June 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Madeleine Brand Visits The Parish of St. Matthew in Pacific Palisades

Lawry Meister, Madeleine Brand and Reverand Betsy AndersonMadeleine Brand, one of NPR’s brightest stars and host of KPCC’s home grown radio hour, “The Madeleine Brand Show” was like a rock star to the assembled crowd who were engrossed by her charming, knowledgeable presentation.

Lawry Meister, a long-time parishioner introduced Ms. Brand with an admission shared by many attendees, “I am a public radio addict. If I time it just right, I can catch Madeleine Brand on the way to work,” said Meister clearly reveling in her proximity to a rock star for our middle aged set.

While I was tempted to find a lighter and hold its flame aloft, instead I joined fellow guests and enjoyed the contact high from Balsamic vinegar and caffeine versus the possibility sought after high from that quasi legal, possibly-taxable substance of decades gone by.
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Brand presented two stories from her show which has been on the air since September making it,”about five months old and past the colicky stage.” The roomful of fans sat riveted as she played a 12 minute story about a deadly tragedy at the Los Angeles River in 1980. On a fateful day, Nancy Rigg lost her fiance Earl Higgins who died saving James Ventrillo, a then 10 year old boy who had ridden his bike to close to the sudden swift waters of the LA River. Ventrillo and Rigg allowed Brand and crew to record their first meeting which was heartbreaking for Rigg, who has made creating swift water rescue teams a life mission, and Ventrillo who is still haunted by Higgins’ death. Brand followed up with a shorter and more uplifting story which featured her favorite marine biologist, Pat Krug, on an outing to the Palos Verdes tide pBrand talks to a parishoner after her presentationools with Brand and her family.

Moved to tears and laughter, the audience truly enjoyed the power of good story telling. Following these excerpts from Brand’s show, she took questions from the audience which she answered with candor and humor reassuring all that we have much better taste in rock stars than we did in our youth.

For more information on the Parish of St. Matthew: http://www.stmatthews.com/

For more information on Madeleine Brand:
http://www.scpr.org/programs/madeleine-brand/

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