The night is always broken by pain.

She wakes desperate to shake the frozen ache wrapped around her limbs.

Too weak to roll over, turn, shift, she nudges her husband who wearily pushes her into a new position.

The performance plays out up to a dozen times before sunlight slides through the shutters.

Kam Redlawsk is 38.

She dyes her hair brilliant colors, dotes on her dog Pippi, throws dinner parties and dreams up designs for product and toy companies.

She also has a rare genetic disorder that progressively weakens muscles as it inches throughout her body.

It is not fatal, but it deals in devastation. Although there is no loss of sensation, most patients eventually experience something similar to quadriplegia.

It first revealed itself in high school, when a sleepiness fluttered in her feet. Redlawsk blamed it on too much soccer. She was a midfielder, lithe and swift with a ball.

But then she started to trip on stairs.

Doctors’ theories proved false. Some friends and family members thought it was all in her head.

A few years later, Redlawsk had grown used to scanning her path for rough surfaces. Sidewalk cracks, curbs, small inclines, even grass, became obstacles.

By then she was studying design at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and taking calculated routes across campus.

The correct diagnosis, when it arrived, was unfathomable: GNE myopathy, also called hereditary inclusion body myopathy, or HIBM. Incredibly rare, it affects about 7,000 people around the globe.

Redlawsk has found there is no lasting way to navigate this steady procession to paralysis.

“I always think, ‘OK, this stage I can handle, I can do this.’ And then it gets worse.”

So, what does one do when darkness has been folded into your past and now haunts your future?


You travel.

Redlawsk would never know who handed down those fateful genes. She had been hours old when left at a maternity clinic in Daegu, South Korea. Born with a cleft palate, she battled measles, chicken pox and a deadly virus all within the first months of her life.

At 4, she was adopted by a couple from Chesterfield Township, Mich. She spent her summers riding bikes and playing baseball with her three older brothers. The description on her adoption papers proved true. She was introverted but social. Daring. Independent.

Two decades later and a doctor was pointing her down a path of complete debilitation.

“Quit school,” he advised. “You won’t be able to move around much longer. Buy a wheelchair.” He said it was unlikely Redlawsk would meet anyone with the same ailment.

The words felt like a sentence of solitude. Which lit a fire.

“I was like, ‘Screw you,’” Redlawsk recalled. She vowed to get her degree. She picked out a cane and ankle braces to steady her gait. And she did something she had put off for years. She bought a ticket to her birth country. That day.

Seoul, she would learn, burned bright and bustled. Redlawsk shopped the teeming streets of Myeongdong, slurped bowls of broth swimming with rice cakes and dumplings, and hiked a mountain to marvel at the Wonju countryside.

Of course, a young woman with a cane received stares, curious and impolite. Casual strolls wound up painstaking journeys. And Redlawsk relied heavily on friends from the area.

Still, when she returned, she felt uncaged. There were other places to go.

She would see Korea again, and take trips to Japan, France, Thailand, England, Mexico, Australia.

More manageable adventures have come via road trips — some planned, others on a whim. Friends who organized her fundraiser Bike for Kam have toted her down the coast in a carriage-like rig. Strangers offer to help her over rugged terrain or snap her photo.

Redlawsk likes it best when she feels adrift, when nature rises around her in a never-ending mural.

If you can, she suggests, take in a Death Valley sunset that paints a dozen hues on the sky. Let the rays bake against your back, then wait for the coal-colored canvas that arrives, glittered with stars.

Try a straight shot across Utah where ragged rock formations rise throughout the copper desert. See Mono Lake in the winter, when the sun glints against the snow. Head to Big Sur, Alabama Hills, Joshua Tree.

Just go. See. Move.


You love.

She met Jason Hazelroth in college. He too was adopted from Korea and they had grown up in towns 20 miles apart.

“Let’s hang out,” he said one day after class. He liked how Redlawsk seemed bold but introspective. They sauntered about Detroit’s Greektown. He offered his arm when she grew weary. He didn’t ask about her careful steps.

The two reconnected in Los Angeles, where Redlawsk landed a design job at Mattel. She crashed at Hazelroth’s place. And never left.

At their fall wedding, she pinned white flowers in her hair and clung to her father as she cautiously moved down the aisle.

Hazelroth learned the best way to assist his wife into the shower, up a flight of stairs, off of the ground.

By the time Redlawsk was 30, her slim frame was leaning heavily on her cane while her hips wobbled.

“Just fell,” she texted Hazelroth one day. “Some landscape guy helped me up. Pretty much didn’t avoid the boobs. :)”

“Sorry u fell. Did it feel inappropriate?”

“Who cares. I’m up! :)”.

When the two were out together, they were sometimes perceived as unequal partners. Redlawsk got looks of sympathy, while Hazelroth was sent admiring glances.

“Wouldn’t you love to just be able to run across the street with me?” Redlawsk asked her husband one spring evening as they dined at a cafe. “Not have to worry about where to park?”

