Calendar Feedback: Drive-throughs are still cruising; Adele

In-N-Out  Burger
The line for the drive-through at In-N-Out Burger in Hollywood snakes along North Orange Drive on April 29, 2020. With the loss of in-store dining, traffic has increased in the popular location, according to employees.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

I loved Carolina Miranda’s article [“Drive-throughs to the Rescue in L.A.,” May 10]. But I vehemently disagree that, “Before the crisis, the drive-through had been fast losing status, often deployed as a symbol of obesity and the worst of car-dependent urban design.”

That may be the opinion of someone financially capable of saying, “I pulled up to a side street in downtown L.A.’s Fashion District, where I dialed a number, popped open my trunk and waited for a masked worker from Rossoblu to deposit a lasagna and a bottle of Barbera in my trunk.”

I had to Google to find out what “Rossoblu” was.

In my neighborhood, as well as in much of Southern California, drive-throughs thrive, and those of us in line for a Double-Double and fries care nothing about status, or losing that. We’re just hungry and often on a budget.


I’m sure the lasagne Bolognese washed down with some Giornata 2018 Barbera (red) is a great meal, but you could get about seven Double-Doubles with seven orders of fries for about the same amount of money.

Not sure if they’ll put it in your trunk, though.

Donald Bentley
La Puente

Adele’s image misunderstood

Regarding Mary McNamara’s column on Adele’s weight loss [“Let Pedestals Fall and Stand Tall,” May 8]: I have a simple five-word response to those purist snobs who believe Adele’s career is over if she doesn’t lose 20 pounds: Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney.

Bob Murtha
Santa Maria

The industry’s most vulnerable

Regarding Anousha Sakoui’s “The Hazards of a Stuntwoman” [May 5]: Thanks for a great but sad story. I hope it informs many others in the motion picture industry of their financial vulnerabilities.

David Pohlod
Oak Park

Welcome peek into family life

I was completely mesmerized by Mary McNamara’s family journey through her husband’s illness during the pandemic [“Silver Lining to a Cancer Diagnosis,” May 6].


I would have liked it more without the political jabs. Thanks for sharing. I was almost over the moon.

Myrna Fein
Stevenson Ranch


Bravo, Mary McNamara. I think there are a lot of us who are so tired of the humble bragging that seems to have flourished under the “Safer At Home” mandate.


I suspect a lot of the bragging is spurred by massive feelings of fear and insecurity. Personally, I’m grateful for quite a lot right now as I seek to keep my 70-year-old parents healthy and keep my family healthy.

Anything beyond that is a bonus.

Hassan Abdul-Wahid
Los Angeles



Please let Mary McNamara know how much I appreciated her column. From the first line about the refrigerator magnet and the Irish (you might guess I sympathize, being an O’Brien) to the last about all the estrogen in the house, she kept my wife and I smiling and laughing about a common problem for men with prostate cancer.

It was a delightful column about family life and our current stay-at-home era. I kept nagging my wife at the breakfast table; “Have you read Mary McNamara yet?” and she kept telling me: “I’m getting there. I start at the front of the paper and proceed page by page. I know you like to jump around.”

When she finally got there, methodically, she laughed as heartily as I did.

I would say more, but I feel it is time to bake some chocolate chip cookies. I haven’t cooked so much since I was in college.


Patrick O’Brien
San Juan Capistrano

History repeats itself

I’ve always been fascinated by the plague monuments throughout Europe. Christopher Knight’s descriptive history of several monuments was enlightening reading [“A Memorial That Fits the Times,” May 6].

On a recent visit to the Czech Republic a cousin gifted me with a beautiful book of photographs of Olocmouc. I immediately picked up the book from my coffee table and found the fantastical Trinity monument Knight described.

Thank you for this personal connection to art, history and travel.


Margery Pope
Sherman Oaks


Who knew there were “plague columns” in Venice and Vienna? What a timely story by Christopher Knight.

Frances O’Neill Zimmerman
La Jolla


Maybe not so finished after all

In his book review of Jim Newton’s “Man of Tomorrow, The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown” [“Definitive look at a Captivating California Leader, May 8”], David Shribman says that the author had the advantage of writing about the finished product rather than a work in progress.

Is he sure about that?

Ron Garber

Remembering an L.A. figure

Performer-writer-composer Ian Whitcomb, a Los Angeles institution, died on April 19, and I haven’t seen his obituary in The Times. What gives?


Jim Dawson

Editor’s note: Whitcomb, who was a contributor to The Times over the years, was a British musician and longtime Los Angeles resident who became known for his radio show, which aired on KROQ, KCRW and KPCC, and author. He was noted for the hit singles “This Sporting Life” and “You Turn Me on.”

Sometimes less is more

Is it possible amid the pandemic, that late-night talk shows are more informative and entertaining without adoring audiences, applause signs and the breathless anticipation of touching a host?

Kimmel, Colbert. Meyers and Corden have the wit and tuned ear to engage the audience without need of over-production.


Sadly, Jimmy Fallon continues to fawn over guests and engage them in insider experiences that unthinkingly exclude the audience. He is also the only one who fails to understand his show, at 11:30 p.m., is aimed at adults who may not be interested in the antics of his adorable daughters.

However, ranked No. 1 in ratings, maybe his brand of down-home comedy is what people want.

Mario Valvo

A controversial play omitted

It seems strange that John McMurtrie’s appreciation of Michael McClure [“The Cool Cat With a Poet’s Roar,” May 8] would fail to mention the controversy over his 1965 play “The Beard.”


A two-person drama depicting the encounter of Billy the Kid and Jean Harlow in the afterlife, the play was shut down and the actors charged with obscenity and lewd conduct after the first few performances in San Francisco and Berkeley.

Litigation with representation by the ACLU succeeded in getting the charges dropped, and the play went on to many performances in various cities.

I saw the 1967 San Francisco production, and I remember it vividly, the characters taunting each other in a brutal seduction game. The closing minutes, with Billy’s head buried between Harlow’s thighs, she moans her final ecstatic soliloquy. It is etched in my memory — startling even now but more so 53 years ago.

Jeff Cohlberg
Rolling Hills Estates


Something fishy at Union Station

Since abandoning my regular commute to work in March I have missed the familiar faces and features I used to regularly encounter at Union Station.

The article on the fish at the Union Station aquarium [“Life’s Going Swimmingly Here,” May 7] was a delightful reassurance that life goes on.

Also, the origin story behind the aquarium and its inhabitants was genuinely interesting.

Thank you again for continuing to provide a semblance of normalcy in a difficult time.


Diane Cunningham