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”


“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”


My mother was a lovely woman and she worked hard to make sure that we had something nutritious to eat every night. In addition to her tuna casserole, mac and cheese, spaghetti and goulash she would often serve us hungry wee-ones Tamale Pie. The recipe for this she found printed on the side of the Albers Corn meal box. Say it is not so? Well, just to prove my point here is the link Continue reading “MEXICAN? NOT SO MUCH”


Every 4th of July we, as a country, celebrate our independence from Jolly Olde England. The day stands as a reminder of how we came together as a people to establish self-governance. Self-Governance. What an interesting word. Self-Governance. I keep writing this word because it strikes me that we, as a country, seem to have forgotten Continue reading “I DID A THING”


When I think of my sister I remember two distinctive things. One, she taught me how to spell Wednesday. “Wed-nes-day” she said. The reason I remember this so well and so clearly is that the brief interchange shocked me. Why? Good question. You see I grew up in a family with five children and my sister is five years older than me. At dinner we sat on opposite sides of the table and we rarely spent any time together, not even fighting. I guess it shocked me because it is most likely the first memory of anyone helping me with a challenge. The second distinct memory I have is when I was 17 or 18 years old. She had moved out, gone to college and gotten a job. She asked me out to dinner. This is unique because, like I said, we rarely spent any time together. I was flattered because of the attention but also because I was doing this adult thing: Continue reading “WITH PRIDE”



I had a lovely visit, not so long ago, with a new friend here in Vallejo. I found her conversation to be both cogent and delightful. The gin and tonics she prepared, not your garden variety. No, it seems that I fell in to the hands of a self-taught expert of sorts, and her cocktails helped sort out a few things for me.  Our conversation naturally fell upon those things we have in common, none more than this lovely town we live in. I use the word town specifically because we both agreed that living here feels more and more like a town and less like a formal city. Not to say that our City is not being professionally run, since I have no details to suggest otherwise. No, it is just that . . .  Continue reading “OUR TOWN”