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Peter Gabriel during his 1982 tour for the album “Security.”

When people think of the music of Peter Gabriel, they often visualize the “Sledgehammer” music video or the scene in Say Anything when John Cusack plays “In Your Eyes” on a boom box. These two songs are among Gabriel’s biggest commercial hits but the true gems are found deeper in his catalogue.

Peter Gabriel wrote his first song “Sammy the Slug” at age twelve. His father was an electrical engineer, his mother a musician. He was raised on a farm in Coxhill, England and attended a conservative boys school outside London. …


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I was ambivalent about receiving the Covid vaccine.

On January 20th, while Joe Biden was sworn in as president, I received the Pfizer vaccine shot #1. Like many, I was on the fence. I didn’t believe the conspiracies about cancer cells or mind control chips in the vaccine. But I was unsure about the efficacy against new COVID strains. I didn’t like the idea of injecting an unknown substance into my body.

I was given an early vaccine opportunity because I teach art classes to senior citizens. The process took place at a Calabasas senior home. I learned that 20 percent of the facility’s employees refused the vaccine…


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Life is scary right now.

We are living through an unprecedented time. 400,000 Americans are dead from Covid, more than 11 million are unemployed, businesses are failing, people are struggling to pay bills and everyone feels some level of anxiety. The vaccine offered a moment of hope but almost half the population is afraid to be vaccinated. It can feel as if the world is coming to an end.

As scary as things appear, we don’t have to reside in fear. There are simple things we can do to mitigate anxiety.

Practice Gratitude: My grandma lived through the 1918 Pandemic and the Depression. She often…


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It took me several years of weed-free living to realize the power it had over me.

Twelve marijuana dispensaries exist within a four-mile radius of my Los Angeles home. The stores are quirky and reek of weed-inspired names like The Coughy Shop, Gram Central Station, The Green Mile, Herbal Outfitters, Higher Path, Hollyweed, Pipe Dreams, The Growcery, The Pottery and Uncle Herb’s. Los Angeles has nearly 200 licensed marijuana dispensaries and more than 900 licensed sellers. At a fee of $4,233 per license, that’s quite a haul for the city.

In the 2020 election, four new states legalized marijuana. This brought the total number of weed-legal states to 15. Weed has never been easier and cheaper…


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The 1972 Lakers won 33 consecutive games, a record to this day.

The streak began on an ominous note. It was November 5, 1971 and Coach Bill Sharman approached Elgin Baylor with an ultimatum. The Los Angeles Lakers were 6–3 but Sharman was disappointed in the team’s play. He wanted a fast-break style and Baylor was slowing down the offense.

Sharman told Baylor, “Elgin, I feel terrible, but I know you have a bad leg… so I thought I’d bring you in as a substitute.” Baylor replied, “I don’t want to be a substitute and I’m still injured so it’s best that I retire.” …


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Academy Award winning actor Jack Palance was once a professional boxer.

Yes, he was this scary in person. I worked with Jack Palance in 1992 on the television series Legends of the West. He was intimidating. His height, his sharp cheekbones, his intense silence — all added to an aura of quiet menace. When I gained the courage to speak with him I learned his silence was merely shyness. He told me about his fondness for watercolor painting, his love of poetry, his huge cattle ranch in Bakersfield. He shared concerns over his son Cody who was battling drug addiction (Cody worked as a stuntman on the show.) …


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Paint pigments at a market stall in India.

The Scream is fading. Edvard Munch’s 1893 painting depicting a shrieking, agonized face is slowly losing it’s vibrancy. Yellows are fading to white and tiny pieces of paint are flaking away. A similar thing is happening with Van Gogh’s Field of Irises Near Arles. The once vivid chrome yellow has faded to a dullish brown. Another Van Gogh piece, The Bedroom, originally featured soft purple walls. The red pigment has broken down and the walls are now blue.

Van Gogh and Munch lived during a time of revolutionary change in the art world. Progress in the chemical industry introduced pre-made…


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My father was experiencing pain in the middle and index finger of his right hand. His doctor said it was likely arthritis and recommended Tylenol and hot and cold compresses. My father followed instructions but the pain grew worse until he couldn’t bend his fingers. He went to a hand specialist. Tests were negative and the diagnosis was the same: arthritic joints due to aging.

I suggested my dad visit the applied kinesiologist I’d been seeing for several years to treat my headaches and allergies. My father was resistant. He was a traditionalist committed to western medicine and he viewed…


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Beat Generation Author Jack Kerouac (1956).

In the winter of 1948, Jack Kerouac went on his famous cross-country road trip with Neal Cassady. They visited old friends, all-night cafes, broken down bars and forgotten towns. They acquired food, money and gas by whatever means possible, and arrived in San Francisco in 1949 broke and exhausted.

Reflecting on his journey, Kerouac experimented with a frenetic, Benzedrine-fueled writing style he called “Self Ultimacy.” He’d fall into a deep trance and write with chaotic speed, channeling spontaneous prose that jibed with the ethos of “first thought best thought.” Like the surrealists, Kerouac believed in the William James construct that…


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Film Director John “Bud” Cardos.

John “Bud” Cardos is a filmmaking renaissance man. Known for directing horror films, he’s worked as an actor, stunt man, teamster driver, assistant director, special effects coordinator, production manager, art director and animal wrangler. Quentin Tarantino called Cardos his favorite western stuntman saying, “Cardos is one of those dusty drinks of water who comes riding out of the chute on the back of a two-ton beast frothing at the mouth, bent on throwing him into the muck and stomping the shit out of him.”

Bud and my father were close friends. They made three horror films together, my father producing…

Loren Kantor

Loren is a writer and woodcut artist based in Los Angeles. He teaches printmaking and creative writing to kids and adults.

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