Presidente Vicente Fox

The construction a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico didn’t start with Donald Trump.

It didn’t start with Barack Obama. Or George W. Bush.

Construction bega in 1994, under President Bill Clinton. But work got serious after passage of a law called the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

One year later, I talked with the man who was president of Mexcico when that U.S. law was passed, Vicente Fox.

Vicente Fox had just written an autobigraphy, called “Revolution of Hope,” when we talked for a few minutes at a Washington DC booksigning. The book was something of a ‘first’ for a former Mexican president.

In his book, Presidente Fox describes what we would recognize as, and would probably call, an American dream.

But that day, in the fall of 2007, the U.S. was already at work literally putting up a wall — a fence, really — along the border, years before Donald Trump’s “Build that wall” mantra.

Since 2007 — and especially since Trump was elected — Vicente Fox has sharpened his rhetoric, vowing that Mexico will never pay for the wall.

Mel “Bugs Bunny” Blanc

Think how different America’s cartoon universe would be, were it not for the man of a thousand voices, Mel Blanc.

Photo by Alan Light

Bugs Bunny. Daffy Duck. Elmer Fudd, Sylvester and Twety, Porky Pig, Barney Rubble. Heck, he was even the voice of Jack Benny’s Maxwell.

Virtually everyone has heard Mel’s voice characterizations.

Mel Blanc, it seemed, could create new, unqique, and memorable voices at will.

In our 1988 interview, I asked him how he got started.

But for all his cartoon voice work, this very talented actor was seldom seen on camera as himself.

Now, there’s a reason I couldn’t ask Mel to say certain things, in our interview.

But even if he had to avoid certain phrases, Mel Blanc never could resist the inevitable requests from fans.

Less than a year after our interview, Mel Blanc died at the age of 81, taking with him hundreds of the voices many of us grew up with.