Colleagues of longtime LAT film reviewer Kevin Thomas have been unhappy that he was nudged to take the buyout and upset that after four decades the paper did not plan a suitable send-off. (He is one of the most senior editorial employees, as well as one of the paper's best-known names.) Well, a modest farewell gathering finally was scheduled for this morning. But Thomas couldn't make it—he was stricken at home by a bout of cardiac arrhythmia. That didn't stop staffers from consuming bagels and coffee in his absence, at the email invitation of Deputy Features Editor Sherry Stern: "Some of you might have heard that Kevin Thomas had some kind of attack this morning. Paramedics are taking him to the hospital. Casey is in touch with them and we will update you on his situation. Unfortunately, it's too late to cancel the food for his send-off, so it'll be set up in the conference room around 11. Please help yourselves."
Calendar assistant Casey Dolan sent a followup at 11:25 am: "Kevin is doing much better than two hours ago, thanks to the able ministrations of the paramedics..he says this is 'merely routine' and says that he actually expects to come in tomorrow!!" Pic from www.bonusround.com.
FYI: Thomas was a desk assistant in the Opinion section in 1962; his first review I can find on Proquest ran Nov. 28. He wrote of Tatsu, a Japanese film playing at the Toho La Brea: "Tatsu maintains throughout a rapid pace and has an appropriately simple style reminiscent of John Ford, who is greatly admired in Japan."