Friday, February 26, 2010

Anywhere...It Can Happen Anywhere

I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,
And falls on th'other...

Act I, Scene VII

January, 2010

By December I'd typed out an adaptation of "Macbeth" and felt relief at ending my procrastination. The satisfaction was great because it appeared that by using a combination of Shakespeare's text and Lois Burdett's version of the play from her series, Shakespeare Can Be Fun!, I'd come up with a doable twenty-one page play.

My equilibrium unraveled when we started to read the play aloud and I realized the magnitude of the undertaking. This was as ambitious as Lord and Lady Macbeth's own dream of royalty. I gulped as the kids struggled to read the unfamiliar.

"Okay, let's stop for just a second. Here's a funny word: Thane. We have just learned that Macbeth is Thane of Glamis and that King Duncan is going to make him Thane of Cawdor. I wonder what a Thane is?"

"King?" offered Oliver.

"Mmmm. Good guess but not exactly....Let's say you were the king, Oliver, and you wanted to make Chloe a Thane. If we were in England a Thane would be a Duke. In Scotland they used the word Thane. So, let's say Chloe is Thane of our school and you decided to give her all the land in Venice. That would make Chloe Thane of Venice."

It would take many, many meetings to remember what a Thane is. Have I asked too much this time around? Are my expectations too high? I have to remind myself that these are little kids. Can we do a play like this? What makes theatre anyway?

Way back in my New York City days I experienced theatre as a gift to an audience. Previous to my moving to the city and for years after leaving, I had great theatre experiences in well-equipped venues where the actors were beautifully costumed but there was this one freebie that sticks out as a special event.

I was friends with a young, Yale-educated director who wanted to stage a one-act, two-hander play, "The Great Nebula in Orion", by Lanford Wilson. The director, another actress and I rehearsed for weeks. The play took place in a New York City apartment and involved the reacquaintance of two former college roommates. We staged our production in the director's Upper West Side apartment. We invited guests and offered pre-show cocktails. The audience sat at one end of the living room and we entered through a real door, into a real home, in need of a real bathroom and using a real kitchen to make our drinks. At the end of the performance we served our audience a dinner of chili, salad, wine and dessert. It was free. It was a gift. It was wondrous.

Down the line in May, these kids will also give a gift and, I hope, have as gratifying an experience as I did in New York City, if I have not raised the bar too high. Because it can happen anytime, anywhere, with the right intentions and a load of effort. A ****load of effort. Oh my.

If I was an Elizabethan girl my life would of been very educated. I would of been a princess. I would study as hard as I can. I'd wear beautiful silk dresses. In the palace I'd eat a salad with many mini "love apples." I'd enjoy being a princess getting an educated very wealthy and healthy. Having many beautiful silk dresses. Of courses I'd go to William Shakespeare's plays hundreds and hundreds of times. My favorite play would be "Romeo and Juliet." Then I'd be Queen . I'd also have my own lovely horse.
—Bettina, 5th grade

"The princess has a day out" painting by John Silver

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Big Fat Guy

January, 2010

Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived (a.k.a. The Mel Ryane Story)

"This is a true story about a big fat guy and his six sad wives. His second wife, Anne Boleyn, was Queen Elizabeth's mom. When little Elizabeth was only two years old, Henry ordered Anne beheaded."

I held up a picture of jolly old Henry VIII and his six women. The kids jumped out of their seats, eager to see this guy.

"What's that—be—" Ellie asked.

"It means he had her head cut off."

"Really, Ms. Ryane?" Garth asked. "Like her head cut right off?" And he made a gesture across his throat with his index finger.

"I'm afraid so, Garth, chopped right off. And does anyone know why?"

Lizzie leapt high, hand in air. "Because no baby boys!"

"That's exactly right, Lizzie, you remembered from last year. King Henry wanted a son and though he finally had one, that baby was very sickly. Henry could do whatever he wanted because he was the king. He also ate whatever he wanted."

"Like what, Ms. Ryane?" Dominick asked.

Dominick had already informed me he'd forgotten his lunch that day and was about to lose it if he didn't get a snack soon. I wasn't sure of the veracity of this tale and urged him to wait like the others.

