Stuart Silverstein, former Deputy Political Editor at the Los Angeles Times, fondly remembered his early days reporting at the paper. “I was drawn to the Times because it really let reporters sink their teeth into stories. You could spend a lot of time doing a story and doing it well,” he said. “It was a wonderful place to be a reporter.” After starting work there, the Buffalo native fell in love with California and decided to stick around. He left the Times in September, after 23 years on the staff. Now, he’s heading up public affairs for BuildLACCD, the Los Angeles Community College District’s sustainable building program. Read more about Silverstein below.
Q. What do you wake up to?
A. Darkness. I get up very early and open my eyes to my wonderful wife.
Q. What music have you listened to today?
A. I listened to pop music on 107.5. I do that to work on my Spanish. Basically I listen to news, public radio, and when I need a change of pace, I listen to KLOVE.
Q. What do you find beautiful?
A. Wonderful, giving people.
Q. How would you describe yourself in five words or fewer?
A. Nice guy.
Q. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A. An astronaut or a deep-sea diver.
Q. What is your greatest extravagance?
A. Probably this suit, which I got for about $70. My wife and I are into simple living.
Q. If you could take only one more journey, where would you go?
A. I’m really torn because there are lots of places I’d like to go…. My father was European-born and while he left at an early age, everyone else was scattered all over the world by World War II. I’m very close to my family, and if I had one more trip, I would have to come up with some way to see all of them in all those countries.
Q. What profession would you like to practice in your next life?
A. I love journalism. I also enjoy being in communications now, and being able to advocate for a program that I really care about, and for education generally…. But I have no regrets about spending most of my career in journalism, and if we were to turn back the clock I’d do it all over again. It’s a chance for adventure every day.
Q. What would be your death row meal?
A. My wife’s cornmeal pizza.
Q. What is your favorite holiday and why?
A. Thanksgiving and Passover because they’re both thank you holidays, and I’m really thankful for what I have.
Q. What is your fondest childhood memory?
A. Seeing how much people loved my father. He’s still alive, thankfully. He’s a very friendly, outgoing guy, and he always seemed to be able to warm a room. It was wonderful. We’d go somewhere and people would see my dad and call out to him. People were always happy to see him.
Q. What is your most prized material possession?
A. Both my father-in-law, may he rest in peace, and my mother are wonderful artists, so I treasure their paintings.
Q. What promise do you make to yourself that you break the most often?
A. That I’ll be on time.
*Photo by Aaron Salcido.