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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Fires Still Rage as Healing Begins
Aired October 26, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, after the firestorm. Hundreds of thousands overwhelmed by loss and grief ask the ultimate question: How do I go on? Deepak Chopra, Pastor Rick Warren, and John Assaraf have answers, as Californians start the journey to recovery.
And this was once a legendary Malibu landmark, full of Elvis memorabilia and royal keepsakes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are now standing on the Pacific Terraces.
Lilly Lawrence returns to the burnt-out ruins of the castle she called home, and takes us with her. It's an exclusive look at tremendous loss.
Rebuilding houses, lives, and spirits -- on this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: Good evening. We are back in Los Angeles. This is a special edition because we are on one hour earlier than usual, at 8:00 Eastern, instead of 9:00 because. It's "Planet in Peril" will be repeated one hour from now. We will be back at our regular 9:00 time on Monday night.
We have an outstanding panel to join us, but we want to check in some with journalists first.
Let's go to Running Springs, California, and Ted Rowlands.
First, Ted, where is Running Springs? And what's the situation there?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lake Arrowhead area, Larry. This was the second-hardest-hit area. The situation is good in terms of the firefight, a lot of progress again today.
For the first time, some of the 12,000 evacuees got to come back, see their homes. I know the theme of the show tonight is going to deal with what they are seeing. A lot of these folks, about 400 people, lost their homes completely, some of them having to start all over again. They're starting to deal with that and getting a first look at scenes like this starting today. And that will progress throughout the weekend. A lot of progress on the front lines, though, that's the good news today.
KING: So, the worst is over?
ROWLANDS: No doubt about it. The weather has cooperated for the last few days. And, today, at least up here, the skies were completely clear. They could use the aerial assaults at the maximum levels. They made a lot of progress, and, according to their fire folks on the front lines, they say things are looking fantastic, at least for the Lake Arrowhead region.
There are still fires burning, but they have them almost under control completely. And people are now starting to think about that next step, rebuilding their lives and getting up here, looking at what's left of their homes, and making those tough decisions on what to do next.
KING: Thank you, Ted -- Ted Rowlands in Running Springs, California.
Now let's go to Orange, California, and John Zarrella, our CNN correspondent.
What's the latest, John, on the -- on the arson question?
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Larry, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, along with arson investigators from Orange County, were back out at the -- the spot where they believe the fires were set. They expanded the grid area, looking for more evidence and tracking down more leads, of course, $250,000 reward.
They're getting more tips coming in, and they're hoping certainly for that to help maybe shake the trees a little bit and give them some new leads. And, in fact, we are expecting a briefing here just momentarily by the Orange County sheriff, the Orange County fire chief.
And we are told that there is a development in the investigation, and that will be detailed to us shortly, as well as continuation of asking for people to continue to pour in with more tips.
But we are told that there is a development, Larry. And of course, we will try to get that to you as soon as we have it -- Larry.
KING: And, as with Ted Rowlands, is the worst over there?
ZARRELLA: Well, you know what? This afternoon, the Santiago Canyon and Silverado Canyon, where they meet and where the fires actually started, there was a new flare-up today in the Silverado Canyon.
They asked more people to leave. They had already been asked to leave at one point, but asked again, those that didn't go the first time, to get out. But late word we had was that they were able to save those homes. We saw more airdrops by helicopters dropping buckets of water in the area this afternoon.
One official told me it didn't look good at the time. But, as far as we know, they have not lost any more homes here. But there was a flare-up of the fire late this afternoon -- Larry.
KING: Thanks so much. Stay atop the scene.
What a job these journalists have done over this last week.
Let's check in with now with our panel. Here in Los Angeles is John Assaraf, one the featured excerpts from the famed "The Secret." He's a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and a co-founder of OneCoach. Several of his friends lost their homes in the wildfires. Deepak Chopra is in New York. Deepak is the spiritual teacher, "New York Times" bestselling author and physician, president of the Alliance for a New Humanity. In Escondido, California, is Ken Druck. He's the author of "Healing Your Life After the Loss of a Loved One." He will be joining us momentarily.
John, you had friends lose their houses. How did they handle that?
JOHN ASSARAF, AUTHOR: Well, you know what? I spoke to a couple friends on my way here tonight.
And the one word that my friend Ellen (ph) says is, it's surreal. Her house actually didn't burn down, but the houses next door to her did. And she was talking to some of her friends, and they said that it was the most incredible, surreal experience they have ever gone through, confusion, chaos. Everything that they ever built in their lives was gone in just 24 or 48 hours.
