‘Truly a columnist’s columnist’

Photo by Gustavo Arellano

I had dinner in Santa Ana two weekends ago with journalist and LA Times columnist Gustavo Arellano, writer Susan Straight and journalist Cynthia Rebolledo after Gustavo and Susan’s event at LibroMobile, the subject of my column last Friday. Gustavo, seated across from me, asked to take my photo after our food arrived but before I dug in. I agreed, without asking why.

Well! On Saturday morning, a week later, I opened Gustavo’s weekly newsletter, to which I subscribe, to find that he’d featured me. Gosh! He wrote about the event, our dinner and our long association. And he used the restaurant photo seen above. Ha! I like the picture; I think it captures my amused tolerance.

Gustavo’s write-up about me is very generous, with lines like these: “He’s the best type of columnist, too – the one that gets better as the years go on, that continues to learn and documents a region until you don’t know a region unless you know the columnist.”

It’s not for me to say if any of that’s true, but certainly I continue to learn, I like to think I’ve gotten better and if I’m a must-read, well, that’s a goal, albeit one that to my mind remains elusive. (Especially given the very poor reader numbers for my column on the Santa Ana event, cough.) You can read his newsletter here and judge for yourself.

And Gustavo: thank you!

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