Veteran TV journalist Dave Lopez discusses his memoir, “It’s A Great Life If You Don’t Weaken: Family, Faith, and 48 Years on Television,” in an in-person event Friday, July 8, at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, starting at 7 p.m.
For nearly 50 years, Dave Lopez covered every major story in the Southland. He was a nightly presence in LA living rooms on KCBS Channel 2 for a remarkable 48-year career on camera. General managers and news directors came and went in the unforgiving world of major market TV news, but Lopez outlasted more than 20 regime changes. LA’s man in the street kept his head down, nose to the grindstone, and relentlessly chased breaking news. He garnered Emmys, accolades, and tens of thousands of fans along the way.
One of the first Hispanic reporters on a major station, Dave Lopez’s inaugural on-air report on Channel 2 in 1977 concerned an apartment fire that nearly ended in tragedy because none of the firefighters on the scene spoke Spanish. His report ended with the note that the Los Angeles Fire Department was beginning a program to actively recruit bilingual first responders; officials were also thinking of offering Spanish classes at LAFD.
Lopez was personally breaking barriers decades before Mexican lives officially “mattered” – success he credits entirely to his upbringing. Professional success came early, but the true measure of a man is his family.
In this nostalgic look back, Lopez recalls the values instilled by his hardworking father – a man he worshiped and feared in equal measures. It is also a love story that began in high school, and how the fearless reporter who thought he could conquer or investigate his way out of anything was forced to accept that some foes cannot be beaten. When he lost both his beloved wife and mother, and his invincible father fell apart, Lopez finally lost his unflagging optimism and was forced to begin again just as the entire world of news was undergoing a sea change.
“It’s a Great Life If You Don’t Weaken” is an inspirational tale of faith, family, and the news from a true LA native. Set against the backdrop of every major story of the last half- century – from Vietnam War protests to the O.J. Simpson trial to countless politicians behaving badly – this story is a vivid remembrance of a life well-lived, both on and off camera.
Friday’s event at Vroman’s Bookstore is free and open to the public. By visiting Vroman’s in-person event, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. Masks are strongly encouraged for this event.
For more information, call (626) 449-5320 or visit www.vromansbookstore.com/dave-lopez-discusses-its-a-great-life.
Vroman’s Bookstore is at 695 E. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena.