Here Are 8 Captivating Stories to Read During Your Memorial Day Weekend. You’re Welcome

Handpicked from the archives of <em>Los Angeles</em> magazine

You can only spend so many hours grilling in one weekend, so here’s what to do with the rest of your free time. We’ve got stories on everything from video game celebrities hiding in plain sight to Beverly Hills attorneys drugged by Peruvian coffee merchants and robbed at gunpoint by pirates.

Who Voices Video Games?

faison7The voice actors behind video game characters are famous, but also nearly invisible. This is what it’s like to have thousands of fans who don’t recognize you.

Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the Dodgers

rh1The shocking saga of Major League Baseball’s most controversial player.

California or Bust

faison2The perfectly rounded—and quite possibly augmented—breast is to L.A. what big hair is to Dallas. So writer Amy Wallace got herself a pair, notching up to a D cup (thanks to prosthetics) for a few weeks and documented what the city looked like over her new shelf—and how the city now looked at her.


faison2“Obsessive” and “subculture” are two favorite words of any great writer, and they intersect spectacularly in Dave Gardetta’s profile of die-hard Disneyland fans, who are not only the Magic Kingdom’s staunchest defenders, but corporate Disney’s keenest critics.


Our Dogs, Ourselves

faison4In Los Angeles we outfit them in taffeta party dresses and send them to psychics. We treat them to aromatherapy sessions and adorn them in charms. When it’s time for them to go, we ease their passing grand rituals. In this story writer Steve Oney lovingly explores the question: When did pets become people?

Man Overboard

faison7I was drugged by Peruvian coffee merchants! Robbed at gunpoint by pirates! Overcome by chemical explosions on the high seas! In what the insurance industry calls the most audacious fraud in maritime history, Beverly Hills attorney Rex DeGeorge has lost at least four luxury yachts, a mystery that writer Edward Humes unravels in this riveting piece.

Little Big Men

faison5They starve themselves to make weight and cling to powerful beasts in a frantic dash around the oval, risking a last-place finish, broken bones, even death. Some of the finest jockeys in the world call Santa Anita Park their professional home, and for two months writer Jesse Katz tracked their fascinating lives.


faison7How do you cast a $7 million movie when the top stars won’t do lunch for that amount? Writer Joy Horowitz goes deep in this revealing (it’s rare to have access to Hollywood conversations on this level) and funny profile of casting director Heidi Levitt and her thankless job.

“This Is Amazing!”

faison7At the time that writer Tamar Brott tagged along with Huell Howser for her profile of the KCET television personality, Howser had a six-show empire that drew a million viewers a week. Brott drolly explores why the boosterish Tennessee native—who died ten years after the piece was published—was so successful.

Photographs courtesy (in order):  (1) Joe Pugliese, (2) Flickr/Illusive Photography, (3) Orange County Archives, (4) Flickr/O_ElliottPlack, (5) Illustration by Guy Billout, (6), (7) Flickr/_O-Jolts, (8) Illustration by Glenn Rane/Photo by Dustin Snipes