I am royally disgusted. I had the first page-plus of this column written and saved in the computer as of last night. When I came to call it up tonight, it had completely disappeared. So I have to begin again. I guess that's what happens when the computer is more than 15 years old and the typist is not very computer-savvy!
I was and am rejoicing that we are finally getting color on most trees and bushes; there is a general orange-gold glow in the backyard when I look out in the morning, and the pink dogwood tree this year is rivaling the small maple in its pale red-coral color. When the sun shines through, it is like stained glass, which itself comes alive when the sun shines through. It makes me wonder: Would we all become better if we let the light shine through ourselves?
Light shines through when we do something for others, such as all the volunteers packing and shipping some 2,500 Christmas gift packages to the troops serving in some very un-Christmas-like places. Among volunteers were members of the University of the Pacific baseball team, who hauled all the packaging items up from the Legion Hall basement and put the boxes together.
And in the same vein, the Third Legacy Lodi motorcycle group held a recent fundraiser and gave $2,500 to the Legion. The gift will go towards a new sound system, which is badly needed. My thanks to them on behalf of the Legion and others who will be much better heard.
There's a sister act going on on North School Street these days. First, Dave and Trisha Akiyoshi have bought School Street Bistro, and have changed the menu to a cuisine that my Maryland roots delight in, particularly hominy grits (we never said just "grits").
Moving into the back part of the building is Trisha's sister, Cindi Inman, who owns Wrappin' Up in the Lakewood shopping center. WU will close at the end of the year and Cindi's new store, Cavan and Clayton, will open in its new location, 20 W. Locust St. C&C will offer in-store products, as well as new items online, plus custom gift wrapping services. Cindi is being assisted by sons Josh and Jake (C&C are their middle names) and nephew Will Ownbey.
I hate to see fine specialty stores moving out of my neighborhood shopping center, but if it means more business for them, it's better. Bill Manley moved his shop some months ago, and he is doing better. It will all go to keep Downtown growing and busy; adding a greater variety of tourist attractions, and hence more income for the city — and maintenance of city services.
Speaking of which, the leaf pickup schedules have yet to appear in the paper. Piles of leaves are appearing all over, I hear. I have a pretty good one of my own!
Orlene (Odie) Detone will be signing copies of her children's book, "The House Without a Family," on Dec. 1 at Vine and Branches (10 a.m. till noon), Dec. 15 at Cheese Central (1 to 3 p.m.), and Dec. 22 at Abundance Winery on Turner Road (1 to 3 p.m.). Orlene is excited to learn that her publisher has taken the book to the Costco buyers. Let's hope we find her book in our local Costco sometime soon.
A word from on high: KQBM, the local radio station being put together by a group from West Point, is moving right ahead. The station building is finished, and a broadcast console, headphones and a microphone have been purchased. Small pieces of equipment and some CDs have been donated, but a newer computer to run the broadcasting programs is needed. There's a lot more needed, and the station has a donor who will match donations up to $10,000, meaning $20,000 for the station.
Since KQBM is a nonprofit organization with a 501(c)3 number for tax deductions, donations are being sought. They've already had one good fundraiser and will have another next month. At a recent concert in Sonora, they took in $367, which will turn into $734. This will almost cover the cost of a fiber optic connection from the West Point studio to maybe halfway to the tower on Fowler Peak outside of Angels Camp.
Second Son, who is heavily involved in this worthy project, says that if anyone is looking for a tax deduction by the end of the year, what better than a donation to KQBM, 90.7 FM West Point/San Andreas? Go to www.kqbm.org for progress information.
It's encouraging to learn that American ingenuity and get-up-and-go are still alive and kicking in this world, where too many want to get what they want without making any effort.
The Red Circle is holding a salmon and pasta dinner on Nov. 30 at Legion Hall. For more information, call 209-331-0444. The American Legion will be having a crab feed in January but the second dinner in February will be shrimp. And St. John's Church is holding another Soul Kitchen dinner, open to everyone, on Nov. 30. Lodi Adopt-a-Child needs helpful checks before Dec. 15
Have a great Thanksgiving (NOT Turkey Day!). We all have a lot to be thankful for, even if we don't have everything we want or think we are entitled to. This part of the country is still unscathed; look at the eastern states. And no one is sending missiles at us — yet. We need to contribute what we can to organizations which are helping others.
Gwin Paden is a Lodi writer and retired teacher.