Discover fascinating L.A. crime, noir, art, architecture and political lore at LAVA’s free Sunday Salon and Broadway On My Mind

For immediate release

March 20, 2014

Discover fascinating L.A. crime, noir, art, architecture and political lore at LAVA’s free Sunday Salon and Broadway On My Mind walking tour

WHO: Presented by LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association.
WHAT: This month, the LAVA Sunday Salon cultural speaker’s series offers a Los Angeles history program featuring Kim Cooper talking about “The Kept Girl” (Esotouric Ink), her fact-based 1920s mystery novel starring Raymond Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe, “Kept Girl” cover artist Paul Rogers on his creative process for turning historic L.A. landmarks into contemporary images, and historian Tom Sitton sharing a rogues gallery of early Southern California politicians.
WHEN: Sunday, March 30, 12pm-2pm followed by Richard Schave’s free Broadway On My Mind architectural walking tour of Claud Beelman’s Art Deco work, including the Eastern Columbia Building, at 2:30pm. LAVA Salons fall on the last Sunday of the month.
WHERE: Mezzanine level, Les Noces du Figaro restaurant, 618 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA, 90014.
COST: Free, no reservations required for Salon attendance. Walking tour is also free, with reservations required.
GENERAL LAVA SUNDAY SALON INFO: http://lavatransforms.org/lavasalonsfigaro
MARCH 30 SALON INFO: http://lavatransforms.org/salon314
WALKING TOUR INFO: http://lavatransforms.org/flaneur-broadway-on-my-mind-7
CONTACT: Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947

LOS ANGELES- Launched in 2010 by Richard Schave and Kim Cooper, the proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures, the creative consortium LAVA (The Los Angeles Visionaries Association) has established itself as one of the city’s most intriguing arts collectives, with a calendar packed with compelling, offbeat urban events and an ever-growing list of notable Visionary contributors.

Once a month, on the last Sunday, LAVA hosts a free curated series of cultural presentations, the LAVA Sunday Salon. The popular program feature talks and performances from a remarkable collection of writers, musicians, visual artists, historians, clowns, archivists, collectors, fashion designers, curators, theater companies, fortune tellers, film directors, educators, preservationists and scientists. Formerly held at Clifton’s Cafeteria, , the LAVA Sunday Salon remains on Broadway in the mezzanine of the restaurant Les Noces du Figaro, the former site of Schaber’s Cafeteria.

LAVA’s Sunday Salon is one of the hottest (free) tickets for urban explorers seeking intelligent conversation, connection and inspiration—it is an incubator for the most exciting ideas and research celebrating Los Angeles history and culture.

The LAVA Sunday Salon returns on Sunday, March 30 from noon-2pm, and all are welcome to dine together and socialize, or attend compelling presentations by LAVA Visionaries, followed by a free Broadway architecture tour highlighting Claud Beelman’s Art Deco work, hosted by LAVA co-founder Richard Schave.

PRESENTERS AT THE MARCH 30, 2014 LAVA SUNDAY SALON

1) Join historian TOM SITTON for a presentation on the colorful history of Los Angeles County politics.

In its first century of existence, beginning in 1850, Los Angeles County government evolved from a frontier institution with only a few constituents, a meager treasury and few duties, to an early American “urban county” and an innovator in local government at this level. The issues faced by the county’s leadership in the form of the Board of Supervisors had a profound effect on the economy and quality of life in what would become the most populous county in the nation. Many of these challenges, as examined in Tom Sitton’s book “The Courthouse Crowd: Los Angeles County and its Government, 1850-1950” would persist in the post-World War II era and are still apparent today. In his presentation, author Tom Sitton will discuss a few of these issues and some of the increasingly powerful Supervisors who faced them, share a colorful “rogues’ gallery” of some of the most corrupt politicians in the region’s history, and describe how the book was written.

2) Join author KIM COOPER and illustrator PAUL ROGERS for a joint presentation centered around “The Kept Girl” (Esotouric Ink, 2014), LAVA co-founder Kim Cooper’s novel of 1929 Los Angeles starring the young Raymond Chandler, his devoted secretary and the real-life cop who is a likely model for Philip Marlowe

Kim Cooper will dig deep into her novel’s true crime and literary inspirations and the process of bringing the book to press in its deluxe Subscriber’s Edition. Artist Paul Rogers will discuss his art deco-style cover art for “The Kept Girl” (inspired by the mid-century designs of E. McKnight-Kauffer), then move into a more freeform discussion of his often historic L.A.-themed creative process, from the germ of an idea, to photos, sketches, all the way to a complete series of prints.

LINKS
Kim Cooper’s “The Kept Girl”
http://www.thekeptgirl.com

Paul Rogers on his cover design for “The Kept Girl”
http://drawger.com/paulrogers/?section=articles&article_id=14749

AFTER THE SALONBROADWAY ON MY MIND WALKING TOUR
Free, reservations required from
http://lavatransforms.org/flaneur-broadway-on-my-mind-7

The seventh in Richard Schave’s series of monthly Broadway walking tours departs from Les Noces du Figaro and leads south, with a focus on the Art Deco buildings designed by Claud Beelman around the intersection of 8th & Broadway. The goal of these tours is to explore the history of the built environment on Broadway, while seeking to understand the scope of the work of Strategy One, Phase One of the Broadway Streetscape Master Plan and the “Road Diet,” which has recently begun.

Photos and video from some past LAVA Sunday Salons are here:

LISTING OF PAST SUNDAY SALONS AT FIGARO:
http://lavatransforms.org/lavasalonsfigaro

LISTING OF PAST SUNDAY SALONS AT CLIFTON’S CAFETERIA:
http://lavatransforms.org/cliftonsalons

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS ON VIDEO AND IN PHOTOS:

“Old Bunker Hill: One Family’s Perspective” (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EloQciq6SbI

IAN WHITCOMB (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94lPdqRcXVs

CACOPHONY SOCIETY / GENE SCULATTI / IAN WHITCOMB (video): http://lavatransforms.org/salonvideo311

MESMERELDA, THE SKID ROW MISFORTUNE TELLER (video): http://lavatransforms.org/hauntsandhorrors

GENE SCULATTI’S FOLK ART SCROLL (photos):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardschave/sets/72157623729484726/

JOAN RENNER’S COSMETIC EPHEMERA COLLECTION (photos):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardschave/sets/72157624174080520/

ABOUT LAVA: Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA’s creative partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in their work. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPER—proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog series (including On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land)—LAVA brings together L.A.‘s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers. The first crop of Visionaries in the growing curated community includes cultural chronicler ADRIENNE CREW, artist and Eastside historian AL GUERRERO, Cacophony Society co-founder AL RIDENOUR, avant garde fashion maven A. LAURA BRODY, poet/publisher ALEIDA RODRIGUEZ, back-to-nature pioneer ALICIA BAY LAUREL, filmmaker ALLISON ANDERS, writer/curator ALLON SCHOENER, designer/mom of Chicken Boy AMY INOUYE, actor/musician ANDY BEN, custom tours maven ANNE BLOCK, documentarian/radio producer ANTHEA RAYMOND, author/gallerist APRIL DAMMANN, memoirist BARBARA KRAFT, pop culture historian BECKY EBENKAMP, ethnomusicologist BETO GONZALEZ, puppeteer BOB BAKER, tile historian BRIAN KAISER, producer/promoter CHRISTIAN VOLTAIRE MEOLI, cultural events programmer CHRISTINA GALANTE, musician COUNT SMOKULA, performance artist CRIMEBO THE CLOWN, writer/Libros Schmibros proprietor DAVID KIPEN, Novelist DAVID ROCKLIN, forensic educator DEREK PACIFICO, literary curator D.M. COLLINS, sculptor DONALD GIALANELLA, forensic scientist/educator DONALD JOHNSON, author/educator DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY, educator and historic cemetery board member DWAIN CARLO CRUM, artist ELENA MARY SIFF, documentarian ELIJAH DRENNER, conversation curator ERIC VOLLMER, social connector EVONNE HEYNING, musician/performance artist FEATHERBEARD, photographer GARY LEONARD, pop critic/outsider artist GENE SCULATTI, musician/artist GEORGE EARTH, songsmith HARVEY SID FISHER, theater director HOLLY WITHAM, musician/writer IAN WHITCOMB, artist JASON HADLEY, food blogger JAVIER CABRAL, musician JEFF BOYNTON, filmmaker JEREMY KASTEN, musician JIMI CABEZA DE VACA, social historian JOAN RENNER, writer/artist JOE OESTERLE, writer JOHN BUNTIN, filmmaker JON ALLOWAY, documentarian JOHN DULLAGHAN, Musso & Frank co-owner JORDAN JONES, performance artist JULES ROCHIELLE, cemetery historian KARIE BIBLE. curator JULIE RICO, cultural curator and writer KIM OHANNESON, “Kristin’s List” cultural chronicler KRISTIN BEDFORD, songstress/prognosticator MADAME PAMITA, esoteric scholar MAJA D’AOUST, author/broadcaster MANNY PACHECO, writer MARGUERITE DARLINGTON, performer McCRISTOL HARRIS, visual artist MELVIN HALE, journalist MICHAEL LINDER, photographic archivist MICHAEL RISNER, poet/dancer MONA JEAN CEDAR, architectural historian NATHAN MARSAK, writer NEAL POLLOCK, theater director NICHOLAS HOSKING, L.A. Historic Theater Foundation rep NICK MATONAK, music producer NO’A WINTER LAZERUS, musician OCTAVIUS, writer /photographer /musician PAUL KOUDOUNARIS, peace activist PAUL NUGENT of the Aetherius Society, 3-D photography expert RAY 3D ZONE, activist and performer RD PLASSCHAERT, historic ghost seeker RICHARD CARRADINE, artist/musician RICH POLYSORBATE 60, filmmaker/preservationist ROSS LIPMAN, singer-songwriter RUTHANN FRIEDMAN, poet S.A. GRIFFIN, ghost hunter SARAH TROOP, social networking mistress SHAWNA DAWSON, painter/gallerist SUSAN DOBAY, artist/writer/activist SUSANNA DAKIN, Warhol star and writer TERE TEREBA, sculptor TOM WALKER, musical entertainer THE UKULADY, and hat designer YASMIN DIXON.

Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at http://lavatransforms.org/apply

To learn more about LAVA, please visit http://www.lavatransforms.org

LAVA founders Kim Cooper and Richard Schave and most of LAVA’s Visionary members are available for interviews. Contact Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947.

Twenty years after his death, L.A. poets celebrate Charles Bukowski

For immediate release

March 3, 2014

Twenty years after his death, L.A. poets celebrate Charles Bukowski

WHAT: “20 Years After: Charles Bukowski Memorial Gathering,” a celebration of the Los Angeles writer on the 20th anniversary of his death
WHERE: The King Eddy Saloon, 131 East 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90013
WHEN: Sunday, March 9, formal program 6:00-7:30pm, informal gathering continues into the evening
WHO: Host Richard Schave (Esotouric’s Bukowski bus tour creator) and poets Dan Fante, S.A. Griffin, Suzanne Lummis, Joan Jobe Smith and Fred Voss.
COST: Free, no host bar
LINK FOR MORE INFO: http://lavatransforms.org/hank20years
RELATED EVENT: Esotouric’s “Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski’s Los Angeles” bus tour rolls on Saturday, March 29. Info http://esotouric.com/bukowski-3-29-14
CONTACT: Kim, amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947

LOS ANGELES- LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association invites lovers of Los Angeles literature to join with friends, fans and followers of Charles Bukowski on the 20th anniversary of his death for an evening of Bukowski poetry, toasts and memories: “20 Years After: Charles Bukowski Memorial Gathering.”

The evening is organized by Richard Schave (who hosts Esotouric’s “Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski’s Los Angeles” bus tour and was one of the people instrumental in the successful campaign to have Bukowski’s endangered East Hollywood bungalow preserved and named a Cultural Historic Landmark) and will include readings from five notable Los Angeles poets and friends of the late writer: Dan Fante, S.A. Griffin, Suzanne Lummis, Joan Jobe Smith and Fred Voss. Books will be available for purchase.

The location for this free event is the King Eddy Saloon, a location celebrated in the fiction of Bukowski’s idol, John Fante, and located smack on The Nickel, where the young Bukowski came to learn about the world of men. The formal program is scheduled to run from 6:00 – 7:30pm, after which guests are encouraged to remain and talk Bukowski into the night.

Esotouric’s Richard Schave, who is hosting the event, says, “On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of his death, we are honored to give Bukowski’s readers the opportunity to come together on East 5th Street, a place the loomed so large in the writer’s mind, and listen to several of his friends and peers read from his work, and speak from their hearts on his legacy in Los Angeles and beyond. From the SROs of old Bunker Hill and Skid Row to the sex shops and bars at Hollywood and Western, Bukowski’s writing is a meditation on the beauty that dwells within evil and depravity. The power and the innovation of his distinctive voice still speaks loudly, and leaves us Angelenos to look around at our city twenty years after his death and ask ‘What would Charles Bukowski think?’”

When asked for a quote for this press release, Joan Jobe Smith, a longtime friend and colleague of Bukowski who will read at the event, provided a poem:

“What one single meditation-thought to have on Bukowski’s
Memorial Death Day?

How much Charles Bukowski loved us, his readers
and felt us, needed us. We, his Readers, were his world,
while, all alone, he pounded that typer so’s to put
out those volumes of words and place them perfectly properly upon
the page, keeping beat to the grinding of his guts and the pounding
of his heart, up till just days before he died. Because he wanted to tell us
how it is, truth as he knew it, and he knew so much. Because he’d lived it.”

LINKS TO THE FEATURED POETS
Dan Fante – http://www.danfante.net/
S.A. Griffin – http://carmabum.blogspot.com/
Suzanne Lummis – http://suzannelummis.com/
Joan Jobe Smith (interview) – http://blues.gr/profiles/blogs/an-interview-with-editor-poet-joan-jobe-s...
Fred Voss (interview) – http://blues.gr/profiles/blogs/west-coast-poet-fred-voss-talks-about-the...

ABOUT LAVA: Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA’s creative partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in their work. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPER—proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog series (including On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land)—LAVA brings together L.A.‘s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers. The first crop of Visionaries in the growing curated community includes cultural chronicler ADRIENNE CREW, artist and Eastside historian AL GUERRERO, Cacophony Society co-founder AL RIDENOUR, avant garde fashion maven A. LAURA BRODY, poet/publisher ALEIDA RODRIGUEZ, back-to-nature pioneer ALICIA BAY LAUREL, filmmaker ALLISON ANDERS, writer/curator ALLON SCHOENER, designer/mom of Chicken Boy AMY INOUYE, actor/musician ANDY BEN, custom tours maven ANNE BLOCK, documentarian/radio producer ANTHEA RAYMOND, author/gallerist APRIL DAMMANN, memoirist BARBARA KRAFT, pop culture historian BECKY EBENKAMP, ethnomusicologist BETO GONZALEZ, puppeteer BOB BAKER, tile historian BRIAN KAISER, producer/promoter CHRISTIAN VOLTAIRE MEOLI, cultural events programmer CHRISTINA GALANTE, musician COUNT SMOKULA, performance artist CRIMEBO THE CLOWN, writer/Libros Schmibros proprietor DAVID KIPEN, Novelist DAVID ROCKLIN, forensic educator DEREK PACIFICO, literary curator D.M. COLLINS, sculptor DONALD GIALANELLA, forensic scientist/educator DONALD JOHNSON, author/educator DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY, educator and historic cemetery board member DWAIN CARLO CRUM, artist ELENA MARY SIFF, documentarian ELIJAH DRENNER, conversation curator ERIC VOLLMER, social connector EVONNE HEYNING, musician/performance artist FEATHERBEARD, photographer GARY LEONARD, pop critic/outsider artist GENE SCULATTI, musician/artist GEORGE EARTH, songsmith HARVEY SID FISHER, theater director HOLLY WITHAM, musician/writer IAN WHITCOMB, artist JASON HADLEY, food blogger JAVIER CABRAL, musician JEFF BOYNTON, filmmaker JEREMY KASTEN, musician JIMI CABEZA DE VACA, social historian JOAN RENNER, writer/artist JOE OESTERLE, writer JOHN BUNTIN, filmmaker JON ALLOWAY, documentarian JOHN DULLAGHAN, Musso & Frank co-owner JORDAN JONES, performance artist JULES ROCHIELLE, cemetery historian KARIE BIBLE. curator JULIE RICO, cultural curator and writer KIM OHANNESON, “Kristin’s List” cultural chronicler KRISTIN BEDFORD, songstress/prognosticator MADAME PAMITA, esoteric scholar MAJA D’AOUST, author/broadcaster MANNY PACHECO, writer MARGUERITE DARLINGTON, performer McCRISTOL HARRIS, visual artist MELVIN HALE, journalist MICHAEL LINDER, photographic archivist MICHAEL RISNER, poet/dancer MONA JEAN CEDAR, architectural historian NATHAN MARSAK, writer NEAL POLLOCK, theater director NICHOLAS HOSKING, L.A. Historic Theater Foundation rep NICK MATONAK, music producer NO’A WINTER LAZERUS, musician OCTAVIUS, writer /photographer /musician PAUL KOUDOUNARIS, peace activist PAUL NUGENT of the Aetherius Society, 3-D photography expert RAY 3D ZONE, activist and performer RD PLASSCHAERT, historic ghost seeker RICHARD CARRADINE, artist/musician RICH POLYSORBATE 60, filmmaker/preservationist ROSS LIPMAN, singer-songwriter RUTHANN FRIEDMAN, poet S.A. GRIFFIN, ghost hunter SARAH TROOP, social networking mistress SHAWNA DAWSON, painter/gallerist SUSAN DOBAY, artist/writer/activist SUSANNA DAKIN, Warhol star and writer TERE TEREBA, sculptor TOM WALKER, musical entertainer THE UKULADY, and hat designer YASMIN DIXON.

Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at http://lavatransforms.org/apply

To learn more about LAVA, please visit http://www.lavatransforms.org

Event host Richard Schave and the presenting poets are available for interviews, and journalists on assignment can usually be accommodated on the tour bus. Contact Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947.

San Gabriel Valley true crime weekend with Esotouric’s Pasadena Confidential tour, Frank Girardot’s LAVA crime lab talk on Clark

For immediate release

February 25, 2014

San Gabriel Valley true crime weekend with Esotouric’s Pasadena Confidential tour, Frank Girardot’s LAVA crime lab talk on Clark Rockefeller

EVENT #1: Saturday, March 15, 12-4pm – Esotouric presents “Pasadena Confidential with Crimebo the Clown “ crime bus tour (departs from 1017 South Fair Oaks, South Pasadena, CA 91105, $58/person)
INFO/RESERVATIONS: http://esotouric.com/pasadena-3-15-14

EVENT #2: Sunday, March 16, 12-4pm – Professor Donald Johnson, in association with LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association and Esotouric, presents a fundraiser lecture/tour benefiting the CSULA Criminalistics graduate department: “Name Dropper: Investigating the Clark Rockefeller Mystery” hosted by Frank Girardot (at The Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center at Cal State L.A., 1800 Paseo Rancho Castilla, Los Angeles, CA 90032, $36.50/person)
INFO/RESERVATIONS: http://lavatransforms.org/crimelabmarch2014

CONTACT: Kim, amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947

LOS ANGELES- There’s just something special about the notorious crimes of greater Los Angeles, the way they resonate in the consciousness, and continue to fascinate years after the fact. In March, LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association and Esotouric, L.A.‘s most eclectic bus adventure company, dedicate a weekend to uncovering the reality behind some of the San Gabriel Valley’s most compelling and unusual crime stories.

These two lurid yet educational events — Esotouric’s historic Pasadena Confidential crime bus tour exploring the criminal lore of a grand old neighborhood, and a LAVA crime lab tour and seminar featuring the true stories of crime investigation from longtime San Gabriel Valley reporter Frank Girardot — offer something for anyone seeking an opportunity to get behind the headlines and explore fascinating true crime cases with a depth and seriousness rarely offered to the public. This true crime weekend is a must for intelligent crime aficionados and those with a passion for the untold stories of Los Angeles.

