Rick Thomas

Rick Thomas
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Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.

A World Less Certain | Brothers of the Craft (Part 1)

Depending on your age, the pandemic has become a time to consider the road you're on. If you are still young, the pandemic is like flipping the "kill switch" to our everyday lives. Now, there...

A World Less Certain | How to Swim with Office Sharks

A workmate once told me that office management wants us at our desks plugged into the Corporate Matrix. "Cubicles are like squares in a giant waffle iron," she added. "We exist in a griddle...

A World Less Certain | Mamba Forever

Lakers legends walk among us in the City of Angels. Until, one day, they become life-size action figures cast in bronze at the “House that Kobe Built.” The tragedy, a year ago this week, left...

A World Less Certain | The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Like many of you, I have an insatiable itch to time travel and explore the universe. Don’t all children of the sun living in La La Land?  In the late 1970s, though, it became...

A World Less Certain | It’s Time To Put The GOP Out Of Its...

A hypothetical conversation between friends over text. BERNARD’S TEXT TO A FRIEND Trump supporters ransacked the Capitol last week. Not the Capitol Records building in Hollywood (Democrats' Fundraising Capital). Ha ha. I'm not surprised. Both parties...

A World Less Certain | Mother Mary

My mother's birthday is Monday. She suffers from the advance stages of emphysema. Sometimes she reminds me of a goldfish, mouth opening wide, trying to breathe air as dense as water. Since March, she...

A World Less Certain | Why Kill If We Don’t Have To?

Thou shalt not kill unless it wears feathers, fur, or fins. We grow trees to be cut down, raise animals to be slaughtered, and give praise to a human-like God without proof of His (not...

A World Less Certain | Raising Baby Mozart (Part 3)

Children need exposure to extremes and opposites. A steady diet of anything too structured or too permissive is not what I'm suggesting. It's best to have both together. In a word: balance. No Baby Talk Your...

A World Less Certain | Raising Baby Mozart (Part 2)

In 1984, while attending college, I went to see the movie Amadeus. I wrote a poem about the scene after Mozart died. He was only 35 years old. I submitted the piece to a...

A World Less Certain | Raising Baby Mozart (Part 1)

It’s BS to believe that talent or skill, or even intelligence, can be enhanced by playing Mozart music – or any other European “dead composer” works – to a baby. It may help put...

A World Less Certain | The Urban-Rural Alliance Party (Part 2)

Be honest. How are you spending this Thanksgiving? There are probably fewer people at your table this year. Social gatherings – limited to close friends and family – still may invite the killer virus...

A World Less Certain | The Urban-Rural Alliance Party (Part 1)

There is a narrative about America that many believe in this country, and is shared by many more on this planet: the United States of America is the land of opportunity. Through hard work...

A World Less Certain | Blue Velvet Politics

Joe Biden gazes up to Heaven giving thanks for his victory in the 2020 election. “Dude,” God replies, “you should thank the Golden State. California’s 55 electoral votes alone are more than 11 West/Midwest states’...

A World Less Certain | REVOLUTION.

The American political system is transforming in historic fashion. More than any time (since the eve of the Civil War), this election is a referendum on our American way of life. Our great civilization offers...

A World Less Certain | The Day I Met Ray Bradbury

My publisher arranged for me to appear at the Duarte Festival of Authors on October 4, 2008, to promote my four regional history books. I met Ray Bradbury for the first time in the...

A World Less Certain | Revenge of the Wallflowers

You probably know if you fit the personality profile of a wallflower. If you’re not one of us, maybe you’re curious to learn more. We’re fascinating individuals. You’ll probably find our antics amusing, perhaps...

A World Less Certain | Eruption

This morning I walked our family dog, Sukie, to my neighbor’s house – the frontman David Lee Roth of the legendary rock band Van Halen. Sukie felt the urge to poop on his lawn,...

A World Less Certain | Believe It or Not!

Democrats and liberals, Republicans and conservatives. Blah, blah, blah. While heading for the home stretch of the 2020 presidential campaign, let’s take a short break from our COVID-laden lives to visit this year’s political...

A World Less Certain | A Penny for Your Thoughts

Getting to know yourself better during difficult times is the basis of a quiz I made up. If you're game, let's have some fun! Make a list. Here's the kicker: you can't be concerned about...

A World Less Certain | Wheelchair Unbound

During times of darkness, the written word can burn so bright that it lights the path to a common understanding. Despite those who claim “we are all in this together” during the pandemic, we’re...

A World Less Certain | Apocalypse Now

Los Angeles and the valleys are choking in smoke. So thick, the sun is amber, and the view from my loft is sickly yellow. It’s been like this for days. The forests are burning...

A World Less Certain | What I Tell My Daughters

I have collected little nuggets of wisdom over the years. A treasure trove of fatherly advice I share with my daughters. Some of their favorites are listed below. If you want everyone to know your...

A World Less Certain | Brookside Park

Last week, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The incident immediately prompted a boycott by three NBA playoff teams currently “in the bubble”...

A World Less Certain | Ending History Class as You Know It

Last week I drove my ’57 Chevy to the history museum in town. I secured my mask, and then my fingers got a mind of their own, pecking furiously on my laptop. While I...

A World Less Certain | American History 101

We often learn about our history in lessons with catchy titles such as “Manifest Destiny.” "The Turbulent 60s” contains the narrative of the civil rights movements, Vietnam War, assassination of JFK, Cuban Missile Crisis,...

A World Less Certain | Helping to Heal Wounded Knee

Massacre at Wounded Knee – A Family Journey My mother read stories to me as a child about the American Indian chiefs. My bedroom walls were covered with their images while I was growing up....

A World Less Certain | Basketball Saves Lives

The signs were there. It was only a matter of time before the Americas would be hit hard by COVID-19. It was inevitable: the bureaucratic embolism of denial from federal, state, county, and city...

A World Less Certain | Enter The Zoom Room

Finding a “happy space” is sometimes referred to as a trouble-free mindset or a physical space where you can kick back and chill out. The Happy Room While supervising a call center team, management converted a...

A World Less Certain | Time Warp

Everything is crazy now. Opening up. Shutting down. Back to work. Shelter in place. Walking around. Covering our face. The pandemic lifestyle is like being trapped in a revolving door. Every day feels like the day before. In the...

A World Less Certain | Kiss the Kiss Goodbye?

The hug. The handshake. The kiss. Will humans reinvent them, or morph them into something new? Perhaps the air-hug replaces a real hug, an elbow bump takes the place of a handshake, and a...
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