"Well, you know if we have a special dinner there would probably be three courses. An appetizer, the main entree and then dessert. King Henry's regular meal consisted of twenty-four courses. He became such a fatty that a special cart had to be made and his servants had to wheel him around the castle."

I held up a picture book and show them Henry and his exhausted servants. This got them hysterical and had Dominick crazy for the snack.

"Really, Ms. Ryane...I might faint or something....I need food."

"Can you wait just a little longer? We'll have our snack later."

After a few more pleas I figured he was for real and gave Dominick an orange. I later found out from his father that he had indeed forgotten his lunch, and with low blood sugar anything could happen.

"Now here's a crazy thing: You know how we think skinny people are beautiful and pudgy people are not?"

Iris nodded up and down. Iris, a fourth-grader, writes in her journal of wishing she could go on "a shopping spree to Paris" and seems well versed in all things pop culture.

"Well, in Shakespeare's day it was just the opposite. Chubby people were considered the beautiful people. Can you think why that would be?"

Absolutely not. Not one person could imagine why. They gave each other quick glances and the more rotund in the group looked truly puzzled.

I mimed putting food in my mouth.

Arms flew up. "!"

"Yes, food, but why would that make a difference?"


"Ms. Ryane, will there be another snack later too, or just the orange?" Dominick asked.

"What does it mean if Dominick has food and I don't have food?"

" 'Cause you're so poor?" Mary suggests.

"Exactly. I'm poor and hardly have any food. That means plump people are...?"


"If you ever get a chance to visit an art museum, check out the people in the paintings...quite round. King Henry pushed the limits, but I think you get the idea."

"I wish I was Henry the Eighth," Dominick groused.

"Take out your journals. Our theme today is what it would be like to be an Elizabethan...what would you eat, how would you feel to be a girl, at that time, or a boy."

"I would eat whatever I wanted!" Dominick shouted.

Rachel and I got the rest of those snack bars delivered before young King Henry ordered another head to roll.

If Elithabeithin girl I would were puffy dresses, I would eat chiken feast and I would have body gards. I would change the lall that people can do plays. I would be a Queen. I would live in a big castall. And I would chage the lall that girls can go to school. I would be an acter. And I would not be shy.
—Page, 3rd grade

Monday, February 22, 2010

Amaya: Behind a Theatre Mask

January, 2010

Last year she longed to be in Shakespeare Club. She crept along the sidelines and watched the actors warm up. She asked if she could sit in on rehearsals and one day, in a courageous spurt, blurted, "Ms. Ryane, I want to be in it....Can I be in it?"

Amaya was not chosen last year for the simple reason that I had too many, but I knew she would have her opportunity when she reached fifth grade and here she is.

Amaya sneaks out of her classroom early on Wednesdays to help me set up. She arrives a few minutes before Lucinda, our stage manager, so we have some time alone to catch up.

Amaya's mom found a special ring and gave it to her daughter.

"Look, Ms. Ryane." She holds her hand up to show me.

"Oh, you know what these are, Amaya?"

She looks down at the ring and uncertainty flows across her face.

"Don't worry, I'm going to tell you. There are two faces on this ring. See how one looks happy and one looks sad?"

Amaya nods behind the long bangs hanging in her eyes.

"Do you remember when The Shakespeare Club did 'Romeo and Juliet'?"

"Yes, because Belinda was Juliet."

"Right. So, at the end of that play lots of people died. That means it's a tragedy."

Amaya tries the word out in her mouth a few marbly times, "Tradedy...tradegy?" And then we say it together. "Tragedy. Tragedy. Good, you got it."

"Remember last year when we did 'Twelfth Night'?

"Yes," she answers in a quiet voice.

"At the end of that play everyone got married and nobody died, which means it's a comedy. Now look at your lovely ring."

We study it together.

"These are the theatre masks. One for comedy and one for tragedy. Your mom gave you a very special gift and how perfect because now you are in Shakespeare Club."

"She didn't even have to buy it....she found it."

"Even better."

"Ms. Ryane?"

"Yup?" I answer, hauling tables away and dragging chairs into place.

"I found a picture of Queen Elizabeth."

"Where is it?"

"I found it on the computer."

"Cool. Do you mean in computer class you did some research?"

"Yes and I found her picture."

