Animal Tales and Other Random Thoughts
by Jane Roland
Jane Roland is the Manger of the AFRP Treasure Shop and a member of
Pacific Grove Rotary Club. She lives in Monterey with husband, John and
their four rescued animals, two dogs, Brandy and Lilah and two cats, Toby
and Sammy. Contact: Gcr770 [at] aol [dot] com
by Jane Roland
Last week we saw a performance of the Kingston Trio at the Performing Arts Theater in Pacific Grove. The site was restored and renovated some years ago by the Pacific Grove Rotary Club and now offers wonderful performances thanks to the Foundation, the President of which, Lindsay Munoz is PG Rotary’s President elect. It brought back memories of my years in San Francisco. It was 1957 in Baghdad by the Bay. In NorthBeach, The Condor had opened and was a great little coffee place, The Kingston Trio were appearing at the hungry i, the city, itself, seemed uncomfortable in its peaceful skin. We no longer left our apartments and cars unlocked, masking the scent of R.J. Reynolds’s product was a more pungent acrid smell…
We women occasionally, went to town sans hats and gloves. Hats were seen rarely on men; women could date a male in her office without fear of termination. The fog still cuddled around the buildings and over the water, the fog horns blew mournfully in the night, the night person heard the streetcars stop, clank open doors and wind tirelessly on their way. Lenny Bruce had replaced Mort Saul’s gentle newspaper musings and Carol Doda was just a few years from baring her bosoms and subsequently everything at the Condor. Birth control pills had been approved by the FDA and changed mores forever.
My flat-mate was my dearest friend, Mary Ann Odell, from Carmel. Our apartment was the former attic of an old Victorian mansion on Buchanan. It was a middle class neighborhood, dotted with “painted ladies” whose makeup was chipping and flaking. The next door neighbors were a Chinese grocery store and dry cleaners. One trudged up three flights of a grand stairway to reach our abode. What a great space it was! At the top was a charming foyer, two bedrooms, and an interesting little living room under the eves, the dormer window hung over rooftops and I would lean out over the sill atop sure death to scrub the panes.
The kitchen was the piece de resistance, gigantic, with a huge table in the middle and a drop down stairway to the roof. We would sit on the shingles atop San Francisco and, depending on the time of day, drink beer, sun and socialize, overwhelmed by the panorama spread from bridge to bridge, MarinCounty and points south. At night when there was no fog the sky was filled with stars and we marveled at our good fortune. I was working at Foster and Kleiser in the Research Department as assistant to the director. When I interviewed for the position I said “oh, of course, Mr. Appenzeler, I am totally comfortable with math and love digging for information”. That was a huge lie. I hadn’t a clue about projections, in fact was not adept at advanced math. However, as an English/Journalism major, I thrived on gleaning information. I called a friend from Stanford Research Institute who walked me through the process of determining mileage and population trends. I got the job, there were machines that, when functioning, did the job. When they were not, I had to do the math by hand. The San Francisco Library became my work place when not at the office. Soon the librarian and I became friends. I would telephone her with questions. Today I would Google or ask Siri.
Most weekends (which started for the young folk on Thursdays) we would go to North Beach, visit Vesuvio, across the lane from the infamous City Lights Bookstore and visit the hungry i, for which there was no overhead, we needed only purchase beer. We saw the opening performance of the young men, Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds, and Dave Guard and went back many times . . .
North Beach in those days was friendly. Young women could be there unescorted. Mary Ann and I enjoyed entertaining. We had a core group of friends, men who had been stationed on the MontereyPeninsula and relocated to San Francisco, others from home who had jobs in the City and new acquaintances. It was a perfect time to be young and living in one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities in the world. We met Eric Nord, “Big Daddy”, whose early career in “The City” was working at the Co Existence Bagel Shop (the self-described “Gateway to BeatnikLand”) which was one of our favorite hangouts. He founded the hungry I. Later, when Enrico Banducci took over, the club became the cradle of stand-up comedy. Eric had a Party Pad, which many of my friends adored. I went to one after hours gatherings; it was not for me, too much noise, too many people for my taste so I left.
Today there is the group we saw perform the other night. They played some of their own tunes, some old folk favorites and, of course, Tom Dooley. We thank George Grove, Bob Haworth, and Rick Dougherty, the new Kingston Trio, for turning back the clock if only for a couple of hours.
When you are making out your Christmas donation checks, don’t forget the furry folk at Animal Friends Rescue Project. The organization operates on a shoe string budget and, since opening a veterinary clinic in Ryan Ranch for needy rescued animals, is finding the coffers increasingly drained. I will write about some of those animals next week. You can drop donations by the shop or the AdoptionCenter.
Jane Roland may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She manages the AFRP Treasure Shop and is a member of Pacific Grove Rotary.
by Jane Roland
Saturday was the second day of our Holiday Open House at the Treasure Shop. We were moving items around when one of the volunteers picked up a handsome ceramic vase which had been broken and repaired. It was so good looking that we decided to put it out “as is”. Andrew made the comment that someone could buy it and place the cracked side against the wall. This brought back a flood of memories.
