you just going to keep laying around, moaning about how bad you feel? I will tell you this. The answer to that question is not sarcasm: Oh I think I will lay around for a few more days, coughing and throwing up and moaning about how bad I feel. The correct answer is to stop feeling sorry […]


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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

GOOD-BYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE



By: George Cunningham


It seems that former L.A. Undersheriff Paul Tanaka is about to get a taste of his own medicine. Tanaka was convicted earlier this month of conspiracy and attempting to thwart a federal investigation into prisoner abuse in Los Angeles County jails. He could end up spending up to 15 years in jail. His boss Sheriff Lee Baca is getting off with a 6-month sentence after agreeing to plead guilty to lying to the feds during an investigation of civil rights violations at the county jail. Both sentences are richly deserved. Tanaka has also had to step down in his other role as Mayor of Gardena. Both Baca and Tanaka will still receive pensions for their […]


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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

PORT TOWN REDUX



By: George Cunningham


Former Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Doris Topsy-Elvord is not happy with us. She doesn’t think her service on the harbor board from March 2003 to June 2008 was sufficiently recognized in Port Town, the history book the Port of Long Beach commissioned us to write in 2013. Ms. Topsy-Elvord has taken her case to port commissioners, gotten coverage of her issues on the front and editorial pages of the Press-Telegram newspaper, and even threatened to hire an attorney. It was not a mistake that we left Ms. Topsy-Elvord and other commissioners out of Port Town, at least by name. From the beginning, we knew that the last chapters would be the most challenging. There are […]


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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Port Town Signing



By: Carmela Cunningham



We finished writing Port Town on Halloween of last year, but there is a huge difference between completing a manuscript and holding the finished product in your hand. The editing and design folks at the Port of Long Beach did an incredible job of putting together the commemorative copy of the book with leatherette cover and copper-gilded pages. We spent a recent afternoon signing the books for special presentations. The book – Port Town, How the People of Long Beach Built, Defended, and Profited from Their Harbor – is available in both printed soft-cover on Amazon.com for $10.70 and in digital format for $1.99. It is free for download on iTunes. A limited number of the commemorative copies will be available for sale at the Long Beach Historic Society in August.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Be Motivated, but Don’t Take Notes



By: George Cunningham


I’ve always enjoyed motivational speakers. As a kid growing up in the South, I loved listening to those early masters of motivation – the Southern evangelists. They would strut around the stage, waving their arms, and praising the Lord. And you couldn’t help but be moved. I didn’t actually buy into their message – which almost always ended up as “send me money to do God’s work”– but I loved to listen to them and watch the audience. The people in attendance, many of them quite poor, would be transfixed, throwing their hands in the air, shouting out hallelujahs, and then digging in their pockets to fill the collection plate. Sophisticated urban people – people […]


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Surrounded by Talent



By: George Cunningham


Carmela and I have always known that we are surrounded by talent – regular folks with the ability to translate the world around them into images or sounds. Yet, we’re always surprised and delighted when we discover one of those people hidden in plain sight, standing right next to us. Our latest surprise was a friend, Chris Berry who works at the Port of Long Beach by day, but in his other persona is a member of a four-piece old-time blues and jug band called “Sausage Grinder.” We caught the group at a former 1920s speakeasy on Sunset near Hollywood called El Cid. Frankly, they were terrific. The other folks there thought so too, giving […]


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Friday, May 1, 2015

THE THREE-DAY RULE



By: George Cunningham


The worst of the violence seems to be over in Baltimore. That doesn’t mean the issue is dead or the problems are solved. It doesn’t even mean that the protests and demonstrations over the arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray won’t continue. But the rioting and looting seem to be done. At least for now. It’s just that the three-day rule has kicked in. No matter how angry, how pumped up on adrenaline, or how much the media covers the story – after three days everybody needs some sleep. A riot is like a party in that respect. You go to a wild party, then you wake up afterward, a little groggy and a […]


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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Earth Tones



By: George Cunningham



The colors of the desert are often subtle, but sometimes they are not. As the sun sinks below the hills in the west, the hills on the east behind St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Bullhead City begin to glow in glorious pink. But you have to be quick – it doesn’t last long.
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Why Does a Week Have to Have 7 Days?



By: George Cunningham


I often hear people complaining about the rat race. Monday through Friday it’s work, work, work. Saturday and Sunday it’s relax, play, shop, and do personal chores. Friday night is spent getting a head start on the weekend. Sunday night is spent dreading Monday morning. It’s a routine we’ve all gotten so used to that we no longer even think about it. Einstein told us that time is relative. What he didn’t mention, however, was that much of it is also arbitrary. Sure, some things are fixed in time. A year is 365 days because it takes the earth 365 and a quarter spins to work its way around the sun. That quarter spin means […]


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Monday, March 30, 2015

MUD AND FEATHERS



By: Carmela Cunningham



Different species share a quiet feeding moment in a mangrove cove along the Florida shoreline, oblivious to the busy roar of vehicles on a nearby highway. It was a fleeting scene. The traffic may not have disturbed the birds, but the approach of a human and an excited little Yorkie did. Shortly after the picture was taken, the birds took flight.
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