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Funny Papers Again Column | All Things Being Equinox; et al

Steve Wilson

Summer comes to an end tomorrow when the Fall Equinox descends upon us with equal amounts of day and night heralding the incremental journey toward shorter days and longer nights. I am not fond of that particular cosmic arrangement, in fact prefer the exact opposite, but no one in charge of the universe asked me. And while there are still a number of events in the area scheduled to take place, much of the frenetic activity of the long days of summer has lessened.

The recent past has seen its share of class reunions; four that I know of have been successfully attended here in town. One of them was my two-and-a-half-year delayed 50th reunion of the KCHS Class of 1970 held 11 days ago at St. John’s Hall. I can honestly say it was a rather bittersweet affair for me; if bittersweet is the word. Maybe frustrating or anticlimactic or unfulfilling are apt words. I really don’t know.

But what I do know is that I could have used much more time, hours more, with certain individuals for both the purpose of reminiscing old times with close friends and discovering new aspects of classmates I only knew marginally. I wanted to speak to a couple of the Greenfield guys and one King City gal who are Mexican by heritage with the intent of getting a better understanding of what it was like for them in the late ’50s through the ’60s here in South County. The gal is a published author, and one of her stories I felt depicted all of us white non-Hispanic guys as coming from the same mold and I wanted to discuss that with her.

And I was frustrated that a kindergarten-through-high school buddy was not there due to illness. I visited him the morning of the reunion at his home, which is only a block from where he lived growing up in Greenfield. He is mending, but it was hard to know he wouldn’t be able to take part in the gathering later that day. He’ll be there for the next one, I predict with all hope.

A couple weeks prior there was a big 10-year reunion, and I helped a fellow classmate put together a memorial collage of those 1970 classmates who have passed away since we graduated. I had the 42 photos long enough to get pretty darned emotional. When arranged alphabetically the first classmate to die and the last classmate to die were side-by-side at 17 years old and 70 years old, respectively. The total was exactly one-fourth of the total graduating class, more than the total graduates that attended the reunion.

I don’t mean to say that the event was a downer, quite the opposite. A dedicated crew put together elegantly understated decorations where tables were set-up in a chevon design with the preciseness of the pyramids, with each table adorned with simple glass decanters and flowers. Had anything been moved, the Universe would have gone out of kilter. With a far better looking and colorful memorial, some memorabilia of our school days, a classmate constructed quilt and period music the whole thing was wonderful.

I could see old friends and new acquaintances mingling amid food and drink and was glad once again to be the member of a great class. Should we continue with the past schedule of reunions it will only be eight quick years before we do it again.

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One summer program came to an end last Friday evening when the Sol Treasures Backyard Concert Series held its final performance featuring one of the premier groups in Central California, King City’s own Los Vaqueros Hunting Club Traveling Band. Hellava long name, hellava good group. Sol T can now afford to hire the Rolling Stones for a concert, but I think they will find better ways to spend their newly acquired monies. Good for them.

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When sitting on the front porch of where I rent and the wind is right, which is nearly all the time, I can hear the sound of loud pipes brrrappping loudly from stop sign to stop sign and can trace the route of the vehicle, usually a small car with a four-banger engine, across town just by the noise. And while I am no expert on gauging speeds without seeing the vehicle it is likely speed limits are being exceeded. These vehicles are usually, not always mind you, but usually driven by younger drivers. While that may be the case, as a bike rider I can safely say that the speed issue is more prominent among parents in the time before and after they drop off students to various campuses across the city.

It is well known that congestion exists around schools during student drop-off and pick-up times and that is to be expected; though in the case of the high school it can be frustrating for drivers on Broadway and Mildred and again at Canal, but without pedestrian control that will not change.

What I am talking about is two, three and four blocks away from schools when parents, or whomever, is in a hurry to drop off a student and then in a hurry to get to work or back home to stay-at-home children. These drivers are the rapid start, quick stop ones who are more of a nuisance than the youngsters with loud pipes. And while as stated I am no expert, but when one spends enough time on a bicycle on the surface streets one gets pretty good at knowing when the speed limit is being less than fastidiously adhered to.

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Some arts events are still in the offing before 2023 comes. Sol Treasures will present the children’s musical “Frozen”; Stage Hands has a reader’s theater planned for their return to St. Mark’s Hall; Monterey County Dance Theatre follows with the “Nutcracker Ballet”; then the KC CofC Christmas Parade. I guess the Equinox won’t be so bad after all.

Take care. Peace.