Hazelroth was quiet. “I guess,” he finally said. He never liked such queries.

When they left the restaurant, Redlawsk struggled on the walk to the car, awkwardly thrusting one leg in front of the other.

Finally, Hazelroth leaned over, gathered his wife in his arms and carried her down the street.


You create.

Arms, hands, fingers. Throughout childhood, they were nimble and spirited, capable of sketching the images tumbling about in her head.

In college, they were deft with a computer, adding delicate touches to would-be cars and products for rigorous design courses.

At Mattel, they dreamed up Speed Racer toys and helped shape Mindflex, an innovative brainwave activity game showered with industry praise.

As her lower body became increasingly stubborn, Redlawsk was grateful to be an artist, able to shape, draw, form, write, invent.

At home, she whipped up Korean feasts of galbi, japchae and pajeon — maneuvering with a steady grip on the countertop. She wrote tales about her adventures with a bizarre disorder on her blog and for a column in a Korean American magazine. She drew accompanying illustrations that were fanciful but stark.

Redlawsk also found herself in charge of crafting the marketing materials for ARM, a nonprofit dedicated to researching GNE myopathy.

In touch with fellow patients around the world, she saw various stages of the disorder. Some friends urged her to continue walking for as long as possible. Carefully pushing muscles to perform was a small way of staving off deterioration — although the disorder eventually wins.

She held out until 33, when the shooting pain in her hips would not be ignored.

A wheelchair, she learned, was not so bad. It was nice to no longer worry about falling. And a relief to find that a life led with arms could be full.

But she heard a countdown begin.

“It’s kind of like the last end,” Redlawsk said. “If you’re looking at it like a timeline, it’s legs, wheelchair and then quadriplegic.”

Over the years, she has savored spare moments when her fingers tell her story through autobiographical illustrations.

In one, a girl’s arms have hardened into branches. Her legs are vines rooted in the earth.

In another, a motionless woman lies in a pair of cupped hands disintegrating in the wind. “Please don’t leave me,” it reads.


You yearn.

Redlawsk once drew a picture of a long-haired woman, her eyes closed while delicately blowing bubbles. Inside each sphere were babies that would never be.

She and Hazelroth have decided not to have children. Pregnancy would be hard on her body. Surrogacy’s expense is out of the question. They haven’t entirely ruled out adoption, but worry about raising a child without family nearby. Hazelroth, a concept artist at a video game company, is already fatigued from work and caring for his wife.

“I never thought of the typical fairy tale thing,” Redlawsk said on a recent afternoon at the Long Beach condo where she and Hazelroth have now settled.

“But I always envisioned myself having kids. I had like this weird love for my unborn daughter.”

As adoptees, the couple had dreamed of seeing a piece of themselves reflected in their children.

A friend encouraged Redlawsk to have a baby, to do what she truly wanted. The suggestion still makes her weep.

“Just because you decide not to do something doesn’t mean you don’t want it,” she said, her voice brittle. “It’s another thing that you can’t do that you want to do. But you get used to that. One day I can never draw anymore. It’s just the way it is.”

That morning, Redlawsk had gone to physical therapy where she spent time in a swimming pool, the one place where she can walk if she clings to Hazelroth. She also did exercises to help maintain the strength in her hands.

The soreness rippling throughout her upper body has been impossible to ignore.


You believe.

Years ago, Redlawsk became close with two brothers stricken with GNE myopathy who isolated the gene responsible for their disease.

Daniel and Babak Darvish, both doctors, are the founders of ARM. They are well-known within the Middle Eastern Jewish community, which has reported a higher frequency of the disorder.

The brothers licensed out an oral treatment to Ultragenyx, which led to the biopharmaceutical company testing a drug that could slow the rate of muscle atrophy.

The Darvishes say they are also developing gene therapy that has the potential to halt the disease’s progression altogether.

But the two have been unable to raise the $5 million needed to start clinical trials.

For Redlawsk, who considers the Darvishes her family and stays informed about their work, it can be a strange existence to know that the possibility of an antidote lives around the corner from the threat of total paralysis.

So she has tried to turn to what is concrete — what she is sure of right now.

She knows that the disorder guided her to her birth country, to California, into the arms of her husband. It gave vision to her art, gratitude for her mind, ignited her need for adventure. It deepened friendships and enriched experiences. It made her more reflective, more compassionate, more sure of what lies within.

All of which doesn’t balance out the terribleness of what continues to happen.

But it has forced Redlawsk to see how perspective can help make a bit of sense out of an unexpected life.

Like when she’s ordered up another journey and is being driven along the wild curves of the California coast, where the sea is vast and grand and bright.

It’s a moment when the majesty and enormity of the world overwhelms and she’s allowed to be lost in all that glory. And a woman whose limbs don’t move is suddenly diminished into a mere, laughable dot — so tiny and trivial and inconsequential. In the best of ways.


