Author: The Argonaut

A Labor Of Love

Westchester resident’s memoir honors the life of her late mother By Holly Jenvey Grace Rector lost her mother, Pam, in the middle of her final year of college. However, their bond and memories live on in her recent memoir, “The Rector Girls”. The novel depicts the close-knit mother-daughter relationship they shared since Grace was born. Through exploring the world together, instilling values as well as enduring hardship, Grace published her first book this past April, showcasing the labor of love between them. Pam passed away at the age of 64 in February 2020, a month before the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown began. Initially, Grace didn’t have plans to write a novel, but journaled stories to process the loss of her mother. It wasn’t until a professor at Georgetown University, her alma mater, reached out and offered a course teaching young people how to publish their first book. “I thought, ‘I have all these written stories, why not turn it into something that could be passed down to generations?’” Grace said. “And so my inspiration for writing it down into a book format was I thought it would be something so beautiful to hand to my friends and family and say, ‘These are the lessons that I learned from my mom.” Pam worked at Loyola Marymount University for 22 years and also was a counselor at Lennox Middle School. At LMU,...

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Deserts and Abandoned Spaces

Photographer invites walls and windows to tell their stories By Bridgette M. Redman A desert isn’t nearly as empty as the image the word often conjures. Los Angeles artist Osceola Refetoff captures the richness of deserts and the spaces that people have abandoned. His series, “It’s a Mess Without You,” which he began in 2013, has garnered much recognition and rewards. Several selections from that series are being displayed in an exhibition called “If These Walls Could Talk” at the Von Lintel Gallery through August 14. It is helping to inaugurate Von Lintel’s new space in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station. “The Von Lintel Gallery is a dream come true,” Refetoff said. “I’ve loved that program for as long as I’ve known it. (Gallery founder and director Tarrah Von Lintel) reached out to me last year and I was just over the moon. She is incredibly supportive of work you need to see in person.” While the work is shared online, Refetoff said the exhibition is designed to be seen live and that Bergamot Station is an amazing location to do just that — one with lots of parking and open air. He loves going there not only to display his own exhibitions but as an art collector who can visit many galleries at the same time. “It is a very different experience to see the work in person in...

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Westside Happenings

Friday, August 6 Sizzling Summer Jazz Nights at RUNWAY, 5 to 8 p.m. Enjoy live music every Friday all summer long at RUNWAY Playa Vista. Grab a bite from one of their restaurants and enjoy seating at Town Center Drive! Every Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., June through August. 12775 W. Millennium, Playa Vista Marina Drive-In Summer Series, 5 to 10 p.m. Gather with your family and friends to watch movies on the big screen by the sea in Marina del Rey. The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches & Harbors presents Marina Drive-In Movie Nights at Parking Lot #2 Public Boat Launch. $20 per car admission plus service fee. Kabbalat Shabbat & Dinner, 5:45 p.m. Bring friends and family members for Open House Weekend at Kehillat Ma’arav Synagogue in Santa Monica. All events are COVID-compliant. Masks will be required indoors and all meals served outdoors. Enjoy an early bird l’chaim followed by service with the KM Band and outdoor Shabbat dinner. RSVP at Saturday, August 7 Marina del Rey Farmers Market, 8 to 9 a.m. (seniors), 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (general public) This weekly outdoor event allows Westside residents to support local produce sellers and other vendors. Food from a wide variety of businesses is available for purchase. Masks are required and only 40 people are allowed to shop at any one time. Held...

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The Advice Goddess

Brawl Straps 
I’m a woman in my early 20s. The guy I’m dating brought me to meet his friends. His male friends were warm and friendly. The women were awful. One deliberately kept saying my name wrong (it’s not exactly exotic), and two others glared at my miniskirt. Another said something about how low-cut my top was. She made it sound like a compliment, but it was a mean dig. How can these women be so nasty when they don’t even know me? How do I diffuse situations like these? — Upset Nothing like women celebrating other women: “Way to go, girl! Showing everything but your areolas.” When a man has a beef with another man, he’ll be direct about it: hurl insults at the guy’s face and maybe try to renovate his jaw with a barstool. Women fight sneaky-dirty with other women, using covert tactics, explains psychologist Anne Campbell. These include mobilizing a group of women to ostracize a woman, talking trash to men about her looks and how “loose” she is, and offering “compliments” that are actually nasty digs. Give a woman’s confidence a beatdown and she might dim her shine (cover her miniskirt with a shawl and wipe that sexy red lipstick off on her sleeve). Psychologist Tracy Vaillancourt separated female research participants into random groups. She compared one group’s reactions to a 20-something woman walking...

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Inspirational Stories

The Actors’ Gang Theater’s new production features tales of the Great Depression By Kamala Kirk Tim Robbins met and interviewed his longtime hero and renowned author, Studs Terkel, for a public conversation that was hosted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 21 years ago. “Paul Holdengräber from the New York Public Library contacted me and asked if I wanted to interview the greatest interviewer of all time,” Robbins said. “When he told me it was Studs, I jumped at the opportunity because I loved his books. This was a man that chronicled the human condition of everyday people that were struggling to get through terrible times.” Terkel’s bestselling book, “Hard Times,” featured firsthand accounts of people who lived during the Great Depression of the 1930s. On the book’s 50th anniversary last year, Robbins — who is the artistic director of The Actors’ Gang Theater — and his cast adapted “Hard Times” into a play via Zoom when they were unable to get together during the pandemic. “The idea came out of the limitations. We couldn’t meet or be in the same room to create together,” Robbins said. “Zoom is not a theatrical medium and, because of those limitations, we started working on just storytelling. At first, we tried doing the stories in the first person, but later adapted them to the third person. When we started workshopping,...

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