Letters to the editor: Wearing masks, a tribute to Peter Duxbury

Wear a mask or face a fine

I wish to comment on Fran Rappaport’s Aug. 5 letter about masks in Los Altos (“Los Altos needs mask mandate”). It is truly unfortunate that it will take some definitive action by our city council to finally get the residents of Los Altos to wear a mask when outside.

We walk for exercise and are usually the only walkers wearing masks. The other walkers, bike riders and runners pass by us, too close, unmasked.

Which requires a comment on the Aug. 5 letter from Camilla McCrea (“Don’t forget old-school rules of the road”). It is not possible to walk facing traffic when the inconsiderate nonmaskers walk toward us.

In self-defense, we must cross the street constantly to avoid close contact with them. Did Los Altos residents not get the memo?
Wear a mask to protect others – it is the sane and considerate thing to do.

Obviously, it is only money that talks, so we will need to impose a fine on violators, the sooner the better, to save lives.

Myra Orta
Los Altos

Peter Duxbury leaves legacy of ‘genius’

My life was stimulated by being asked to do the civil engineering work on many of Peter Duxbury’s architectural projects. Thanks for that glowing article on his accomplishments (“Friends, colleagues remember late Hills town hall architect,” Aug. 5). Here’s a look at his personality.

The man was a genius, a combination of Frank Lloyd Wright and Robin Williams. An indomitable spirit, outrageous and spontaneous, who, sitting across a table from me, would grab a pen and quickly sketch a drawing without a flaw which would be upside down to him but right side up to me. He was contemptuous of political correctness, liable to say or bellow anything within the confines of his office. A barrel of fun, able to internalize and coordinate the people and the details of each

When potential clients interviewed him, he would be interviewing them. If they hired him, they were subject to being told, “You will use these consultants and this contractor; we’re a team.” He would tell them, “We can’t make that change.”

“Why not? It’s my house and I’m paying for it.”

“It may be your house, but it’s my design. I know architecture and you don’t, and I won’t have you compromising my design.”
I’ve known only a dozen people like him. The common quality was willingness to do or say whatever they felt like. Erratic behavior would still be responsible, never intentionally hurtful, and always entertaining to someone.

Peter’s peculiar charm disarmed fair-minded people who had a sense of humor.

It’s possible Peter thought he was normal.

Jerry Clements
Los Altos

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