Author: davidmaury

The early Argonaut: selling the ads

I remember seeing my first copy of The Argonaut, probably at the corner of Dell Avenue and what is now Washington Boulevard, and thinking, “Oh, what would it be like to work there?” One day, I responded to a help wanted ad for a sales representative, and I was hired. It was August 1980, and I learned then that my new employer published six newspapers, one of which was The Argonaut. The newspaper staff was a complex family, with the employee equivalent of stepsisters and stepbrothers — there were two corporations and one partnership, and we all sort of worked together to varying degrees on all the entities. Our young and energetic publisher, David Asper Johnson, had recently acquired four newspapers, and was now operating out of the former South Bay Publishing office in Hermosa Beach. The El Segundo Herald, The Manhattan Beach News, The Hermosa Beach Review and Redondo Beach Record, were now published by Beach Cities Newspapers, which Johnson had renamed the group. In addition to these and The Argonaut, founded in 1971, we also published a Venice and Ocean Park community newspaper called The Ocean Front Weekly, a partnership between Dave and Tom Victory. Earlier, Johnson had co-founded The Beach Reporter in Manhattan Beach with Richard Frank, but they eventually parted ways. Realizing that Johnson now wanted us to put out six papers, we felt like...

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Disney/Pixar Monsters, Inc. ice skating show is fun; better with a seven-year-old along

There are enough wonderful musical numbers, costumes, sets, lighting and excitement to make the Disney/Pixar Monsters, Inc. ice show currently making the rounds well worth attending — even if you have not seen the movie. But it’s even better if you can have a seven-year-old along with you to explain all the details. My seven-year-old seemed to understand everything, but then he’s seen the movie. Instead of a young child being afraid of a cast of monsters, the storyline has to do with a cast of monsters being afraid of a young girl, appropriately named Boo. The musical numbers are presented as a rock concert for children. The momentum continues through two acts. Most children will be delighted and fascinated. A few very young children might find the monsters, show length and sports stadium crowd all a bit overwhelming. But for the youngsters who have seen the movie, this presentation on ice will be well received. For the adults, there is an international team of award-winning figure skaters, exciting choreography and a fast-paced musical score. The show uses state-of-the-art special effects, energized acrobatics and monster-sized sets appropriate for a presentation called Monsters, Inc. For the clever characters in Monsters Inc., costume designer Scott Lane had to manipulate mounds of foam and pounds of rubber to create the looks of the monster characters. The monsters come in every size, every...

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