by guest author Nicole Hodge
It’s all right there in the name of this goddamn city. I have never lived in a place quite like this. It is rough and wild, beautiful and rugged. There’s a sense of lawlessness that is both attractive and frightening. The community is strong, and Vallejo is proud. But, there leaves a lot to be desired.
The first thing you notice about Clifford Dawson is his smile . . . and his hat, of course. Clifford Dawson is, A Man & His Hat. We first met at a Black Chamber of Commerce meeting where he was presented an award for Business Man of the Year. We spoke for only a few minutes but I immediately found him to be a kind and generous man. The second time we met – READ MORE
I remember flipping the channel one day and landed on channel 9, our local PS station, only to hear Joseph Campbell talk about Sir Galahad and the Holy Grail. Galahad was the bastard son of Lancelot and was renowned for his gallantry, his purity and the most perfect of all the knights. The Grail Legend, in my mind, is to constantly seek and strive to be better in life and to do so with Continue reading “LET THERE BE LIGHT”
When I was younger than a teenager and my family took camping trips for vacation, I had my first experience with fire. Now, of course, I had experienced the burn-your-marshmallows kind of fire many times. We had gone camping for many years in a row. I even saw my father use a flat piece of metal supported by rocks over an open flame, cook us breakfast before. But my first scary experience with fire Continue reading “EARTH, WIND AND FIRE”
Throughout my life we, as a family, would drive up from the East Bay to Vallejo to visit my grandparents. Occasionally it was just for a visit, mostly it was for a holiday bbq or dinner. The seven of us, mom, dad and 5 whining siblings, would load into the old brown Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon. The reason it was called a Vista Cruiser is that there were two windows, in the roof, above the back passenger seat. I guess one could look at the stars if one were laying on one’s back, in the back seat. Any way. Continue reading “ARE WE THERE YET?”
I grew up in the 60’ and 70’s. With a brother, sisters, a dog and 2 parents, the house was always busy. In the evening, mostly, we quieted down to watch TV. 1. Because we had color TV and that was a newish thing to have and 2. So my dad would have a peaceful evening after a long day at work. TV then was as mind numbing as it is now. In fact, after Games of Thrones tanked in the last episode I cancelled my cable subscription. Of the shows I watched back then Continue reading “UPRIGHT”
In a story that I once heard, a new joint chief of staff was appointed to lead our military. There was a reception following the swearing in ceremony that was well attended. After the event the new chief of staff met in a small room with the surviving, retired chiefs of staff. The new chief said, “This is an elite club, isn’t it?” To which the eldest retired chief replied, “Yes, and you’re the junior member.”
This is how my first turn on the dais started. Continue reading “JUNIOR”
It seems that fig trees are as thick and plentiful as oxalis, here in Vallejo. Tommy Bilbo has one that produces the largest and most luscious figs in town I believe. I see fig trees, on my walks, in neighbor’s front yards and I hear stories of parking lots in town where one need not even reach over the fence to harvest for the branches are so laden and long. I drop a Google pin to a friend every time I come across one of these beauties in the public way. She’s a forager and is compiling a map of all the fruit, herbs and edibles that are to be found just wandering the streets of Vallejo. She calls me, the Fig Whisperer.
Continue reading “SUMMER’S END”
“I just want to have two days off where no one expects anything from me.” She said heading out the door to go camping over the holiday weekend.
My fantasy restaurant name would be Attente. French for “expectation.” I, along with others, believe that we need to raise our expectations and set our sights higher, here in Vallejo. That should be our way forward.
In relationships, Continue reading “EXPECTATIONS”
“What? You want me to go to a Planning Commission meeting? . . . Boorrriinggg.”
Not so. This past week Porter Venn and Kevin Scott had their hearing for a Conditional Use Permit so that they might open REVOLUTIONS, an entertainment venue at 350 Georgia Street here in Vallejo. The part that was not boring were the speakers and Commissioners that spoke out in favor of the Permit and, wait for it, the removal of some of the conditions negotiated to by the city. Yes, the citizen body Planning Commission actually made it less cumbersome to start a business downtown. Faith be restored.
Checks and balances. In my last interview for appointment to the Planning Commission another of the questions that was asked was Continue reading “DEMOCRACY IN ACTION”