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Super-sized inflatable versions of items such as swans and pizza slices (ideal social media accessories) have made a splash in summer pools in the last couple of years. An Instagram video of actress Sofia Vergara attempting to ride a bucking bull pool float in April has garnered more than 7.1 million views.

Upping the ante, the 2-year-old Venice company Funboy has issued limited-edition artist designs, beginning with a reinvention of its swan float in 2016, with colorful graphics by Miami artist Alex Yanes; a tribal pattern by Venice artist Kelcey Fisher; and an aerial image of Sydney’s Bondi Beach by L.A. photographer Gray Malin.

This month, the brand has introduced a whimsical mermaid float ($128) and colorful mermaid tail bobbers ($69; all at dreamed up by bicoastal artist and illustrator Donald Robertson, also creative director at large for the Estée Lauder Cos. for the last decade.

The Funboy X Donald Robertson floats officially launched at a poolside cocktail party at Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood on June 6. The event was attended by a crowd including burlesque icon Dita Von Teese, celebrity florist Eric Buterbaugh, interior designer-to-the-stars Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Davis Factor, cofounder of Smashbox Studios and the Lauder-owned Smashbox cosmetics. (April marked the debut of a limited-edition, lip-shaped Funboy X Smashbox pool float for $79) an existing design re-created in three metallic colors to match shades of the company’s Liquid Lip Metals.)

“Funboy and Donald are a perfect match,” Factor said. “He has kids who are always in the pool and he can relate to the fun of the floats. Everything Donald does is magic. He brings so much joy to people with his art and illustrations.”

Funboy cofounder Max Barrett recalled a first meeting when Robertson drove to his apartment and unfurled a six-foot canvas decorated with a colorful concept drawing.

“We had been fans of Donald for so long. We thought, ‘We’re in the big leagues now,’” Barrett said. “We try to design everything to be extremely unique, beautiful to look at and functional. Cool floats have become such a thing. But you can’t worry about competitors. You just have to keep innovating and stay ahead of the trend.”

Added Barrett’s brother, Blake, who also works in the business: “The energy and ideas of the artists push us to think bigger and better. What’s great about Donald is that he’s so imaginative. Mermaids are real in Donald’s mind. There is no fantasy.”

Asked whether she might use the mermaid floats in her burlesque show, Von Teese responded, “I love them and I always wanted to do a mermaid act. I have a big giant shell that I haven’t really used yet. So maybe I’ll incorporate it. I did have a black latex mermaid tail back in the ’90s … But who didn’t?”

For fashion news, follow us at @latimesimage on Twitter.


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A Highland Park man is facing charges of not only trafficking drugs out of his home, but doing so while running an unlicensed day care center, federal and civil documents show.

In a federal complaint, Felipe Talamante, 48, is accused of trying to sell 20 kilograms of cocaine “direct from Mexico” to an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent on May 25, court records show.

Talamante boasted to a confidential informant that he had 20 kilograms of cocaine worth about $430,000 ready to sell, the criminal complaint shows. The informant then allegedly connected Talamante with the undercover agent.

When the men met to make the sale on May 25, authorities noticed that several children were playing in the front yard, documents show. One 2-year-old child was picked up from the home while the drug order was being placed, and officers conducting surveillance “observed children of all ages being picked up and dropped off at Felipe’s residence,” the criminal complaint said.

A child’s mattress was found in the same room as the cocaine, and children were seen playing on the patio during drug deals, authorities said.

Federal agents arrested Talamante on suspicion of being in possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He’s scheduled to be arraigned July 16, his attorney said. He’s being held in federal custody.

Talamante’s home, meanwhile, is subject to civil action.

On Monday, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office announced it had filed a nuisance abatement lawsuit against Talamante’s property. The lawsuit asks a judge to declare the property a public nuisance and to take it away from Talamante, who could then be banned from the property for a year.

The lawsuit also seeks to keep Talamante from operating any day care center in the city and force him to pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties. The property would then be sold at auction with the proceeds going toward rehabilitating the location.

Police had previously arrested Talamante at the same home in 2015 — also for possessing 20 kilograms of cocaine, according to the city attorney’s office.

“The rampant drug activity we allege at this home is a dangerous blight on the community — and especially alarming because little kids are caught up in the middle of it. Imagine if your children were being cared for in the same house where cocaine was being sold,” City Atty. Mike Feuer said in a statement. “My office will do everything in our power to shut down what we allege is an incredibly toxic combination of illegal drugs and day care.”

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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Visitors to Death Valley on Tuesday won’t need reminder that summer has arrived. The forecast is for sunny and 128, with — surprise — a zero chance of rain.

On Saturday, rangers at Death Valley National Park recorded the first 120-degree day of the year, and even hotter temperatures are predicted through at least Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters said temperatures at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, where the elevation is 190 feet below sea level, are expected to reach 126 to 128 degrees Tuesday, prompting park rangers to urge visitors to take precautions.

Such temps may make for terrific selfies beside the digital thermometer at the visitor center, but they are no laughing matter. Every couple of years, someone dies in the park due to overexposure to the extreme heat.

