Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Off to Antarctica, South Orkneys, South Georgia and The Falklands, So Long Until March 4

I'm off today on a cruise, to Antarctica, the South Orkney Islands, South Georgia and the Falklands. Lindblad tells me there's no direct ties on its ship, MS Endeavor, to the Internet, so unless I can find a way to access it, this might be one of the last blogs until March 4. I don't expect to find too many Internet cafes in Antarctica, although on most trips I've found some do0zies. I once found one in Buenos Aires that charged just four cents an hour. But the big hotels charge up to $20 an hour.

There are darn few hotels on this trip once we sail out of Ushuaia, Argentina, pass Cape Horn and set out across the Drake Passage.

I'm particularly looking forward beyond Antarctica to reaching Port Stanley in the Falklands. If I can find an Internet Cafe there, you may hear from me taking issue with a Times editorial, if I've heard of any. In any case, I remember how closely Burt Folkart, the late obituaries writer of the LAT, who sat next to me for many years, and I followed Britain's fortunes in the Falklands war. It hardly seems it could have happened more than 20 years ago.

The day the Royal Navy ship, the Sheffield, was hit, the New York Times assigned both of its British experts to do pieces on what prospects in the war were henceforth.

R.W. Apple, who had served as a correspondent in London, and was a dove on both sides of the Atlantic, wrote that the loss of the Sheffield would mean Britain would lose heart and give up the war. That's what the L.A. Times editorial page, always ready to give up, kind of thought, too.

Drew Middleton, the NYT's longtime London correspondent and later its military writer, wrote that Britain would gain new determination and go ahead and press the war to victory.

Of course, Middleton was right. He knew the British better than Apple.

The LAT has extended obituary coverage these days beyond what Folkart would ever have imagined, with such outstanding writers as Jon Thurber, Myrna Oliver and Elaine Woo. It's one of the newspaper's solid features at present, and it's one of the few that Tribune cutbacks have not yet been able to adversely impact. In the Iraq war, it tries to at least do a paragraph on every lost American soldier, and full articles on all the lost Californians.

But Folkart had his own inimitable style. His obituary of the great American artist, Georgia O'Keefe, stands out, and Burt was hard to fool. He had a real feel for the phonies, and although I used to kid him about his downplaying of the virtues of the Duchess of Windsor, Burt insisted that he was right about her: The Duchess, he felt, was not up to the standards of the Royal Family, and, of course, the Duke of Windsor was too close to the Nazies.

Burt had no taste for the scut work that went with being the obituaries writer. "Now, to the little crap," he would sigh, while I teased him about his disdain for the less glorious of the dead. He always insisted his time and Times space were too valuable to write about prominent people's relatives, and most of the time he would keep those people out.

Yet Burt was also softhearted. He would show up for the funerals of many Times staffers and often gave touching little eulogies. There were rumors too that he was not above seducing a widow on occasion. In the retired employees' association, Burt was a true old Fart. He was gone before Otis Chandler tried to induce the group to change its name for decentcy reasons, but Burt certainly would have been part of the large majority that refused.

I remember him fondly. It was always a privilege to be his pod mate, and I was for nearly two decades. May he rest in peace.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Elsa Pauley said...

Dear Ken -- I was trying to reach you, had forgotten that you'd retired, because had sad news again about another Pauley, this time Buzz, who died last Friday, February 18th. I'm working on getting his obituary into the Times, and wanted your help/advice. Now I see that you're off on a cruise which sounds wonderful. Hope you have a terrific time. I'll copy into this comment the obituary which the family, myself included, has written, just for your information. If you want to get in touch, my email address is elsapauley@hotmail.com. Home phone remains (310) 472-7812. Dale and I remain well and happy. I'm looking forward to retirement in 2007. ElsaOBITUARY
ROBERT VAN PETTEN "BUZZ" PAULEY