KING: Deepak, as I remember, don't you have a home in Southern California?
DEEPAK CHOPRA, AUTHOR, "THE BOOK OF SECRETS": I do, Larry.
And we will happen to be in New York, but there are a lot of people now in our home from the area, a lot of people who are friends and some who are not friends who are staying at our home in La Jolla, which is safe.
And it's a real tragedy, but at least we feel that somebody's able to stay in our home at this moment.
KING: John, you had to evacuate, right?
ASSARAF: Yes. On Monday morning, we evacuated, right around 8:30 in the morning. And, yesterday, at about 2:00, 3:00, they said we can go back in.
BLITZER: And what's that like, to be told to leave?
ASSARAF: I don't think you're ever prepared for it.
We were in bed and we saw what was going on, on TV. And we were thinking, will we be evacuated? And we have heard of devastation from several years ago. And, so, you wonder, are we going to be evacuated? Aren't we?
And then my wife and I actually decided to leave about an hour before they issued the evacuation, and only because there's not a lot of roads out of Rancho Santa Fe. And we know there's a lot of horse people in the ranch, and that those roads would be absolutely plugged from top to bottom.
And, so, we took the back roads and left.
KING: Now, we want to use both of you and others who come aboard, Deepak, to help people tonight.
Deepak, what do you say to someone whose home is gone?
CHOPRA: OK, Larry, these days, there's a lot of scientific research on how people handle these situations.
We have something in our brain called a set point. And some people, when they look at a situation like this, they, of course, are devastated, and others actually find an opportunity in that adversity, and they will come out much, much stronger.
So, I'm saying to everyone over there, if you hang in there, if you help each other, if you share your love and your compassion -- compassion is one of the most beautiful things that we have as human beings, the ability to share our suffering, in that compassion is the birth of love. In love is the possibility of healing.
And everything that we know today about scientifically looking at the human mind, the best way to alleviate your suffering is to help others with their suffering. You know, it's a Buddhist philosophy, loving kindness, compassion, and tranquility, not to get overshadowed right now in this moment of crisis by what is happening, but to keep that center of calm within and help each other.
KING: John, what would you add? First, do you agree?
ASSARAF: I absolutely agree.
Love is the highest order and the highest vibration of the human person. And, so, in addition to what Deepak said, what I would also suggest is that people ask themselves more empowering questions, such as, instead of asking why did this happen to me, or, God, why me, why not ask, God, show me; show me the way?
Go to a higher level of thinking, and a better question, and you will have much better answers on how to get through this.
KING: Wouldn't it cause a believer to question God?
But I think, when we look at natural disasters, such as this one, we know that they're going to happen, and there's no escaping them. And, so, there's good and bad in everything, and we just can't get away from that.
And, so, I think when people are going to question whether God exists because their home burnt down, they're not looking at the whole picture.
KING: We will be back with more of our panel on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, as we try to help people get through this.
The worst is over, but what about the aftermath?
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEEN RANIA OF JORDAN: On behalf of the people of Jordan, let me express my heartfelt concern for the citizens of Southern California, as they battle atrocious and dangerous wildfires.
And let me also pay tribute to the courage and tirelessness of the state's fire and police departments, the emergency services, volunteers, and many others, who are all working around the clock, risking their own lives to save those of others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We will be back shortly with our panel, Deepak Chopra, John Assaraf. And Ken Druck will join us as well.
But, right now, we want to spend a few moments with our friend Rick Warren. He's in Orange, California, author of the number-one "New York Times" bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?"
He's the founding pastor of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.
Were you evacuated?
RICK WARREN, AUTHOR, "THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE": Larry, we have been evacuating people all week. I didn't have to evacuate. Three of the 18 fires here in Southern California were actually in the Saddleback Valley.
So, Saddleback Church, with our 128-acre campus, has been serving as an evacuation center all week. We have been serving as a refreshment center for about 500 of the firefighters. We have been housing animals, pets, feeding people. It's been a busy, busy week.
KING: How has the congregation handled it?
WARREN: Well, you know, we have had a lot of people who have been displaced in their own homes, but we have also had a lot of people taking people into their homes. We -- our church is built on what we call small groups. We have about 3,500 small groups that go from Malibu all the way down to Carlsbad. They're in every city in Southern California. And, so, our members have been taking in people all week. So, instead of them having to go to evacuation centers, they're actually staying in homes of our members.
