Skip to main content

Breaking News: Watch Live: Gov. Newsom gives update on COVID-19 following resignation of California's top health director (Posted 08/10/20 at 12:11 p.m.)

LATEST UPDATES: Racial Justice | Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

‘Extreme’ Fire Conditions Remain In Effect, Baja California Fires Destroy Homes, Kill 3, Plan To Make Gaslamp Quarter Car-Free And More

Cover image for podcast episode

Even as the Santa Ana winds are dying down, the threat of wildfire still looms for much of San Diego County. Wildfires are also burning south of the border in Baja California where dozens of homes have burned and at least three people have died. Plus, California doctors are coming together to tackle homelessness. Also, a plan to make part of Fifth Avenue in downtown San Diego car-free is in the works. It’s modeled after Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. And, a writer’s new memoir about the ‘wild’ story of keeping her mother’s secrets.

Speaker 1: 00:00 A fire that started in Mexico crossed into the U S early this morning. The copper fire had already burned about 400 acres South of the border. San Diego fire crews jumped on it once it got to this side and were able to stop its forward rate of speed. It burned about 50 acres on the U S side. Meantime, we are still under a red flag warning that's not said to expire until six tonight. Speaking of red flag warnings, the way the national weather service refers to them changed on Wednesday for the first time, it added another word to the current red flag warning, which was extreme. We're now joined by Alex tardy with the San Diego office of the national weather service. Alex, welcome. Thanks for having me on. So can you start by giving us the very latest on Santa Ana winds and humidity levels?

Speaker 2: 00:46 Yeah, so the Santa Ana winds continue to blow across San Diego County. We're seeing gusts of 22 as much as 40 miles per hour and that wind continued all night and was blowing across oats, high mountain and along the Mexico border. And those winds help fan the fire, um, that spread across the border. Now the one thing that's really significant is how dry it is. Um, overnight the humidity stayed below 10% along the Mexico border. That's, that's just um, perfect conditions for fire. Not perfect or anything else.

Speaker 1: 01:21 I mean, I'm curious what prompted the Oxnard office to use the word extreme to describe this red flag warning?

Speaker 2: 01:27 Yeah, that's a good question. So, um, this is our fourth events since October 19th. I'm putting the word extreme before red flag warning is not a standard practice, but I think the messaging of, okay, this is really unusual. It's not just your typical red flag warning. All red flag warnings are bad, but that this one was worse. And what we did see that was much worse was not just the amount of fires or the type of fires, but the air dry us air we've seen in years across the region. And that is that extra ingredient to allow the fires to burn and burn quickly. We saw more than three fires break out overnight last night across Southern California.

Speaker 1: 02:09 And that extreme red flag warning did not apply to areas of San Diego County.

Speaker 2: 02:15 Is that correct? I mean, that's correct. But the conditions were almost as equal from LA down to San Diego. So in LA it started earlier, the winds were a little bit stronger, but when we're talking about 70 mile per hour winds versus 50 mile per hour winds for a fire, it's not gonna make that much difference. Oh, the fire fields, 2030 miles per hour, it's gonna move that fast. Has the San Diego office every used that term extreme to describe a red flag warning? No. Typically what we do is we describe the conditions of being extreme, um, overall or across the area. But we don't use it as like an adjective with red flag warning. But these are no doubt extreme conditions. And so either way you look at it, it's a red flag warning with extreme fire weather conditions. So here's a question, because many areas woke up to 30 degree temperatures, 34 in some areas.

Speaker 2: 03:13 Um, we usually think of Santa Ana winds as hot to be classified as Santa Ana's. Uh, is that true or is that changing now? So the mechanism that drives the Santa Ana winds, and this can be the confusing part of the whole thing, you know, most of us aren't atmospheric scientists or meteorologists, so you can't expect you to to totally get it. But the, the driving mechanism of a Santa Ana wind is cold air over the great basin or Utah. Let's say for example, that cold air is high pressure and the air blows from high to low pressure. If we did not have that cold air, we would not have Santa Ana winds. So scientifically, by definition, the Santana win is a cold win. But by the time it gets to our homes in San Diego, LA, it has to travel thousands of miles across the desert and down the mountains that compresses the air, warms it up.