ABOUT ESOTOURIC’S PASADENA CONFIDENTIAL TOUR: The Crown City masquerades as a calm and refined retreat, where well-bred ladies glide around their perfect bungalows and everyone knows what fork to use first. But don’t be fooled by appearances. Dip into the confidential files of old Pasadena and meet assassins and oddballs, kidnappers and slashers, Satanists and all manner of maniac in a delightful little tour you WON’T find recommended by the better class of people! From celebrated cases like the RFK assassination (with a visit to Sirhan Sirhan’s folks’ house), “Eraserhead” star Jack Nance’s strange end, black magician/rocket scientist Jack Parsons’ death-by-misadventure and the 1926 Rose Parade grand stand collapse, to fascinating obscurities, the tour’s dozens of murders, arsons, kidnappings, robberies, suicides, auto wrecks and oddball happening sites provide a alternate history of Pasadena that’s as fascinating as it is creepy. Passengers will tour the old Millionaire’s Row on Orange Grove, thrill to the shocking Sphinx Murder on the steps of the downtown Masonic Hall and discover why people named Judd should think twice before moving to Pasadena. Special guest host: Crimebo the Clown, leading crime bus passengers out onto “Suicide Bridge” for a memorable view of the Arroyo where dozens plunged to their deaths.

ABOUT LAVA’S CRIME LAB EVENT: Frank Girardot, editor of the Pasadena Star-News and author of “Name Dropper: Investigating the Clark Rockefeller Mystery” hosts this March 16 fundraiser for the Criminalistics graduate department at Cal State L.A., the latest in a series of events at the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center at Cal State L.A. Since their debut in fall 2010, LAVA’s crime lab seminars have become the a must for true crime aficionados, mystery writers, television producers and offbeat history buffs.

Leave it to LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association, the creative consortium helmed by Richard Schave and Kim Cooper, the married couple whose Esotouric bus adventures have transformed the guided tour experience, to make a real-life CSI experience accessible to interested laypersons. Working closely with one of LAVA’s most intriguing Visionary members, Professor Donald Johnson, they’ve developed a series of events highlighting the work conducted at Cal State L.A.‘s state-of-the-art Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, presented through tours and in depth lectures from scientist-educators, law enforcement investigators and true crime reporters. Between the presentations, graduate students offer insights into their research and tours of the teaching crime lab.

In Presentation One, Frank Girardot goes in depth on the case of Clark Rockefeller, subject of his recent book. Discover the strange tale of a teenaged German immigrant who remade himself as a scion of one of America’s most distinguished families. In April 2013, “Rockefeller” (real name Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter) was convicted in the 1985 slaying of John Sohus, whose trisected body was found in the backyard of a home in San Marino, and whose young wife Linda vanished, never to be seen again. Frank will take us along on “Rockefeller’s” decades-long career of fraud in high places, culminating in the child kidnapping that would draw international headlines and finally deliver him into police custody. The murder case relied heavily on circumstantial evidence that singularly might not have amounted to a conviction. Taken together the evidence, which included blood, fingerprints, old ID cards and a stolen car, was solid. What resulted in the conviction? Probably a simple light shone on a plastic bag sold in a university bookstore for a very limited period of time. The man once known as Rockefeller is now simply Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, 52, a resident of a medium security prison in the San Joaquin Valley serving out a 25-to-life sentence for killing John Sohus.

In Presentation Two, Frank Girardot will lower his guard, roll up his sleeves, and look back on three decades in the newspaper business reporting on criminal investigations and the law enforcement agencies which conduct them, distilling for us the best and the worst, like how a murderous tagger might as well have signed his name at the crime scene, or the paramedics who left brain matter on a dead man’s driveway for his family to clean up, or a con-man who used Craigslist to bilk dozens of needy would-be renters, and what still keeps him up at night: an unsolved double murder in Monrovia that occurred during a ride-along in the 1990s.

By the afternoon’s conclusion, attendees will have a deeper understanding of the real work that’s done by local crime desk reporters, and the tools and techniques used to interpret crime scenes for the benefit of investigating officers and juries. Come discover the reality, so different from and so much more interesting than what you’ve seen on TV.

ABOUT FRANK GIRARDOT: Frank Girardot is the editor of the Pasadena Star-News. Born in Detroit, Michigan, raised in the Silicon Valley, he got start as a copy boy in the late 1980s. Working as a newspaper reporter and editor in Los Angeles since 1989, he has covered floods, fires, explosions, strikes, plane crashes, rapes, suicides, amnesia victims, political conventions, and the murder trial of OJ Simpson. Favorite pastime is following a good murder, as is evidenced in his new book, “Name Dropper: Investigating the Clark Rockefeller Mystery.”

ABOUT LAVA: Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA’s creative partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in their work. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPER—proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog series (including On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land)—LAVA brings together L.A.‘s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers. The first crop of Visionaries in the growing curated community includes cultural chronicler ADRIENNE CREW, artist and Eastside historian AL GUERRERO, Cacophony Society co-founder AL RIDENOUR, avant garde fashion maven A. LAURA BRODY, poet/publisher ALEIDA RODRIGUEZ, back-to-nature pioneer ALICIA BAY LAUREL, filmmaker ALLISON ANDERS, writer/curator ALLON SCHOENER, designer/mom of Chicken Boy AMY INOUYE, actor/musician ANDY BEN, custom tours maven ANNE BLOCK, documentarian/radio producer ANTHEA RAYMOND, author/gallerist APRIL DAMMANN, memoirist BARBARA KRAFT, pop culture historian BECKY EBENKAMP, ethnomusicologist BETO GONZALEZ, puppeteer BOB BAKER, tile historian BRIAN KAISER, producer/promoter CHRISTIAN VOLTAIRE MEOLI, cultural events programmer CHRISTINA GALANTE, musician COUNT SMOKULA, performance artist CRIMEBO THE CLOWN, writer/Libros Schmibros proprietor DAVID KIPEN, Novelist DAVID ROCKLIN, forensic educator DEREK PACIFICO, literary curator D.M. COLLINS, sculptor DONALD GIALANELLA, forensic scientist/educator DONALD JOHNSON, author/educator DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY, educator and historic cemetery board member DWAIN CARLO CRUM, artist ELENA MARY SIFF, documentarian ELIJAH DRENNER, conversation curator ERIC VOLLMER, social connector EVONNE HEYNING, musician/performance artist FEATHERBEARD, photographer GARY LEONARD, pop critic/outsider artist GENE SCULATTI, musician/artist GEORGE EARTH, songsmith HARVEY SID FISHER, theater director HOLLY WITHAM, musician/writer IAN WHITCOMB, artist JASON HADLEY, food blogger JAVIER CABRAL, musician JEFF BOYNTON, filmmaker JEREMY KASTEN, musician JIMI CABEZA DE VACA, social historian JOAN RENNER, writer/artist JOE OESTERLE, writer JOHN BUNTIN, filmmaker JON ALLOWAY, documentarian JOHN DULLAGHAN, Musso & Frank co-owner JORDAN JONES, performance artist JULES ROCHIELLE, cemetery historian KARIE BIBLE. curator JULIE RICO, cultural curator and writer KIM OHANNESON, “Kristin’s List” cultural chronicler KRISTIN BEDFORD, songstress/prognosticator MADAME PAMITA, esoteric scholar MAJA D’AOUST, author/broadcaster MANNY PACHECO, writer MARGUERITE DARLINGTON, performer McCRISTOL HARRIS, visual artist MELVIN HALE, journalist MICHAEL LINDER, photographic archivist MICHAEL RISNER, poet/dancer MONA JEAN CEDAR, architectural historian NATHAN MARSAK, writer NEAL POLLOCK, theater director NICHOLAS HOSKING, L.A. Historic Theater Foundation rep NICK MATONAK, music producer NO’A WINTER LAZERUS, musician OCTAVIUS, writer /photographer /musician PAUL KOUDOUNARIS, peace activist PAUL NUGENT of the Aetherius Society, 3-D photography expert RAY 3D ZONE, activist and performer RD PLASSCHAERT, historic ghost seeker RICHARD CARRADINE, artist/musician RICH POLYSORBATE 60, filmmaker/preservationist ROSS LIPMAN, singer-songwriter RUTHANN FRIEDMAN, poet S.A. GRIFFIN, ghost hunter SARAH TROOP, social networking mistress SHAWNA DAWSON, painter/gallerist SUSAN DOBAY, artist/writer/activist SUSANNA DAKIN, Warhol star and writer TERE TEREBA, sculptor TOM WALKER, musical entertainer THE UKULADY, and hat designer YASMIN DIXON.

Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at http://lavatransforms.org/apply

To learn more about LAVA, please visit http://www.lavatransforms.org

LAVA founders Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, Professor Donald Johnson and most of LAVA’s Visionary members are available for interviews, and a very limited number of journalists on assignment can be accommodated at the seminar and on the crime bus. Contact Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947.

Crowd-funded subscription publishing is a hit for L.A. noir historians Esotouric

For immediate release

January 21, 2014

Crowd-funded subscription publishing is a hit for L.A. noir historians Esotouric

WHO: Esotouric, L.A.‘s most eclectic bus tour providers, famous for The Real Black Dahlia and Raymond Chandler’s L.A., now publishers of noir period fiction.
WHAT: The launch of the Esotouric Ink imprint with a unique crowd-funding method supporting the printing of Kim Cooper’s 1929 L.A. mystery “The Kept Girl,” which stars the young Raymond Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe.
HOW: 65 Subscribers have stepped in to support this new L.A. publishing house, including The Huntington Library and UCLA Library of Special Collections.
WHEN: “The Kept Girl” is released 2/1/14 in paperback and e-book for Kindle, with Subscribers getting their deluxe copies before anyone else.
INFO: http://www.thekeptgirl.com, contact Kim and Richard, ink-AT-esotouric.com, 213-373-1947

LOS ANGELES- A few months ago, Esotouric, the eclectic bus adventure company whose tours reveal L.A.‘s secret history, announced the launch of its new publishing arm: Esotouric Ink. The imprint is dedicated to revealing the lost lore of Southern California through beautifully-designed books calculated to appeal to Esotouric’s intelligent, deeply curious audience of passionate L.A. lovers.