And then we have had many, many of what we call our volunteer chaplains going out to all the different evacuation centers, counseling, caring, comforting, coaching, praying for people. And then we have been serving as a clearinghouse for donations, as we have been getting food and getting money out to those who -- who literally lost everything this week.
KING: Two of our panelists, John Assaraf and Deepak Chopra, have both said to -- to make this an event where -- that -- an up event, in other words, instead of being down...
KING: ... and away from it, go to -- in other words...
KING: ... make life better from it. Do you agree?
WARREN: Oh, yes.
I always say there are four or five things you need to do in a tragedy. You know, think this is the eighth or ninth national or international tragedy Saddleback and the Purpose Driven network of churches has been involved in.
So, we're pretty quick to respond on this. And we always tell our chaplains, tell people the same five things. First is, you got to release your grief. You can't hold on to it. If you stuff it down, you will take it out on your body. Then the second thing you have to do is, you have to receive help from others. You have got to be willing to open up and let other people help you. This is a time for you to be helped if you're in grief, if you're in a tragedy.
A third thing you have to do is, you have to refuse to be bitter. You look at what's left, not what's lost. There are a lot of things I could say about that. The fourth thing you do is, you remember what's important.
And, at times like this, we remember that what matters most -- the greatest things in life aren't things. In 2003, we had another fire that actually came up in my canyon, and we had to evacuate. And we had to decide a couple hours in advance what we were going to put in a truck. And, honestly, we didn't even fill the car with it.
We just realized there's not that much that's -- that we want to keep. It was just the pictures and papers and a few things like that. But a lot of it is just stuff. And then the last thing is, you just got to rely on God. He will give you the strength to -- to help you through these times. And, so, there are very practical things that people can do when they're facing these tragedies.
KING: Is this going to be a tough service for you Sunday?
WARREN: Well, you know, I'm -- we're right now in 40 days of purpose again. We did it five years ago and we're right now doing it, as I said, in 3,500 groups all over Southern California.
And, this week, I'm talking about the first purpose of getting to know God. And I titled the message, "How do I look up when I'm burned out?" And, actually, my special guest this week who is going to share his testimony is Ken Blanchard, my dear friend who wrote...
KING: He will be on with us in a little.
WARREN: ... "The One Minute Manager."
Yes, well, Ken lost his home, as you know...
WARREN: ... in Rancho Bernardo. He's going to be sharing his story at Saddleback.
And, by the way, anybody who wants to watch it can watch it online for free at Saddleback.com. They can go there. They can get the group materials and do 40 days of purpose in their home.
WARREN: And they can -- they can receive -- watch that message without even having to come.
KING: Rick, thanks, as always. Hope to see you in studio soon.
WARREN: Thank you, Larry.
KING: Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life."
Joining our panel of Deepak Chopra and John Assaraf is Ken Druck, author of "Healing Your Life After the Loss of a Loved One." He established the Jenna Druck Foundation in 1996, following the tragic death of his 21-year-old daughter. He is facilitating a town hall meeting tonight to help the San Diego community deal with the impact of wildfires.
Isn't it hard, Ken, to get people to go -- get up when they're so down?
DR. KEN DRUCK, AUTHOR, ""HEALING YOUR LIFE AFTER THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE": You know, it's -- it's hard if you're trying to get them to go up, but that's not what we want to do. We don't want to get anybody anywhere. What we want to do, as John said and as Deepak said, and as Ken Blanchard will say, is to practice compassion. And compassion means meeting somebody exactly where they are. Some people are still in a position of choiceless pain, and confusion, and worry, and fear.
And we need to meet those people where they are, rather than trying to put a spin to tell them where they should be, or to send the message that somehow we're uncomfortable with the fact that they're very confused, they're very frightened, or their children are. So, I think compassion needs to be spelled out in terms of being with somebody, truly being with them where they are, rather than trying to send them a message about where they think they should -- we think they should be.
KING: Were you able to do that when your daughter passed away?
DRUCK: When my daughter passed away, I was in place of choiceless pain. Sometimes, I think we don't understand the concept of choicelessness.
There is a period we go through where we really don't have control. We are in so much pain or in so much fear or in so much agony, we need to be held in that place, until we will grow skin back, until we can grow hope back, until we can find faith again. And it's truly -- compassion is truly your pain in my heart, is me standing in there with you, even if I'm uncomfortable, even if I feel completely helpless, still staying there with you for as long as it takes for you to begin to regain your balance and your sense of wanting to go on and to live again.
