The Spyglass

They say that confidence is a color that doesn’t run. So here goes with our second Spyglass column. Big thanks to all our readers who responded with favorable reviews and comments to our debut piece.
Let’s stick with the good news–for now…
The flame of civic virtue continues to burn bright in Arden. Richard Frank, CFP, whose office–Edward Jones Investments–occupies a certain sweet spot in Lyon Village (view of the lovely fountain, proximity to Miyagi Restaurant, etc.) reports that he has volunteered as a facilitator in his Lion’s Club’s drive to collect children’s backpacks. The project involves filling them with school supplies and food for needy schoolchildren. He has informed us that Virginia McNeely at Trinity Cathedral is looking for individuals or companies to donate drab-colored backpacks for the children of Floyd School, a Title 1 school near 5th Street and Broadway, Sacramento. Surely someone in Arden or Carmichael has some corporate logo day packs simply gathering dust somewhere around the house or garage. Give Virginia a call at 916-446-2513…
August 2013 has been mercifully–and un-characteristically–un-hot. That’s a good thing. A bad thing was the spell of triple-digit temps we had a while back in early July. Talking to Julie Sardia, the manager of Savemart in Loehmann’s Plaza, we learned that several freezer compartments conked out after closing time with no one responding to the alarm. Out to the dumpster next morning went some fifteen-thousand dollars’ worth of microwavable dinners. A few weeks later, some milk cooling units failed due to the heat. Fortunately, the company was insured for the loss…

Not so fortunate was one area doctor, Albert Z. Owens, MD. His heat wave story goes like this: the night porter blows a fuse while vacuuming his hallway. The office refrigerator goes negative function all night. Total loss–a fortune in flu vaccines and insulin. Insurance only covers ten thousand dollars! Landlord refuses to take responsibility for the balance. Hearing this, we thought a little medical humor might cheer him up. “That’s funny, Doc.” we told him. “Funny as reverse peristalsis!”

Any good negligence lawyers out there?

We always thought that petitions were circulated by volunteers, fired-up individuals for some political or social organization. Not so any more. One can simply hire a company to collect signatures nowadays. So how about a petition to install a stoplight across from Sierra Fair and Warren Oaks Apartments? Over eight hundred people live in these facilities, including many children who dash across Fair Oaks Boulevard to the plaza, as well as seniors and the disabled whose dashing days are history. Herein lies a worthy cause or project for a local well-heeled sponsor to take up.
Don’t all raise your hands at once…

And here’s a little Internet Age love story we happened upon: Charles Richards (not his real last name) of Carmichael, by way of North Carolina, informed us that he was headed to San Francisco to meet up for the first time with a high school sweetheart he hadn’t heard from in forty years. They hooked up again on the Web, contacted each other, discovered that they were both free and, having each acquired a ton of money, were just right for fanning the eternal flame which flickered long ago. Should be an interesting tale, which will of course be relayed in this column upon his return. That is unless…well, we wish these former “tar heels” the best in their meet-up, whatever happens…
Update: We hear it did go well and Charles is headed back for more…stay tuned!

We’re still in shock at the news of the sudden passing of our friend Brian Miller, manager of Noodles & Company in Loehmann’s Plaza. We were all set to have an encore of last year’s appearance of the El Camino High School Band in a spirited concert in front of the restaurant. Maybe that will still happen, as a tribute to a fine citizen and neighbor who will be sorely missed. He leaves a wife and two children, and as his boss Mark recently said, “Wherever he is, they’re lucky to have him. I’ll have a hard time finding a replacement for Brian. He was that good.”

As the Sisters of Mercy used to tell us in grammar school, “Pray for the repose of his soul.”

We had some happy news to relate about our neighbor, octogenarian Dorothy, in our last column. Not so now, regretably to say. No sooner had she returned to the welcoming bosom of our fine Arden neighborhood than her van was stripped of its spare tire. So bold was the thieving, two-legged trash that they returned the next night to relieve the vehicle of the mounting bracket for the spare.
And not content with that, they stole her blue handicapped parking placard as well! We were not amused hearing this.
“Durn low-down varmints!”, as old cowboy Gabby Hayes used to say in Roy Rogers radio days…

Sadly, the weed of crime seems to be thriving everywhere one looks in our times. “Wild West” redux? As the great novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald might have written had he lived to witness the present age, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past–OMG, lol, yada, yada, yada.”

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