Earlier this month, a woman was hospitalized with third-degree burns to her feet after walking barefoot across the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Park officials said she had lost her sandals.

Summertime ground temperatures of 200 degrees and more have been recorded, a news release noted.

Such otherworldly heat is precisely what draws some summer visitors to the park: They get bragging rights. Visitors are welcome to enjoy — we use the term loosely — the experience, but rangers urge them to heed some common sense tips:

♦Carry lots of water, at least one gallon per person per day.

♦Eat light snacks throughout the day, even if you don’t feel hungry.

♦Wear a hat and use sunscreen.

♦Limit direct exposure to the heat and sun to no more than 15 minutes at a time. Spend the rest of your visit in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle.

♦Head for the hills — literally. Instead of focusing on the below-sea-level destinations, consider spending more time at the park’s higher elevations. Dante’s View, for example, has an elevation of nearly 5,500 feet.

♦Stay on paved roads. If your vehicle breaks down, stay with it rather than trying to walk somewhere for assistance.


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Angeles National Forest Service firefighters continued to gain ground Sunday on two separate brush fires burning near Castaic Lake and in the Wrightwood area of San Bernardino County.

The biggest gain was on the 11-acre brush fire burning near Wrightwood, dubbed the Zermatt fire, which is 50% contained, according to the agency’s Twitter account on Sunday.

A spokesman for the agency could not be reached for comment.

The Zermatt fire broke out shortly before noon on Saturday at Zermatt and Pacific Crest drives, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy told The Times.

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Father’s Day is quickly approaching, and for those who don’t have plans yet — don’t worry, L.A. has you covered. Spots around the city are offering drinks, bites and kid-friendly activities for the big day.

Drink with Dad

L.A. Beer Week starts this weekend, and there are plenty of Father’s Day events to kick off the celebrations.

Beer Week and Father’s Day? What a coincidence. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Angel City Brewery Food Truck and Music Fest: The Arts District brewery will host its third annual Father’s Day event during normal bar hours, from noon to 8 p.m. The bar has live music, games and a bevy of food trucks.

Boomtown’s Father’s Day Carnival: Dads can drink beer at this downtown brewery while the little ones tire themselves out in the bounce house or play games close by.

If culture’s more your jam

Visit the California African American Museum: A free Father’s Day event in Exposition Park will feature live music, exhibition access and some workshops, including a “gizmo lab” and a kite-making session. RSVP here.

Watch chalk artists in action: OK, so this isn’t specifically for Father’s Day, but there are plenty of family activities at the free Pasadena Chalk Festival, which lasts all weekend at Paseo Colorado. Hundreds of chalk artists from around the world cover the space with their creations, and there’s a “Children’s Chalkland” where kids can make Father’s Day cards and get their faces painted. A classic-car show is also part of the event.

Do you like playing with sidewalk chalk? Watch this video to see the amazing art created at the 2016 Pasadena Chalk Festival.

Hang out in cool cars: The Petersen Museum offers a free kid’s ticket with each adult ticket purchased on Father’s Day, plus photo ops in classic cars.

Laugh a little: UnCabaret hosts a weekly comedy show at the vegan restaurant Au Lac, in downtown L.A., and they’re teasing a “special musical guest” for Father’s Day.

Not enough options for you? We Like L.A., TimeOut and L.A. Weekly are brimming with more Father’s Day suggestions.

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Saturday’s declaration of a mistrial in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case in Pennsylvania raises new questions about whether there are other jurisdictions that could bring charges against the comedian, who as been publicly accused of misconduct by numerous women.

Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault in an incident involving former Temple University basketball staffer Andrea Constand at his home in suburban Philadelphia in 2004.

But many of the accusations against him — which date back decades — allegedly occurred in the Los Angeles area.

Statute of limitations looms large

Dozens of women have come forward to say Cosby assaulted them during the long decades of his stardom, starting in the 1960s. In many cases, the statute of limitations prevents prosecutors from filing charges. In at least one case reviewed, prosecutors cited a lack of evidence.

Cosby has denied wrongdoing and has filed suit against seven of his accusers, claiming they have defamed him.

Statutes of limitations vary widely from state to state when it comes to sexual crimes, from as short as a year for misdemeanors in some states to no deadline for rape in others. The charges filed in Montgomery County, Pa., came barely a month before the end of the 12-year window that prosecutors there had to charge Cosby in the alleged 2004 assault.

Another legal avenue

When the Los Angeles Police Department examined cases involving Cosby, legal experts said the evidence could become relevant even if no charges were filed in those cases.

California law allows victims to testify as witnesses even if their own cases never resulted in charges. The evidence is admissible due to a 1996 change in California evidence law that allowed witnesses to prove a pattern of behavior or propensity to commit a crime, experts said.

So far, however, no cases of that type have been brought in California.