And we have so many people in San Diego -- and I was reminded by a dear friend just a little while ago that compassion also means that there are people still suffering who are still at the epicenter who are -- whose homes and lives are still at risk, and that we can't be too quick to move into relief, and into aftermath, and to ultimate hopefulness...
DRUCK: ... that we need to be patient and to treat one another truly with sensitivity and compassion.
KING: Ken Druck, and Deepak Chopra, and John Assaraf will remain with us.
Up next: a woman whose huge loss in the wildfires was nothing compared to what she lost on 9/11.
The story of Jeanine Seaman -- straight ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANINE SEAMAN, FIRE VICTIM: I will never take my comfort for granted again, but I will also never make it as important again, because, when it's gone, it's -- it's really gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Our panel remains Deepak Chopra, Ken Druck, and John Assaraf.
We now welcome Jeanine Seaman TO LARRY KING LIVE. She lost her home to the wildfires. Tragically, she lost her brother on 9/11. We sent a camera cell with Jeanine to where her home was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAMAN: You know what? No matter how many times I walk through here, it's just as hard, you know? It just is.
And we have kind of been waiting for it to cool down before we go shoveling through it, because I think it's going to still be hot under there as well, kind of dangerous to do.
The two big palm trees were the entry. And the lawn -- the garage, you can see the cars and the four-wheeler. The garage was there, the laundry room here.
With the help of neighbors, we were able to get most of the cars out. One car had to stay. We didn't have enough drivers. And the four-wheeler -- there was one small dirt bike in there, and lots and lots of items like luggage. You can see tools in the corner. The pool area, you can see, has been damaged.
I understand many of the homes in San Diego were saved by the firefighters by using the pool water, but they didn't get a chance here.
I will never take my comfort for granted again, but I will also never make it as important again, because, when it's gone, it's really gone. And you can rebuild. But I don't think it will ever be quite the same.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK, Jeanine, how are you dealing with it?
SEAMAN: Well, Larry, I'm doing quite well, actually.
I went through the trauma of 9/11, which was unimaginable, and like Ken said, uncontrollable and without choice. I learned to deal with the tragedy of 9/11. And somehow, this one, as long as everyone is safe and they're -- and, you know, your family is safe, your -- your personal possessions just suddenly don't have that much meaning.
KING: Your -- your brother was in the building, the World Trade Center?
SEAMAN: Yes, he was. He was in the south tower on the 90th floor. He worked for Franklin Templeton. And they had just acquired Fiduciary Trust.
KING: Deepak, how do you deal with someone who, apparently bravely, faces multiple tragedies?
CHOPRA: See, Jeanine is a very good example of what scientists are now discovering about the human spirit.
Let's say somebody wins the lottery today, $10 million. They will be ecstatic. But, in a year from now, they will be exactly where they were before they won the lottery, which means either back to their level of happiness or their level of unhappiness.
The same thing with tragedy. When people go through a major tragedy, as she went through, after a year to maximum two years, people will be exactly where they started from, as happy or as unhappy as before.
And some, like Jeanine, will actually be much stronger, because they have had time to process their feelings. They didn't deny them. They felt the grief. They identified the grief. They expressed the grief. They shared it with their loved ones. They allowed other people who were grieving to share it with them.
And, finally, they found a moment of release. And having found that moment of release, some part of themselves asked a higher consciousness, what can I learn from this? What are my priorities? And how can I take this experience to be a stronger person, help others, and, in fact, share my wisdom and my learning and my love and my compassion with others?
She's a perfect example of that.
KING: John, is this -- did Jeanine learn this, or is it built into her?
ASSARAF: Well, first and foremost, I want to just send her my love and compassion to her.
I think what -- what happened with Jeanine is, her values got really straight, and she started to prioritize the values in her life. And a home is materialistic. And we get attached to the memories in the homes. We don't get attached to the physical structures.
And, so, when she compares the loss of a home compared to the loss of her brother, it doesn't even come close. It's still difficult, because that's your environment and we get used to it. But she has learned to value certain things in her life. And there's nothing more important than human life.
KING: Jeanine, are you going to rebuild?
SEAMAN: Well, Larry, I'm not sure yet. I'm taking it one hour at a time, one day at a time. And that's still to be determined.
KING: Well, I share your -- I can't share your grief, because I don't know what that would be like, but I wish you nothing but -- I wish you all you wish yourself.
SEAMAN: Well, thank you very much, Larry.
