Pasadena’s Gamble House, an early 1900s Arts & Crafts masterpiece by Greene & Greene that Mom & I toured as well.

I couldn’t, and I wouldn’t want to, deny my basic American-ness. It’s who I am, it’s where I grew up, and it’s what I know best. But I remain chagrined that so few Americans, citizens of the country that so dominates global decisions and economies, bother to get really outside our country and see, firsthand, more of the world that’s so affected by our daily decisions and periodic electoral votes. Thomas Jefferson felt democracy works best when only educated citizens can vote. If citizens of the world had a choice, I suspect they’d think Americans – whose votes directly affect lives far beyond our borders – should be required to pass some basic tests in world events, history and politics in order to earn and retain the right to vote. Or, at the very least, some basic tests in the history of American foreign policy. Instead, we have a president who revels in his lack of understanding of global issues, and a populace that seems to think this is just fine.

I’ll end with a few miscellaneous images from the summer: inside and outside views of the LA Central Public Library, one of my favorite downtown buildings; and, below, pure pandering to some of my audience: shots of Dmitry Tursunov – one of my favorite tennis players because of his game, his personality, his looks and yes, his body – warming up at the LA tennis tournament I spent the better part of a week spectating in July. One friend describes Tursonov as being “the closest of all the men on tour to the Greek god ideal.” Yeah, there’s that.

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