Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Death becomes me: No Shoes, Please

Last month, my husband – apropos of nothing but the day itself – announced, “Dad would have been 98 today,” to which I nonchalantly replied, “Oh, wow, really?”

If I were a cartoon, the thought bubble hovering over my head would have read, “So? If Abraham Lincoln were still around, he’d be 204; and if my dad hadn’t smoked so much, he might not have gotten cancer and died, therefore he’d be 92. Once a person is dead, you should really just stop counting.”

I understand it’s only natural to think of any loved one alive or dead on birthdays and how tempting it is (if the person is deceased) to imagine what it would be like if he or she remained among the living. But age carries so many weird burdens as it is, I think it’s nonsensical to continue tallying it after – particularly long after – the dearly departed have escaped the cycle of degeneration the rest of us are currently experiencing. I mean, why bother?

The beauty of death is that a lot of things don’t count anymore: age, good looks, material wealth, bad habits and mistakes, even long-standing grudges both held by and held against the deceased, which is exactly why I enjoy funerals. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t waltz into the proceedings happy-go-lucky, ready for a good time. But I do expect to be moved – to witness a level of respect and appreciation that might not have been readily or publicly offered during the lifetime of the person being remembered.

I expect to be surprised – perhaps to learn of some heretofore unknown aspect of a person’s life history during the eulogy. And when mourners offer a final word, their memories and stories can reveal as much about the individual speaking as the one who is being spoken about. After just about every service I’ve ever attended, I have felt enriched in knowledge, connection, understanding or awareness.

But these rituals don’t work for everyone. I once heard a man complain after his sister-in-law’s funeral, “It makes me mad that all those people stood up to say nice things about her when all she really was was a big, fat pig!” OK, point taken.

Maybe death diminishes the bad and embellishes the good to a point of willful deception. But I’d like to think that death or tragedy is also a moment in which you’re given an opportunity to drill down, to look at someone with your own blinders at least temporarily removed or to acknowledge valuable, meaningful contributions that had been previously ignored.

When someone makes the transition to another reality, the responsibility of surrendering to the new normal lies with the living, too. I know another woman whose parents both died at ripe old ages under appropriate circumstances, and on the anniversaries of their respective deaths, she commemorates her orphanhood.

My thought bubble on that one is, “Can you consider yourself a real orphan if you were 59 years old when your parents died? Isn’t there a statute of limitations on that?”

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