Geschichten aus Kalifornien

Ein Dichter, der mir im Café ein Gedicht vorliest. Eine Schülerin, die mir erzählt, wie sie mit acht Jahren von Schleusern in Mexiko festgehalten wurde. Palmwedel, die nach dem Wintersturm unsere Straßen blockieren. Eine nächtliche Fahrt mit dem Bus durch Los Angeles.

Von Begegnungen und Beobachtungen wie diesen kann ich in meiner journalistischen Arbeit selten erzählen. Das finde ich schade. Deshalb habe ich dieses Tagebuch angefangen.

FINALLY - The RIAS Media Awards

RIAS Lachen

"We do not want you to give an aceptance speech. I will ask you a few questions after you receive the award." I was happy to hear what host Petra Gute had planned for the ceremony.

Acceptance speeches are landmines - not that I am talking from experience. But after covering award shows for many years I know that even the most experienced winners forget to thank people they really should not forget, or they are chased off the stage by random music before they can mention everybody, or worst of all: they are terribly boring.

The RIAS BERLIN COMMISSION honored journalists from TV, radio and Online media, they chose very diverse stories about topics from the melting of glaciers in Alaska to the history of barbed wire and its meaning for US society. 

The award has special meaning for me because I started my career at RIAS, Radio In The American Sector, shortly after the Berlin wall came down. Maybe even more important: The RIAS BERLIN COMMISSION changed my life. Really? Really! And I had to find a way to thank them without a speech ... 

Parker Day - West Adams, CA

Something really interesting happens when a person puts on a wig. 
They let go of their inhibitions.
They let go of holding up who they think they are supposed to be. ...
They almost become more themselves.

Parker Day, Photographer

I felt a little 'grey' in my Jeans, T-Shirt and comfy sandals when I entered Parker Day's studio. She was in the process of preparing a model for a photo shoot. A hair and make up artist had just put a blonde monster-wig on the young woman and curled her hair into eccentric fierce waves. An assistant in a zebra patterned mini skirt glued unbelievably real looking fake lips to the model's face while Parker was gliding through the studio on sparkly silver high heels to check out the lightning and select some final props. 

When she started talking about her art, candy colored portraits which attract and irritate me at the same time, I understood:

Perfect Sunday- Home, CA

Fruhstuck von oben

"If we had to move, where would you want to go?"

My husband and I sometimes play this game. "A cheap place somewhere in the desert - but not for too long, it gets too hot!" I sometimes say. "Let's get a camper and explore Montana," is another idea. Also: "We could move to Berlin. But that got expensive too." My favorite: "A cabin at the ocean, the WILD ocean, cliffs, wind and the smell of salt and Abenteuer." 

But this morning, this perfect Sunday morning, I did not answer. I looked down at the pancakes the husband just made, at the fresh juice I squeezed a few minutes ago from back yard oranges and slices of avocado from our neighbors tree, the BEST avocado tree ever.

Time - weltreporter Podcast

ICH WÜNSCHE DIR ZEIT
I don't wish for you to have a lot of things 
Just one thing a lot of people do not have
I wish for you to have time -
Time to be happy and to laugh
And if you use your time wisely,
It can turn into something great

 

One of the great adventures of last year was to start a podcast with my weltreporter colleagues. We are the biggest network of German freelance journalists, covering 160 countries all over the world. So many stories to tell!

In our podcast we take it all personal, describing how our lives and the place we chose as home influence our work, and how our work effects our lives. We share how we find interview partners, our favorite encounters, inspiring experiences and frustrating local customs. While doing this some of the stories that never found a home in any print, TV, radio or online publication now finally can be told. In our newest podcast it is all about TIME. 

The poem in the picture my mother once gave me in turbulent times of my life. It now is a constant reminder, framed next to my desk. 

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Eddie Hart - Pittsburg, CA

"At that point I realized I was in a horrible nightmare.
We went to the track as fast as we could.
We are running through the tunnel. I hear a shot go off.
Midway in that tunnel my race went off."
Eddie Hart, 1972 Olympian

Eddie Hart is one of the nicest, most genuine and gracious people I have ever interviewed. At age 13 he dreamed of becoming the fastest human on earth. That meant he had to win the 100 meter sprint at the Olympics.

Eddie trained hard for that goal, made sacrifices and ten years later, 1972, he qualified for the games in Munich, Germany. In the Olympic trials he equaled the world sprint record: 9.9 seconds. Eddie Hart entered the games as the favorite. But his dream turned into a nightmare ...