Here is a closer look at the cases that were reviewed in L.A.:

Chloe Goins walks out of Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in January after delivering a statement alleging that she was sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby at the Playboy Mansion in 2008. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Chloe Goins

Since Cosby faced a slew of accusations a few years ago, officials in Los Angeles looked at two cases in particular.

One of the cases involved Chloe Goins. She told Los Angeles police and prosecutors that the comedian gave her a drink that caused her to black out during a party at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.

When she awoke, she said, she found herself naked on a bed with her breast moist and with Cosby biting her toes with his pants around his ankles.

Cosby’s attorneys have denied the accusations and said he was in New York at the time of the party.

Goins reported the allegation last year and was interviewed for 2½ hours by an LAPD detective and again in November 2015 by a prosecutor. She initially alleged the attack occurred at the “Midsummer Night’s Dream Party,” held in August 2008. During the investigation, however, she told police she was not certain what party she attended.

Videos of the Midsummer Night’s Dream Party from the perimeter of Holmby Hills mansion showed no images of Goins or a woman she said accompanied her, according to a 2016 report declining the prosecution.

Cosby was in New York the weekend of the party, prosecutors said. Detectives did not find Cosby’s name on any guest lists for 56 documented events at the Playboy Mansion in the summer of 2008. But they did find his name on the guest list for a February party, the report noted.

The woman who Goins said accompanied her to the mansion told police she did not know Goins and never visited the Playboy estate, Deputy Dist. Atty. Jodi M. Link wrote the report.

Link noted that two crimes described by Goins, misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor indecent exposure, are beyond the statute of limitations.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office also reviewed potential felonies still within the statute of limitations. Prosecutors determined that there was no evidence to support charges of sexual battery by restraint or sexual assault by intoxication.

Several women have claimed that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them. Though he has denied the allegations, several projects and appearances involving the comedian have been dropped or canceled.
Several women have claimed that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them. Though he has denied the allegations, several projects and appearances involving the comedian have been dropped or canceled. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Judy Huth

Judy Huth alleged that Cosby sexually assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was 16. Huth said Cosby put his hand down her pants and kissed her — allegations that his attorney denied.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck agreed to have his department investigate even those allegations beyond the statute of limitations because they might yield information about newer cases.

The district attorney’s office declined to prosecute, citing the statute of limitations.

Bill Cosby received three consecutive Emmy Awards for lead actor in a drama series for "I Spy." The comedian was the first African American to win the award.
Bill Cosby received three consecutive Emmy Awards for lead actor in a drama series for “I Spy.” The comedian was the first African American to win the award. (Associated Press)

1965 claim

Beyond the Goins and Huth matter, a third case involved a woman who said Cosby raped her in 1965 when she was 17. The woman said Cosby took her to a Hollywood jazz club, bought her drinks and took her to a home where he raped her, according to district attorney’s office documents.

Prosecutors said the case was beyond the statute of limitations and did not comment further on the case.


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While some dads were busy tossing the ball around with their kids, these literary fathers instilled a love of literature into their children — a love so deep, in fact, that they followed in their father’s footsteps to become writers themselves. For Father’s Day, a sampler of literary lineage:

Kingsley Amis (born 1922, died 1995) is well known and highly regarded in the U.K. for his comic novels. His son Martin Amis (born 1949) garnered a reputation that made the leap across the pond.

  • His first published novel, the comedic “Lucky Jim,” is also his most famous; it’s a go-to example of the campus novel, and British-as-can-be.
  • Amis clearly knew his way around a bottle. A memorable description of a hangover, from “Lucky Jim:” “The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again.”
  • Start with: “Lucky Jim” or “Everyday Drinking.”
  • Twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize, in 2008 he took 19th place on the Times list of 50 greatest British writers since 1945. (His dad came in 9th.)
  • Amis is a real love-him or hate-him writer known for his controversial, eyebrow-raising commentary and sharp tongue. From his first novel, the comedic “The Rachel Papers:” “Surely, nice things are dull, and nasty things are funny. The nastier a thing is, the funnier it gets.”
  • Start with: “Money: A Suicide Note.”
Martin Amis, left, with his father Kingsley Amis. (Frank Martin/Guardian)

John Cheever (born 1912, died 1982) was a 20th century literary giant. His daughter Susan Cheever became a prolific and formidable author in her own right.

  • Dubbed the “Chekhov of the Suburbs,” Cheever is perhaps best known for his short fiction, but he won the National Book Award in 1958 for his novel “The Wapshot Chronicle.”
  • “Mad Men” fans take note: Matthew Weiner told the Paris Review that Cheever’s work was a big inspiration for the show — “Weiner begins every season by rereading John Cheever’s preface to his ‘Collected Stories’.”
  • Start with: “The Enormous Radio,” “Goodbye my Brother” and “The Swimmer,” which inspired the 1968 cult classic film starring Burt Lancaster.
  • Cheever has written both fiction and nonfiction, including a book about her dad, “Home Before Dark: A Biographical Memoir of John Cheever.”
  • She’s also written prolifically about addiction; titles include “Note Found in a Bottle: My Life As a Drinker,” “My Name Is Bill. Bill Wilson: His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous” and “Drinking in America: Our Secret History.”
  • Start with: This Vanity Fair essay in which Cheever remembers how E.E.Cummings, of whom she wrote a biography, “rocked her teenage world.”

