On February 11, 1990, the day Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, I was driving from downtown Los Angeles to my apartment near Venice, having detoured through a sketchy part of Culver City in an attempt to bypass some traffic calamity or another on the 10.
The radio crackled with almost unbelievable news, and I was so worried I’d lose the signal that I pulled off into a strip mall parking lot and fussed with the dial, confusing the chanting of the crowd in Cape Town—“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!—with static.