Robert Van Petten ("Buzz") Pauley died unexpectedly early Friday morning, February 18, 2005. He was 60 years old. He suffered fatal head injuries in a single vehicle auto crash near his home in the Santa Rosa area of northern California.
Buzz was born in Los Angeles, June 10, 1944. He lived there for most of his life until he relocated to Santa Rosa in 1982. He was the son on Edwin Wendell Pauley and Barbara McHenry Pauley, both now deceased. Edwin W. Pauley was the founder of Pauley Petroleum, Ambassador of Reparations after W.W.II, and a member of the University of California Board of Regents for 32 years.
After graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1967, Buzz pursued his dream of a political career. In 1968-69 he was a Coro Foundation fellow, and subsequently received his masters’ degree in political science from Occidental College in 1969. Although a lifelong Democrat, Buzz was appointed to serve under Republican Robert Finch as Assistant to the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) in Washington, D.C. from 1969-70. After returning to Los Angeles in 1970 he twice ran for elective office; first, for a seat on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees in 1971, and then for a seat in the California State Senate in 1974. He was also highly involved in Jimmy Carter’s 1976 Presidential campaign, and loved to tell people that Jimmy babysat his children for a short time while Carter was campaigning in Los Angeles.
After moving to Santa Rosa, his interests were focused primarily on business and community projects in that area. Like his father, Buzz displayed an uncanny ability to select business opportunities that prospered. He was able to merge that with his heritage of civic involvement and became well-known, well-respected, and well-loved by the greater Santa Rosa community. He correctly anticipated that the Pacific Rim, Japan in particular, would develop more interest in California’s wines, and so he founded Pauley Liquid Exports, a company which exported California wines to the Far East. He was also one of the founders of Sonoma National Bank, and served as a director from the bank’s opening in 1985. His devotion to the bank’s evolution into a regional powerhouse required weekly service, and he was justly proud of that evolution. At one point Buzz was the bank’s largest shareholder. He owned property and was highly involved in the proposed redevelopment of downtown Santa Rosa. He founded and contributed financially to The Heart of Santa Rosa, a non-profit organization devoted to the redevelopment and reuse of downtown, and believed that the city would be best served by adhering to a mixed-use model for redevelopment.
He was a philanthropist and was active in various causes. In the 1970’s he was the founding president of the California Children’s Lobby, an advocacy group for child seatbelt safety, and sat on the board of Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School in Pasadena. More recently in Santa Rosa he gave generously of his time and financial resources to Big Brothers, Sixth Street Playhouse, and the Sonoma Land Trust, as well as other worthy projects.
Buzz had a love of animals, jazz, and sports, in addition to his family. He enjoyed playing with his dogs and went so far as to hand-carry Koi fish from Japan to his pond in Santa Rosa. He could play piano by ear, copied the style of Bill Evans on occasion, and could muster a pretty decent imitation of Ray Charles when inspired. He was a loyal friend and loved to tell jokes, often self-deprecating. To celebrate his 50th birthday, Buzz and ten high school buddies rafted the Colorado River, and Buzz had everyone in stitches as he sang songs around the campfire. In high school, he was a halfback on the football team and a winning sprinter on the track team, and his love of football glued him to the TV Sundays and Monday nights. He was a big man, with a lot of heart who loved all his children and grandchildren very much.
Buzz is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Joanne Pauley; his daughter and son-in-law, Tasha and Andrew Pauley Baum; his stepdaughter, Courtney King; his two grandsons, Truman Doyle Pauley and Wilson Pauley Baum; his two ex-wives, Elsa Pauley Johnston and Kimberly King Pauley; his brother, Stephen McHenry Pauley; and his sister, Susan Pauley French.
There were be a memorial service for Buzz in Santa Rosa at 2 P.M., Saturday, February 26th, at the Paradise Ridge Winery, 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Sonoma County, 5685 Rohnert Park, CA 94928.

2/21/2005 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Howard Rosenberg said...

Ken: Thank you for the mention in your blog. I absolutely agree with your comments about Anderson Cooper and the rest of CNN. Thumbs down, all the way. However, I must make one correction. In my talk before the Old Farts, I never said the Times has no TV critic. It does--Paul Rosenfield. What I said was the job of TV critic has been downgraded, which has nothing to do with the staff's talent, but everything to do with the philosophy of management which, in my view, undervalues the uniqueness of TV in our culture. What I also said--a quote I'll stand by--was that Calendar's TV coverage, in its totality, now sucks.

3/08/2005 6:11 PM  
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