A request went out to Esotouric’s fans that they participate in an old-fashioned crowd-funding method: The Subscription Model. Notable Subscription-funded books include John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and Mark Twain’s “The Innocents Abroad.” Inspired by early publishers who bypassed wealthy patrons to spread production costs among a select group of literate, engaged readers and collectors, Esotouric looked to its faithful audience to help bring the first Esotouric Ink book to life.

The Esotouric community responded eagerly, with a total of 65 Subscribers contributing $65 each ($75 for couples) to the costs of launching the new publishing company. In return, they get their names in every copy of the book, a digital reading copy, a deluxe special edition slipcase and an invitation to an exclusive Subscribers’ Appreciation event. Included among the Subscribers are two of Southern California’s most important repositories for rare books: UCLA Library of Special Collections and The Huntington Library.

The book that has the Subscribers so excited is “The Kept Girl,” the debut novel of Kim Cooper, co-author of the national Amazon bestseller “Fall in Love For Life,” author of the top selling 33 1/3 series book “Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’” and the creator of Esotouric’s true crime tours (The Real Black Dahlia, Pasadena Confidential).

A seasoned non-fiction writer, Kim fell into fiction through a series of unexpected discoveries. Several years ago, she received the gift of a rare, self-published pamphlet by a former LAPD officer, Thomas H. James. In “Chief Steckel Unmasked” (1931) James lashed out at corrupt civil servants and the atmosphere of vice that permeated Los Angeles. Intrigued, she researched James’ police career and discovered that he’d been a high ranking City Hall investigator who was demoted to beat cop for asking too many questions. He became famous for loudly critiquing his bosses while on duty at 7th & Broadway, the busiest intersection in town. Two blocks away, the young Raymond Chandler worked as an executive for the Dabney Oil Syndicate.

Could the forgotten Thomas H. James be the inspiration for the mature Chandler’s great detective anti-hero, Philip Marlowe? It was that question, combined with a real-life cult murder mystery that unfolded in the Dabney offices under Chandler’s nose, and through the telling of James’ story and the cult murder mystery on Esotouric’s bus tours, which inspired Kim’s debut novel. With its vintage Art Deco-style cover by acclaimed illustrator Paul Rogers, “The Kept Girl” reflects Esotouric Ink’s dedication to celebrating L.A. lore with a twist.

ABOUT THE KEPT GIRL: Los Angeles, 1929: a glittering metropolis on the crest of an epic crash. A mysterious prophetess and her alluring daughter have relieved an oil tycoon’s nephew of his fortune. But the kid won’t talk. To find the money, the old man calls on a trusted executive, Raymond Chandler, who in turn enlists the aid of his devoted secretary/mistress, Muriel Fischer, and their idealistic patrolman friend Tom James. Soon the nephew is revealed as a high-ranking member of a murderous cult of angel worshippers, and the trio plunges into an investigation that sends them careening across Southern California, from sinister sanitariums to roadside burger stands, decaying Bunker Hill mansions to sparkling cocktail parties, taxi dance halls to the morgue, all in search of the secretive Great Eleven. But when Muriel goes undercover to infiltrate the group’s rural lair, she comes face to face with disturbing truths that threaten to spoil everything, not just for the cult’s members, but for herself as well. A work of fiction inspired by actual events and featuring the real-life cop who is a likely model for the mature Chandler’s greatest creation, private eye Philip Marlowe, Kim Cooper’s “The Kept Girl” exposes a mystery so horrifying, it could only be true.

ADVANCE PRAISE: “A deeply researched and compulsively readable crime novel.” (Denise Hamilton, author of “Damage Control” and editor of the Edgar Award-winning anthology “Los Angeles Noir”)… “Kim Cooper is the perfect Virgil to 1929 Los Angeles… Her knowledge of the city that was is unparalleled, her imagination unnerving. Aficionados of noir Los Angeles will read ‘The Kept Girl’ with fascination and with growing horror.” (John Buntin, author of “L.A. Noir”)… “A delightful addition to this city’s literature. The effortlessness with which it borrows against the Chandler tradition while… retaining its unique intelligence and slyly contemporary flavor is just plain stunning.” (Matthew Specktor, author of “American Dream Machine”)… “Holy cats, this woman can write!” (David Kipen, editor of “The WPA Guide to Los Angeles”)

“The Kept Girl” by Kim Cooper is released in paeprback and Kindle from Amazon on February 1, 2014 from Esotouric Ink. Audiobook coming soon.

Upcoming Events (details at http://www.thekeptgirl.com/p/events.html):

February 9 – Noir at the Bar group reading at Mandrake, 2692 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90034-2604.

February 13 – Book release party and reading at Skylight Books, 1818 N Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027. Sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company.

Additional information, including sample chapter, can be found at http://www.thekeptgirl.com and http://www.esotouric.com

Esotouric’s Kim Cooper and Richard Schave are available for interviews about Kim’s novel “The Kept Girl” and the launch of Esotouric Ink, Raymond Chandler, the “real-life Philip Marlowe” Thomas H. James and the bizarre intersection of the Great Eleven Cult with Chandler’s professional life in the oil business. Journalists on assignment can often be accommodated on the Esotouric bus. Contact Kim and Richard, ink-AT-esotouric.com, 213-373-1947

For review copy of “The Kept Girl,” please specify format if an e-book is acceptable (.epub, .mobi or PDF), or mailing address for a hard copy, and provide the name of outlet where the review will appear and proposed publication date to Kim and Richard, ink-AT-esotouric.com.

Los Angeles Visionaries Association Names LAVA’s 2014 Visionary of the Year

For immediate release

January 6, 2014

Los Angeles Visionaries Association Names LAVA’s 2014 Visionary of the Year

WHAT: LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association, the consortium of some of L.A.‘s most original creative artists, honors LAVA Visionary MARC CHEVALIER as recipient of the 2014 Visionary of the Year award during the 32nd monthly LAVA Sunday Salon
WHEN: Sunday, January 26, 12-2pm
WHERE: Mezzanine level, Les Noces du Figaro, 618 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA, 90014
COST: Free, no reservations required
MORE INFO: http://www.lavatransforms.org/lavavisionary2014 and http://lavatransforms.org/salon114 or call 213-373-1947

LOS ANGELES – All across this vast and confusing city, little pockets of creative energy flare up, like molten lava oozing from the earth’s core. Since its 2010 launch, LAVA – the Los Angeles Visionaries Association has aimed to reveal the hidden heart of Los Angeles and facilitate connections between people with shared passions and sensibilities, shining its light on those hidden gems and secret gatherings that give this city a soul. LAVA happenings, each hosted by one of LAVA’s dozens of Visionary members, have included literary salons (honored as L.A. Magazine’s Best Of), cemetery tours, historic site visits, bus and walking tours, art openings, music, screenings, readings and more.

Now, LAVA is delighted to announce the recipient of the 2014 LAVA Visionary of the Year award. For this award, the organization designates an individual within the LAVA Visionaries community who has, through their social finesse, community building and exploratory spirit, best exemplified the spirit of LAVA in the prior year. The Visionary of the Year is an ambassador of goodwill representing the best of what an Angeleno can aspire to. LAVA offers this annual award both to honor one remarkable Angeleno, and to remind all members of the extended LAVA community to look to their higher selves and aspire to be their best—today and always.

On Sunday, January 26 (12-2pm), as part of the monthly LAVA Sunday Salon, the 2014 LAVA Visionary of the Year Award will be presented to MARC CHEVALIER.

LAVA co-founder Richard Schave says “Marc Chevalier’s deep and fundamental work uncovering the forgotten life and times of James Oviatt and his beautiful clothing store is an inspiration. Through this process, Marc’s passion and curiosity have matured into the skills and sensibilities of an historian, while his natural sense of showmanship and storytelling ensures that Oviatt’s complex life in boomtown Los Angeles comes alive in the telling. We honor Marc Chevalier for his generosity of spirit and original contributions to Los Angeles history. He does wonderful work that I am excited to shine a light on. He is the very model of a LAVA Visionary.”

At the Sunday Salon, LAVA Visionary of the Year Marc Chevalier will present on “James Oviatt and the Making of Modern Los Angeles History.” In his talk, Marc will trace the life of the iconic Angeleno, James Oviatt, the man behind the eponymous building and clothing store. The unfolding of this narrative doubles as Marc’s personal narrative of research, through false leads, dead ends, misinterpretations and out of the blue miracles, until by uncovering the untold story of James Oviatt, Marc discovers his own voice, that of a major historian of lost Los Angeles. Why look to James Oviatt, seller of upscale fashion, early proponent of the Art Deco, Machiavellian schemer and dreamer? Oviatt’s arc is a microcosm of the upwardly mobile in Jazz Age Los Angeles, and his story touches almost every major aspect of culture and commerce in pre-war Los Angeles. His influence is still felt on the city he left behind, and in the worlds of fashion, design, marketing and architecture.

Also appearing at this LAVA Sunday Salon is author and historian Darrell Rooney, presenting on “Harlow In Hollywood.” About Darrell Rooney’s talk: Harlow. The name resonates. Blonde Bombshell. Platinum Blonde. The labels applied by press agents during Jean Harlow’s seven-year career still carry a charge seventy years later. Harlow created the mold: the first blonde sex symbol who captured the attention of a nation, then touched their hearts with her genuine warmth and candor. At a time when Harlow’s star shone its brightest, Los Angeles and the movies gave birth to a district that exists as much in the mind as on the map. Harlow historian Darrell Rooney, co-author of “Harlow In Hollywood” (Angel City Press), discusses and presents images on the behind the scenes life of Jean Harlow and the city that helped mold her.

