I began this column at 4 a.m. last Thursday and expect to finish sometime in the next 84 hours or so, at which time my goal is to give a brief recitation of this past weekend. But first I want to talk about asphalt. And Sergio.
It is not news to residents that Broadway has been torn up for an eon, maybe a little less, with auto, bike and foot access to downtown businesses interrupted. That which is torn up is being improved and replaced with the use of multiple construction machines and much personnel; and one very visible city staff member.
City of King Director of Public Works Octavio Hurtado is the head honcho when it comes to municipal buildings, roads and bridges, sewers, railroads, parks, the electrical grid and school buildings and everything else it takes to keep the public working; hence the title. Donning a hard hat, Octavio was seen from Russ to Second streets with a trained eye on the many facets of this massive undertaking.
Which undertaking, five days prior to the Christmas Parade, still had two intersections of Broadway, at Russ Street and Third Street, dug out and five inches below ground level; not viable for regular traffic let alone a parade with all its varied entrants. An alternative parade route was planned, but it presented some logistical bugaboos.
According to an unnamed source close to the situation (always wanted to use that phrase), the construction company doing the work was under the impression the parade was on Friday, Dec. 15; the news that date was Dec. 1 meant not weeks but only five days if Broadway was to be ready for a parade. And, according to sources within the organization, that is where Sergio comes into the picture.
All indications point to Sergio as the driving force in readying and completing the laying of asphalt in every square inch of demolished roadway; and from Monday to Friday mid-afternoon that work was done and King City had its Christmas Parade down its main thoroughfare. Surrounded by eight or nine construction workers, all pointing to him and saying “That’s the guy,” I noticed he wasn’t loud about it, but he knew his job and he knew he had done it well. Sergio is local, so if any of you know him personally, you may want to offer a nice “Thank you.”
And as for the parade itself, it was one of the largest and most colorful held in recent years with not dozens or even scores but hundreds of participants riding floats or walking; four ladies rode horses. The addition of the King City High School Marching Band was an added feature not seen for some time, and they marched and played like pros. Thanks to Music Director David Bakken for his energy in bringing this facet of music back to the forefront.
The band will perform again before the new year when we may see an example of what will be new band uniforms and a way in which local businesses and individuals may donate to see this happen. (And this needs to happen as the old uniforms are, well, old.)
What does an acting troupe do after the loss of their long-time venue and endure a protracted pandemic shutdown? Well, either the show goes on or it does not and everyone knows in theater the show must go on. So, the Stage Hands, whose last show was “Sylvia” way back in 2019, went on last Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon with their presentation of “It’s a Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play”; a reader’s theater staged at the King City Recreation Department.
The show is a delightful rendition of the classic Christmas movie as it was presented to radio audiences in the late 1940s. A cast of 14 actors, some relatively new to acting and some old veterans, combined talents where each portrayed multiple roles to tell the story of one man’s redemption and realization of worth. It was not bad … it was good.
Accompanying the dialogue was the array of hand gadgets and tech support of a Foley table needed to supply the various sound effects and music needed to convey realism to listeners gathered around home radio sets; the Foley artist and director total 16 dramatis personae bringing this timeless tale to an appreciative audience. The Stage Hands’ next foray onto the stage will be “Steel Magnolias” slated for next spring.
I would like to end this column on a positive note, but… After announcing the parade, a young boy came to me with a wallet he had found laying on the sidewalk and asked if I could get it to its owner. There was no address identification, just a Wells Fargo bank card with the person’s name. That young man was concerned about someone losing their wallet and so was I, as I lost a wallet recently and know the hassle involved with searching and, failing to find, going through the motions of cancellation and re-issue of new cards.
I told them I would turn it in to the nice folks at Wells Fargo the next day as they would be concerned about their customer. Not so. The staff, two of them, refused to take the wallet telling me I could turn it into the police. Really! On a Saturday, as anyone knows, you don’t go to the police department and just stroll through the front door and talk to staff; they aren’t there on weekends. I don’t care what the corporate rule is down there, that is a lousy way to treat a customer; but as most of us know Wells Fargo has been busted in the past for being bad to customers. I tossed the wallet on the sidewalk in front of the bank doors; let someone else deal with that kind of corporate coldness.
Take care. Peace.