"Well, good. You could print that out and bring it in to share....Would you like to do that?"

She would like to do that. And she will wear that ring to every meeting.

I want to be in Shakespeare club because I always thought that I could get to be an actor. I also want to be in the shakespeare club because I think I could get to be in actor when I grow up. I think that I could be here is because I could learn more about him.

Today I learn something about William. I also learn the rules and mottos of the shakespeare club.
—Amaya, 5th grade

Friday, February 19, 2010

Shy People

January, 2010

"Who knows who Jim Carrey is?" know, Ms. Ryane!

"Okay, did you know this? That when Jim Carrey was a little boy he was terribly shy? That when his parents couldn't pay for their house anymore, the family moved into their car and he didn't have any friends?"

No, they did not know that.

"How about Abraham Lincoln? Ever hear of him? Or Thomas Edison?"

Yeah...yeah...I heard a him!

"What about Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts or Brad Pitt? Has anyone here seen 'Star Wars'?"


"Harrison Ford played Han Solo...remember him?"


"Here's the truth: All of these people are shy. Thomas Edison wanted very badly to be a Shakespearean actor but he was too shy to go onstage....Luckily for us he put his talents into inventing the light bulb so we can read our scripts. Many huge stars are shy but they still get up and act in front of thousands. Know why?"

Why, Ms. Ryane?

"Here's the secret: When you are onstage, under warm lights, with a great story and big fat language, you are in the safest place in the world. No one can touch you. You have all the power and all those people have to sit up and listen to you."

"Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Garth?"

"Does Jim Carrey have any friends now?"

"Way more than he needs, I think."

We all sit for a moment and ponder shy people, many of whom are in this room.

"You know how we do yoga to stretch our bodies? And we write in our journals to stretch our imaginations? We also have to stretch our, when I ask if anyone would like to stand and share their journal writing, please consider taking a chance and finding the brave part of you. Here, in Room 42, we are in a safe place....It's time to take a chance."

I wish you could see the squinting mistrust looking back at me.

I want to be in the Shakespeare Club because I want to get over my shyness. Also because I want to feel what an actor feels. Another reason is because Shakespeare is coming to be interest to me. Also because shakespeare is starting to inspire me.

What I learned about William Shakespeare is when he was born. He was born April 23, 1564. I also learned how he grew. He had to go to school at 6:00 in the morning and head out at 7:00 pm when it was nearly dark. Also I learned when he died. He died April 23, 1564 exactly on his birthday. That's what I learned today in the first day of Shakespeare.
—Bettina, 5th grade

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Millie: A Recipe

January, 2010

Add three teaspoons of Pippi Longstocking to a pinch of Mary Pickford. Stir in a dollop of Debbie Reynolds until mixed. Once combined, gently fold in scoops of Tina Fey, to taste.

Randomly scatter a handful of freckles. Bake until crisp on the outside and soft in the middle.

I've met children who are ready to skip their childhoods and jump directly into adulthood. These kids are sometimes annoyingly precocious, but not always. They're often simply ready for greater challenges and don't need coaxing or prodding.

The Millie recipe promises good results if you're interested in a girl as absorbent as a dipsomaniac without the obnoxious side effects.

Millie is a third-grader full of pep and curiosity. In Shakespeare Club, her feet dangle above the floor and she tilts her head with a little crease in her forehead as she forms opinions on whatever comes out of my mouth.

It is my foremost goal this year to solve the sound problem in our auditorium. It has become a heartbreaking thing to watch kids trying their best to project little voices, only to be sabotaged by lousy acoustics. Three expert gentlemen have stepped forward to figure this out for me since I am a technical know-nothing. They asked if I could gather a couple of club members to test the microphones. Millie was one of our helpers.

"Here's the thing, kids. These gentlemen are going to try and fix our sound problem. I'm going to have you three go up on the stage and read these words aloud from different spots on the stage."

"Is it because you're getting feedback, Ms. Ryane?" Millie asked.


"Well yes, Millie, that is one of the problems. That speaker above the stage is causing...."

Millie's mom had shown interest our problem and had obviously passed bits of a conversation on to her daughter. Nevertheless, it was Millie's grown-up tone that had me in a double-take and chatting away as if the girl were my peer.

