Monday, September 24, 2012

May The Forest Be With You

Marilyn and I were determined to check out Camp Concord 50 and Better September 17 to 21, five days, four nights. I spent the night at her new Petaluma townhouse Sunday night and we left by 10 a.m. Monday morning. The setting is at South Lake Tahoe in rustic cabins with a large dining hall, game room and brand-new baths and showers. We slept four to a cabin in ours. I use the word "slept" loosely. It's not easy to sleep in my own bed let alone with three others or leaving the cabin in the dark and cold in the night one or more times. The staff could not have been more friendly, cheerful, helpful and accommodating and the food was outstanding. We were served three meals a day and food at happy hour prior to dinner. If we had a field trip during lunch we got a packed lunch of what we checked off on the bag. I immediately found Scrabble in the game room and found others over the week to play with, including two who had never played Scrabble. The first excursion we signed up for was a museum and lodge with outbuildings of how people lived in the 1800s. It was a lovely area and walk along Lake Tahoe. I swam in Lake Tahoe and Angora Lake after our hike there where we ate our bag lunches at picnic tables on the beach. We hiked to Fallen Leaf Lake to canoe and I saw ruins where only a massive fireplace stands. Fallen Leaf is reminiscent of Lake Siskiyou and Angora of Castle Lake though Angora is much smaller. Marilyn and I played ping pong several times, there was a Bingo night where she won and since I was leaving on a hike my white cotton pajamas were dyed purple for me. They didn't quite turn out as expected after I washed them at home but it's better than white. On the last night the staff provided s'mores for anyone who wanted to make them at the campfire, located off our front porch of cabin #3. We walked the lovely Rainbow Trail before leaving and were on the road by 1 p.m. It was particularly gratifying to spend time with visiting Paul over the weekend, Adam and Steph, and talk to E in Texas, 36 weeks along tomorrow.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Willows Theatre Goes Dark

The Willows opened the same year my daughter was born, 1977. With the exception of closing from 2009 to 2010 it has been a Bay Area destination for quality musicals and plays for three and a half decades. I was a regular usher for the last decade and was so happy when it reopened. However on August 15, 2012, that all changed and some culture in Concord eight minutes from home flatlined. I'm sorry to see it go. When I usher in the city I get to bed around 1:30 a.m. The Willows was a small, intimate theater with fantastic sets, acting, singing and music. Michael ushered with me a few times. It wasn't his thing. I miss it. Very much.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BART turns 40

BART is what enabled us to move to the East Bay and continue working in the city. So Happy 40th to Bay Area Rapid Transit. Thankfully we didn't move to Fairfield.

A BART train coasts through Oakland on the first day of operation. "The first train was packed," a rider recalls. Photo: Charles B. Peterson, The Chronicle

Friday, September 7, 2012

Once in a Blue Moon

Memory of the moon

One of my nieces was born July 31, 1969, in Rome. My sister and I were staying in a pensione awaiting her birth, and the moon landing was on TV. I heard a commotion, got up, saw what was on TV, was exhausted after a minute or two and returned to my bed.
It's like JFK for me. I'll always remember where I was for the moon landing.
Olivetta Chavez, Concord

Commander Neil Armstrong, left, was laid to rest August 31, 2012, the night of a blue moon, a fitting honor for the first man on the moon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dance While You Can

You've heard of So You Think You Can Dance. I advocate dance while you can. There I was at farmers market with my bags of produce at one buck each and Clangin' and Bangin' is playing away so naturally I started dancing. In fact right next to me was an elderly lady wheelchair bound that probably would have loved to be dancing. A man was taking pictures of the piano player and drummer and came over to me telling me I was a great dancer, that he's a Chronicle reporter doing a story on the band and got my name and city. He asked me if I liked the band and I pointed to the CD I'd just bought in my bag saying, "Oh yeah." Luckily I also had a copy of today's newspaper on the chair. So I'll post the story once it's published.