ABOUT LAVA: Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA’s creative partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in their work. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPER—proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog series (including On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land)—LAVA brings together L.A.‘s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers. The Visionaries in the growing curated community include cultural chronicler ADRIENNE CREW, artist and Eastside historian AL GUERRERO, Cacophony Society co-founder AL RIDENOUR, avant garde fashion maven A. LAURA BRODY, poet/publisher ALEIDA RODRIGUEZ, back-to-nature pioneer ALICIA BAY LAUREL, filmmaker ALLISON ANDERS, writer/curator ALLON SCHOENER, designer/mom of Chicken Boy AMY INOUYE, custom tours maven ANNE BLOCK, documentarian/radio producer ANTHEA RAYMOND, author/gallerist APRIL DAMMANN, memoirist BARBARA KRAFT, pop culture historian BECKY EBENKAMP, ethnomusicologist BETO GONZALEZ, puppeteer BOB BAKER, tile historian BRIAN KAISER, producer/promoter CHRISTIAN VOLTAIRE MEOLI, cultural events programmer CHRISTINA GALANTE, musician COUNT SMOKULA, performance artist CRIMEBO THE CLOWN, writer/Libros Schmibros proprietor DAVID KIPEN, Novelist DAVID ROCKLIN, forensic educator DEREK PACIFICO, sculptor DONALD GIALANELLA, forensic scientist/educator DONALD JOHNSON, author/educator DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY, educator and historic cemetery board member DWAIN CARLO CRUM, artist ELENA MARY SIFF, documentarian ELIJAH DRENNER, conversation curator ERIC VOLLMER, social connector EVONNE HEYNING, musician/performance artist FEATHERBEARD, photographer GARY LEONARD, pop critic/outsider artist GENE SCULATTI, musician/artist GEORGE EARTH, songsmith HARVEY SID FISHER, theater director HOLLY WITHAM, musician/writer IAN WHITCOMB, artist JASON HADLEY, food blogger JAVIER CABRAL, musician JEFF BOYNTON, filmmaker JEREMY KASTEN, musician JIMI CABEZA DE VACA, social historian JOAN RENNER, writer/artist JOE OESTERLE, writer JOHN BUNTIN, filmmaker JON ALLOWAY, documentarian JOHN DULLAGHAN, Musso & Frank co-owner JORDAN JONES, performance artist JULES ROCHIELLE, curator JULIE RICO, cultural curator and writer KIM OHANNESON, “Kristin’s List” cultural chronicler KRISTIN BEDFORD, songstress/prognosticator MADAME PAMITA, esoteric scholar MAJA D’AOUST, author/broadcaster MANNY PACHECO, historian MARC CHEVALIER, writer MARGUERITE DARLINGTON, performer McCRISTOL HARRIS, visual artist MELVIN HALE, journalist MICHAEL LINDER, photographic archivist MICHAEL RISNER, poet/dancer MONA JEAN CEDAR, architectural historian NATHAN MARSAK, writer NEAL POLLOCK, theater director NICHOLAS HOSKING, L.A. Historic Theater Foundation rep NICK MATONAK, music producer NO’A WINTER LAZERUS, musician OCTAVIUS, writer /photographer /musician PAUL KOUDOUNARIS, peace activist PAUL NUGENT of the Aetherius Society, 3-D photography expert RAY 3D ZONE, activist and performer RD PLASSCHAERT, historic ghost seeker RICHARD CARRADINE, artist/musician RICH POLYSORBATE 60, filmmaker/preservationist ROSS LIPMAN, singer-songwriter RUTHANN FRIEDMAN, ghost hunter SARAH TROOP, social networking mistress SHAWNA DAWSON, painter/gallerist SUSAN DOBAY, artist/writer/activist SUSANNA DAKIN, Warhol star and writer TERE TEREBA, sculptor TOM WALKER, musical entertainer THE UKULADY, and hat designer YASMIN DIXON.

Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at http://lavatransforms.org/apply

To learn more about LAVA, please visit http://www.lavatransforms.org

A photo of 2014 LAVA Visionary of the Year Marc Chevalier can be dowloaded at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34632809@N00/8751602464/in/photolist-ekmfvE...

LAVA founders Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, and 2014 Visionary of the Year winner Marc Chevalier are available for interviews. Contact Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947.

Occult LA history and Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Mass celebrated on Broadway at LAVA’s free Sunday Salon

For immediate release

December 23, 2013

Occult LA history and Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Mass celebrated on Broadway at LAVA’s free Sunday Salon

WHO: Presented by LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association.
WHAT: The last 2013 edition of the LAVA Sunday Salon cultural speaker’s series offers an occult history and practice program featuring members of the Star Sapphire Lodge of the OTO, presenting the history of Aleister Crowley and their esoteric group, then hosting a Gnostic Mass ceremony.
WHEN: Sunday, December 29, 12pm-2pm. Salons fall on the last Sunday of the month.
WHERE: Mezzanine level, Les Noces du Figaro restaurant, 618 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA, 90014.
COST: Free, no reservations required for Salon attendance.
LINK: http://lavatransforms.org/salon1213
CONTACT: Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947

LOS ANGELES- Launched in 2010 by Richard Schave and Kim Cooper, the proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures, the creative consortium LAVA (The Los Angeles Visionaries Association) has established itself as one of the city’s most intriguing arts collectives, with a calendar packed with compelling, offbeat urban events and an ever-growing list of notable Visionary contributors.

Once a month, on the last Sunday, LAVA hosts a free curated series of cultural presentations, the LAVA Sunday Salon. The popular program feature talks and performances from a remarkable collection of writers, musicians, visual artists, historians, clowns, archivists, collectors, fashion designers, curators, theater companies, fortune tellers, film directors, educators, preservationists and scientists. Formerly held at Clifton’s Cafeteria, , the LAVA Sunday Salon remains on Broadway in the mezzanine of the restaurant Les Noces du Figaro, the former site of Schaber’s Cafeteria.

LAVA’s Sunday Salon is one of the hottest (free) tickets for urban explorers seeking intelligent conversation, connection and inspiration—it is an incubator for the most exciting ideas and research celebrating Los Angeles history and culture.

The LAVA Sunday Salon returns on Sunday, December 29 from noon-2pm with its final program of 2013. All are welcome to dine together and socialize, or attend compelling presentations by LAVA Visionaries.

ABOUT THE DECEMBER SUNDAY SALON

The program, by members of the Star Sapphire Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis, will begin with a history of this esoteric group in Southern California, from its founding by Aleister Crowley through the period when the celebrated rocket scientist Jack Parsons led the OTO from Pasadena and to the present day. Following the history and a brief Q&A session, the Salon will be transformed into a temple, and the attendees may observe or participate in the ritual of the Gnostic Mass.

Presenters’ Statement: Ordo Templi Orientis is an international initiatory order dedicated to promulgating the Law of Thelema. We can summarize The Law of Thelema in the deceptively simple sentence “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” While the roots of O.T.O. lie in Freemasonry, it separated from that tradition a century ago under the leadership of noted magician Aleister Crowley. O.T.O. has a rich history in Los Angeles stretching back to the 1930s, when Wilfred Smith and Jack Parsons led Agape Lodge in Pasadena, the only fully operational O.T.O. body in the world at the time of Crowley’s death in 1947.

The central ritual of Ordo Templi Orientis is the Gnostic Mass, also called Liber XV; a eucharistic ceremony written by Aleister Crowley in 1913. The most important purpose of the Mass is to lead all participants to an awareness of their divinity, an idea expressed in the declaration made by each member of the congregation after consuming the eucharist: “There is no part of me that is not of the gods.” To this end, the Gnostic Mass incorporates dramatic ritual elements taken from Thelemic symbolism, as well as that of sources as disparate as alchemy, the Chaldean Oracles, and Qabalah. It is a beautiful and inspiring celebration of the energies of Life and Joy, of ecstatic union on all planes, and of the great Mystery of generation.

Star Sapphire Lodge, the O.T.O. body serving Los Angeles, invites you to join us in a celebration of the Gnostic Mass. We will also offer a brief talk on the nature of O.T.O. and the Gnostic Mass. Experience the deity within you; “Every man and every woman is a star!”

Photos and video from some past LAVA Sunday Salons are here:

LISTING OF PAST SUNDAY SALONS AT CLIFTON’S CAFETERIA:
http://lavatransforms.org/cliftonsalons

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS ON VIDEO AND IN PHOTOS:

“Old Bunker Hill: One Family’s Perspective” (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EloQciq6SbI

IAN WHITCOMB (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94lPdqRcXVs

CACOPHONY SOCIETY / GENE SCULATTI / IAN WHITCOMB (video): http://lavatransforms.org/salonvideo311

MESMERELDA, THE SKID ROW MISFORTUNE TELLER (video): http://lavatransforms.org/hauntsandhorrors

GENE SCULATTI’S FOLK ART SCROLL (photos):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardschave/sets/72157623729484726/

JOAN RENNER’S COSMETIC EPHEMERA COLLECTION (photos):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardschave/sets/72157624174080520/

ABOUT LAVA: Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA’s creative partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in their work. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPER—proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog series (including On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land)—LAVA brings together L.A.‘s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers. The first crop of Visionaries in the growing curated community includes cultural chronicler ADRIENNE CREW, artist and Eastside historian AL GUERRERO, Cacophony Society co-founder AL RIDENOUR, avant garde fashion maven A. LAURA BRODY, poet/publisher ALEIDA RODRIGUEZ, back-to-nature pioneer ALICIA BAY LAUREL, filmmaker ALLISON ANDERS, writer/curator ALLON SCHOENER, designer/mom of Chicken Boy AMY INOUYE, custom tours maven ANNE BLOCK, documentarian/radio producer ANTHEA RAYMOND, author/gallerist APRIL DAMMANN, memoirist BARBARA KRAFT, pop culture historian BECKY EBENKAMP, ethnomusicologist BETO GONZALEZ, puppeteer BOB BAKER, tile historian BRIAN KAISER, producer/promoter CHRISTIAN VOLTAIRE MEOLI, cultural events programmer CHRISTINA GALANTE, musician COUNT SMOKULA, performance artist CRIMEBO THE CLOWN, writer/Libros Schmibros proprietor DAVID KIPEN, Novelist DAVID ROCKLIN, forensic educator DEREK PACIFICO, sculptor DONALD GIALANELLA, forensic scientist/educator DONALD JOHNSON, author/educator DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY, educator and historic cemetery board member DWAIN CARLO CRUM, artist ELENA MARY SIFF, documentarian ELIJAH DRENNER, conversation curator ERIC VOLLMER, social connector EVONNE HEYNING, musician/performance artist FEATHERBEARD, photographer GARY LEONARD, pop critic/outsider artist GENE SCULATTI, musician/artist GEORGE EARTH, songsmith HARVEY SID FISHER, theater director HOLLY WITHAM, musician/writer IAN WHITCOMB, artist JASON HADLEY, food blogger JAVIER CABRAL, musician JEFF BOYNTON, filmmaker JEREMY KASTEN, musician JIMI CABEZA DE VACA, social historian JOAN RENNER, writer/artist JOE OESTERLE, writer JOHN BUNTIN, filmmaker JON ALLOWAY, documentarian JOHN DULLAGHAN, Musso & Frank co-owner JORDAN JONES, performance artist JULES ROCHIELLE, curator JULIE RICO, cultural curator and writer KIM OHANNESON, “Kristin’s List” cultural chronicler KRISTIN BEDFORD, songstress/prognosticator MADAME PAMITA, esoteric scholar MAJA D’AOUST, author/broadcaster MANNY PACHECO, writer MARGUERITE DARLINGTON, performer McCRISTOL HARRIS, visual artist MELVIN HALE, journalist MICHAEL LINDER, photographic archivist MICHAEL RISNER, poet/dancer MONA JEAN CEDAR, architectural historian NATHAN MARSAK, writer NEAL POLLOCK, theater director NICHOLAS HOSKING, L.A. Historic Theater Foundation rep NICK MATONAK, music producer NO’A WINTER LAZERUS, musician OCTAVIUS, writer /photographer /musician PAUL KOUDOUNARIS, peace activist PAUL NUGENT of the Aetherius Society, 3-D photography expert RAY 3D ZONE, activist and performer RD PLASSCHAERT, historic ghost seeker RICHARD CARRADINE, artist/musician RICH POLYSORBATE 60, filmmaker/preservationist ROSS LIPMAN, singer-songwriter RUTHANN FRIEDMAN, ghost hunter SARAH TROOP, social networking mistress SHAWNA DAWSON, painter/gallerist SUSAN DOBAY, artist/writer/activist SUSANNA DAKIN, Warhol star and writer TERE TEREBA, sculptor TOM WALKER, musical entertainer THE UKULADY, and hat designer YASMIN DIXON.

Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at http://lavatransforms.org/apply

To learn more about LAVA, please visit http://www.lavatransforms.org

LAVA founders Kim Cooper and Richard Schave and most of LAVA’s Visionary members are available for interviews. Contact Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947

Announcing Esotouric’s Very Opinionated Year-End Survey of L.A. Historic Preservation Stories

For immediate release

December 20, 2013

Announcing Esotouric’s Very Opinionated Year-End Survey of L.A. Historic Preservation Stories

WHAT: The publication of eclectic bus tour company Esotouric’s Los Angeles Historic Preservation 2nd annual year-end survey list, “25 for 2013”
WHERE: Online at http://esotouric.com/25for2013 and in Esotouric’s weekly newsletter
SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER: http://esotouric.com/newsletter/subscriptions
INFO: toursATesotouricDOTcom, 213-373-1947

LOS ANGELES- Esotouric, the offbeat bus adventure company that unearths hidden lore of Los Angeles while celebrating the city’s history and culture, announces publication of proprietors Kim Cooper and Richard’s Schave’s very opinionated year-end wrap up of the city’s top historic preservation stories, a list split neatly between happy gains, heartbreaking losses, and those bittersweet moments that hover somewhere in between—and which keep Cooper and Schave up nights.

In addition to their professional work leading tours of Los Angeles literary, architectural and true crime history, Cooper and Schave have been involved with successful volunteer preservation campaigns to Save the 76 Ball and to landmark Charles Bukowski’s East Hollywood bungalow, and they’re currently campaigning for the restoration of Pershing Square to John Parkinson’s classic 1910 design. In February, their book imprint Esotouric Ink will launch with “The Kept Girl,” Kim Cooper’s historic mystery novel starring the young Raymond Chandler (http://www.thekeptgirl.com). They maintain the time travel blogs 1947project.com, onbunkerhill.org and insroland.org as well as the the collaborative Los Angeles Historic Preservation Hotspots map at http://goo.gl/maps/C02fG .

Kim Cooper says, “Our passion for Los Angeles history means that we can’t sit idly by when important spaces and places are endangered. While we aren’t able to personally take on every preservation crisis that comes up, we work hard every week keeping our newsletter subscribers informed about endangered gems in the community and how they can get involved. With this year-end list, we want to raise awareness about the importance of preserving our city’s unique culture and architecture, and encourage readers to support and protect the special places in their own neighborhoods, so they don’t show up on our list next year.”

On the PRESERVATION GAINS portion of the list, Esotouric celebrates the transformation of the United Artists Theatre into an Ace Hotel, the re-opening of Tom Bergin’s under tradition-minded management, a giant Tamale’s influence on preservation policy in unincorporated Los Angeles, The Huntington Library’s digitization of the Southern California Edison photo archive, how a plant thief saved Echo Park’s historic lotus bed—plus five more notable success stories.

On the PRESERVATION LOSSES portion of the list, Esotouric laments the death of Huell Howser, the redevelopment of Hollywood Park racetrack, the shuttering of legendary tiki haunt The Bahooka, the demolition of an entire block of Bukowski-esque East Hollywood lowlife, and the loss of a great public space, downtown’s former open air dining room at St. Vincent Court—plus five more heartbreaking preservation failures.

And on the BITTERSWEET MOMENTS portion of the list, Esotouric shines a light on five complicated situations that hover between the gain and loss side of the preservation tally sheet. Here’s where you’ll find the long-shuttered work-in-progress Clifton’s Cafeteria, the gutted-yet-still-standing 19th Century Charnock Block at 5th and Main, the transformation of the Merced, L.A.‘s oldest theatre, into a public TV studio, the preservation ordinance loophole that let Ira Gershwin’s Beverly Hills home get demolished without scrutiny, and concerns that Broadway will be tarnished with ill-conceived streetscape changes meant to enhance a streetcar which may never be built.

Esotouric’s very opinionated 25 for 2013 list is a must for anyone who cares about the cultural and architectural history of the southland. Take a look – and pass it on!

Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and special event schedule (free events starred)
*12/29/13 – LAVA Sunday Salon on Aleister Crowley’s OTO in Southern California (info at lavatransforms.org)
1/4/14 – The Real Black Dahlia
1/11/14 – Raymond Chandler’s L.A.
1/18/14 – Charles Bukowski’s L.A.
1/19/14 – Crime lab seminar: Boom! American Bombings, 1876-1990 (info at lavatransforms.org)
1/25/14 – The Birth of Noir
*1/26/14 – LAVA Sunday Salon (info at lavatransforms.org)
2/2/14 – South L.A. Road Trip: Hot Rods, Adobes, Googie & Early Modernism
*2/13/14 – “The Kept Girl” Book Release Party, Skylight Books (info at lavatransforms.org)
2/15/14 – The Lowdown on Downtown
2/22/14 – Boyle Heights & The San Gabriel Valley: The Hidden Histories of L.A.‘s Melting Pot
*2/23/14 – LAVA Sunday Salon (info at lavatransforms.org)
3/1/14 – Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice
3/15/14 – Pasadena Confidential
3/22/14 – Weird West Adams
3/29/14 – Charles Bukowski’s LA
*3/30/14 – LAVA Sunday Salon (info at lavatransforms.org)
4/5/14 – The Real Black Dahlia

For more info on Esotouric, visit http://www.esotouric.com

Esotouric’s Richard Schave and Kim Cooper are proud members of LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. http://www.lavatransforms.org

Kim Cooper and Richard Schave are available for interviews, and journalists on assignment can often be accommodated on the Esotouric tour bus. Contact Kim at toursATesotouricDOTcom, 213-373-1947.

Two weeks left to subscribe to much-anticipated jazz age mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler

For immediate release

December 12, 2013

Two weeks left to subscribe to much-anticipated jazz age mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler

WHAT: The launch of Esotouric Ink, a new publishing company, and a unique crowd-funding method, founded by Esotouric, L.A.‘s most eclectic bus tour providers, famous for The Real Black Dahlia and Raymond Chandler’s L.A.
WHEN: The Subscriber’s special edition of Kim Cooper’s “The Kept Girl” is $65, available through December 25, 2013 with books shipping in February 2014.
HOW: Subscribers to Esotouric Ink’s debut publication, “The Kept Girl” by Kim Cooper will receive a deluxe paperback edition in decorative slipcase, their name in all copies of the book, an invitation to an exclusive Subscriber Appreciation party, and a digital e-book.
INFO: http://www.thekeptgirl.com, contact inkATesotouricDOTcom, 213-373-1947

LOS ANGELES- With two weeks remaining until Subscriptions close for the deluxe edition of “The Kept Girl” (Esotouric Ink), true crime historian Kim Cooper’s debut novel starring the young Raymond Chandler, his devoted secretary and the real-life Philip Marlowe on the trail of a cult of murderous angel worshippers, the crowd-funding publishing venture has proven to be a smash success.

In November, Esotouric, the eclectic bus adventure company whose tours reveal L.A.‘s secret history, announced the launch of its new publication arm. Esotouric Ink is dedicated to revealing the lost lore of Southern California, through well-researched, beautifully-designed, highly-readable books calculated to appeal to Esotouric’s intelligent, deeply curious audience of passionate L.A. lovers.

The Esotouric audience is a big part of Esotouric Ink’s debut publication, through an old fashioned crowd-funding method called the subscription model. Notable subscription-funded books include John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and Mark Twain’s “The Innocents Abroad.” Inspired by early publishers who bypassed wealthy patrons to spread production costs among a select group of literate, engaged readers and collectors, Esotouric looked to its fans to help bring the first Esotouric Ink book to life, and Esotouric’s fans have responded eagerly—along with some notable special collections libraries.

The much-anticipated book is “The Kept Girl,” the debut novel of Kim Cooper, co-author of the national Amazon bestseller “Fall in Love For Life,” author of the top selling 33 1/3 series book “Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’” and the creator of Esotouric’s true crime tours (The Real Black Dahlia, Pasadena Confidential).

