The Bob Costa backstory

What a pleasant surprise to open my Friday paper and see Bob Costa looking straight at me (“Landing stirs Apollo memories,” July 22).

For those who don’t know, Bob and his wife Mary-Anne ran the Eagle Rock comic book store, Another World, for three decades, ending in 2006. In the 1960s and 70s, they worked on many movies and TV series.

The article barely acknowledged their history, focusing mostly on their witnessing the 1969 moon launch.

As a freshman from Hawaii entering Occidental College in 1980, I sought out the nearest comic book shop to feed my weekly habit. I walked the 20 blocks to their store on Colorado Boulevard and kept coming back every Saturday afternoon.

It was there, later that year, that I met my first celebrity, “Star Trek’s” George Takei, who asked me how I liked L.A. so far. I said it was OK, but I still wasn’t used to the smog.

“Well, don’t get used to it, because we have to get rid of it,” he said.

After graduation, I became a writer, interviewed the actor several times, and became friends with him.

In the fall of 1988, after my job at “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem” ended, I struggled to make ends meet as a freelance entertainment reporter for the Times. Mrs. Costa urged me not to get out of the music business because it would be that much harder to get back in. I agreed, and took her advice.

Luckily, in early 1989, I got a job writing Dick Clark’s syndicated radio show “Countdown America” (later re-named “The U.S. Music Survey”), which lasted 17 years until the end of 2005.

When the Costas decided to sell their store in 2006, I tried to convince Mrs. Costa to have a going-away party so that people could gather to reminisce about what the little shop meant to them. She seemed to think it was a good idea, but it never happened, and before I knew it, Another World was sold to someone else (it didn’t last long).

I’m glad to know the Costas are still alive and well. And I hope they read the above. It’s part of what I would’ve said at their farewell party.

Thanks for the memories!

Guy Aoki


Declaration of war is long overdue

Thank you, Pat Grant (“It's time to declare war on joblessness,” July 24)!

Here's my horror story: The local big-name movie studio that recently laid off dozens, including my friend's husband, paid zero taxes last year.

Tons of work needs doing (infrastructure, housing, green tech — you name it, we need it), and too many people are desperate for work.

A tax increase amounting to petty cash to the top 3% (and if you think this is you, do the math — it probably isn't by a long shot), and curbing corporate welfare would help pay for it.

Plus, all three — employment, tax fairness, corporate responsibility — are good for both social harmony and political stability.

Swiftly ending our overseas wars and occupations, which aren't increasing homeland security anyway, will free up the rest of the multi-billions of dollars needed to fund job creation. This will return us to respectability in the world community.

Local businesses, large and small — and thus local governments — won't prosper again until people have paychecks so they can buy stuff.

Raise the debt ceiling and forget the deficit for the immediate future. This declaration of war is long overdue.

Roberta Medford


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