Speaker 2: 04:06 So typically we're much warmer than anywhere across the West, significantly warmer, sometimes 20 degrees. It snowed in Utah, it snowed in Colorado. They were in the teens the past couple of days. So that's our source of that cold air. We're looking at cold temperatures tonight again as well, right? Yeah. So the other thing it does with the Santa Ana, so even if you don't get a lot of cold air coming in that affects your temperatures, is it tries to air out. My lips are really dry right now. I talked about the incredibly dry air. We're looking at dewpoint temperatures, that's a scientific word a little bit, but negative 20 to negative 40 across San Diego County, that's basically the temperature you would have to cool the air down to to have do or fog or anything. We're never going to get down to minus 20 minus 40 so there's a huge spread and that's what creates this low humidity.

Speaker 2: 04:55 But at night, if the winds die off and the sky's remained clear, you also have a much greater potential of cooling off or losing that heat to the atmosphere when it's dry like this. And that's why some of us have waking up and we'll do that tomorrow morning to wake up with some actual chilly temperatures, which is more important when it comes to wildfires. The force of the wind or humidity levels? Well that's a great question. He might get a little different answer from everyone. Uh, including firefighters. Um, I think the easy way to answer it would be the wind speeds. We often see aggressive fires even when it's somewhat moist, but if the wind is blowing, that's like having a fan on the fire. Now that said fires can choke, literally have trouble burning when humidity is over 30 or 40%, we're down to 5% at OTI right now.

Speaker 2: 05:48 Some places even get down to 3% even in Carlsbad yesterday. So I would say to answer your question, the wind, if I had to choose moving past this week, is there any rain in the extended weather forecast? Nah, I know you'd asked me that. Uh, so it does have a little bit of hope for a little bit of rain in the middle of this month. Like, so the good news is that the next week, the next five to seven days looks like gradual warming. Um, each night will be a little bit warmer, but will remain dry. We'll lose all the wind. So that's great news. The hope for rain is slim. It's not zero. There is a little bit of tropical moisture that might want to sneak up here, um, around November 8th, that timeframe. But I don't see anything real promising other than that. We remain in this Santa Anna like pattern where the storms are going way to our North and then going across the Rockies. I've been speaking with Alex tardy of the national weather service. Alex, thank you. Thanks for out, ma'am.

Speaker 3: 06:59 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 00:00 California isn't the only region dealing with devastating wildfires in Baja. California, Mexican firefighters have squared off against quick moving fires that have destroyed homes and left local residents with little time to get to safety. Just last night and overnight, Brushfire destroyed six homes. According to the San Diego union Tribune, KPBS reporter max Rivlin Nadler traveled to Rosarito to tour a neighborhood now scarred by fire.

Speaker 2: 00:27 Our Sally Brown is the mayor of Rosarito once a resort beach town that has in the past 20 years exploded into a city of over 70,000 people. We're driving up to colonial motor ELOs and neighborhood that's perched on a Hill overlooking the city. On Friday night, Brown had raced to the neighborhood to help residents escape a fast moving wildfire that had swept through in nearby Valley, fueled by Santa Ana winds.

Speaker 3: 00:50 No, never before in the history of [inaudible] have there been fires like this. Never.

Speaker 2: 00:57 Brown says the fires destroyed more than 60 houses in Rosarito and at least three people died. Brown says that following strong rains over the winter, there was far more vegetation in the valleys that was able to burn.

Speaker 3: 01:11 The fire leapt in. Other times the fire ran no more, but this time the fire jumped and he fell on the roof of the houses and burned down the houses quickly.

