CSPA Blogger – Feb. 2012

Close-up of Oscar awardRalph and the Oscars

Since this is the time of the year when the Oscars are in the news, let’s talk about the CSPA’s Academy Awards winners. Or, more specifically, the Oscar winners who began as high school members of the Scholastic Sports Association, the predecessor to the CSPA.

FRED ROOS (Hollywood High, 1952) went on to win an Academy Award for producing “The Godfather, Part II.” You may recall that Roos showed his appreciation for the SSA by giving founder RALPH ALEXANDER a cameo in the movie (as a reporter, of course). Ralph used to tell the story of how, when a scene showing the reporters was about to be shot, the movie’s director told them, “All right, light up,” meaning light their cigarettes. The director was shocked when Ralph told him he didn’t smoke.

Ralph and the Oscars, Part II:

Then there was Richard Edlund (Montebello High, 1959), who went on to win four Academy Awards in cinematography (for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and three “Star Wars” movies).

In one interview, Edlund recalled: “I did sports photography for the Los Angeles Examiner. There was this high school sports association. I used to go to football games, basketball games and track meets in Los Angeles to shoot pictures and have those published in the paper.” That “high school sports association” was the SSA, the forerunner of the CSPA.

Moving from movies to books, the CSPA’s best-selling author:

That would be self help-guru TONY ROBBINS (Glendora High) who attended the workshop in the mid-1970s. In his book, “Awaken the Giant Within,” Robbins remembered:

“In high school I received a scholarship in journalism to attend a two-week program held at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. On that Sunday we were all given an assignment to write a story about a church service.”

The experience, he wrote, inspired him “to seek spiritual understanding when I realized that I’d attended only one church and been exposed to only one religious philosophy.” (Mr. Robbins does not disclose what grade he received on the assignment from his CSPA instructor.)

Next up, CSPA Sports Center:

Basketballer/journalist KAREEM MADDOX (2006 workshop) attended Princeton University, where he was voted Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year in his senior year.

Princeton reports that the 6-foot-8 Oak Park High alum has entered the international job market by signing to play professionally in Europe with the Dutch team Landstede Basketbal (cq). Perhaps he’ll get a book out of the experience.
GLEN WALKER (Long Beach Poly, 2007 workshop), meanwhile, is a shortstop on the Jackson State (Miss.) baseball team.

And recent workshop counselor/ University of Oregon hockey player MATT HANLON (Casa Grande High, 2008), recently ventured to Anaheim, where the Ducks stunned USC, 6-4.

Meanwhile, our prayers go out to:

Author MICHAEL S. MOORE (1986 workshop, Mira Costa High), who has been kidnaped by Somali thugs who are threatening to kill him if their ransom demands aren’t met.

Mike, who was reportedly researching a book on piracy, is the author of “Sweetness and Blood,” a critically acclaimed book on the history of surfing, and “Too Much About Nothing,” a novel about two teens in the surfing subculture of Southern California.

Mike was abducted last month by a dozen men in two SUVs. He is believed to be one of more than 150 people held by pirates in Somalia. The State Department is attempting to negotiate his release. (A New York Times interview of a few years ago with Mike can be found at: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/18/stray-questions-for-michael-scott-moore/)

Published by Nicole Vargas

Assistant professor, Digital Journalism, San Diego City College; Adviser, City Times Media - City Times digital news, CTTV/Newscene, City Times Sound radio and podcast, Legend magazine and Indy Film