One-time roving Los Angeles journalist, raconteur, author, news service reporter and occasional PW 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 Menhuin and nephew of the late violin virtuoso Yehudi Menhuin and pianist Heph Zipah Menhuin attributes his health problems in large part to a stroke he suffered on Aug. 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.