Speaker 2: 01:21 The communities hardest hit by the fires last weekend. We're the ones highest up in the Hills where the residents were least eager to leave their properties. Many residents don't have official paperwork to show that their homes belonged to them and we're worried that if they left they wouldn't be allowed to return up in Morelos. The city has set up a station where people whose houses have burned down can register for assistance, get a medical checkup and get replacement documents like birth certificates that might have been destroyed in the fire. Brown's administration is handing out large tents for people to stay in on their properties while they rebuild. It. Was Sylvia via Aveda Vega lived in her home with seven other family members. She's lived there for 17 years. Their entire house burned down.

Speaker 3: 02:03 Yeah, me, the boy was better. There have been fires, but they never came here.

Speaker 2: 02:07 Her family only had a few minutes to escape the flames. They didn't have time to take anything with them, so all of their possessions were destroyed, but they aren't wasting any time rebuilding their home. Volunteers have offered food, their labor, and even an oven as they try to recreate what they've lost. Oh, salvia says she knows that with more winds in the forecast and extremely dry conditions, that they're still at risk. She says they only plan to rebuild just this once.

Speaker 3: 02:34 No, no, nothing more. Only one time.

Speaker 2: 02:36 Seasonal fires have long been a part of the ecosystem in Baja, California. This isn't the first time that the area around Modelos has burned. In fact, before the neighborhood was called Morelos, it was known as low scale mottoes or the burned. The previous settlement there was destroyed by a wildfire decades ago. Omar, or is the head of the firefighters in Rosarito. It was up to his small department of under one firefighters, both full time and volunteer to put out rapidly advancing flames in Morelos, which has no running water.

Speaker 4: 03:05 I'm not as if he's [inaudible]. The topography is very complicated. The mountains are very steep. It's very difficult for the equipment to get there. It's tough to bring the water up from below and then it gets muddy and it's even harder to get the trucks pass

Speaker 2: 03:19 or T says the risk of fire has only increased as people have moved up into the mountains trying to find cheaper places to live in the prospering city.

Speaker 4: 03:27 So yeah, when situations like this will become more common and we're going to need more firefighters, more trucks, more hoses, more firefighters in this area,

Speaker 2: 03:37 the rebuilding of Morelos has begun. Local businesses have donated their workers and resources and students have begun clearing out toxic Ash from hallowed out houses with cities expanding their footprints further into areas that have a long history of seasonal burning. The question for these neighborhoods is not if the next fire will hit, but when and if they'll be ready or eval to get out of the danger in time.

Speaker 4: 04:02 Joining me is KPBS reporter max, Revlon, Nadler, and max welcome. Hi. When a major brush fire breaks out in Baja, do us firefighters lend some assistance? They have an agreement with Mexican firefighters that as, um, resources allow, they will travel to South of the border. There's been training on both sides of the border between a local fire departments and Cal fire has an agreement with some fire departments in Mexico to send, uh, firefighters over. But during the recent, uh, Santa Ana winds and the last week or so, uh, Cal fire has not gone over to Mexico. Um, and that's mostly owing to that Cal fire really does have, it's handful North of the border here. Right now there's a fire burning at OTI mountain and I believe, uh, U S and Mexican crews are fighting that place right on either side of the border. So I talked, I spoke with Cal fire this morning and they said no one has been sent South of the border as of yet.

Speaker 4: 04:58 Uh, so, you know, it's, it's interesting you have this wall between a fire and a fire can go over that wall. Now we talk so much about the kind of fire prevention resources we have here in San Diego. We have video cameras that are monitoring the County public safety, power, shutdowns. Does Baja have any of that? Baja does utilize some technology. Um, but the fire department just in general, especially in places like Rosarito, um, are just much smaller than the fire departments that we have here. These are growing cities. Uh, the tax base has not necessarily grown with them. So you have individual, you have individual fire departments that are trying to tackle these really fast moving brush fires that they're not accustomed to as much as we have become accustomed to in, uh, the U S and specifically California. And that often has to do with the fact that we have, um, branched out into, uh, the hillsides and the valleys much more densely then Mexico has a lot of people have congregated in the cities and especially in places like Rosarito where, you know, for years and years it was kind of, uh, a beach resort town.