Neddy Merrill (Burt Lancaster) discovers his old hot dog wagon at a pool party. From “The Swimmer” (1968).

William F. Buckley (born 1925, died 2008) was a conservative icon and founder of the magazine the National Review. His son Christopher (born 1952) became a writer with a keen eye for political satire.

  • Is there a more infamous conservative commentator? (If you’ve never heard of him, he’s kind of the Rush Limbaugh of your father’s generation.)
  • Need proof? His second book, co-written with L. Brent Bozell, was titled “McCarthy and His Enemies.” In a 1954 review, the New York Times called it “a bald, dedicated apologia for McCarthyism.”
  • Start with: “God and Man at Yale,” the book that launched his career.
  • Considering his lineage, it may come as a surprise (or none at all) that Buckley grew up to write humor and satire, including the book “Little Green Men,” which sends up a Beltway talk-show host.
  • His book “Thank You For Smoking,” about Beltway lobbyists, was made into a film directed by Jason Reitman.
  • Start with: his presidential endorsement in the Daily Beast titled “Sorry, Dad, I’m Voting for Obama,” which proves you’re never too old to rebel.

The trailer for “Thank You For Smoking,” adapted from Christopher Buckley’s novel.

Literary critic Anatole Broyard (born 1920, died 1990) kept his black heritage secret. His daughter Bliss wrote a book about finding out.

  • A famed New York Times literary critic, Broyard entered the literary conversation once again after his death for having kept his black identity hidden for most of his life.
  • Broyard met a number of well-known writers in post-WWII New York, including Anais Nin, of whom he wrote: “Her lipstick was precise, her eyebrows shaved off and penciled in, giving the impression that she had written her own face.”
  • Start with: “Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir.”
  • In “One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life — a Story of Race and Family Secrets,” Broyard writes about reckoning with her father’s choice and uncovering her family history.
  • The shadow of a writer-father can loom long, or perhaps serve as inspiration. Broyard’s first book, “My Father, Dancing,” is a collection of stories about fathers and daughters.
  • Start with: The memoir “One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life — a Story of Race and Family Secrets.”
A snapshot of Bliss and Anatole Broyard.
A snapshot of Bliss and Anatole Broyard. (Liz O. Baylen )

Joseph Heller (born 1923, died 1999) is best known for his war satire “Catch-22,” which sold 10 million copies in his lifetime. His daughter Erica’s memoir dishes about what it was like growing up with a literary lion.

  • Fun fact: Heller actually coined the now-ubiquitous term “Catch-22” with his novel.
  • A World War II veteran, Heller flew 60 bombing missions between May and October 1944. From “Catch-22”: “Yossarian was a lead bombardier who had been demoted because he no longer gave a damn whether he missed or not. He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt, and his only mission each time he went up was to come down alive.”
  • Start with: the posthumous “Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man.” Dare to be different.
  • Heller’s memoir follows the real-life ripples of her father’s first novel’s success; an L.A. times review hailed it as “all a reader needs to get the feel for the man who wrote, and lived with having written, ‘Catch-22’.”
  • After reading the manuscript for her father’s second novel, “Something Happened,” Heller wrote that she felt stung by a character she assumed was based on her. Her father’s reply, “What makes you think you’re interesting enough to write about?”
  • Start with: “Yossarian Slept Here: When Joseph Heller Was Dad, the Apthorp Was Home, and Life Was a Catch-22.”
Joseph Heller in March 1979.
Joseph Heller in March 1979. (Los Angeles Times)

In his plays, Arthur Miller (born 1915, died 2005) dramatized the anxieties of the American middle class. His daughter Rebecca has penned both novels and screenplays that range in tone and genre.

  • Best known for “The Crucible” and “Death of a Salesman,” Miller is almost as well known for his brief marriage to Marilyn Monroe.
  • For all of us office-dwellers, from “Death of a Salesman”: “Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be? What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am!”
  • Start with: the play “All My Sons.”
  • Miller has written two novels, “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee” and “Jacob’s Folly,” and the short story collection “Personal Velocity.” She has also written and directed five feature films.
  • Married to Daniel Day-Lewis, Miller directed her husband in “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” for which she also wrote the script. Her latest film is 2015’s “Maggie’s Plan” starring Greta Gerwig and Ethan Hawke.
  • Start with: the novel “Jacob’s Folly,” which is narrated by a French ladies’ man reincarnated as a fly.

The trailer for “Maggie’s Plan,” directed by Rebecca Miller.

James Wright (born 1927, died 1980) was a celebrated postmodern American poet. His son Franz (born 1953, died 2015) matched his father in both talent and reputation — they are the only father and son to have each won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry — and fine evidence for overachieving being a family trait.

