Most of you know me as a rank sentimentalist prone to frivolous flights back to the "bad old days of yore," most of those memories involving still-smoking crime scenes and dodgy individuals with dubious backgrounds -- most of them reporters.
A particularly crusty and mildly inebriated desk man pulled in from the field to handle "phone ins" at my old paper once skewered me for complaining that I was having trouble filing my account of the latest urban bloodbath because the big-as-a-WWII-walkie-talkie cell phone they'd issued us back in the day kept cutting out.
"You punk," he growled. "All I ever needed were two dirty dimes, a pissy phone booth, and the back of a crusty cocktail napkin. Yer spoiled rotten."
Really dating ourselves here with the price of the phone call and the reference to a phone booth. When was the last time you saw one of those old dinosaurs? But in the stream of consciousness that passes for my thought process these days it came to me as I sit side-saddle on a barstool in Orinda Village, the staff serving up cold drinks and hot tunes on a warming day, an iced tea within reach -- not the neat bourbon that fueled us back in the good old days.
Not so much crime to write about lately, I'm happy to say, so allow me to address some of the good deeds Lamorindans are busy performing these days. For those of you who like to bust me with the traditional "you never write about nice things," here you go. I'm going to bury you with nice things.
Social entrepreneurs Katherine Cane and Blake Sharp (both 13-year-old kids) are trying to raise funds to help provide shoes for 4,000 homeless and low-income children in the Bay Area.
Katherine and Blake are selling neon shoelaces, bracelets, and baked goods and donating the money to a non-profit called My New Red Shoes. They're also asking potential donors to spend $12, and Blake and Katherine will donate a brand new pair of shoes directly to the cause (they found a great deal on lace-up sneakers).
This is all part of Orinda Intermediate's Take Action Project. They've teamed up with the folks at for a fundraiser on May 15. Table 24 will donate 10 percent of the dinner gate to MyNew Red Shoes for every person who mentions the fundraiser (just say "My New Red Shoes" or "This is for the fundraiser"or "This is for Blake and Katherine").
Blake and Katherine will be out front selling shoes, and their goal is to get 24 shoes donated that night in honor of Table 24 (in addition to the 10 percent).
And from the Land of the Dons over there in Lafayette we hear the Global Chalkboard Project's art show/sale/auction has ended, and contributing artist and organizer Kyle Trujillo wanted to pass along his thanks for everyone who helped out.
"Altogether it raised about $3000...," Kyle wrote Patch. "To put this in perspective, consider that $20 can send a child in Gonaives to school, and $900 can pay a teacher, for one school year."
Nice. But we have more from Lafayette...
As part of its Schools Partnership Program, Special Olympics Northern California is set to host a "first of its kind" Bay Area Games on Tuesday, May 1 at in Lafayette.
The inaugural games mark the first interscholastic competition created specifically for special education student-athletes in the Bay Area. More than 300 students, representing San Francisco, San Mateo and Contra Costa counties are expected to compete in three different track and field disciplines.
Things kickoff at 10 a.m. with opening ceremonies emceed by Dick Callahan and featuring a performance by the Chorus. After that it's three action-packed hours of track and field competition (10:30 am – 1:30 pm).
Every student-athlete will be recognized for their achievements by having a Special Olympics Bay Area Games medal draped over their heads by Bay Area law enforcement.
So, nice enough for you? And we didn't need a pissy phone booth to file, either. There, now gimme another iced tea, barkeep, and keep 'em coming... it's hot out there.