Speaker 4: 06:08 Um, the growing metropolis hasn't quite reached the Hills. Um, as much as we've seen in California.

Speaker 1: 06:13 Talk to us more though about the expanding population, colonial motor Eilis and where those people are building houses now.

Speaker 4: 06:20 Yeah. So this is, uh, Rosarito has doubled in size over the past 20 years. Um, and that has to do with tourism and just expanding economy, NAFTA, things like that. Um, and for cheaper housing, people have moved up into the Hills and valleys, um, where, you know, these wildfires do tend to grow. They're searching for cheaper housing. A lot of this is more informal housing. This specific neighborhood that I visited, uh, on Tuesday was one that had been there for a few decades. But one interesting thing was that, you know, it had burned down previously a couple of decades back. So like we're seeing again on this side of the border, a lot of these ecosystems just have a long history of periodic burning. And when we put houses in the, in the path of them, they're going to, uh, be in the way of that fire.

Speaker 1: 07:12 Just a little bit more about the resources that firefighters in that area have. Do they have helicopters, fire retardant drops and water drops?

Speaker 4: 07:21 They have less of that. They, they, um, basically as I was talking with a fire chief, um, last Tuesday, it's, you have your, um, trucks and you basically have your volunteers and your regular fire department, uh, workers. But one thing that a lot of these neighborhoods do not have as running water or access to water. So you gotta if you want to put out this fire, you gotta bring it. Um, and they're not as much using that resources that we've become accustomed to in the U S like helicopters and fire retardant chemicals. Uh, this is much more manual labor that is being done. And in a lot of instances, you know, it is, listen, the fire's going to burn, Martin wants to burn, we're going to fight it, but you know, as long as there's no people there, and this is often what we do in the U S they're just going to let it burn.

Speaker 1: 08:11 It sounds as if the mayor and the residents expect these burned homes to be rebuilt pretty quickly. Work quickly. Then we'd see on this side of the border,

Speaker 4: 08:19 uh, in the U S we have, you know, this large insurance payout, um, mechanism, we takes a long time for people to inspect, make decisions about how much money you're going to get in return for your home and whether you should be able to rebuild. Whereas in Mexico, um, and in, in specifically in Rosarito, they were already building on houses that were burned down last Friday. So within three days they were putting up walls to get people how is back in there in their homes. Um, that leads to some issues of basically there was Ash still floating around and of course the winds picking back up today. Who's to say, you know, there were already fires shirting nearby. Who's to say that this all just won't be burned down again?

Speaker 1: 09:00 Yeah. I know that there are many differences between the fire situation in Rosarito and in California from building codes to evacuation plans. But the one essential similarity is that we're all susceptible to the extreme fire dangers. How are the people in Rosarito coping with the increased speed and severity of these fires?

Speaker 4: 09:20 This is a new reality for them. Uh, they, it hasn't been as much of an issue as it has been in the U S in California. Um, I think a lot of people I talked to were saying things like, I've never seen it like this before. This is not something we've had fires, but they've never come to the houses. This is not something that I've even thought of preparing for. So I would actually say, like a lot of people in California, they're unprepared and unwilling. Again, this is both sides of the border to kind of acknowledge that the places you've been living might not be a place you want to keep living. If every fire season, you're gonna be in insignificant mortal danger.

Speaker 1: 10:00 I've been speaking with KPBS reporter max Rivlin Adler max. Thank you. Thank you.

Speaker 5: 10:10 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 00:00 A plan is in the works to make a stretch of fifth Avenue in downtown San Diego. Car-free and pedestrian friendly. The walkway would extend from Broadway to L street and be patterned on a similar car free zone such as the third street promenade in Santa Monica. They S Gaslamp promenade has the backing of the gas line quarter association and some city leaders, but there are some kinks that need to be worked out like financing, business deliveries and trash pickup. Joining me is David Garrick who cover city hall for the San Diego union Tribune. David, welcome. Thanks for having me. What's the vision for this pedestrian promenade? What would it look like?

