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Souvenirs! Comment on this post ↓
April 29th, 2013 by Warren Swil

Carbajal caricature from 1994 is my all-time favourite (sic)

Of all the memorabilia adorning the walls of my home office, the “Smooking toon” is my favorite.

Ed Carbajal, the who drew it, was the Editorial Cartoonist for the Glendale News-Press in 1994. I was the “Community Forum” (what we called the Opinion pages) editor, and Steve Rosenberg was the News Editor.

It was just after the company was purchased by Times-Mirror, Corp, six years before the Chandler clan sold that august family of titles to Tribune Co. for $8 billion.

The then-rather-unique Glendale Galleria – which may have been the original mega-mall catering to an upscale clientele, but which has since been copied nationwide – imposed a ban on cigarette smoking.

Yes: don’t lecture me! The pack sitting next to the keyboard is rather “mild” – not the tobacco, the Surgeon General’s warning: “Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide,” it says, as if most smokers even know what carbon monoxide is and what it can, potentially, do.

With our office just a five minute walk from The Galleria, we often took lunch there. No more, for me.

The smoking ‘toon hangs on the wall (with my Certificate of Acknowledgement on my promotion to Assistant Professor from PCC in 2011) at a 45-degree angle from where I sit typing this caption.

One of the most regrettable aspects of life in Southern California is how few of the magnificent eateries (and we have zillions, from buck-a-plate to Spago) take advantage of the year-round good weather to accommodate diners with outdoor seating.

Since 1994, the situation has improved, especially in West Hollywood, where it took the new city (incorporated only in 1984) some five years to rebuild Santa Monica Boulevard from Doheny to La Cienaga Avenue. The sidewalks were widened, the street narrowed, a median strip 20 feet wide in parts was laid down the middle, with lush green grass and now-handsome trees planted.

WeHo got the message. Glendale, and not even the ever-popular and crowded tourist mecca of Old Town Pasadena did.
Still, there are few outdoor restaurants within 20 miles of Pasadena.
Where is a smoker to go?

(I heard you say, “Home! To foul up his own air! And, no one else’s!)

So Steve wrote the pro, and I wrote the con.
What a marvelous job Carbajal did of the editorial cartoon.
Not only do I have two cigarettes in one hand, I have another in my mouth! Steve, of course, has a halo! And there’s the lil’ ol’ Galleria, poking is (enormous) glass entryway through the two of us.
This is such a precious memento, I posted it on Steve’s Facebook page a few days ago. No response. I guess it is meaningless to him. Or he hates me?  We have not had contact for many years, so there is much water under the bridge.
If it was my fault, Steve, forgive me. Please?



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