There's no vindictiveness at all in Reginald Denny, once the riot's most famous victim and now a mellow resident of Lake Havasu City (he jokingly calls his patch of crushed skull a "souvenir"). Talking to Today's Katie Couric in his beachcomber tones, the onetime trucker pondered his new life repairing outboard motors -- "I'm starting over, which is not a bad thing" -- and ruefully noted that the leaders who could change L.A. for the better "seem to be dragging their feet." I hadn't seen Denny since he'd hugged the mother of one of the young African-American men accused of trying to kill him, and I'd forgotten what a touching, strangely eloquent figure he can be. At one point Couric remarked that the people who had saved him from his attackers were also black, and Denny replied, "You know how the angels you see in pictures are always white? Well, these angels didn't come white. They came as people. Isn't that cool?"
GERMAN FOR BEGINNERS
There's a startling historical revelation in HBO's placidly inept new film, The Gathering Storm, which stars Albert Finney as a lovable Winston Churchill whose voice sounds like a bulldog gargling a ham. An idealistic Foreign Service officer is explaining Hitler's rise to his sweet-natured wife. "The Treaty of Versailles, it was far too punitive," he tells her solemnly. "It robbed the Germans of their self-esteem."
So thatwas their problem. I guess we should be grateful the Nazis weren't full of themselves. Otherwise they might have done some real damage.