And it's important for me to let people know that, once you do experience the trauma that I have experienced, it is much easier to help other people. And that's an important part of life, is passing it forward.
KING: Jeanine Seaman, an extraordinary story.
We will be back with more and another story of loss, and the help of Deepak Chopra and Ken Druck and John Assaraf.
Don't go away.
LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Now we go to Rancho Bernardo, California. And Loretta Hutter, her home was completely destroyed by the wildfires. What happened, Loretta?
LORETTA HUTTER, RANCHO BERNARDO HOME BURNED TO THE GROUND: We were awoken about 4:40 in the morning with the neighbor banging on the door, ringing the doorbell, telling us get out, get out. And then, I ran upstairs, got my son, woke up my daughter.
We were running down the stairs and my husband was getting our animals - our two golden retrievers. And we loaded up. And one child in his car, one child in my car. I had the dogs and we were gone. That's how fast we had to leave.
KING: Did you --
HUTTER: There was no time to grab anything.
KING: Did you see the house burn?
KING: Did you see your house burn?
HUTTER: I didn't see the house burn. But there was an eerie - no, an eerie orange glow in our cul-de-sac which was destroyed. But I understand that my home is on footage going up in flames on the local NBC channel, but I have not seen it. We've been on information overload, and we were being evacuated twice.
We evacuated once to Westview High School, and we got to Westview High School and tried to settle in and watch the news coverage in a gym-type arena, where we saw people that we knew. And then about half an hour later, the police came into the room and said, "We're evacuating Westview High. Everyone needs to go to Qualcomm."
KING: Have you seen the house since?
(CROSSTALK) HUTTER: The stadium (INAUDIBLE) so we were evacuated.
KING: Have you seen your house?
HUTTER: Yes, I was able to get -- yes, I'm actually right in front of the house. It's -- we saw it on Tuesday when the police allowed us to come in for medications and anything you might -- incidentals you might want to get.
KING: So how are you deal --
HUTTER: And my husband and I were escorted by the police.
KING: How are you dealing with it, Loretta?
HUTTER: It comes and goes in waves. It's very hard to adjust to. This is the only home I've ever -- this is the second home I've ever owned with my husband in the 26 years we've been married. So it's very hard for my children to realize that there are no childhood memorabilia.
I was the family historian for my family, and I don't have brown sepia wedding pictures of my grandparents. They got married in the early 1900s. They're completely lost, gone.
KING: Oh, Ken Druck, what would you say to Loretta?
Dr. KEN DRUCK, GRIEF COUNSELOR HOLDING TOWN HALL AFTER SHOW: Well, first of all, my heart would be with you and your family, Loretta. And I found myself all week meeting with people who are incredibly courageous, who are still -- most of them in a state of shock.
It's almost unprecedented in San Diego that a half a million people find themselves for the first time in their lives having to go through their things and decide, what do I keep, what do I throw away, feel themselves in direct imminent threat.
HUTTER: Well, what can you find unscathed. You know, you don't even -- you don't even have seven minutes to gather your things.
HUTTER: I mean, I left very precious, very precious things because it was how fast could I put my clothes on. My safety was to get my children out of their bedrooms, which were upstairs and to just be safe. And our street was on fire as we started to evacuate so we had to take an opposite direction and get out. And everyone saw that.
Everyone that started to go down our hill saw that the street was on fire so they had to make U-turns and turn around and go the opposite way.
KING: John Assaraf, words are easy.
JOHN ASSARAF, EVACUATED MONDAY FROM RANCHO SANTA FE: Sure. KING: Now to say to Loretta. But we didn't lose a house.
ASSARAF: Of course, yes, she's going to be on an emotional roller coaster. And so, it's easy for us to sit here and look at the situation and say, "Well, be strong. Be courageous." But as her brain is trying to search for answers and search for meanings, she's going to be an emotional basket case for a while and that's where the love and compassion has to come in.
That's where people need to understand as Ken suggested before, that you've got to be at the place that she's at, not at what you want.
KING: And Deepak Chopra, that's not easy, is it?
DEEPAK CHOPRA, SPIRITUAL TEACHER, PRESIDENT ALLIACE FOR A NEW HUMANITY: It's not easy. But you know what happened in this situation? It forced her to recognize what is really important. And in the end, even though we love things in our house and it's very precious to us, the situation itself forced her to recognize that her children and her sense of belonging and her love and her companionship and all the people around her now and before, these are the important things in life.
