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Quips and quotes from around Lodi

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Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 6:10 pm

I have been trying to corner this column for well over a week now, and have finally pinned it down between laundry and watering flower pots. Also in the mix was a family gathering at California Al’s for Second Son’s and my joint birthday. A little newcomer to the group was my great-grandson, Second Daughter’s grandson via her son. I’ve already had a step great-grandson for a while, via Second Daughter’s stepdaughter. Gets complicated, doesn’t it? It’s nothing compared to the relationships among my forebears!


Given that the weather is just as complicated, the garden is bubbling over with color, roses and azaleas competing for attention. Given the season, abetted by the hot days, the roses will win, of course. Laura Bush is still holding her own, but Betty Boop has made a big play for attention, and Iceberg wins hands down. Both the tree and bush versions of this white rose are covered in clear white blooms. The little old Purple Tiger tree rose that had to be nursed for a while has come into its own, but its older, bigger brother died suddenly, as did the orange-yellow Sundance. The Rio Samba bush is making up for it, though. Other roses in several shades of red, pink and coral are completing the front garden palette, and there’s a whole other mixed group in back. Of course, various nasty bugs are licking their lips and attacking. Systemic to the rescue!


Miscellany: Seen on a sign at Reo’s, a good place for appliances: “Everybody has a photographic memory. Some just don’t have film.” Seen on a sign at Lodi Physical Therapy: “This is the Hokey Pokey Clinic, a place to turn yourself around”-and one does, with their help.


From Wags to Riches, the PALS thrift shop, has a set of golf clubs for sale. They’ve got just about everything over there at Main and Pine streets. Some people said they didn’t even know the store existed until I mentioned it in a column a while back.


Speaking of mentioning, I’d like to call your attention to a new smog and service station for cars, trucks, diesels, and RVs over in the new commercial part of town east of Highway 99 and south of Kettleman Lane. Lots of new goodlooking buildings, located on Auto Center Drive. I found Advance Smog and Service while I was hunting for the new DMV office, which was almost close enough to touch! A very nice young man named Kerry politely straightened me out. The Advance office, first one in a new complex on the right side of Auto Center Road, was clean, bright, and attractive, with a comfortable leather sofa and two bouquets of flowers.


Pixley Drive (DMV address) is not really very noticeable, but there is nothing but a vineyard and field between it and Beckman Road, which it parallels. If I’d only looked up, I could have seen the U.S. and CA flags! (But I did pass the written test 100%! Good for another 5 years.) Great new DMV building and efficient clerks. Got in and out in 20 minutes because of having an appointment.


The Lodi Garden Club will be installing its first male president, Gordon Schmierer, on May 2. Interestingly enough, he will be installed by the president of the Valley-Lode District GC, also a man. And there are already several men members of the Lodi group; let’s hope more join. After all, women have become part of a lot of male service clubs. Turn about is fair play.


The recent concert at St. John’s Episcopal Church was very different. Given that it was composed of instrumentals and songs from medieval times, the tunes were unison and in minor key, with subtle variations. What a long way music has come, with harmonies and more complicated instruments. The stringed instruments used in this concert were very interesting. There was a Turkish-made oud, the forerunner of the lute. It looked like half a fat fig with a bent stem, but its woods were beautifully blended. There was a little instrument that looked like a piano on end. Sure enough, it was later enlarged and laid flat on legs to become the spinet. In both cases, the strings were plucked.. There was a box called the symphonie, the forerunner of the hurdy-gurdy. Melodies came when a handle was turned. Used to be, when I was young, there were hurdy-gurdies on the streets of New York City. Some owners had monkeys, who passed the hat. That was a very different world.


A memory of a different world at University of the Pacific came to light recently with the 2011 discovery of an ornate stained glass window, which had been boarded up sometime in the 70’s for some reason. It was given by the Heacock family in memory of their son. Its message: “A Christian classical education will never be regretted by anyone.” Is this kind of an education extant any more?


And one to end with: The problems we face today are because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.

Gwin Paden has been around these parts for a good while, but is still interested in this community and curious about what goes on in it.

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