  • Wright won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for his “Collected Poems” in 1972.
  • Over the course of his career, Wright moved from more traditional, metered work to free verse, as found in 1963’s “The Branch Will Not Break.”
  • Start with: “Above the River: The Complete Poems.”
  • Wright won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for his 2003 collection “Walking to Martha’s Vineyard.”
  • When he sent some of his early poems to his father, the elder Wright replied, “You’re a poet. Welcome to hell.”
  • Start with: “The Before Life,” a Pulitzer finalist in 2002.
Franz Wright at his home in Waltham in 2015.
Franz Wright at his home in Waltham in 2015. (Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright Photo)

Andre Dubus II (born 1936, died 1999) is best known for his emotionally complex short fiction. His son, Andre Dubus III (born in 1959), for his engrossing novels, including “House of Sand and Fog.”

  • His short fiction was award-winning: he won a MacArthur award in 1988, a Rea Award in 1996 and was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle award in 1997 for ”Dancing After Hours.”
  • In 1986 he was helping another driver on a Massachusetts highway and was struck by a car, which left him in a wheelchair for the remainder of his life. “My condition increased my empathy,” he said of the experience.
  • Start with: “Selected Stories.”
  • Dubus’ novel “House of Sand and Fog” was both a bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award.
  • “House of Sand and Fog” was also made into a film starring Ben Kingsley and Shohreh Aghdashloo, both nominated for Academy Awards for their performances.
  • Start with: “Townie: A Memoir,” about his childhood in Massachusetts, his mother and father, and becoming a writer himself.

The trailer for “House of Sand and Fog,” adapted from Andre Dubus III’s novel.

Stephen King (born 1947) reinvigorated the horror genre, is one of America’s bestselling writers and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2015. His sons found two ways to deal with that legacy: Joe Hill (born 1972) kept his identity quiet, while Owen King (born 1977) published under the family name.

  • You likely have a King title already on your shelf: his books have sold over 350 million copies. (350 million!)
  • The list of Stephen King novels that have been made into movies is staggering: “Carrie,” “The Shining,” “Christine,” “Misery,” “Cujo” and dozens more.
  • Start with: “The Body,” a novella first published in the collection “Different Seasons,” which became the movie “Stand by Me,” or King’s recent trilogy beginning with “Mr. Mercedes.”
  • Both sons have written fiction in short form and long form. Owen King has penned a graphic novel; Joe Hill earned an Eisner Award for his comic-book series “Locke & Key.”
  • Like his father, Joe has had his work adapted for the screen: “Horns” was made into a film starring Daniel Radcliffe.
  • Owen collaborated with his father on the novel “Sleeping Beauties,” coming in September 2017.
  • Start with: Joe Hill’s recent novel, “The Fireman.”
  • Start with: Owen King’s first novel, “Double Feature.”


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Rory McIlroy nearly aced his final hole Friday, striping a 153-yard approach on No. 9 to a hot dog’s length. The closing birdie amounted to whipped cream on a pile of trash.

Playing partner Jason Day finished with a bogey, and the two major champions strolled off together.

“Get ’em next time, boys!” a spectator hollered.

As Day arrived at the Erin Hills scoring area, 4-year-old Dash jumped into his father’s arms.

“Daddy, are we going home?” he asked.

Shockingly enough, the answer was yes.

The world’s No. 2- and No. 3-ranked players, McIlroy and Day, headed home before moving day.

Fellow major champions Danny Willett, Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker, Angel Cabrera, Graeme McDowell, Bubba Watson, Lucas Glover, Charl Schwartzel, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson (the defending champ) and Justin Rose also missed the cut.

How strange is professional golf?

A fellow named Xander Schauffele, who ranks 352nd in the world, and a Texas A&M bomber who goes by the catchy Cameron Champ are a combined 10-under par heading into the weekend.

McIlroy and Day combined to play Erin Hills in 15 over.

As he approached his post-round interview, a USGA official announced: “Jason Day: 79 yesterday, 75 today.”

“Thanks, mate,” Day replied with a chuckle.

“I enjoyed the walk,” Day said. “The walk was great.”

Day and McIlroy are two of the friendliest and classiest players on tour. They remained cheery throughout the round and blamed their struggles on no one or nothing but themselves.

“The golf course is actually really beautiful,” Day said. “The fairways are massive. I was in the hay, too, much over the last couple of days. Just didn’t execute, unfortunately.”

Said McIlroy: “The golf course is great, it really is. I’m a big fan of this place. It’s a big, big golf course, with long rough and all that stuff, but it lets you play. It lets you be aggressive, you can get on runs where you can make birdies. Not your typical U.S. Open setup, but I’m a big fan. I think it’s going to produce a really good winner at the end of the week. I’m looking forward to how it unfolds over the weekend.”

Day: “At least I’ll get to sit in air con and watch the guys tear it up.”

Day merely tore up the fescue Friday. After a long wait on the seventh tee and some friendly banter with McIlroy and Rose, Day blocked his drive a mile right.

