THE ODDS OF MARCH

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I want to Talk about some odds and ends of this leonine month. Full of family swirl and professional tumult, packing and stacking, change and solidity. It’s a good time to have a ping-pong table….

WAS IT THE LAST AFTRA NATIONAL BOARD MEETING?

Paul Peterson, recipient of AFTRA’s Founder Award. Former child star, Paul is now a child’s rights advocate and formed A Minor Consideration.

As I write, the results of the SAG-AFTRA merger vote are unknown. But, as this issue hits the stands, we should know if we have one union — or, if fear and false statements have conquered. Obviously, the AFTRA Leadership was optimistic because last Sunday, tears of happiness and gratitude marked the day, at what may have been the last AFTRA National Board Meeting (I hope).

Two Amazonian AFTRA women, like Valkyries, deciding who should fall in battle … striding into union flames, were crying like proud parents, thrilled by the action taken by their courageous Board and membership. And we were thrilled for them, qvelling for the joys inherent of our National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and National President Roberta Reardon. With the conviction of doing the right thing, these gallant gals gave their best and are the best.

So, normal business was tended to, however with many standing ovations for all reports and for the members who gave so many hours working on the fine points of creating a new union. The magnificent Roberta presented Founders Awards. The passionate Paul Peterson was recognized for his tireless work for young performers, Belva Davis, who is retiring after six breakthrough decades as a newsperson, and also to AFTRA National Executive Kim Roberts Hedgpeth for her life-long dedication to the labor movement and AFTRA.

So after many heartfelt thanks and proud goodbyes, will it be time for the big Hello? Tune in tomorrow.

RETURN OF SOME PRODIGAL GRANDDOGS

New family in town, our granddogs, Harper Lee, Huck, and Kobe.

David’s son, Dean Lawrence, has resettled in Los Angeles. While finding a new nest, his dogs have visited us a few times, much to the pleasant surprise of our little dog Skye. So, an official welcome to Kobe, Huck, and Harper Lee, grand dogs all (I hope I spelled your name right). It’s nice to have Dean, a tour manager for major musical acts, back in town too … he’s a really good cook!

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS

It’s whom you know. Mary Willard, now President of Big Brothers Big Sisters, hosted a table and presided at their Accessories for Success luncheon. (Jo Anne Worley took every opportunity to bring fun to the Fashion showings, following the gainly models with mirth and mischief.) All this merriment — for the cause of mentoring — included longtime supporters Jeffrey Katzenberg, Sarah Purcell, who has been a shining light, and hostess Amber Valletta. Honors went to Anne Globe (Head of Worldwide Marketing, DreamWorks Animation), and Sharon Harroun Peirce (Director, Brit Week & Director, LA’s Best). I nominate Mary Willard for any award for finding a good thing and then working like crazy to make it better. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a good thing and I wish I had one when I was a kid. Their mission, “to help children in need reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships.” Their history, “Walt Disney and Meredith Willson founded Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles in 1955 to help ensure the wellbeing of boys growing up without fathers in Angeles. In 1978, Big Sisters of Los Angeles became a non-profit organization. Now they are merged for the betterment of all.”

Busy people are mentors, how about you?

Now, as March is ending, some Ides must wait until a later day. Taxes are gathered, organizing is a lifelong thing, and time must be taken for friends. But isn’t it nice to know that good and caring people abound …

We’ll Talk.

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