Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

Missing people and unsolved mysteries

March 19, 2017 Leave a comment

I recently wrote a story about a filmmaker who made a documentary about a 90-year-old cold case. In 1927, a young girl’s body was found in Fredericksburg, Texas. Ten days later, after nobody claimed the body, she was buried in a local cemetery. Boy Scouts went door to door to collect funds.

In 15-plus years I’ve been a journalist, it was one of the toughest stories to write. The young girl was murdered, and her assailant has never been found, nor does anyone know why she was murdered. Her name remains a mystery. She never grew up, never got to live a life, get married, have kids, grow old. She remains a young girl, frozen in time.

Her story reminded me of some creepy stories I’ve heard over the years from friends and acquaintances…

…The lady whose aunt, in 1982 in Los Angeles, walked to a grocery store. She never returned home. I first heard the story in 2002, and after 20 years, police still had absolutely no clues…

…An actor friend who acted in a horror movie based an abandoned car on a California highway. The car was registered to a woman, who had disappeared. She was never found.

The case gets especially heartbreaking when you go to the FBI website and look up missing persons reports. You will drown in the results.

Lord willing, that little girl’s mystery will be solved.

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A few thoughts about the NFL season

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Tomorrow night the NFL season begins when the Green Bay Packers will take on the New Orleans Saints (I think the Saints will win). A few things I think will happen this season…maybe I’ll be right, or maybe not:

…Some have picked the Dallas Cowboys to go 9-7. I like Dallas’ offense but even with Rex Ryan heading up Dallas’ defense, I remember how bad it was last year and am not sure Ryan can turn it around so quickly. (Ironically, Ryan is the son of former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Buddy “Bounty Bowl” Ryan)…

…Many believe the Philadelphia Eagles will finish first in the NFC East. I think it will all come down to Michael Vick and whether he has matured and if he can really step back and quarterback instead of just scrambling around…

…Will the Dallas Cowboys finally get corporate sponsorship for Cowboys Stadium? All I know is it won’t be Philadelphia Cream Cheese Stadium…

…Frustrated with their lack of getting their own stadiums, the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders will discuss doing what the New York Giants and New York Jets do–share a stadium. It’s either that or you have the San Jose 49ers or Los Angeles Raiders…

…And speaking of Tinsel Town, I would not be surprised if San Diego, St. Louis or Jacksonville relocates to L.A. All three want new stadiums, but the Rams would be the sentimental, “prodigal home” choice. One has to wonder, with Atlanta to the not-so-distant north and in a state with the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will Jacksonville ever truly be an NFL town?…

…I would not be shocked if the Detroit Lions made it to the playoffs. At all. And if they do, head coach Jim Schwartz should be named NFL Coach of the Year…

…Pittsburgh Steelers headhunter/linebacker James Harrison will receive yet another fine for a vicious hit and will probably receive another fine when he responds by saying NFL commissioner Roger Gooddell is softening up the NFL defenses so much they’ll all be auditioning for the Austrian Boys Choir…

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The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien


So far, probably the only thing I’d say I’m not a huge fan of about The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien are the monologues. I like Conan’s monologues, but they tend to delve more into physical comedy and stream-of-conscious quips rather. I liked Jay Leno’s standup routine. Jay made fun of everybody and was very funny with great timing.

I think timing is a big part of what makes Conan funny also.

Last night, I almost pulled a stomach muscle laughing at his Twitter Tracker bit where he was starting to get upset with the voice-over guy. And, of course, his shopping spree on a less-than-upscale side of Los Angeles.

I wonder if Conan will have on as a guest his distant cousin, Denis Leary.

Dad and Mom Zowie: Happy Golden Anniversary!

Sent off to the Beeville Bee-Picayune

By Richard Zowie

If you’ve ever spent any time around the Zowie family during gatherings, you’re bound to hear this amusing story:

A U.S. Army serviceman, born in Colorado but raised in Torrance, Calif. (a suburb of Los Angeles) is stationed at Fort Sill, Okla., in the late 1950s. He’s just finished a hamburger at a diner and is about to start on his second one when Conrad, his Army buddy from southwestern Oklahoma, tells him:

“Richard, this is Joy.”

Joy was Conrad’s friend and the young lady Richard had been writing to over the past several months.

Richard (or Dad, as I call him) apparently didn’t finish his second hamburger. But a few months later on May 16, 1959, he and Joy (whom I call Mom) were married.

And on May 16, 2009, Dad and Mom celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. A few days before, Mom told me it would be just an ordinary day of staying busy and getting things done.

That’s what she thought, as Dad surprised her with a night out and a gathering of my sisters and their families. (Unfortunately, being in Michigan, I wasn’t able to attend).

Mom told me they also received an item from President Barack Obama commemorating their 50th anniversary. I wasn’t surprised, since when my wife’s grandparents reached their 50th anniversary back in 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives issued a proclamation recognizing it.

Commendations from the U.S. House and from the President himself are fitting for such an occasion. Fifty years is a long time, especially when you consider that many marriages today won’t even last half that long. We live in a culture where marriages come and go. Hardly a day goes by without reading of a celebrity couple divorcing, some after only a few months of marriage. Some seem to exchange marriage partners the way normal folks change dirty clothes for clean ones. Even Mel Gibson and his wife, Robyn, are divorcing after more than 25 years. Someone once quipped that a 10-year marriage in Hollywood was equivalent to a 50-year marriage in the “real” world.

Let’s put 50 years into perspective:

Dad and Mom were married four years when my oldest sister, Sabrina (who’s, um, um, let’s just say “past 40”, was born. Sabrina was also born a few days before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Six years when my sister, Kimberly (who passed away in infancy), was born.

Seven years when my sister, Misti, was born.

Ten years when America landed on the moon.

Twelve years when Bobby Fischer became the first American world chess champion.

Thirteen years when yours truly was born.

Seventeen years during the 1976 bicentennial.

Twenty years when the Shah fled Iran during that country’s Islamic revolution.

Twenty-five years during the 1984 Summer Olympic games in Los Angeles (coincidentally, near where Dad grew up).

Forty years in 1999 during the Y2K frenzy.

From what I’ve observed in my parents along with interviewing another couple that had been married for 50 years, the secret towards golden bliss is there’s really no secret. Successful marriages do take hard work, but they require the fundamentals.

Communication. Spending time together. Being thoughtful. Being friends.

The times I’ve observed my parents over the years, they also seem like close friends who like to tease each other. It’s also about purposing to yourself that this is the person you want to spend your life with and that you’ll do everything you can to be happy and to make them happy. Marriage is also about budgeting, paying bills and addressing issues when they come up.

Under these circumstances I often think if people choose to view marriage as a business deal and want their partner to sign a pre-nuptial agreement, then they’re not ready for marriage. If you’re one to employ a “just in case this marriage doesn’t work” approach, then you really should ask if you’re marrying the person who’s right for you.

The next time a celebrity magazine does a story about the latest ugly divorce in Hollywood and who’s accusing whom of what, maybe they should instead devote an issue to profiling couples who’ve been married 50 years. Instead of finding out why marriages fail, readers could benefit more from hearing about successful marriages and why they succeed.

Richard Zowie grew up in Beeville and works as a writer in Michigan. His blog is at, and his e-mail address is