And if we stay with that idea in our head that, you know, first we need survival and safety, and then we need love, belongingness, compassion, understanding, meaning, purpose, she'll figure out the meaning at some point.
KING: Thank you, Loretta.
CHOPRA: And she has to embrace what she's going through...
CHOPRA: ... get in touch with her emotions and be with people to understand that...
KING: OK, Deepak I've to tell you. Thanks.
CHOPRA: ... and are able to come where as what said a minute ago.
KING: Deepak, I have to interrupt you. All right. Thank you.
Deepak Chopra, we thank you very much. Ken Druck, thanks a lot. John Assaraf and Loretta Hutter, we know you'll rebuild your life. We thank you all very much.
We're going to check right in with John Zarrella who has news now about arson in Orange County. We thank our panel. We'll be right back. But first, John Zarrella -- John.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Larry, we promised you update from the news briefing just moments ago. The Orange County fire chief came out and said this is an F-150 pickup truck, white F-150. It is not the vehicle but they are asking anyone who has seen an F-150 white, between the years 1998 and 2004 that might have been on the road, the canyon road during the hours of 5:45 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday night when the fire broke out, to please call them.
They are saying the person or persons in these is not a suspect, just persons of interest. They'd like to talk to whoever was in that white 150 pickup on that canyon road on Sunday evening.
That, Larry, is the development here. Again, they say they are better off today than they were 24 hours ago. I asked them, are you more confident you'll solve this. And the sheriff told me, yes, we are -- Larry.
KING: Thanks, John Zarrella staying atop the scene as he will, I'm sure all night. When we come back, a bestselling author who could write a firsthand account of how quickly a person can lose all his earthly possessions.
All that ahead on LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN BLANCHARD, CONSULTANT, HOME IN RUINS: There are certain things that are important. There are certain things that are stuff. And what's really important is who you love and who loves you and that everybody's safe. You know, you can always replace things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We now welcome in Escondido, California, Ken Blanchard, the bestselling author of the "One Minute Manager." Extraordinary, one of the most successful books ever written. Ken lost his home to the wildfires. What happened, Ken?
KEN BLANCHARD, CONSULTANT, HOME IN RUINS: Well, Larry, I was in Florida when it happened. And on Monday morning, 4:30 time-out here, my son Scott who owns a house a third of a mile down from me said, "Dad, we just had to evacuate the house, and I'm down on the side of the road and flames are coming from my house and I think yours is gone, too."
And so, it was a double hit potential, Larry, and it was really interesting. My thoughts really went more to my son and his loss because he had just built this house and redone it with a new blended family, and they were just had so much love and hope in that home.
And so, you know, as a follower of Jesus, I just, you know, tried to quiet myself because I knew that He wanted me to have peace and joy and righteousness. And the way I felt I could do that was to, you know, focus my energy on my son Scott. And when I talked to my wife Margie (ph), she said her real pain was for Scott, too, and so we just prayed that maybe his house would be saved. But there was three eye witnesses, Larry, including a policeman that said his house was gone. And on Tuesday, he calls me and he says, "Dad, you won't believe it. I'm standing in our house. It's standing, he said, but yours is gone."
And I just cried with joy because that's what I hoped, you know, because I wanted it for him. And so, it was tough, you know, to lose our house, but it would have been so much from our standpoint tougher on him.
KING: Your book "One-Minute Manager," helped millions of people around the world. Are you able to use some of that advice for yourself?
BLANCHARD: Well, I think, Larry, you know, with the one "One- Minute Manager" is about simple truths. And I think all the panelists have talked about simple truths that people are important and forever, and things are temporary and things that we can do out with. So we lost a lot of things, but everybody is safe and everybody is sound. And so, simple truths come through.
I think Rick was talking about five simple truths, and I think that's really what we need and the love and compassion that we've talked to here is just simple truth. One hope I have, Larry, and I'd love to hear what the panelists say ...
KING: They're fine.
BLANCHARD: ... is we get such great -- oh, we get such great leadership, and we get such great compassion in this country when there's a crisis. But we don't seem to get it, Ken, in good times.
You know, good times, all the political people are fighting with each other. And tough times, everybody pulls together and are servant leaders. How can we keep that going? You know because I'm trying to lead like Jesus' ministry to say we ought to be serving each other all the time.
I am so proud of this country in crisis, but I really want and hope and pray that when times are good, we can have compassion and love and serve each other.
KING: Ken, when you built in southern California, did you realize the possibility of fires? I'm sorry, Ken Blanchard, did you realize the possibility of fires?
