Connections with Things from the Past

Today’s Daily News has an article on a new book, Hollywood Escapes, which describes a number of locations in Los Angeles where movies have been filmed. The Daily News article, however, focused less on the book and more on the author, Harry Medved. As I read the article I kept thinking… hmmmm…. I know Harry.

(insert swirling effect and fade music here)

I moved to the Brentwood area of Los Angeles in 1971, and I rode the school bus to both Paul Revere JHS and Palisades HS. Harry got on the bus at the stop before mine (we were almost near the top of Kenter Canyon). We were both nerds, but of different types. I was the type that hung with the math and science geeks; Harry ran in different circles. He was also in the class a year behind mine (Class of ‘78). I do remember that we both got teased, for various reasons. I never really got to know Harry well, but I remember being part of the “out” group. I wish I had known his interest then; he would have gotten along great with my dad.

(and there’s a sudden jerk back to reality)

Reading about Harry’s life today, I’m pleased to see that he took his interest — film — and ran with it to make a career. He has authored a number of books related to films and assessing them, and has created a career for himself in the film industry. I’ve never had that ability to exploit my interests (theatre, highways) and combine them with my career (computer security). I’ll note that writing must run in his family — his brother, Michael, is also an author (e.g. “What Really Happened To The Class of ’65”), and (alas) a conservative talk host.

So, I decided to do a “blast from the past” and drop him a note. I got back an almost immediate response, pleasant as can be. I’m pleased. I have very little connection with folks from my high school days, and as I get older, I’m having a growing urge to reconnect.


Speaking of “blasts from the past”, I’ve recently reintroduced my daughter to the excellent program “Meeting of Minds”. This is because her “honors” Magnet History teacher is giving them assignments such as word searches and maps to color (yes, we’ve complained about this). So, as they are doing ancient cultures, I suggested proposing a Meeting of Minds type of dialog between notables in each culture. This would require lots of research by the students — but they are honors students, they eat this stuff up.

I’ve spoken about “Meeting of Minds” before: It is an excellent series by Steve Allen that would bring together 3-4 notable people from history for a roundtable discussion. When I last wrote, I bemoaned the fact that it wasn’t available yet on DVD (I do have 4 hours on a fading videotape), although the scripts are available. Last night, I dropped a note to the folks at, and got a reply that “there are ongoing discussions to bring this incredible series out on DVD, but when that will be is not yet known.” I’m pleased to see they are discussing it, and I’ll let you know when I find out more.