A seasoned non-fiction writer, Kim fell into fiction through a series of unexpected discoveries. First, she received the gift of a rare, self-published pamphlet by a former LAPD officer, Thomas H. James. In “Chief Steckel Unmasked” (1931) James lashed out at corrupt civil servants and the atmosphere of vice that permeated Los Angeles. Intrigued, Kim researched James’ police career and discovered that he’d been a high ranking City Hall investigator who was demoted to beat cop for asking too many questions. He then became famous for loudly critiquing his bosses while on duty at 7th & Broadway, L.A.‘s busiest intersection. Two blocks away, the young Raymond Chandler worked as an executive for the Dabney Oil Syndicate. Could the forgotten Thomas H. James be the inspiration for the mature Chandler’s great detective anti-hero, Philip Marlowe? It was that question, combined with a real-life cult murder mystery which unfolded in the Dabney offices under Chandler’s nose, and through the telling of James’ story and the cult murder mystery on Esotouric’s bus tours, which inspired Kim’s debut novel. With its vintage Art Deco-style cover by acclaimed illustrator Paul Rogers, “The Kept Girl” reflects Esotouric Ink’s dedication to celebrating L.A. lore with a twist.

THE KEPT GIRL SYNPOSIS: Los Angeles, 1929: a glittering metropolis on the crest of an epic crash. A mysterious prophetess and her alluring daughter have relieved an oil tycoon’s nephew of his fortune. But the kid won’t talk. To find the money, the old man calls on a trusted executive, Raymond Chandler, who in turn enlists the aid of his devoted secretary/mistress, Muriel Fischer, and their idealistic patrolman friend Tom James. Soon the nephew is revealed as a high-ranking member of a murderous cult of angel worshippers, and the trio plunges into an investigation that sends them careening across Southern California, from sinister sanitariums to roadside burger stands, decaying Bunker Hill mansions to sparkling cocktail parties, taxi dance halls to the morgue, all in search of the secretive Great Eleven. But when Muriel goes undercover to infiltrate the group’s rural lair, she comes face to face with disturbing truths that threaten to spoil everything, not just for the cult’s members, but for herself as well. A work of fiction inspired by actual events and featuring the real-life cop who is a likely model for the mature Chandler’s greatest creation, private eye Philip Marlowe, Kim Cooper’s “The Kept Girl” exposes a mystery so horrifying, it could only be true.

ADVANCE PRAISE: “A deeply researched and compulsively readable crime novel.” (Denise Hamilton, author of “Damage Control” and editor of the Edgar Award-winning anthology “Los Angeles Noir”)… “Kim Cooper is the perfect Virgil to 1929 Los Angeles… Her knowledge of the city that was is unparalleled, her imagination unnerving. Aficionados of noir Los Angeles will read ‘The Kept Girl’ with fascination and with growing horror.” (John Buntin, author of “L.A. Noir”)… “A delightful addition to this city’s literature. The effortlessness with which it borrows against the Chandler tradition while… retaining its unique intelligence and slyly contemporary flavor is just plain stunning.” (Matthew Specktor, author of “American Dream Machine”)… “Holy cats, this woman can write!” (David Kipen, editor of “The WPA Guide to Los Angeles”)

“The Kept Girl” by Kim Cooper is released in February 2014 from Esotouric Ink. Subscriptions to the deluxe first edition may be purchased for $65 through December 25, 2013 from http://www.theketpgirl.com.

Additional information, including sample chapter, can be found at http://www.thekeptgirl.com and http://www.esotouric.com

Podcast focusing on the corrupt 1920s backdrop of the novel, featuring John Buntin (“L.A. Noir”) at http://esotouric.com/canteatsunshine46

Esotouric’s Kim Cooper and Richard Schave are available for interviews about Kim’s novel “The Kept Girl” and the launch of Esotouric Ink, Raymond Chandler, the “real-life Philip Marlowe” Thomas H. James and the bizarre intersection of the Great Eleven Cult with Chandler’s professional life in the oil business. Journalists on assignment can often be accommodated on the Esotouric bus. Contact ink@esotouric.com, 213-373-1947

For an e-book review copy of “The Kept Girl,” please specify format (.epub, .mobi or PDF), and provide the name of outlet where the review will appear and proposed publication date to inkATesotouricDOTcom.

Celebrate Downtown L.A. women's history, from burlesque to missionary work, with LAVA's free Sunday Salon

For immediate release
 
October 22, 2013
Celebrate Downtown L.A. women's history, from burlesque to missionary work, with LAVA's free Sunday Salon
WHO: Presented by LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association.
WHAT: The LAVA Sunday Salon cultural speaker's series offers a Downtown women's history program featuring Professor Paul Rood (Biola) on "'Bible Women' and Urban Gospel Welfare Work in Los Angeles, 1890-1925" and Leslie Zemeckis presenting on her new book of burlesque lore, "Behind the Burly Q."
WHEN: Sunday, October 27, 12pm-2pm followed by Richard Schave's free Broadway architectural walking tour on the history of Bullocks department store at 2:30pm. Salons fall on the last Sunday of the month.  
WHERE: Mezzanine level, Les Noces du Figaro restaurant, 618 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA, 90014.
COST: Free, no reservations required for Salon attendance. Walking tour is also free, with reservations required.
OCTOBER 27 SALON INFO: http://lavatransforms.org/salon1013
WALKING TOUR INFO: http://lavatransforms.org/flaneur-broadway-on-my-mind-4
NOVEMBER 24 SALON INFO: http://lavatransforms.org/salon1113
STREET CLOSURE ALERT: The Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon is scheduled from 7am-1pm in downtown Los Angeles on 10/27. For maps and recommended routes, see http://lavatransforms.org/salon1013
CONTACT: Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947
LOS ANGELES- Launched in 2010 by Richard Schave and Kim Cooper, the proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures, the creative consortium LAVA (The Los Angeles Visionaries Association) has established itself as one of the city's most intriguing arts collectives, with a calendar packed with compelling, offbeat urban events and an ever-growing list of notable Visionary contributors. 
Once a month, on the last Sunday, LAVA hosts a free curated series of cultural presentations, the LAVA Sunday Salon. The popular program feature talks and performances from a remarkable collection of writers, musicians, visual artists, historians, clowns, archivists, collectors, fashion designers, curators, theater companies, fortune tellers, film directors, educators, preservationists and scientists. Formerly held at Clifton's Cafeteria, , the LAVA Sunday Salon remains on Broadway in the mezzanine of the restaurant Les Noces du Figaro, the former site of Schaber's Cafeteria. 
LAVA's Sunday Salon is one of the hottest (free) tickets for urban explorers seeking intelligent conversation, connection and inspiration—it is an incubator for the most exciting ideas and research celebrating Los Angeles history and culture. 
The LAVA Sunday Salon returns on Sunday, October 27 from noon-2pm, and all are welcome to dine together and socialize, or attend compelling presentations by LAVA Visionaries, followed by a free Broadway architecture tour on the history of Bullocks department store, hosted by LAVA co-founder Richard Schave. 
PRESENTERS AT THE OCTOBER SUNDAY SALON 
1) Join LESLIE ZEMECKIS as she talks about her new book, "Behind the Burly Q."  Based on her hit documentary, Zemeckis has culled from over a 100 hours of interviews with musicians, strippers, comedians and novelty acts going beyond the g-strings and the tassels. Yes, the mob had a hand in clubs. Stage Door Johnnies sent jewels. Some of the biggest names walked across the burly stages; Abbott and Costello, Gypsy Rose Lee, Bert Lahr, Sophie Tucker and on and on. But there were hundreds of men and women who worked week after week, year after year. Who were they? Where did they come from? And what became of them when burlesque died? "Behind the Burly Q" takes you on the road with Alan Alda whose father Robert was a "tit" singer. With an emphasis on the star strippers like Lili St. Cyr, Blaze Starr, Tempest Storm, and Dixie Evans, the Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque, women who enjoyed the heights of stardom despite a grueling schedule of 6 shows a day –- and if you worked the carnival circuit, 30 shows a day!
2) PROFESSOR PAUL ROOD of Biola University presents "'Bible Women' and Urban Gospel Welfare Work in Los Angeles, 1890-1925." At the Salon, Prof. Rood will introduce us to some of the colorful "Bible Women" of early Los Angeles. These "Bible Women" were an eclectic group of ladies who lived and served in some of the toughest and neediest neighborhoods of Los Angeles, providing a blend of Gospel witness and humanitarian welfare assistance. Christian businessmen such as Lyman Stewart (the oilman and philanthropist who is the subject of Prof. Rood's forthcoming biography), Samuel Merrill and Frederick Rindge supported and advocated for the "Bible Women" as the strongest and most effective force for good in late Victorian and early progressive era Los Angeles.
Photos and video from some past LAVA Sunday Salons are here: 
LISTING OF PAST SUNDAY SALONS AT CLIFTON'S CAFETERIA: 
http://lavatransforms.org/cliftonsalons
SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS ON VIDEO AND IN PHOTOS:
"Old Bunker Hill: One Family's Perspective" (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EloQciq6SbI
IAN WHITCOMB (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94lPdqRcXVs
CACOPHONY SOCIETY / GENE SCULATTI / IAN WHITCOMB (video): http://lavatransforms.org/salonvideo311
MESMERELDA, THE SKID ROW MISFORTUNE TELLER (video): http://lavatransforms.org/hauntsandhorrors
GENE SCULATTI'S FOLK ART SCROLL (photos):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardschave/sets/72157623729484726/
JOAN RENNER'S COSMETIC EPHEMERA COLLECTION (photos):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardschave/sets/72157624174080520/
ABOUT LAVA: Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA's creative partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in their work. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPER—proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog series (including On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land)—LAVA brings together L.A.'s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers. The first crop of Visionaries in the growing curated community includes cultural chronicler ADRIENNE CREW, artist and Eastside historian AL GUERRERO, Cacophony Society co-founder AL RIDENOUR, avant garde fashion maven A. LAURA BRODY, poet/publisher ALEIDA RODRIGUEZ, back-to-nature pioneer ALICIA BAY LAUREL, filmmaker ALLISON ANDERS, writer/curator ALLON SCHOENER, designer/mom of Chicken Boy AMY INOUYE, custom tours maven ANNE BLOCK, documentarian/radio producer ANTHEA RAYMOND, author/gallerist APRIL DAMMANN, memoirist BARBARA KRAFT, pop culture historian BECKY EBENKAMP, ethnomusicologist BETO GONZALEZ, puppeteer BOB BAKER, tile historian BRIAN KAISER, producer/promoter CHRISTIAN VOLTAIRE MEOLI, cultural events programmer CHRISTINA GALANTE, musician COUNT SMOKULA, performance artist CRIMEBO THE CLOWN, writer/Libros Schmibros proprietor DAVID KIPEN, Novelist DAVID ROCKLIN, forensic educator DEREK PACIFICO, sculptor DONALD GIALANELLA, forensic scientist/educator DONALD JOHNSON, author/educator DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY, educator and historic cemetery board member DWAIN CARLO CRUM, artist ELENA MARY SIFF, documentarian ELIJAH DRENNER, conversation curator ERIC VOLLMER, social connector EVONNE HEYNING, musician/performance artist FEATHERBEARD, photographer GARY LEONARD, pop critic/outsider artist GENE SCULATTI, musician/artist GEORGE EARTH, songsmith HARVEY SID FISHER, theater director HOLLY WITHAM, musician/writer IAN WHITCOMB, artist JASON HADLEY, food blogger JAVIER CABRAL, musician JEFF BOYNTON, filmmaker JEREMY KASTEN, musician JIMI CABEZA DE VACA, social historian JOAN RENNER, writer/artist JOE OESTERLE, writer JOHN BUNTIN, filmmaker JON ALLOWAY, documentarian JOHN DULLAGHAN, Musso & Frank co-owner JORDAN JONES, performance artist JULES ROCHIELLE, curator JULIE RICO, cultural curator and writer KIM OHANNESON, "Kristin's List" cultural chronicler KRISTIN BEDFORD, songstress/prognosticator MADAME PAMITA, esoteric scholar MAJA D'AOUST, author/broadcaster MANNY PACHECO, writer MARGUERITE DARLINGTON, performer McCRISTOL HARRIS, visual artist MELVIN HALE, journalist MICHAEL LINDER, photographic archivist MICHAEL RISNER, poet/dancer MONA JEAN CEDAR, architectural historian NATHAN MARSAK, writer NEAL POLLOCK, theater director NICHOLAS HOSKING, L.A. Historic Theater Foundation rep NICK MATONAK, music producer NO'A WINTER LAZERUS, musician OCTAVIUS, writer /photographer /musician PAUL KOUDOUNARIS, peace activist PAUL NUGENT of the Aetherius Society, 3-D photography expert RAY 3D ZONE, activist and performer RD PLASSCHAERT, historic ghost seeker RICHARD CARRADINE, artist/musician RICH POLYSORBATE 60, filmmaker/preservationist ROSS LIPMAN, singer-songwriter RUTHANN FRIEDMAN, ghost hunter SARAH TROOP, social networking mistress SHAWNA DAWSON, painter/gallerist SUSAN DOBAY, artist/writer/activist SUSANNA DAKIN, Warhol star and writer TERE TEREBA, sculptor TOM WALKER, musical entertainer THE UKULADY, and hat designer YASMIN DIXON.
Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at http://lavatransforms.org/apply
To learn more about LAVA, please visit http://www.lavatransforms.org
 
