Letters – December 27, 2019

Praise for Pablo 

Referring to my article, 1930s Bring Changes to Topanga (Nov. 29, 2019), Pacific Palisades historian Randy Young wrote: “I just read your article and I loved it. Really, you have a talent for telling a riveting historical story that is well thought out and accurate.” Again, at the Palisades Historical Society Christmas party, he surprised me by including more praise for my articles in his speech. He said how glad he felt that I was seriously researching the local history resources that the Society had done so much to make available. He held up the Messenger Mountain News as an example of a great small-town newspaper and asked why the Palisadian Post wasn’t publishing stories like these. What an honor for you and me!

-Pablo Capra, Brass Tacks Press


Topanga Vintage Market Loves Us, Too

Always proud to be featured in the Messenger Mountain News. This great newspaper is little known outside of the canyon but essential for anyone who wants to know what’s happening in the Santa Monica Mountains. TVM happens the fourth Sunday of every month. Continue your treasure hunt next year beginning January 26, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Patrice Curedale & Lorri Rotblatt


Dear Mr. Morgan:

Thanks again for another great piece in the Messenger Mountain News. It is an article which resonates with my own interest in Black History and books I’ve read this year, among them, The Girl Stands at the Door (2018) by Rachel Devlin. I’m currently reading for the LA County Law Library Book Discussion Group Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster, by Stephen L. Carter, [recommended by] the group’s founder, law librarian Katie O’Laughlin. 

She elaborated on the book’s author: “Carter, a Yale law professor and bestselling author, tells the true story of his grandmother, Eunice Hunton Carter, a black woman, granddaughter of slaves, graduate of Smith College, and a prosecutor, an unlikely combination in 1930’s New York City. When special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey selected 20 lawyers to help him clean up the city’s underworld, she was the only member of the team who was not a white male. Without the strategy that she devised, Lucky Luciano, the most powerful mob boss in history, would not have been convicted. Carter’s rise in the legal profession was complicated by her difficult relationship with her younger brother, Alphaeus, an avowed communist who went to prison during the McCarthy era with his friend, Dashiell Hammett.”

Katie picks six books each year with a central theme. This year was “Women and the Law” and also included Sisters in Law, a dual biography of Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor, and No Visible Bruises regarding Domestic Violence.

Both of those books are riveting descriptions of the Black experience and opened my eyes to see how courageous, diligent, organized and effective African Americans were in seeking “advancement” for their personal growth and their race.

I was particularly moved by your article because it touched on the African American experience and because I just retired in July as a Criminal Defense Attorney (42 years) with a heavy African American and Hispanic clientele. Many of my most helpful mentors were legendary Black lawyers and judges headquartered in Los Angeles.

Please keep up your great work. The first thing I look for when I receive the Messenger Mountain News is your column.

Gregory P, Humphries


Editor’s Note: Interested parties may register for the discussion at: lalawlibrary.org/index.php/component/dtregister/?controller=event&task=options&Itemid=99999&eventId=3007.  The first discussion of 2020 explores “Voting in America” on Tuesday, February 25, 6:30–8 p.m. with Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, by Ari Berman.


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