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.

Mildred S. - Watts, CA

Mildred is smart, beautiful, ambitious, kind and passionate. Mildred came to California to learn.

In her country, it was too dangerous for her to go to school. In her country, her oldest brother got shot in front of the family's house. In her country, the family received death threats.

She was born in Honduras. The family fled to Guatemala first. There was no way to go to school there for Mildred. When she was eight, the family decided to go farther North. The US. Smugglers separated Mildred and her three younger siblings from their mother.

Donkeys - Malibu, CA

Happy Times.
Peace. Stillness. Dunkeys, Ducks and Dogs. Gratitude.

Brainstorming with a successful writer, I am excited about all the possibilities ahead of me, and frankly just by the fact that I am sitting here with her. This is L.A. living at its best: We are just minutes from the beach, sitting among donkeys, ducks and dogs, surrounded by mountains, avocado trees and ancient sycamore trees. She gets up to feed the ducks and I walk with her ...

Joggers and Dog Walkers - Culver City, CA

All day long whenever I turned on the radio, I heard about Washington and "THE MEMO". When I turned on the computer, I read about "THE MEMO". I heard people being angry, upset, confused and fed up. It was time to take a break. I stepped outside to take a walk along the creek close to our house. I looked around while I was walking, and I got happier with every step. I heard and saw

JOGGERS - fast and slow, well-toned and chubby,

DOG WALKERS- one trying to teach a tiny dog to sit, another keeping a slow pace with her Saint Bernard and a giant Scottish Sheep Dog,

Marthe Cohn - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

"She turned around and looked me straight in the eye. Then she asked: Fräulein, are you a spy?"

Marthe Cohn was a spy. A 24 year old Jewish spy for the French army who crossed the border to Germany from Switzerland. She spoke German fluently, was just a bit more than 5 feet tall, blond, and determined to do everything in her power to help end WWII. It is eye opening how much power a small, young woman can have once she dares to take this power seriously!

I met Marthe and her husband Major in their house in Rancho Palos Verdes. She told me her story of being one of the most unlikely spies in history. She had to change her identity, become Martha Ulrich, German patriot, orphan, looking for her fiancé Hans, a missing soldier.