Better Days: Journalist Lionel Rolfe Learns Old Age Isn’t for Sissies

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July 1, 2018 · Posted in Commentary 

Lionel Rolfe

Mary Reinholz

Pasadena Weekly, May 24, 2018

[Veteran journalist, author, and founder of Boryanabooks Lionel Rolfe was hospitalized in April with a spinal injury that had become infected that would not allow him to stand or walk. He has spent most of the time since in a nursing home, where he remains as of July 1.]

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One-time roving Los Angeles journalist, raconteur, author, news service reporter and occasional Pasadena Weekly contributor Lionel Rolfe is confined to a bed at a nursing center in Glendale, unable to stand and go to the bathroom without assistance.

The 75-year-old Rolfe was first transported by ambulance to Glendale Memorial Hospital last month and given morphine to relieve excruciating pain involving two fractured vertebrae that resulted from a 2017 fall in the kitchen of his Atwater Village apartment. This is the second time within a year that Rolfe has been forced to leave his home for emergency medical care after his back “stopped working,” he said.

“Basically, I’m strapped to the bed, and being given antibiotics,” Rolfe continued in a telephone conversation with this reporter whom he met while freelancing during the late 1960s at the Los Angeles Free Press and the Los Angeles Times. “They got me to stand up today, but it was very hard.”

The bearded, thrice divorced son of celebrated classical pianist and poet Yalta Menuhin and nephew of the late violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin and pianist Hephzibah Menuhin attributes his health problems in large part to a stroke he suffered on August 11, 2015, while working as a police reporter for City News Service (CNS).

Meanwhile, Rolfe’s lawyer William J. Toppi said he is seeking a “six figure” settlement in California Workers Compensation funds for Rolfe through a firm that covers insurance claims from workers at CNS, the 24-hour wire service which has employed Rolfe for more than 20 years.

Attorney Rick Sedrakian, who represents CNS, declined to comment.

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