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Page 22 Thursday, June 15, 2000 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION


Arts & Entertainment

Pen and Ink

By MICHELLE H. LePOIDEVIN My Father: Sheltering Me Like The Tall Trees He Lifted Me Into

I always wore my pajamas with the scuffy feet when I went with my mom in the old blue Chevy Nova to pick up my father at the gate of Merck in Rahway. Songs by Lou Rawls always seemed to be playing. I hadn’t seen dad all day – I had been in preschool playing duckduckgoose and he was slaving away to work extra shifts as a computer operator. I’d run to the gate to meet him there, yelling “There he is,” as soon as his towering shadow appeared under the corporate campus streetlight.

Dad was the man who lifted me up into the giant trees in our backyard, trying to give me a bird’s eye view of my young world. He was the man who sat with me under the lamplight of my room, trying to urge me that my first heartbreak – as tender as it was –

Continued on Page 20

Maria Woodford and Alex Radus: They Made it to the Top of the Mountain

Alex Radus and Maria Woodford By MICHELLE H. LePOIDEVIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

WESTFIELD – For Musicians Maria Woodford of Westfield and Alex Radus, forcing themselves to climb up a mesa in Sedona National Park in Arizona with only a bottle of water and aching muscles and spirits was a metaphor.

Though three jeeps of tour guides offered them rides into town and a refill of their water supply, Maria and Alex looked from each other’s eyes and to the top of the mesa and only said “yes” to the refill.

Crazy, you might say. But, for Woodford and Radus who traveled together for 3 1/ 2

months performing, collaborating, honing their art, and growing professionally and personally, the arduous journey was a glue that bonded the two inseparably.

“The most important lesson I’ve learned (over her 5 1/ 2 month road trip) is my level of strength and just as important that I’m never going to quit,” said Woodford. while scrambling for her cigarettes

with a smile and savoring a cup of coffee.

“We really went through such hard times,” she said, referring to Radus. “Notice I said, ‘we. ’ It was not just me by myself. Alex was with me every step of the way. From issues like personal space in a Toyota Corolla to no cigarettes, we overcame everything.”

“Both of us have the same internal drive,” she stressed, “We wouldn’t have made it by ourselves.”

Radus agreed through a phone interview on Monday afternoon. “I think it was very affirming in that respect.”

The trudge through Sedona came after both Radus and Woodford performed 30 to 40 shows in only 30 days. They were exhausted and beat, voyaging into territory that was only meant for SUVs. The tour guides in the jeeps told them, “You’re never going to make it.”

“We made it to the top of that mountain,” she smiled proudly.

After their long Sedona journey, Woodford and Radus treated themselves to mineral baths at a youth hostel in a town called, of all things, Truth or Consequences.

Before the Sedona venture, Woodford jammed with Blue Grass

musicians in Virginia, admiring their “stamina.” “They play the same three chords,” she said, adding that she “hung out with a bass player and observed, later joining in with full Blue Grass instrumentation.”

Dobro player Bill Cardine was particularly inspiring for Woodford who thrived on the open atmosphere.

Another experience with percussionists “One Drum” that she met at the Chicago Folk Alliance Festival was also a high point.

“They got on the floor and straddled their drums and just played. Those guys were really unreal,” she laughed. Walking away from that experience, Woodford said, “It took us one step closer to being out there on the stage, learning how to just let go on the stage” as performers.

Percussionist Jeff Bridle was also instrumental in inspiring Woodford, outside of her participation at the Phoenix Folk Festival in Arizona. The number of shows that Woodford and Radus played there “snowballed,” causing them to play three times a day. Jam sessions in Austin, Tex. and New Orleans followed.

“We were very, very well received,” she said, happy to report that they are already booked for performances in November in Phoenix.

Scott Haleck, Producer of “Brighter Path,” helped Woodford and Radus get gigs and enter into the Festival.

“He’s been an integral part of my whole career all along,” she said.

Radus also revealed that he gleaned a great deal from collaborating with other musicians.

“I’ve learned to listen better. When you jam free form with someone who is really good, you just want to communicate better with all of the other instruments,” he commented.

“A lot of songs came out of the trip,” Woodford reported, especially when the musical pair approached Las Vegas. She said that they drove through the neon metropolis, shuddering at its seediness and sinfulness, finally settling along a side road 20 miles out of Las Vegas for much needed rest.

