Steve Wilson

One of the first lessons one learns in any writing class is writing about experience is more natural and gets the story (or moral or lesson) across to the reader better than research writing. With that lesson in mind, I should be able to relate my present circumstances well as I have multiple experiences with the situation.

That situation is this is the fourth time I have been quarantined in the past 20 months. I realize this is not uncommon in our present pandemic circumstances, as many people are required to quarantine when the threat of spreading the virus is possible or probable. Well, at least it gives me time to catch up on some reading and, of course, get this column to the publisher in a timely fashion. I think the adage about making lemonade out of lemons fits my present situation, so let us see whether this week’s lemonade is potable or not.

It is the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2022, and this morning the current president and vice-president have given us their comments about the activities that took place at the U.S. Capitol Building one year ago today. The events of that day are just one of the many issues that presently divide the American people, with both sides of the argument being discussed and cussed, some investigating the day while others invigorate the day, half the country lauding police actions and condemning the perpetrators while the other half touts the storming mob and castigates law enforcement.

I have no doubt every person with any social or political conscience at all has also taken a stance regarding the events of Jan. 6, 2021. The historical record of the time will reveal that half of those people are on the wrong side of history.

As to my personal opinion of that day, I refer to a post on a popular social media that stated this: “Everything the government told you about January 6 is a lie,” to which I would reply that some years ago I watched training films of prison riots and then once witnessed a riot while on duty, and I have watched videos of the events at the Capitol. I see no difference, nor do I give a bent nickel what anyone else, including government officials and social media pundits, have to say about it. I know a riot when I see one.

***

Due to my present “lockdown” situation, I was unable to attend an event on Friday that I had planned to attend; the event being the 75th anniversary of Greenfield’s founding. That would make it the Diamond Jubilee of the city.

Now, some of you readers may wonder about that number because you know Greenfield is much older than 75 years, in fact the city is 42 years older. I am one of those who remembers as a sixth-grade student at Greenfield Elementary School, the year was 1965, when the town held a week-long series of events to commemorate 60 years of existence. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure that the town was founded in 1905 and that date is verified by land sale documents of the time.

Of course, it was not called Greenfield then but was first Clark City and then later Clark Colony and finally Greenfield after one of the original founders of the land sale company. I vividly recall being part of a parade entry by the American Legion Auxiliary, which portrayed a family in an old Model T loaded with belongings, much like Steinbeck’s Joad family, with a large banner hung on the side of the vehicle proclaiming, “Clark Colony or Bust.”

So, how is it, you ask, that the 60th anniversary was in 1965 and the 75th anniversary is this year? Well that is because the town was for four decades unincorporated, meaning it had no elected city officials nor civic departments but came under the jurisdiction of the County of Monterey. That changed in 1947 when the city applied for and was granted a city charter and became an incorporated city free to conduct business free of county control.

And that, dear readers, is why Friday saw the citizens of Greenfield celebrate its 75th anniversary 122 years after its inception. (I don’t know the official designation of “unincorporated,” but for me any place that has a U.S. Post Office but no city government is unincorporated, which in South County is Chualar, San Lucas, San Ardo, Lockwood and Bradley.)

***

Beginning Jan. 18, I will take a seat on the King City Planning Commission and am looking forward to being a little part of how the city will both expand its perimeters and change its already existing buildings and properties. I am fully cognizant of the fact that there will be much I need to learn, there is a whole new lexicon of terminology with which I will need to acquaint myself and then will have to remember the alphabet soup used to reference those terms; EIR, ADA, BMP, GHG, NEPA and about a hundred more.

Now while that sounds a bit daunting, it will be a bit easier than many of the other situations I have been involved with over the past 55-plus years of volunteerism for no other reason than as a planner when someone wishes to develop a piece of property, I won’t be the one to clear the brush and dig the footings or be involved physically in any way. That is a big change for me.

I’m not sure of many aspects of being a planner, so will tread lightly until I have better footing, but one thing about which I am sure: no decision-making group for a city wants a handful of people 20 years down the road saying, “What the hell was the city thinking when they did this?” And in that I am sure I count myself among all those who are in city government.

Take care. Peace.

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King City and Greenfield columnist Steve Wilson may be reached at [email protected].

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