Downtown Los Angeles
350 S Bixol Street
The Chamber of Commerce Building
Thirty minutes shy of noon
On a hot Monday in July
There was around eight men in that conference/banquet room (of which I was easily the oldest), and about twenty-five women between the ages of 25 and 55. Luckily we were not there to dance.
Wendi Gladstone, Diana Sprout and I, all members of the Sky Valley Volunteers, along with a diverse group of invitees and panelists, were assembled to save the world, or at least the greater Los Angeles area.
Environmental education, restoration and the next generation was the broad concern. Survival of the planet was the subliminal message heard, but not spoken.
The first order of business was lunch. Salad on the left, fancy pastries on the right and, in between, quality taco fixin’s. This included thin cuts of baked chicken with a mild cheese melt along with fresh guacamole. It was a fine lunch provided by our hosts: TreePeople, The Boeing Company and the L.A. Chamber of Commerce.
Then I was wondering what Jonathan Gold, the L.A. Times food critic who died two days earlier, would think of the food. I imagined him joining us; returning for seconds with a broad smile leading the way back to the buffet. Scheduled to be on today’s panel was his brother, Dr. Mark Gold, UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability as well as past President of Heal the Bay. We will never know what we missed. The three other panelists made up for Mark Gold’s absence. His brother, the food critic, will be greatly missed by family, friends, as well as an industry and a city. His voice will not be replaced.