“Over here, Jason,” a volunteer called out as he approached an area near the 18th fairway.

“Make some room, please,” a security official told the gallery.

Day’s ball sat up nicely. Onlookers chuckled after he told an official: “They can stay if they want. I can hit it right over their heads.”

And he did.

“I knew I was out of it,” Day said. “I was trying to stay out of the way of Rosey.”

Rose had the best chance to make the cut, but he fell a stroke shy at 2 over.

Day hasn’t been in great form this season, but he said he felt this was his “best preparation going into a major, I felt like, in my career … and I felt the most calm I have in a major in a long time this week.”

Two first-round triple bogeys did him in.

McIlroy, despite having played a limited schedule because of a rib injury, was so confident heading into the week, he said: “We have 60 yards from left line to right line. You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here, if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

He then hit five of 14 fairways, fewest in the field. His putter was the problem Friday.

“Yeah, I don’t think it was the putter,” he said wryly. “It was the guy on the end of it.”

Follow Teddy Greenstein on Twitter @TeddyGreenstein

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I had children for the same reasons most guys do, so I’d have someone to play catch with for the rest of my life.

The other day, I asked our youngest daughter, Rapunzel, if she wanted to play a little catch. She’s 26 now, so she just assumed I was joking.

Come to think of it, I am always joking.

But I wasn’t kidding when I asked her to play a little catch in the park. I coached her a long time, from age 4 to age 14, taught her the finer points of softball and soccer.

To my knowledge, I only brought her to tears once, when from the sidelines of a soccer field, I screamed, “Hey, No. 5, don’t be a statue. Move a little!” She still hasn’t gotten over that major embarrassment.

Maybe that’s why she blew off my request to play a little catch the other day, the only reason I became a father. I really miss playing catch with her: “Elbow up, kid. Step into your throws. Finish.”

Yet, not all my kids want to play catch anymore. Life moves on.

When I last saw Rapunzel, she was heading off to have kimchi quesadillas with her friend Taylor, two L.A. girls chasing trendy morsels, when what they should be chasing is ground balls in the long spring grass.

Honestly, I like kimchi and I like quesadillas, but I’d never dream of blending the two. They seem an odd combo. Like Posh and I, for example.

As I feared, my wife didn’t laugh at my R-rated pickle joke, which I told her during six long hours of baseball last weekend. No kidding, we were in the stands for six hours, for the little guy’s double-header. Between the third and fourth innings of the second game, I’m pretty sure time actually stopped.

The young pitcher took the sign from the catcher, stared down the batter, then just froze. From kids to parents, even the ump and coaches, everybody began to wonder, in a simultaneous thought bubble: “What in God’s name are we doing playing baseball for six straight hours?”

After a pause of maybe seven seconds, the game proceeded. And by 10 p.m., the little guy and I were dragging a damp tarp across the pitcher’s mound and calling it a night.

Point is, even a guy who jokes about everything is stressed to fill six hours in the stands.

It might be the oldest joke in the world, and some women don’t like it. (Email me, and I’ll share). Allegedly, Adam told it to Eve, and she didn’t even giggle. When Genghis Khan told it to Mrs. Khan, she merely rolled her eyes. And Genghis could be a very funny guy.

I mean, our daughter Rapunzel was there in the stands with us, and she laughed. But she’s always been an easy giggle.

“Daaaaaaad,” she said while combing her hair with her hands. “That’s such a dad joke.”

Let me just say that the entire dad brand is very hot these days. Dad jokes. Dad dance moves. Even Daditude, a certain way of approaching the world.

Before exercising the other day, Rapunzel complained that she was getting a “dad bod,” which from the sneery tone, was not something she really desired.

“So what’s wrong with a dad bod?” I asked.

According to Rapunzel, “a dad bod” is sort of amorphous, often thick in the middle in the manner of livestock, listless and a little pasty.

I always admired those things about myself. But I have simpler standards — for bods, for butts, for food, for humor.

For example, I still think it’s funny that, when I kill a poisonous spider in the house, I wait a beat or two, then while folding the tissue, scream as if the spider came back to life and bit me.

Trust me, I have been doing that particular shtick for 150 years, and it still slays. (For bonus laughs, pretend the spider just bit you, then get woozy and drop to your knees.)

I will try to do that old joke Sunday too, because anticipation is part of humor, as is repetition and surprise.

Character and warmth factor in there too, which is why on one day a year, we celebrate dads, whose bods are thick, and jokes a little dated. Our sense of style can maybe be musty too, as are all our wants and needs.

And sometimes all we really want for Father’s Day is to play a little catch in the park, or maybe wet a fishing line with you, or go for a modest hike.

We’re simple creatures, dads are. All we really want is you.

Twitter: @erskinetimes


My own personal Marx Brothers

Dear Mom, thanks for everything

How to hold a productive yard sale

He wanted the honeymoon suite. He got chemo bay No. 8

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