When they arose, Woodford and Radus discovered a thick fog surrounding them as semis and big rigs


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

EDISON – Piercing screams shot through the center of the Menlo Park Mall last Friday as Cameron Mathison who portrays the hunky dreamboat Ryan Lavery on ABC’s “All My Children” strode up to swarms of waiting fans.

Decked out casually in a white hooded muscle shirt, pants and sneakers, Mathison’s killer smile and bulging muscles made teenagers, moms and grandmothers swoon.

Mathison, whose appearance included photo and autograph signing with a portion of proceeds donated to the Simon Youth Foundation, took time to chat with The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood.

Leader/ Times: When you were honored in 1999 with the Outstanding Male Newcomer award at the Soap Opera Awards, how did you feel? Did you consider yourself validated as an actor at that moment?

Mathison: To a certain degree I did. It was especially rewarding because the fans vote themselves. It’s not a panel of people, but the fans who decide.

Leader/ Times:

How does your personality differ or mirror that of Ryan Lavery on “All My Children?”

Mathison: I guess he’s just a little more intense than I am. I think I would have left Pine Valley a long time ago. He’s been accused of rape, blown off by woman after woman. I think I would have split a long time ago. But, we’re both equally driven. That’s how we’re the same.

Leader/ Times: Were you a big soap opera fan when you were young?

Mathison: (Laugh) No, I didn’t watch them at all.

Leader/ Times: You filmed a Canadian independent feature called “Washed Up” and you are reported as an avid photographer. Do you ever see yourself behind the big cameras, either filming soap operas or major motion pictures?

Mathison: I would love to someday. I do still photography as a hobby and I would love to try my hand at cinematogra phy.

Leader/ Times: I’ve read that if you could work with any actor or actress, it would be Marlon Brando.

Why so?

Mathison: I’ve read two of his biographies and I find him to be very talented. I think he’s probably one of the best actors of our time.

Leader/ Times:

You’ve also mentioned an interest in primetime television. Which show would you see yourself fitting into if you were given the offer right now?

Mathison: If I got the call right now? Probably “Spin City” because I love comedy. I’d do anything across the board to “Felicity.”

Leader/ Times: Oh, I could definitely see you playing a role on “Felicity!”

Mathison: Really? Good. If you know any of the producers over there, let them know!

Mathison, who seemed to know all of his fans personally was gracious and accommodating to their requests and comments.

“Do you remember my mom?” one fan asked timidly.

A teenage girl clutching photographs and an instant camera joked with Mathison who once met her when she was much younger. “Now, I’m 18. I’m legal,” she said.

“Oh, I’m a little older than 18,” Mathison warned playfully.

One fan, named Natasha, could not stop jumping up and down with glee when she shook Mathison’s hand.

“You and Gillian just have to get together soon,” coaxed another “All My Children” enthusiast.

However, what was the most comforting about Mathison was his modesty and kindness. Juggling our interview during photo shoots with fans, he kept his composure genuine.

“I’m Cameron,” he introduced himself quietly to a female fan.

“Oh, I know who you are,” she responded.

Mathison smiled while scrawling his name in black marker, “I just thought I’d introduce myself.”

Mathison Facts:

· ·· ·· Born: August 25 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

· ·· ··Astrological Sign: Virgo

· ·· ·· Film Debut: 54 by Miramax

· ·· ··Television Credits: “F/ X,” and “Any Mother’s Son” with Bonnie Bedelia

· ·· ·· Education: Thornlea High School in Thornhill, Ontario. McGill University in Montreal, Bachelor of Civil Engineering Degree with 3.65 grade point average

· ·· ··Hobbies: Golfing, skiing and photography

· ·· ··How to Reach Him: All My Children Studio, 320 West 66th Street, New York, N. Y. 10023

Star Gazing

Bill Cosby (1937)


Bill Cosby will always be television’s favorite dad – from Heathcliff Huxtable on NBC’s “The Cosby Show” to Hilton Lucas on his most recent venture on CBS, “Cosby.” The Phillyborn comedian and actor has even doled out pieces of fatherly advice in a series of bestsellers, beginning with “Fatherhood.”