Millie is not precocious, but she's darn ready to handle some serious Shakespearean text. She strikes me as the kind of child that might get bored without a challenge. She's the kind of kid this club is perfect for. Millie's game to jump the high bar even if she is the shortest member of the group.

My job? Easy: just hold that marker nice and steady, give her nod and watch her leap.

I want to be in Shakespeare club because when I grow up I want to be an actor.

What I learned
1.he died on his bithday
2. the plague (Black Death) killed his 2 sisters
3. he had 3 kids
—Millie, 3rd grade

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Match Is Lit

Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep!
Macbeth Act II, Scene II

January, 2010

"If she says no, I will beg and beg her!" Conrad said as we strode across the quad for a visit with his teacher, Mr. Chavez.

This was the day before our first day and already trouble brewed. It's clear in the applications for The Shakespeare Club that all participants must have a ride home. This disqualifies some kids if they are "bused students." I was just informed by Conrad that he's a "buser."

"Hello, Mr. C," I said, popping my head into the room and addressing him as his students do. "Is it true that Conrad takes the bus home and, if so, do you have any idea what his mom was planning since he's in the Shakespeare Club?"

Well, Mr. C didn't know what mom had in mind. Conrad popped up and down beside me, his face worried and scrunched up.

"Really, I could just beg some more." Conrad formed a plan like a good little actor.

"We'll figure this out, Conrad. Don't worry."

I said this with confidence but inside I was unsure how to solve the problem. I wanted Conrad in the club in part because I only have five boys, but really because he was so eager and I couldn't imagine telling him no. Good chance I'd be the one crying and begging.

Conrad, at eight years old, is the eldest child of four in a family held together by a single parent. Dad is not around. When I called his home, it was obvious Conrad's mom was caring but also overwhelmed. I offered to drive him home myself but she figured a neighbor, also with a child in the club, could maybe get Conrad home.

The next day, I stood outside Room 42 and waited for The Shakespeare Club of 2010 to show up. Lucinda, our stage manager, left class early to help me arrange the room into a horseshoe of chairs. She clutched a list of members and stood beside me. "Lucinda, that list is the order for the group when they stand outside and then sit down inside. It's your job to tell them where to be."

"Okay, Ms. Ryane."

I beamed as my comrade, Rachel, loped across the grounds. Yup, she's back. We gave each other hugs, I introduced Lucinda and in the background glimpsed excited kids running to us.

"Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Bettina."

"I can't do yoga."

"Why's that?"

"Because of my religion."

"Interesting. What is your religion, may I ask, Bettina?"


"Okay, well I promise you we aren't doing anything religious in Shakespeare Club. Just think of it as stretching. Actors need strong, flexible bodies. Okay?"


Another first.

It's also clearly stated in the acceptance letters: Members must attend all meetings.

Day One and Mark is missing. I found out later that his mother, knowing how excited Mark was about the club, kept him away as punishment for classroom misbehavior.

Fires. I'm already putting out fires and we've only arrived at the forest.

"Hi, Conrad," I winked.

"Hi, Ms. Ryane," he answered with a sly smile.

"Later, how about writing a thank-you note to Wendy's mom for driving you home? She's making this happen and I know we're both grateful."

"Okay, Ms. Ryane."

"Welcome, Shakespeare Club and congratulations, you made the cut. Big breath, let's stretch up and say, 'Hello, sun!' Exhale and hands to your heart. Inhale, 'Hello, sun, nice to see you' and exhale as we fly like eagles off the cliff...."

If this is religion, I'm prayin'.

I want to be in shakespeare club, because, I love acting and want to be an actor when I grow up. I also want to be in shakespeare because it is a very intresting and amazing thing to me. Every year at Walgrove is may when we see the play.

I learned william shakespear was a baby prodigy when he was born. I learned Williams dad was a glover and williams girlfriend name was anne halthaway.
—Ellie, 4th grade

Friday, February 12, 2010

Be Prepared: Curtain Up

January, 2010

This is nuts. I should be better at this. I've earned the savvy and the know-how and still....

Every Wednesday morning between January and June I awake with a knot in my stomach and these thoughts in my head: What? What's today? Oh cripes...what if this is the one...the day I lose the room, let them down, miss an action, overlook a sadness and turn my back at the wrong time?