Speaker 2: 00:42 Uh, it would be basically an eight block stretch of a pedestrian Plaza with street art and uh, street furniture, trees, painted murals and maybe some outdoor entertainment venues with, you know, buskers singing. Uh, it's something that they hope would be a magnet that would make, uh, the gas lamp even more of a tourist attraction and even more popular with locals than it already is.

Speaker 1: 01:05 Is this idea coming from the business community in the Gaslamp quarter?

Speaker 2: 01:09 It is. They've spent quietly, they'd been working out the kinks of this for about a year and a half. They told me they didn't want to let it out of the bag and told, they felt that they had every a T crossed and every I dotted, cause they want everyone to buy in. It needs to have unanimous support for it to make sense and for it to work.

Speaker 1: 01:25 Uh, and who else supports this idea?

Speaker 2: 01:28 A Councilman, Chris ward. I don't know if he officially supports it, but he's certainly enthusiastic and he's been talking about it, uh, around town. Uh, and the downtown San Diego downtown partnership supports it. Uh, and the question is whether the mayor and the city council will end up approving it because it's got a roughly $40 million price tag.

Speaker 1: 01:45 How do supporters say this kind of a promenade would benefit the city?

Speaker 2: 01:49 I think the idea is that, ah, you a little Italy's kind of stolen some of the thunder of the Gaslamp quarter. They had their own little one block stretch of, of a pedestrian Plaza. Uh, and while the gas lamp is certainly a success and certainly conventioneers go there, um, it's maybe not as popular as people would like it to be and I think this will make it an easier place to walk around. It'll be a public gathering place. I think it'll become a magnet, uh, and a place that people can really gather. It will be sort of a gathering place and a destination.

Speaker 1: 02:18 You say it would cost about $40 million. Where would that money come from?

Speaker 2: 02:22 Well, according to the gas damn quarter association, they're confident they can get federal and state grants and some money from the counties, regional plan planning agency, the San Diego association of governments. I'm not sure how that will happen. You know, if that Phil end up managing to do that and the $40 million is a really, I think a vague price tag. I think no one's really sure exactly what this is going to cost. There's a lot of moving parts.

Speaker 1: 02:45 No, apparently among the problems that need to be sorted out, our store deliveries and trash pickup on fifth Avenue. Tell us about that.

Speaker 2: 02:53 Yeah, there's one thing it's interesting about San Diego is a lot of downtowns have an alley behind the main commercial, you know, thoroughfare. But San Diego does not have alleys. So all these businesses must get all of their deliveries through the front door and they must have all the trash picked up, you know, on the, in the front. And so, uh, taking cars off of fifth Avenue would make that a major problem. Even FedEx deliveries and other issues like that. So the idea is that while there won't be cars allowed on fifth Avenue during sort of business hours, uh, they may be allowed between something like three and 11:00 AM so that way, you know, the bars would close at 2:00 AM and one hour later delivery for the next day would happen. And then at 11:00 AM those deliveries will all have to be completed because it's time for the lunch crowd to start coming in.

Speaker 1: 03:37 And are there other obstacles to this plan?

Speaker 2: 03:40 Um, well getting support is certainly an obstacle. Uh, and another element would be if you're going to allow cars during certain hours, where are you going to locate the public art and the trees and the murals and the street furniture? Because some of those would be not moveable. And so you'd have to sort a strategically placed the unmovable objects where they wouldn't interfere with the cars during those early morning delivery hours.

Speaker 1: 04:04 Would this be a strictly pedestrian walkway or would bicycles and maybe scooters be allowed?

