THE VALERIE THAT I KNOW

THE HOUSING NOW! MARCH ON WASHINGTON. Valerie Harper gathered a planeload of supporters from Hollywood to help spotlight the occasion. (A few in the front row are Linda Evans, Jesse Jackson, and Jean Kasem.)

THE HOUSING NOW! MARCH ON WASHINGTON. Valerie Harper gathered a planeload of supporters from Hollywood to help spotlight the occasion. (A few in the front row are Linda Evans, Jesse Jackson, and Jean Kasem.)

I want to Talk about the Valerie that I know; yes, Valerie Harper who is in the news and valiantly living every moment while battling a nasty brain cancer. We are hearing much praise for her worthy talent and career, and for her excellent family. I’ve been leafing through some old clippings and I want to offer my 2 cents on the Valerie that I know….

Over the years, society’s suffering would rise and hit us between the eyes, and one would want to step up and make life better, but didn’t know where to turn. That’s when we followed Valerie. Valerie Harper was like a clairvoyant of crisis. Her visions gathered the willing and pointed all in a specific direction to help the suffering subside.

Valerie Harper has an energy that makes the impossible possible … and now she’s using that inner power to live and love each moment and to gather strength to meet her brain cancer head on. That is a force to be reckoned with. That, plus the loving legions of cheerleaders, just may defy gravity.

Valerie is funny and passionate, intense and giddy. And she puts her money, and her very being, where her mouth is. I believe the good she has done worldwide should shine as bright as her Hollywood stardom. Here are some tips of the massive iceberg that are Valerie’s gifts to humanity.

The End Hunger Network: In 1983, Valerie and Jeff Bridges convened a group of like-minded folks, educated us about birth mortality rates worldwide and how ending hunger would eventually lower overpopulation. Really. Then the work began and it’s still going strong.

HOUSING NOW! Only Valerie Harper could give one a quick call and say, “We’re filling an airplane with Hollywood supporters to join the Rainbow Coalition Gala Birthday Celebration for Jesse Jackson and then join the Housing Now! March on Washington.” That was a thrilling couple of days in 1989, well worth the ticket. Thanks Valerie, and I’d love to take you to see the warehouse that Shelter Partnership has in Bell, which continues to support the fight for housing, now!

LIFE (Love Is Feed Everyone): In the mid-‘80s, LIFE was co-founded by actors Dennis Weaver and Valerie Harper. Why actors, actors, actors? Because they get attention, attention, attention and the word gets out.

It was launched with the ambitious goal of salvaging tons of edible but unsalable food from stores … which lead to one of Los Angeles’ largest food banks. We spent a lot of time in department stores trading photos for donations of food. I remember Valerie’s food collecting visit at our local Vons and covering the little event for the Tolucan.

Heady times, fulfilling years and more to come. The last time I saw a glorious looking Valerie Harper was at the SAG Awards. She is a current member of the SAG-AFTRA Board and continues to serve with all her magnificence. My mind drifts to earlier years when somehow we shared stories of adoption and diets and her meeting Tony. I remember her and Mary, on their lunch break during the Mary Tyler Moore Show, doing their ballet class. And I’m looking forward to future memories with the much-loved Valerie.

So now, this issue of the Tolucan Times is a Real Estate issue. Let me thank Dorene Martin, of Coldwell Banker, for selling us our house in Sherman Oaks. This part of the Valley is a nice place to live, folks from the West Side — think about it?

Perhaps it’s time for us to think about a time-share at the Westin Maui’s Ocean Resort Villas? Dreaming.

Promises: I owe you a Part II of the Hawaii “Edging Eighty” column. I will share how I missed the plane and carry on about the trip in next issue.

We’ll Talk…

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