Stories From California

Sometimes I want to write more than just journalistically about my experiences as a reporter. That is why I started to write down my thoughts, observations and emotions beyond scripts for radio, print and TV. This experiment is a lot of fun and scary at the same time. But, as they say, you have to get out of your comfort zone.

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 ...

Barack Obama - Leimert Park, CA

"We had Barack Obama in '95.
Nobody knew who he was exactly.
I thought his book was ok, but long and a bit dry
We had ten people, and sat in a little circle, and they got to ask questions.
He was very personable.
When he left that night, I had no idea he woud run for president."

James Fugate, co-owner of Eso Won Books

It was 1995, and a young community organizer from Chicago was touring the United States, reading from his book "Dreams from my Father". James Fugate from Eso Won Books in Leimert Park in Los Angeles was interested in the story of the book and the writer, who had gone to Occidental College just a few miles away. So Barack Obama came for a book signing into the jewel of a bookstore specializing in African-American literature, poetry. and history.