'Life & Times'

Last night's "Life and Times" program on KCET-TV, the PBS station in Los Angeles, ran a charming feature on Wilshire Boulevard and its place in the city's story. Correspondent Saul Gonzalez did a nice job melding historical photographs from the book with some pretty shots of the boulevard today. He interviewed me at Wilshire and Park View Street, which is where the first mansion on the boulevard was built in 1898. A statue of the home's owner, the late L.A. Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis, stands at the intersection and points across at the corner where he lived. The statue on the edge of MacArthur Park was brand new in 1921 when Buster Keaton hid next to it in the silent film Hard Luck.