In my first year of doing Shakespeare Club, I searched online for teachers' tips. I grabbed every teacher's elbow at the school and with panic in my voice asked, "How? How do you do it?"

I still grab those elbows and I still get help, but here's the main piece of advice I received, over and over: Be prepared.

So, every Wednesday morning I drink just enough coffee and then:

    1. Hit the gym, step onto the treadmill and sweat like an Olympian.
    2. Sweat some more in the steam room.
    3. Blow-dry my hair.
    4. Put on light makeup.
    5. Eat a light lunch.
    6. Hum and warm up the articulators.
    7. Re-check the printout of my itinerary/script.
    8. Get dressed.
    9. Drive the car while taking deep breaths.

Every Wednesday I fight my fear. Every Wednesday I prepare as if going onstage to play Rosalind in "As You Like It." A role, by the way, I never actually played and always wanted to and now...well, it seems I have a gig at an elementary school.

And here they come, running, jumping, screaming and throwing backpacks in a jumble and...please God, let this be a good house.

I cannot even express how much I love Thursday mornings.

I want to be in shakespeare club...

1. I want to be an Actrice

2. I want to see what it's like living 300 years ago

3. I want to know exactly what happened in Will's life

4. I like to prefrom

Today I learned...

1. There is 2 Anne Hathaways.

2. That Will had 3 kids

3. That not going to church was a law.
—Mary, 3rd grade

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hard News: Three R's Plus

Much has been written about the loss of arts programs in public schools. Articles abound on the advancements children make in science and math when they simultaneously explore music, visual arts and theatre. There is a corresponding lack of progress when children do not have artistic outlets.

The word is out — but it is rarely heard except by the choir.

If you're looking for ideas on how to get more art into a child's life and school, check out this site:

National Arts Education Public Awareness Campaign

Deep breath, open wide, and sing the message loud. I know you're in the choir.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Hard Cut: Announcing

November, 2009

I sent my acceptance and rejection letters out right before Thanksgiving and took off because I'm a big chicken and didn't want to face any sad children.

Over the winter break, my husband and I took a trip to explore our state and prepare for a new year and a new decade. We drove north to the Bay Area of California and then made our way south to hike in a redwood forest. We drove on to explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium and then further south to see elephant seals sunning in San Simeon before touring the Hearst Castle and sipping New Year's Eve wine under a full moon over a crashing sea in Cambria.

For the entire trip, I breathed in clear air and thought about the ambitious choice of "Macbeth" and its theme of warped ambition. I pondered on the group I'd picked for The Shakespeare Club of 2010. And wondered about those I didn't choose for this year.

I'm uncertain where and how young children learn stoicism.

"Oh, it's okay."

"I'm fine."

"Sure, I get it....I'm all right."

All delivered with brave smiles, as if I'm the one being let down easy.

I tracked down Celia. She was our very quiet-voiced actor from last year. Celia has three sisters at our school. All four auditioned. I had rejected two last year and decided this was now their turn. The youngest, a third-grader, would have an opportunity down the line. In the meantime, it was not an easy decision to say no to Celia.

"Celia, I have a feeling you might be disappointed about not doing Shakespeare Club this year."

"It's okay."

"A little disappointed?"

"Yeah...a little."

"You know I have to give other kids a chance, right? That's the only reason."


"How would you like to be our sound operator? You'd get your own script and, of course, be with us all day for performances and for our closing party. Think you might like that?"

"Yes, I would like that."

Then I found Beth in the middle of a schoolyard espionage scene. Beth is always chasing, hiding from, or attacking some other kid. Jason Bourne has nothing on Beth.

I tried to get her attention by placing my hands on her shoulders as she ducked this way and that around my body, scouting out the enemy.

"Beth...Beth! Give me one second here. Look in my eyes, Beth."

"Yeah, yeah...." She reached her face around my waist with a hunted look.

"Beth, look at me." She did. "I'm sorry you're not in Shakespeare Club this year but I had to give new kids a chance and I want you to know that it's not because I don't love you. Do you understand that?"

"Yeah, I know. I gotta go, Ms. Ryane, he's gonna get me."

Give that girl a catsuit and some rappelling equipment.

