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Off-Ramp
Off-Ramp with John Rabe Hero Image
(Dan Carino)
Off-Ramp
Exploring Southern California with John Rabe

About the Show

Over 11 years and 570 episodes, John Rabe and Team Off-Ramp scoured SoCal for the people, places, and ideas whose stories needed to be told, and the show became a love-letter to Los Angeles. Now, John is sharing selections from the Off-Ramp vault to help you explore this imperfect paradise.

Funding provided by:

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

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Episodes
  • Cover Art - Off-Ramp with John Rabe
    15:42
    15:42
    BONUS EPISODE: Carol Downer, 88-year-old abortion rights pioneer, reacts to SCOTUS draft on Roe v. Wade
    (CONTENT ALERT: This piece includes frank discussion of abortion and clinical descriptions of abortion procedures.) We're all processing the news that a draft ruling from the US Supreme Court supports overturning Roe v. Wade, which has protected a woman's right to an abortion in the US for almost 50 years. A decision to overrule Roe would lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. On this bonus Off-Ramp episode, we meet Carol Downer, now 88. Before the 1973 Supreme Court decision, this Eagle Rock woman had made it her mission to take abortion from the back alley ... to the living room, by creating an underground network of unlicensed women who performed very early term home abortions. She wrote books on female anatomy, went to jail, and ran a women's health and abortion clinic in Hollywood which burned down in 1985. After we hear Chris Greenspon's 2017 profile of Downer, we'll hear what Downer has to say about the latest bad news for Roe v. Wade. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live; and bythe Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. (Off-Ramp theme music by Fesliyan Studios.)
  • Cover Art - Off-Ramp with John Rabe
    15:47
    15:47
    How LA's WW2 Mayor used radio to support the Japanese Incarceration ... and what it did to George Takei's family
    Over the years Off-Ramp was on the air, LA City Archivist Michael Holland researched, wrote, and narrated many pieces for the show that used the city archive to illuminate aspects of the city's history most people have forgotten or don't know in the first place ... like Mayor Fletcher Bowron's active campaign against Japanese-Americans during World War Two. Bowron, who lived from 1887-1968 and was mayor from 1938-1953, used radio to drive his point home, and the transcripts of his speeches aren't pretty. This time, we'll hear Holland's piece from 2017, and from the same year, George Takei telling us what happened to his family when FDR signed his infamous Executive Order 9066. Note: "Internment" was, of course, a euphemism, so politicians and others didn't have to say they were putting innocent people in prison. Our policy at KPCC is to call it "incarceration." Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live; and bythe Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. (Off-Ramp theme music by Fesliyan Studios.)
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  • Cover Art - Off-Ramp with John Rabe
    28:40
    28:40
    "Moonface" and "Vermont Avenue" podcast star James Kim couldn't talk to his parents - literally - because of First Language Attrition
    Today, James Kim is a successful podcast host, producer, and writer. You know him from "The Competition," "Moonface," and "Vermont Avenue," which won Tribeca's first Best Podcast award. And he's just wrapped up a project with Disney. But ten years ago, he was a fresh-faced Off-Ramp intern with a problem: he couldn't talk to his parents because he's first generation Korean-American and had lost his Korean when he learned English. John Rabe pretty much forced him to do a first-person Off-Ramp piece about it, and it seemed to set in motion a major change for the better in James' life. Bonus! James joins us to set up his piece from the Off-Ramp archive, and then hangs around to talk with John about life, love, and work ... including some tips for podcast aspirants. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. (Off-Ramp theme music by Fesliyan Studios.)
  • Cover Art - Off-Ramp with John Rabe
    11:24
    11:24
    This LA couple bought a pristine Mid-Century ranch home in the Valley ... complete with a pristine Mid-Century BOMB SHELTER!
    For the first Off-Ramp podcast episode, let's go back to that amazing day in 2013 when my friend Chris sent me a message: "Hey, John. My sister and her husband just bought a home in the Valley with a fallout shelter that hasn't been touched in decades. Wanna do an Off-Ramp piece about it?" Would I? Should you wear a sport coat to Musso & Frank? Are horizontal fence slats getting old? Are you legally required to take visiting relatives to The Huntington? Yes! The piece you're about to listen to was probably the most popular one we ever did, in no small part due to the great photos by Mae Ryan. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. (Off-Ramp theme music by Fesliyan Studios.)
  • Cover Art - Off-Ramp with John Rabe
    1:25
    1:25
    Welcome to Off-Ramp, your passport to exploring Southern California
    Welcome from host John Rabe, a public radio veteran and bon vivant who turned exploring Southern California into a radio art form on KPCC's Off-Ramp. Now, he's sharing stories from the Off-Ramp archive - in a lead-lined vault deep beneath Mt Wilson - with you! Check your feed every Friday, then sit back, listen, enjoy ... and then get out and make your own SoCal adventures! This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. (Off-Ramp theme music by Fesliyan Studios)
Credits