Tue09022014

The hollow towns: A Piece of My Mind

My husband and I recently took a back-roads trip across the country, avoiding the interstates with their urban bypasses as much as possible.

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Photographs as memories: Haugh About That?

Staring at the face tagged on my Facebook page, I bolted out of the chair like a missile exploding from an abandoned silo. I ran straight for the bathroom mirror, praying that it wasn’t so. Pulling back the folds and wrinkles that had somehow magically appeared overnight, I shrieked, horrified, “When did you become a crone?”

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Something to talk about: No Shoes, Please

First, there was the Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, who began with, “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro …,” which then turned out to be the least offensive thing he went on to say about African-Americans. Next was L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who tolerates his mistress socializing with black people only if she isn’t photographed with them and doesn’t bring them to any basketball games. Finally, the incident when Montreal Canadiens player P.K. Subban scored the game-winning goal in a playoff match against the Boston Bruins prompted Bruins fans to explode on Twitter with comments like, “P.K. Subban is a n-----, everyone know that” and “That stupid n----- doesn’t belong in hockey.”

Bundy is 80 years old, therefore his views on “the Negro” will die with him relatively soon. Sterling will presumably lose ownership of his team, though no one believes that he will go down without a fight. However, he’s already made a contribution: His statements were so egregious that they got even Michael Jordan – famously closed-mouthed when it comes to issues surrounding race – to speak out publicly against him.

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Al the barber's retirement marks end of an era: Other Voices

I was personally disappointed at the minimal coverage the Town Crier gave to Al Galedrige’s retirement (“Al the barber bids farewell,” April 9). While Al may prefer it that way, I must disrespectfully provide some commentary on his truly historical Los Altos barber shop.

My first encounter with Al’s Barber Shop was in the early 1970s after my discharge from the Marines. I was experiencing a little culture shock, as every barber I tried wanted to “style” my hair and required that I make an appointment. Thankfully, I discovered Main Street in downtown Los Altos. As I entered Al’s, I heard him on the phone explaining, “I don’t take appointments. You need to come down, take a seat and wait your turn.” It only got better when I sat down, noticing some less-than-appropriate magazines at the back of the shop and the continuous banter among Al, his partner Louis Piro and their customers. I had found my barber shop.

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