Monday, November 30, 2009

Francesca Riviere

"My Birth"

I was born on January 8, 1945, a few months before Harry S. Truman dropped the bombs on Japan. My father was a captain in the Army, stationed in China, at the time: Francis John Sims.
My mother, Virginia Marie Sims, had received a medical discharge from the WAVES, after she became pregnant with me, and was at the movies with my grandfather watching a Western, when she went into labor. (I have always disliked Westerns, guns, and shooting noises.)
I was born in Glendale, California, a third-generation California native.
My parents had met at Hollywood High School. When my father came home from the War, I was about one year old.
Although he had a degree in Geology, my father could not find a decent job at that time, and worked pumping gas for Standard Oil.
Things deteriorated quickly between my parents. They divorced. My mother signed up as a policewoman with the LAPD.
My own official greeting to the world occurred at church one Sunday, when I was one year old. As the priest bellowed his sermon, "And the Lord cried out..." I said, "Hi!" breaking up the congregation and the priest. From my lips to God's ears?
To this day, I still get myself into trouble, blurting things out.

-- Francesca Riviere, writer, is a proud member of "Tea and Tales," a Family Recollections and Personal History class, offered by the Programs for Older Adults, LAUSD, North Hollywood Community Adult School.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sam is Concerned.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am an 88 year old, first generation, American-born senior adult, and an honorably discharged World War II veteran.
My reason for writing this letter is to protest against the reduction or elimination of these important and viable Old Adult education classes.
The classes I am currently experiencing have changed my life.
When my wife passed away a few years ago, I virtually became a hermit, and felt that life was no longer worth living. My ultimate contact and introduction to Older Adult Education, via an exceptionally talented and worthy teacher named Fiera Mooney, brought me out of, and ended my depression. It restored my mind. I became a living, productive person again for my family, friends and community.
I can relate many incidents and times that I have had contact with children: when I inform them that I attend older adult classes, they listen intently. I tell them how important good education really is to their futures.
I sincerely believe that any curtailing of Older Adult Education would only result in the dismal failure of public education, setting an example that could have a profound effect on our children as well as on senior adults. Do we. as a society, really value life-long learning?
Unfortunately, when we experience an economic crisis in our country, it seems that the cuts are always made, starting from the bottom. I think it's time we should make cuts from the top.
Maybe we should think about pay cuts for state and federal legislators and ask administrators, as well, to help out financially, in such times as these.
Respectfully yours,
Samuel Krause
Older Adult Student
North Hollywood
Community Adult School
at Valley Village Senior Apts