Speaker 2: 04:11 That's another huge issue that has to be dealt with console. And Chris ward said he'd like to see if possible a especil protected bike lane that as scooters might also be able to use. I talked to the head of the downtown residents group though, and he doesn't want scooters anywhere near this pedestrian Plaza. He didn't mention bikes. So I think that will be something that'll have to be sorted out. Um, I think, I think to a lot of folks, it makes sense to have bikes and scooters be allowed to go down this as a commuting option because there's trolley, uh, lines on both sides of it. But if it's not wide enough and it's gonna limit the sort of the pedestrian freedom, then maybe it won't happen.

Speaker 1: 04:46 The effort to create a Gaslamp promenade is in its first steps. What has been done so far?

Speaker 2: 04:52 Well the Gaslamp quarter and like I'd mentioned earlier, I spent some time quietly, you know, working behind the scenes. They hired an architecture firm, one of the leading local firms, carrier Johnson, and they hired an engineering firm to explore some of the details and the hurdles and the problems and they've sort of been gathering a public support. They made sure that apparently what I've been told there was dissension early on among the merchants downtown with retailers being more supportive of this then bars and restaurants. But apparently they've managed to make sure that everyone is now, at least in some what support. So a, they've been behind the scenes creating support, hiring the right firms to study it and just trying to get all the T's and I's a teeth crossed and I's dotted so they're ready to present it to the city full, full blown. And when does that happen? There's a meeting scheduled for November 8th that'll be sort of a first steps meeting, but a lot of times those are really important meetings because you know the city's going to give them an initial yay or nay and get a real feel for how it's going to work.

Speaker 1: 05:50 I've been speaking with David Garrick who covers city hall for the San Diego union Tribune. David, thank you. Thanks.

Speaker 1: 00:00 When Adrian Broder was 14 her mother woke her to tell her that she and her step father's best friend had kissed. That was the beginning of an affair that lasted for a decade and was facilitated in part by Broder. She tells this story and our memoir, wild game, my mother, her lover and me for a dura. We'll be reading and signing her memoir on Saturday at Chino farm in Rancho Santa Fe as part of the good earth. Great chef series. Adrian [inaudible], welcome. Thank you so much. Prior to your mom telling you this secret that she and your step, father's best friend had kissed, she had been going through a hard time in her life and struggling with depression. Do you think that's why you took to helping her keep this secret as a way to help her through this tough time? Maybe?

Speaker 2: 00:48 Well, I was 14 years old at the time. As you mentioned in like most 14 year olds, I think, um, you very much want to see your mother happy. And I won't pretend that I sort of understood at the time the depths of what had happened previously in her life. I don't think we're very aware as children that our mothers have a huge interior life and pass. But of course the story of all our lives begin far before we're born. So yes, I imagine that it was wanting to help her just wanting her love, which every child wants and this sort of odd and unique situation when she made me her confidante, which sort of immediately transformed me from, you know, her child to her best friend.

Speaker 1: 01:33 And in the book you write, uh, that you not only kept your mom secret, but you also helped her carry out the affair of a very adult situation for a child to be in. But in what ways did you do that?

Speaker 2: 01:46 You know, the title of the book, wild game refers to this cookbook that the two couples, these were couple friends that the two couples decided to create together. And what you need to know. His background is that my mother Malabar was just an astonishing cook who'd studied all over the world and who had worked in test kitchens and who had a food column for the Boston globe and wrote cookbooks and her lover Benz South or was an avid recreational Hunter and fisherman. And so they concocted this idea to allow for more time up, you know, to cover for the affair, but also to create more opportunities for the couple to get together. And one of my rules was at the end of these sort of boozy and delicious feast that they would have would be to suggest a walk and both their spouses were quite ill, not in great health, and so they would never want to come along. But in that way, as a 14 year old, I looked like this incredibly innocent chaperone. Um, so those were the types of ways that I was involved in. Just, you know, helping them to get a little time alone when my mother would visit Ben South or, you know, they would take secret trips together. I would help take care of my stepfather, that kind of thing.