LAVA founders Kim Cooper and Richard Schave and most of LAVA's Visionary members are available for interviews. Contact Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947

Tours and talks pack October's historic Los Angeles true crime weekend

For immediate release

October 8, 2013

Tours and talks pack October's historic Los Angeles true crime weekend

 

WHAT: Esotouric's Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour and historic forensic science seminar "Los Angeles 1920-1947: The Birth of Forensic Science"

WHEN: Bus tour Saturday, October 19, 12pm-4pm; forensic science seminar Sunday, October 20, 12-4pm

WHERE: Bus tour departs from The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 5th & Olive, L.A., forensic science seminar held at The Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Cal State L.A.

COST: Bus tour is $58/person; forensic science seminar is sold out (tickets were $36.50) with the next seminar, "Boom! American Bombings, 1876-1990" scheduled 1/19/14 (http://lavatransforms.org/crimelabjan2014)

OCTOBER EVENT INFO: http://www.esotouric.com or http://lavatransforms.org/crimelaboct2013 – phone 213-373-1947

LOS ANGELES- Over the weekend of October 19-20, L.A. crime historians will shine a light on some of the most fascinating cases ever worked by LAPD and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, from technological innovations to memorable feats of detecting.

 

On Saturday, October 19, the eclectic bus adventure company Esotouric offers its most popular true crime tour, THE REAL BLACK DAHLIA. Then on Sunday, October 20, LAVA – the Los Angeles Visionaries Association hosts a sold out forensic science seminar at Cal State Los Angeles, LOS ANGELES 1920-1947: THE BIRTH OF FORENSIC SCIENCE, featuring the Black Dahlia investigation, the Bluebeard Watson case, the Wineville chicken coop murders (aka "The Changeling" case) and more.

 

ABOUT ESOTOURIC'S REAL BLACK DAHLIA TOUR:

Since January 1947, this one iconic murder mystery has lingered unsolved at the forefront of the American imagination, with dozens of books, films and websites dedicated to solving the slaying of Beth Short, the Massachusetts girl who came to Hollywood hoping to make it, and ended up cut in two in a vacant lot. Suspects in the Black Dahlia murder have included L.A. Times publisher Norman Chandler and Orson Welles, crazed lesbians, twisted drifters and more than one writer's father, but still the mystery abides.

 

The Real Black Dahlia tour dedicates itself to revealing who victim Elizabeth Short really was by exploring her life in Los Angeles from mid 1946 to her January 1947 murder through examination of the police investigation and news coverage. The various theories are up for discussion during the onboard Q&A sections, and the hosts share their idea of who the killer might have been, but the focus is firmly on the 22-year-old woman whose death continues to fascinate. Along the way, passengers will explore the social history of postwar Los Angeles and its lively downtown scene and learn the role the city played in Short's mysterious death.

The tour begins at the Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, where Beth Short went after checking her bags at the Greyhound Terminal. Passengers will tour the beautifully restored hotel before heading south, to the low rent Olive Street bar where she met her murderer. The Downtown portion of the tour includes the Examiner newspaper offices, where the crime became myth as pioneering female City Editor Aggie Underwood spun the case for weeks, and the Figueroa Hotel, where Short stayed in happier times.

The bus then heads west towards Leimert Park and the formerly vacant lot where Short's bisected body was discovered on January 15, 1947. Also in this neighborhood, passengers visit the site of another unsolved 1940s kidnap-murder and the home of Dr. Walter Bayley, who has emerged in recent years as the most compelling suspect, with his personal ties to Beth Short's family and the crime scene, and the surgical skill needed to bisect the body. The tour includes a cop-approved snack stop for coffee and donuts near the body dump site.

The tour concludes at the Biltmore, where passengers may choose to linger over a late afternoon tea to remember Beth Short.

 

Also featured: a special presentation from cosmetics historian Joan Renner exploring Beth Short's unusual proto-goth make up, so different from the popular girl next store look of 1947, and a key to understanding her psychology.

Passengers on this eye-opening and informative tour will leave with a new understanding of the Black Dahlia case and what it was like to be a single woman in 1940s Los Angeles. It is highly recommended for natives and newcomers, crime and history buffs and anyone who likes to seek out the unexpected.

 

ABOUT LAVA'S FORENSIC SCIENCE SEMINARS:

Esotouric's Richard Schave and Kim Cooper, in association with LAVA Visionary Professor Donald Johnson, present a quarterly series of lectures that serve as fundraisers for the graduate Criminalistics department. The next seminar on the schedule is LASD Senior Arson Investigator Ed Nordkog's "Boom! American Bombings, 1876-1990" (January 19, 2014, http://lavatransforms.org/crimelabjan2014)

 

For "Los Angeles 1920-1947: The Birth of Forensic Science" (October 20, 2013) presentation #1 is by Mike Fratantoni, an LASD Deputy who sits on the board of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Museum. Mike will introduce the fascinating and complex 1920 James “Bluebeard” Watson serial murder case, which had a profound impact on the development of the LASD’s homicide department. This new department allowed future investigators to maximize efficiency by pooling resources for evidence gathering and analysis, often using the forensic skills of contract chemist Arthur Mass. Next, Meiling Cabral, Chair of the California Association of Criminalists’ Historical Committee, and a forensic investigator for the LAPD, presents on three defining LAPD and LASD cases that influenced the development of modern forensic investigation: the Marion Parker kidnapping, the Wineville chicken coop murders and the Black Dahlia murder. Meiling combines a practicing forensic scientist’s experience and an historian’s passion for reconstructing the past, to bring to life the legendary Los Angeles investigators who invented the field. Looming above them all is the LAPD’s Ray Pinker, who would go on to found the CSULA Criminalistics Department, the site of today’s seminar. Vintage forensic collection kits will be available for viewing between presentations, along with tours of the teaching crime labs and crime scene reconstruction lab.

 

Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and special event schedule (free events starred)

* Thurs October 10 - Union Rescue Mission Walking Tour (info at lavatransforms.org)

* Thurs October 10 - Of Scrap & Steel screening (info at lavatransforms.org)

Sat. October 12 - Blood & Dumplings crime bus tour

Sat. October 19 - The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour

Sun. October 20 - Crime lab seminar: Los Angeles 1920-1947: The Birth of Forensic Science (info at lavatransforms.org)

Sat. October 26 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

* Sun. October 27 - LAVA's Sunday Salon (info at lavatransforms.org)

* Sun. October 27 - Broadway on My Mind walking tour #4

Sat. November 2 - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's Southern California Nightmare

Sat. November 9 - Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles

Sat. November 16 - East Side Babylon crime bus tour

Sat. November 23 -Weird West Adams crime bus tour

* Sun. November 24 - LAVA's Sunday Salon (info at lavatransforms.org)

* Sun. November 24 - Broadway on My Mind walking tour #5

Sat. November 30 – Special Event: Richard's 45th Birthday Bus Tour

Sun. January 19, 2014 - Crime lab seminar: Boom! American Bombings, 1876-1990 (info at lavatransforms.org)

Esotouric's Richard Schave, Kim Cooper and Joan Renner are proud members of LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. http://www.lavatransforms.org

For more info on Esotouric, visit http://www.esotouric.com

For more on the Dr. Walter Bayley theory, visit Larry Harnisch's "Heaven is Here" website http://www.lmharnisch.com/

 

Tour hosts Kim Cooper, Richard Schave and Joan Renner are available for interviews. Members of the press on assignment are always welcome on the bus, space permitting. It may be possible to accommodate a reporter on assignment in the sold out crime lab seminar, and interviews with participants are available. Contact Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 213-373-1947.

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