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A step back in time: A Piece of My Mind

The Anderson Valley, centered in Boonville in Mendocino County, is so remote that linguists used to visit to study “Boontling,” the dialect spoken by the inhabitants when keeping secrets from outsiders. The valley is accessible only via twisty and nausea-inducing Highway 128 at one end and the narrow “Tunnel to the Sea” through a second-growth redwood forest along the Navarro River on the other end. But if you make it over the pass, you will feel as if you have gone back in time and space to the Napa Valley as it was a half-century ago.

Here in late May, the rolling hills are just finishing with spring, looking like sun-faded green velvet curtains dropped in heaps.


Orlando: No Shoes, Please

Last week I watched an interview with six surgeons who had cared for the wounded and dying in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, during which gunman Omar Mateen shot approximately 100 people.

One doctor noted that assault weapons such as the one used by Mateen fire bigger bullets faster than handguns or civilian-type firearms. The resulting wounds inflicted are worse, the tissue damage more extensive.

Legacy: A Piece of My Mind

A few weeks ago I attended a couple of celebrations that set me thinking.

The first was a reunion of Los Altos High School alumni and faculty members from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, a picnic where students had a chance to tell some of their teachers as well as each other how things they had learned decades ago had affected their lives. A few examples:

Little white lies: Haugh About That?

As the tall silver fox from Sausalito chatted on, I found my breath taken away. It isn’t often I meet a handsome stranger at a Sharks game, but as the fans began to scream, we knew it was time to go inside. Saying goodbye, we exchanged business cards with the promise to meet again.

For the next several days, we flirted via text and email.

Blame it on Rio: No Shoes, Please

In 2008, I wrote a column explaining why I thought Beijing was an inappropriate venue for that year’s Summer Olympic Games. I cited health risks: the city’s terrible pollution and the country’s corrupt food supply chain. I also noted that the “only gold medals count” mentality of the Chinese government was antithetical to the spirit of the Olympics themselves.

Everything I wrote was already well-known. The air in Beijing was infamously foggy with contaminants. The director of the State Food and Drug Administration had just been executed – yes, put to death – for accepting bribes and egregious dereliction of duty. Chinese athletes openly spoke about how the governing bodies of their respective sports considered silver medals to be worthless.

The days go by slowly, but the years went by fast: The Villaj Idiut

He is surly and prickly and abrupt – and his students love him.

He is loud and boisterous and demanding – and the parents of his students love him.

Housewives of LA: The Villaj Idiut

Bumble waiter: Hello, ladies. May I take your drink order?

Housewife No. 1: I don’t see this on your menu, but I had this really superb wine at the Rosewood spa last week when I was getting my mani, pedi, herbal facial, Brazilian wax, back wax, tramp-stamp enhancement and three-hour hot-stone massage. I got a glass with each treatment, it was only like $15 a glass. I think it was called “Charles Shaw.”


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The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

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