Speaker 1: 03:04 Mm. So as a child, you saw a lot, and again, you were put in a very adult situation and it took years for you to realize how signing on to this secret, um, that your mother had wounded you and others. What was the impact of it on your life?

Speaker 2: 03:19 Well, I mean, I think, you know, we all know that secrets are very corrosive things. I think Carl Young called them psychic poison. And I think that's a very apt description. But I think the, the very worst thing about holding a secret, like the one I held is that it actually keeps you from true intimacy or making really authentic connections because you're presenting yourself to the world, but you're not presenting the whole of yourself. So when I wasn't telling close friends, this is what I'm doing, this is why I'm leaving this party. This is who I am. You know, they don't know me and they have to guess at why I'm behaving in a certain way. And, and so in that way, I think it was, um, it was very destructive for me. And honestly, it's just, it's a burden to hold someone else's secret. I think it can create this sense of closeness. And it certainly felt that way when I was 14. Like I was incredibly close to my mom and, and keeping her secret and helping her, but in fact, I was sort of sharing in this corruption.

Speaker 1: 04:26 And how did that impact your adulthood?

Speaker 2: 04:29 Um, the bigger question is how didn't it impact my adult, you know, I mean in many ways shapes and form over many, many years. I mean, if you want to just zoom all the way to the end, what I would say is despite the fact that I, I really feel like I've healed from this event in my life. I spent a lot of time in therapy. I, I spent a lot of time once the secret came out, confiding in friends and also my wonderful stepmother who used to own the Del Mar book works in San Diego, really saved me by passing literature my way. And I read all these wonderful novels and books in which you know you, you're immediately taken out of the bubble of your own experience and you're put into these new ones where you empathize and you see characters getting out of their own really complicated predicaments.

Speaker 2: 05:20 And it was just, it was very fruitful and helpful for me to see my way out of this very dark period of my life. But that said, so, you know, still years and years later, there was this moment not that long ago when my father in law died, and I have this beautiful family of in-laws and the six siblings, my husband being one of them, descended on my mother-in-law there, 15 grandchildren and one of the adult grandchildren discovered this locked stainless steel box in the basement. And every single person in this room was excited and thrilled that there was a locked box that was going to reveal some wonderful secret or news of their father. And I alone thought, Oh my God, what is in that box? This box is going to destroy everyone because of course in my family, a locked box could only bear bad news. And so it just reminds me that our, you know, we can really do a lot of work and we can get far from our past, but our past are always with us. They're Prolog, they're with us forever. And it's the lens through which, you know, I still view the world even though I've, I've made a lot of changes.

Speaker 1: 06:33 So did writing this book help you to forgive your mom for making you part of her secret and was it therapeutic in many ways? I mean,

Speaker 2: 06:40 absolutely. I think the biggest, my biggest goal, both in my own healing and in writing this book was that there was a legacy of secret keeping and deception in my family that I was determined to put an end to as a parent. I happen to now and at this very moment in my life have a 14 year old daughter of my own. Um, and in terms of, of finding forgiveness and compassion for my mother, I mean I think one of the gifts of writing the book really unexpected gifts for me anyway, was that, um, when you actually really researched someone's life and put yourself in their shoes, of course you learn an awful lot about them. And I'm not forgiving any of my mother's very specific actions which were very destructive. But I actually really now see her very painful childhood. I mean her parents were divorced twice from each other. Her father had a secret family. There was a legacy of, you know, deception there. Um, she had an unhappy marriage to my father. Her, her first child died. So I mean she really, she had a lot of trauma in her life, not necessarily making it okay, but it gives you sort of a reservoir of understanding of why she might've done something like this or been so self centered when an opportunity for love came her way.

Speaker 1: 08:07 I have been speaking with Adrian Broder, author of wild game, my mother, her lover, and me. Adrian, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me again. Broder will be reading and signing her memoir on Saturday at Chino farm in Rancho Santa Fe. For more information, head over to

KPBS Midday Edition podcast branding

KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.