BLANCHARD: Yes, you know, the weather out here is fabulous, and we knew there was fires. We came from Massachusetts, and we knew you could freeze in your car there. So you take your choice.
KING: Are you going it rebuild?
BLANCHARD: Well, we're trying to think about that. We have a most wonderful view there and we're near our son. And also, we're thinking we might. But right now, we're just trying to wrap in our arms around each other. And Ken and I are in a small support group that have been together for almost 12 years. And when Jenna (ph) died, we just wrapped our arms around Ken and just were with him.
And we're all going to meet this weekend, and they're going to wrap their arms around me because I guess, you know, they pick on me. I try to serve too much and not deal with my own feelings.
KING: Thank you, Kenny.
DRUCK: Larry, we don't get through this without our friends.
KING: We're out of time, guys. Thanks, thanks to both the Kens. And by the way, before we go to break, a reminder that it's that time of the week again, our newest podcast is available at CNN.com/LarryKing or on iTunes.
This time it's rock legend Eric Clapton, extraordinary, extraordinary conversation. He talks about his music, his new book "Addiction," the tragic loss of his son and all the loves in his life. It's an amazing podcast. Eric Clapton and it's only available at CNN.com/LarryKing or on iTunes.
You're watching a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE aired an hour earlier because we're going to repeat "PLANET IN PERIL" at the top of the hour. We'll be back at 9:00 regular time Monday night, 9:00 Eastern.
When we come back, an exclusive look at the Malibu mansion that went up in smoke and the woman who owned it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LILLY LAWRENCE, PHILANTHROPIST, OWNER OF CASTLE KASHAN: It's just so devastating. I thought I smelled smoke about 6:30. I went to the windows. And then people started calling me and saying, "Do you realize there's a fire? Get out of there."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Before we meet Lilly Lawrence and the story of another loss, this one in Malibu of a very famous place, we have a King cam question. It goes to Deepak Chopra. We've asked him to stay behind to answer it. Watch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess the question that we have is, how can we best support our children through this crisis?
CHOPRA: Tell your children that the mystery of our existence is something that remains a mystery. We don't know all the answers. But at some point, all of us are going to experience suffering and tragedy.
There's not a single family in the world that doesn't go through it. When I was on 9/11, I was on a flight, and I realized that my son was on another flight to Los Angeles and he was a young boy and I thought that he was on the flight that went into the twin towers. And when he called me, I was relieved. And you know, I felt that a truck had hit me, I was so devastated. And I was relieved then.
And then the second question I asked myself is, you know, I felt all this anguish because it was my son. But there are mothers out there whose sons are going through this every day in the world. There's so much suffering in the world, so much anguish in the world, and we don't feel it.
KING: All right.
CHOPRA: You know, Ken Blanchard said, why are we only strong in times of crisis? If we felt the suffering of our fellow human beings on a daily basis even a little bit, this would be a much better world. So don't deny the suffering even to your children. Let them embrace it. Tell them people are suffering and we need to help them and we need to help ourselves and we need to accept the help of others because we're all in this together.
KING: Thank you, Deepak. Thank you, Deepak Chopra.
In the Malibu fires that marked the beginning of this horrible week, one structure destroyed was more than a mansion, it was a landmark.
The Castle Kashan was owned by the heiress and patron of the arts Lilly Lawrence. We'll talk to her in a moment. But first, she took the LARRY KING LIVE cameras on, an exclusive tour of what little was left. Take a look.
LILLY LAWRENCE, PHILANTHROPIST, OWNER OF CASTLE KASHAN: Oh, my God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, where are we now? Is this the courtyard?
LAWRENCE: This is what we called the Carriage Courtyard. This is the front door I would think.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right in here.
LAWRENCE: This -- yes, was the circular hall of mirrors with the very important chandelier. Have you seen the rose chandelier? This was that room. Directly to -- yes, the stairs were there, the red stair, carpeted stairs.
This is the Rose room where the piano and things. The central room is my ballroom, very formal. The green chandeliers. Right here was the presidential library.
This is the fireplace at the end of my ballroom. You can see how tall it is. On this side of the chimney was the dining room where I had a roundtable. It's just so devastating.
Photographs, documents, letters, you know, some of my history, the work I've done and all that, all gone.
KING: Lilly Lawrence is an international socialite, a philanthropist, and a patron of the arts. This castle was famous all along the Malibu strip. She lost things like her husband's ashes, Elvis Presley's army uniform, her cats.
