President’s message: Feeling thankful in our part of the world

It’s hard work writing a column when all the blood in one’s body is busily diverting itself to the stomach, extracting nutrients and hurrying away fat, salt and sugar to various filtering organs. On the other hand, it lends itself to an economy of expression, as the rendering of the slurry of turkey, yams, green beans, potatoes, carrots and stuffing leaves only enough stimulation for the hardiest neurons.

This marks the end of my seventh year on the board of SCNA, and I must say I have a lot to be thankful for. I’ve made a bunch of new friends, some of whom are evolving into old friends. I’ve been intimately involved with the workings of the Sierra 2 Center, and my respect and admiration for their dedicated staff keeps expanding, much like my beltline this evening.

Watching decades-old oaks come crashing down was tough, but I’m thankful that we were able to save a dozen, giving future residents of Curtis Park Village a small glimpse of natural history, and an anchor to the past. Greeting the hordes of dapper folks as they walk into the annual wine tasting never fails to put a smile on my face, even if it means I miss out on 45 minutes of restaurant sampling.

When my son Chance, 9, got his drone stuck 40 feet up in a Sierra 2 park sycamore, neighbors spent half an hour hurling baseballs (and curses) up into the air. When stepson Marc, 15, got it down with his laser arm the next day, I was thankful there were witnesses to gasp, “Are you @#$% kidding? He got it down?!?”

In Curtis Park, I can borrow a caulking gun from across the street or chairs from next door, and the neighbor over the back fence sees me pruning and asks, “Hey, you got any interest in seeing the Kings tonight?” I am not thankful for the squirrels that left us exactly two apples and zero apricots.

That’s really the essence of it: I’m thankful for the people. All the folks who gussy up their houses for the home tour. All the people who rattle around in their Model As. All the residents who show up for meetings to let others know what they think is important. All my fellow board members who devote their time and talent to taking care of details. All the neighbors who run, walk, bike, blade, skate, stroll, amble or mosey by our front porch and say, “Hi!” All the Viewpoint volunteers—especially our editor for the past two dozen years, Judy Scheible— who make this newspaper happen.

So, I appreciate this opportunity to be thankful in public. I’m looking forward to a fantastic 2018, and to thanking you, for whatever you do, in person.


Drone in tree photo via

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