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This Day in My History

2000:  I'll Do It Tomorrow
2001:  Oh, to be in England
2002:  Tacky Funny Crap
2003:  Rolling Thunder
2004:  What do you say to a Living Legend?
2005:  Top Dog
2006
A Strange Alliance


IN MY OPINION
"Annie Get Your Gun"

Books Read in 2007

Updated 5/3:
"Paula Deen"

FUNNY THE VLOG

"Aunt Mel, Part 2"

Aunt Mel, Part 2
click here to download

Flash version here

Mefeedia Video Archive


My Favorite Video Blogs

Desert Nut
Missbehavens

(for others, see Links page)

Look at these videos!
The Zimmers
Wizard of Oz--Alternate Ending
Phil Donahue vs. Bill O'Reilly
Drunk Driving Test
Steve Irwin Meets Ross the Intern
Volcanic Eruption 4/2/07
Polar Bear Cub

Family Stories Vlog
(updated 5/4/07)


New on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)
Easter 2007



A NICE PLACE TO BE FROM

5 May 2007

It was late 1972 when I first laid eyes on the city of Davis, which is weird because all throughout my childhood, my family drove past it several times each summer, on our way to Citrus Heights, the other side of Sacramento, taking me to spend 2 weeks with Peach's family and then bringing Peach and me back to San Francisco for 2 weeks with me in the city and then returning to Citrus Heights to take her home again.

The older I got, the more often I thought to myself "someday I should get off the freeway and see what Davis looks like."  But I never did, always in a hurry to get somewhere else.  Davis remained an unexplored offramp in my life.

When Walt's boss retired in the early 1970s, a good ol' boy from the South came in to Berkeley to replace him.  He looked around at all those "dirty hippies" and decided that the time had come to move the office out of the Bay Area and closer to Sacramento, which also made sense because they did a lot of collaboration with state government offices. 

The employees had the choice of moving to Davis or finding a new job.  Some left.  We didn't want to relocate, but Walt didn't want to leave the job, so we  decided to move.  There were about 50 families who made the transition to Davis.  (Walt didn't re-register to vote right away because he preferred the issues and candidates in Berkeley and so drove to Berkeley on the first election day after our move to vote; he still, after 33 years, commutes the 80 miles to his Berkeley dentist.)

One rainy weekend, we packed all the kids in the car and drove up to give the town a look-over and start thinking about our new house and where we wanted to buy.

Now I was born and raised in San Francisco and moved across the Bay to Oakland and Berkeley.  I was a city-girl, through and through, so my first impression as we entered Davis on this grey, wet day was to wonder where "downtown" was.  I saw a few shops, a theatre, and a couple of restaurants, but where was downtown?  The more we drove around, the more I realized that there was no "downtown" as I knew it and that this tiny character-less little place was going to be this city girl's new home.  The depression began to set in.

The day we moved into our new house, I remember sitting on a bed in the kids' room.  Jeri was about 6 and David was 18 months old.  All five of them in my lap and all six of us crying.  I stayed up all night that night putting away things and fixing a special breakfast so that at least ONE part of the house would have some sort of a feel of "home" when everybody got up.

For years, I refused to accept Davis as "home."  I got involved in things, I made friends, but it wasn't home.  I can remember standing in the shower on the second floor, in the early years, craning my neck to look for Mt. Diablo, the tallest peak near Oakland, because somehow I thought that if I could see Mt. Diablo it wouldn't seem so far from home.

But, in time, I grew to love this town and now it is my home.  When I go to the Bay Area, I am always happy to be back where I feel comfortable--and I haven't looked for Mt. Diablo in years.

This town has been great for us.  It was an ideal place to raise kids.  We have so many special memories  and are proud to have participated in so many events in town which are now special parts of Davis history.

Jackie Stephens, the director of the Davis Art Center for most of the past two decades, announced her retirement this week and there was a big spotlight article about her in the paper.  Walt was reading it when he suddenly rushed in here to let me know that there were several paragraphs in this article which were written about a Lawsuit concert.  The section reads:

Stephens recalls many memorable events, including the celebrated Lawsuit concert series at the facility's outdoor venue in the mid 1990s.

At the time, three deaf students were taking classes at the center.  The band agreed to put on a benefit concert for a fund to provide interpreter services for hearing-impaired students.

Stephens arranged for interpretive services and special speakers at the concert, so the kids could understand the lyrics through sign language and actually feel the beat of the music.

Stephens recalled that the audience packed the hillside and grass area, and started dancing.

"The deaf students were beyond going wild," she said, "and their parents were crying.  They'd never seen their kids relate and just be a part of the teenage experience.

The concert was named the "thousand roses" benefit and Strelitzia Flower Company donated boxes and boxes of de-thorned long-stem red roses, which were thrown to the crowd at the end of the performance.

"That was so successful," Stephens said.

"It became the event."

That was cool to read.  We never would have had that, or Lawsuit, if we hadn't come to Davis.   (The band gave a couple of "Roses" concerts, including one dedicated to David, shortly after he died, and donations in David's name went to help build a gazebo at the Art Center, called "David's Place," which was dedicated a couple of weeks after Paul died.)

Finding things like this, unexpectedly, in the newspaper, reminding me of how much a part of Davis we have become warms the cockles of my heart.


SUPER big news about Steve.  Check it out!

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Press Photo for the 1996 Red Roses concert

 

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