How are you holding up, Lilly?
VOICE OF LAWRENCE: Well, I'm doing pretty well. I'm doing as well as can be expected. Being -- finding some humor.
KING: Finding humor?
KING: Lilly, are you there?
LAWRENCE: Yes, I'm right here.
KING: OK. Did you say you were finding humor?
LAWRENCE: Yes, yes. You know, Larry it could be worse. I mean things could be much worse. You know that. Well, you know, you could be calling Harriet Miers's justice.
KING: You have a point. You see, you told "The L.A. Times" that possessions don't possess you. Is that the attitude you're having now? Are you upbeat?
LAWRENCE: Yes, it is. My parents brought me up to absolutely not allow my possessions to possess me, and that's how I'm feeling. I, of course, I'm very sad. The only possessions that I'm terribly missing, of course, are family photographs and things like that.
KING: Are you -- what are you going to do, rebuild? You can't rebuild that castle.
LAWRENCE: Well, possibly I could because the city of Malibu is so kind to me, and they've said that if I wanted to copy the footprint, that I could rebuild it exactly as it was. Maybe they might allow me to add a few more closets. But yes, rebuilding...
LAWRENCE: ... is very definitely a part of our plans.
KING: Lilly, when you're completely well and everything, we'd love to have you come to the studio and spend a lot of time on this. It's an extraordinary place and you're a great lady.
LAWRENCE: Well, thank you so much, Larry. Thank you.
KING: Lilly Lawrence, my pleasure. Lilly Lawrence.
We'll come back with the senior executive producer of LARRY KING LIVE. She's been on this show all week long reporting in on her travails of being evacuated and then going back. Wendy Walker joins us after this.
KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE. Back to our regular time Monday night, 9:00 Eastern. Our senior executive producer Wendy Walker was evacuated from her home early Monday with her children, the fire very close to where she lived in Rancho Santa Fe. She returned to the house yesterday and definitely was one of the lucky ones. What was it like to go home, Wendy?
VOICE OF WENDY WALKER, SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF LARRY KING LIVE: Well, it was -- it was great. The lines getting into the town though were really long, but at least the line that I was in was very patient. And everybody was thanking, you know, you know, all the firemen and everybody that was along the line.
But we had to go through two checkpoints and it's just strange to have to go, you know, to prove that you live somewhere. You know, to show proof that we live in Rancho Santa Fe.
Once I got to the house, it looked just like a huge dust storm had gone through. All my Halloween ghosts were still up and, you know, skeletons in the front. And it just, it was as if I hadn't left but I felt like I had been gone for three weeks. But I, Larry, I was so lucky.
We have a lot of cleaning up to do. The smell of smoke is just -- is very prevalent. But I -- I have no complaints. I'm so thankful because my neighborhood was one of the hardest hit in our town. So the National Guard is still at the end of the street and will only allow residents in. They wouldn't even let our cleaning crews in today. We can't even order a pizza or have any visitors.
I'm looking at that. This is a -- I'm looking at a house that was five houses down from me. This was five houses away from where I lived.
KING: The one we're seeing now?
WALKER: Yes, the one that you're looking at right now. I went down the street to see it, and it was just absolutely devastating. It was like -- it was like a bomb had dropped on it. I was trying to see if there was anything I could pick up for my neighbor, you know, anything but nothing was saved.
The only thing you could recognize were the stove and, you know, and some broken plates. And nails, nails all over the place. This is -- if you look at it, there was a notice there that I guess -- I don't know if it says, your house is burned. I didn't open it. It's an envelope I guess that they put on here.
KING: Is this a -- I don't mean to interrupt. We only got 15 seconds. Are you going to stay where you are or would you leave?
WALKER: Oh, no. I'm going to stay. I think that -- I also think they did such a great job. This is a very unusual thing. This is the worst fire we've ever had. So no, I'm going to stay right where I am.
KING: Thanks, Wendy.
KING: It's great to have you safe.
WALKER: Thank you, Larry.
KING: Wendy Walker, our senior executive producer with outstanding reports all week. We've spoken about loss and healing tonight.
Before we wrap up, we want to extend our sincere sympathies to actress Hunter Tylo. Her 19-year-old son Michael drowned in a swimming pool accident last week. His funeral was today and our thoughts are with Hunter, her family, and with everyone who knew and loved Michael.
Stay tuned now for a special encore presentation of Anderson Cooper and the CNN Special "PLANET IN PERIL."
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