LA TIMES BOOK FESTIVAL 2018
April 23, 2018
I went to the LA Times Book Festival by train - it was free today in celebration of Earth Day. It took about a half an hour to get the Festival which is held on USC's campus.
The train lets me off right at the entrance to the Festival.
A word about the USC campus - incredible. A more beautiful campus will be hard to find.
Spread over this large campus are about 100 or so events, usually about a dozen going on at the same time, so you have to pick and choose carefully.
My first event was at an open air venue - that is the great advantage of being in LA for a festival of any kind, you are outside for most of the events. It was a conversation with Maria Shriver and here is the brief bio provided of her
Shriver is the mother of four, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, the author of six New York Times bestselling books and a bestselling coloring book, an NBC News Special Anchor, and founder of The Women's Alzheimer's Movement. Her most recent book is "I've Been Thinking . . .: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life." When she's not thinking or writing, she can be found hanging out with her kids.
What the bio doesn't say is that this is Maria Shriver (MS), daughter of Eunice Kennedy who was JFK, RFK and Ted Kennedy's sister. Eunice married Sargent Shriver who was one of the architects of the "War on Poverty" and a founder of the Peace Corps. He was a member of the "Kennedy Clan." MS spoke about how difficult it was to grow up in her family because all the children were expected to be involved in changing the world for the better. Her parents were both committed activists and expected their children to be an activist too. So, MS said, "I decided to get away from all of that when I met and married Arnold Schwarzenegger and moved to California. I wanted to just leave all that political stuff behind and stay as far away from politics as I could. It didn't quite work out that way." Her husband became the Governor of California.
MS talked about growing up and having people be disappointed when they found out that she wasn't RFK or Ted Kennedy's daughter and so, as she said, "They would say, oh? and then start looking for Caroline."
MS spoke about her children and how they were raised. She said that Arnold was a strict parent and, for example, all of her children at a young age did their own laundry and made their own beds and had chores. That was Arnold's way of keeping them centered amidst the Hollywood hype.
MS said that one of the centers of her life is her religion - not just Catholicism but all religions are based on love and forgiveness. She said that learning to forgive people was one of the most difficult things for her, but also one of the most uplifting. While she was growing up, her family had all sorts of people who they told MS that they didn't like, most political opponents. When her husband became governor of California, she realized that not all republicans were evil.
Asked about our divisive times and does she see any good coming from them, she related that both she and her husband had tried to get their children involved in political issues but they failed - until Trump. He got them involved.
Her new book is I've Been Thinking...