A highschool dropout and a Naval veteran, Cosby attended Temple University on a football scholarship, earning a masters degree and Doctoral Degree in Education before becoming one of America’s favorite entertainers.

However, the world’s hearts bled with Cosby when his 27yearold son Ennis was murdered while changing a flat tire. Not long after, Cosby was a victim of extortion when Autumn Jackson and Jose Medina claimed that Cosby was Autumn’s illegitimate daughter.

Although the courts ruled otherwise and the paternity suit was dropped, Cosby stressed, “I will be for you a father figure, but I am not your father.”

Through the antics which ensued with his offspring on “The Cosby Show” and “Cosby,” as well as the tales of his own children, William Henry Cosby, Jr. defines the father of arts and entertainment. Blend cream cheese and cilantro in a large bowl along with

garlic salt and a dash of pepper. Place butter in omelet plan over medium heat, swirling around pan until melted thoroughly.

Fold mushrooms, tomatoes and onions into beaten egg batter, adding parmesan cheese slowly. Place mixture into omelet pan. Carefully fold omelet away from the edges of the pan as it cooks. DO NOT PLACE PAN ON HIGH HEAT or it will surely burn.

Once omelet is fully cooked, removed pan from heat. Place a dollop of herbed cream cheese mixture at the center of the omelet and allow to melt atop omelet.

Serves 4. 4 white mushrooms, chopped 4 oz. cream cheese

2 plum tomatoes, diced 1/ 2 c. cilantro 1 small onion, diced 3 tbsp. butter 1/ 2 c. parmesan cheese 8 eggs, beaten 1/ 2 tsp. garlic salt Dash of pepper

The Main Ingredient The Main Ingredient The Main Ingredient The Main Ingredient The Main Ingredient

Vegetable Omelet for Dad

Real Primary Results: How Were the Eats?

Primary Dining:

Maryanne Connelly The number of chef hats represents a combined total rating the food and atmosphere at the Primary. The highest possible rating is 5. Joel Weingarten

Mike Lapolla Bob Franks Michael Ferguson


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Instead of biting their fingernails while the votes were being tallied for the Congressional and Senatorial Primary last Tuesday, candidates, wellwishers and even writers for

The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood

opted to nosh on food instead.

Good choice. But, out of all of the fare selections at the respective campaign headquarters, who had the best eats?

It appears that victorious Democratic candidate for the Seventh Congressional District Maryanne S. Connelly offered the best menu at the Colonial Square Mall in Green Brook.

Lynn Kolibaba, who reported from Connelly Headquarters, revealed that the food was catered by an Indian restaurant, featuring chicken tandoori, samosa’s (fried vegetable dumpling things), poori and pita (breads), raitha (a cucumber and yogurt dipping sauce) and hummus.

Ms. Kolibaba said that attendees really seemed to enjoy the food offered by Ms. Connelly. She added that the

Continued on Page 21

would find a way of healing, yet not underminding its sting.

He’s a silent man with a loud heart because it races with affection for everyone around him. His spirituality is inspiring and he isn’t afraid to let everyone know his beliefs, boldly displaying a crucifix and Miraculous Medal for all to see. He can make a mean omelet. He makes me break into laughter at the most inopportune and unexpected moments. He’s given me strength through harsh realities and taught me that life isn’t always rainbows and roses.

I shed those “feetsiepajamas” for high heels and power suits

when I worked briefly at Merck postgraduation in the current headquarters in Whitehouse Station. My father, now the Supervisor of Computer Operations for the pharmaceutical giant, was on his way to meet me for lunch in the cafeteria.

I stood waiting down the long, windowenclosed hallway, when suddenly I saw him. He had some years behind him and he might have looked a little tired. But he still towered with strength as he strode toward me with a proud smile, his hazel eyes squinting. He’s a rock I lean on without fear of falling. He’s Charles LePoidevin and he’s my father.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Elegance, Quality Elegance, Quality Elegance, Quality Elegance, Quality Elegance, Quality, Ser , Ser , Ser , Ser , Service vice vice vice vice Abbot Tile

7329680018 • Colonial Square Mall • US 22 E • Greenbrook

Pictured, left to right, are: Mom, Me with my goddaughter Amy and Dad

‘All My Children’s’ Cameron Mathison: Meet the Brains Behind the Brawn
Copyright 2000 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)