In January, when the club gathered for the first time, an eight-year-old showed up at the door forty-five minutes into our meeting. Rachel brought him inside. "This is Gilbert. He says he's in Shakespeare Club."

"Hi, Gilbert," I said. I remembered his audition and how I decided he wasn't quite ready but next year would have a chance.

"I gotta letter," Gilbert said.

"Hmmm. Okay, Gilbert, here's what I'd like you to do: Go back to the after-school program you just left and I'll give your house a call, okay?"

The next day I had an assistant in the office help me out, translation-wise, because Gilbert comes from a Spanish-speaking home. I studied Gilbert's application and it was clear the boy had filled it out himself and had a parent sign it. We discovered his mother knew nothing about The Shakespeare Club and wouldn't have been able to read his rejection letter. This child wanted in so badly he'd gone to a lot of trouble to make it happen.

I had a one-on-one with little Gilbert and strongly suggested he would have a really good chance next year, and to hang tight. "Can you do that, Gilbert?"

"Yeah, okay," he said with the brave-kid face.

This is why I need a vacation before I embark on this venture. I'm wracked with guilt every night for five months between January and May and need sleep in advance.

Yeah, okay.

I want to be in Shakespeare Club because I will learn knew things, learn how to act, and will help my in speaking, self confidents, and reading.

Three things I learned today was that the Black Plague hit many people in Europe. Also, that William had 3 kids. Finally William's D.O.B. and D.O.D.
—Faith, 5th grade

calla lily by Sarah Grangier; brave kid by Flickr user shahin olakara

Friday, February 5, 2010

All in a Row

November, 2009

One after another, brave children from the third through fifth grade lined up outside the library door, waiting to audition. They clutched crumpled papers with their four-line audition pieces and looked up at me with startled eyes every time I opened the door and called another inside.

Having spent hours and hours as an auditioning actor myself, I felt somewhat cruel making them go through the process, but the truth is when they earn it with courage and effort, it means more.

A mom/teacher's aide told me this later:

"Mel, I don't know what you're doing in there, but when those kids came out of their auditions they skipped, laughed and were entirely happy on their way back to class."

I'm not sure what I did either but was relieved to hear this. What if we adults could leave interviews feeling as jubilant as those children? Knowing, at the very least, we went in prepared and gave a good meeting?

Some kids could barely read their audition material, but they carried on. Unstoppable. One boy simply made words up and performed them with vigor.

"Worm nor snail, do no offense" became "Why no snail, don't open."

I asked the strugglers to read along with me, out loud, and they complied. Eager, willing kids wanting to please and feel good about themselves.

Identical third-grade twin girls arrived, dressed in exact outfits. Concheta and Conchita. I saw so many children that it wasn't until later, going over my notes, that I realized I'd seen twins and not the same girl twice.

Another little girl loved her audition material so much she rewrote it in cursive, using sparkly markers to decorate.

I wanted to scoop up every single actor, but it is not possible. I don't have enough parts, there isn't enough room in our rehearsal space, there isn't enough room onstage and I'm not talented enough to manage over twenty-one students.

As I drove home to make final decisions and send out letters of rejection or acceptance, a question spun over and over in my head. "Why no snail, don't open?"

I want to be in shakespeare because.....

I realy think I could learn alot from shakespeare and about shakespeare.

And I also think I could be good at something.

And I may do good in the play in May.

And I think it is a good activety.

What I learnd about william shakespear was he died on April 23, 1616.
—Garth, 4th grade

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hard News: The Chaos Component

Who doesn't want to be recognized and adored? I'll tell you who: no one. And yet we wait for it, dance and strut for it, clamor for it. Nowhere is this behavior more evident than in the classroom.

From both sides: Both the student and the teacher are needy. The mix can be daunting for first-timers. I certainly found classroom chaos overwhelming and traumatic in my first few years. To this day, I wake every Wednesday morning with a knot in my stomach because it's Shakespeare Club day and I may lose the grip....It could happen.

I have had to discipline myself to say: It is not important that they fall in love with me, but for me to facilitate them falling in love with themselves.

Here's a recent article about the struggle, followed by my response, which was printed in the "Letters to the Editor section.

Controlling a classroom isn't as easy as ABC (Seema Mehta, LA Times)

(Click on scan to enlarge.)