Many years ago I was heavily involved with the Monterey County Symphony, President of the Guild and Secretary on the Association Board. When that stint was over, I started volunteering at Monterey County Volunteer Services in their Thrift Shop in Seaside. It was a natural, as I enjoyed working on rummage sales and had set up a benefit shop for my church in Florida. There was a woman who came in at least once a week, one that everyone enjoyed seeing, as she loved to spend.
Sometime later I was asked to manage the SPCA Benefit Shop on Forest Avenue. I accepted with the provision that the place be totally renovated as it was in deplorable condition. The board agreed and granted a certain amount for the work. My cousin, Sam Morse, drew up plans for us (pro bono) and Dave Stocker bid on the work, presenting a very attractive offer. When the shop was closed for a couple of months for the work, some volunteers and I cleaned out a warehouse down the street, underneath the Top Hat Grocery Store (later the refrigerator above the storage unit broke through the floor and our goods were flooded}. My husband, John, went down wearing waders and salvaged what he could. But that is a different story.
We opened with a Holiday Open House the first weekend of December, an event we continued for twenty years and one that I carried on in the Treasure Shop.
I was standing at the check out counter when a familiar figure appeared. It was the shopper whom I had met at MPVS. She became a regular and, as time went on, I learned about her. Her name was Mrs. Blue (I have forgotten her first name), her husband was Howard. She made the rounds once or twice a week, starting in Seaside at MPVS, Salvation Army, and others. Her thrift shop travels of the day ended in Pacific Grove. I wish I could do her justice, but too much time has past. She was tall and lanky, always wore a tailored tweed suit in grays, lavenders or blues with a lapel pin, a hat atop her grey hair, which as I recall was pilled on her head, little glasses, heavy duty shoes…(for all the trudging through stores). The garments were always a dull color; her hats had the brim trimmed off to give the impression of a bowler style. Sometimes the chapeau sported a little flower or feather. She would roam through the store, picking up interesting items. She and her husband haled from Kansas City, Missouri, and, from what I understand, owned a good bit of the state. They spent five months in PebbleBeach, seven in the Midwest for tax reasons. She would buy an “as is” vase and comment that she could turn it in a cabinet so no one would see the crack. She shopped and shopped and definitely helped our bottom line.
I really liked her. She had a grand, acerbic sense of humor about everything. She shared some of her family history, her background was simple as was Howard’s and she was proud to say that he was a self-made man and he made it big. She was every inch a lady, kind, and cheerful. In those days John had a yellow Dodge truck which was useful when it came to pick-ups and deliveries. One day we received a large, flat screen television set, a first of its kind, donated to us in like new condition. Mrs. Blue came in, saw the device and purchased it. She said that she would pay to have it delivered, but we declined telling her that we would be happy to bring it to her. That was absolutely the truth; we couldn’t wait to see her home. It was a large old Mediterranean near the Lodge. We knocked at the door and were greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Blue. They ushered us into the room that was to house the TV. It was a study, packed to the brim with things. Everything was neat and tidy, no indication of hoarding, but, of course, we didn’t see the rest of the domicile. Mrs. Blue offered us tea or, perhaps, sherry. The appliance was left and we returned home.
We continued to see our friend and talked about having dinner some night, then Howard became ill, he still drove her on her missions to shop but remained in the car. I would take things out for her and see him as he sat there, grey and wan. I suspect she did not drive. One year they left for Missouri and we never saw them again. I have no idea what happened to them, he was so sick that I am sure he died and, considering her age, she is, no doubt, gone. In my line of work, I meet many people, some become good friends and we see them socially. Most we know only through the business but become close enough that, when they no longer appear there is certain emptiness. If anyone knew the Blues and can fill us in it will be greatly appreciated.
If you want to support Pacific Grove and small businesses, if you wish to purchase designer clothing and accessories, art work, books, furniture, etc. shop at the local benefit shops. You will not only save money on desirable items, you will help a cause, which, in my case, are animals. We urge you to stop by and see the gorgeous decorations and holiday design by Frank.
by Jane Roland
The older we get, the faster time flies. I am amused by my young friends who complain that it seems that it was just Christmas and here it is again. I won’t be around when they hit the years where they go to bed on New Year’s Eve and the next day it’s time for Santa. Maggie Smith in the wonderful interview with Charles Osgood on 60 Minutes said that working helps her deal with loneliness. She further complained that when one gets old “Breakfast comes every half hour”. I put the Christmas decorations away when I needed to unpack boxes for Easter, the bunny trappings have only recently returned to storage. It isn’t laziness, nor inertia, we simply run out of steam, in my case the mind has tons of energy, my body not so much. I am becoming accustomed to the terms of endearment showered on older ladies, “dear” “may I help you”, “sweetie”, and I guess I should be happy that they don’t say “there goes that crabby old crone again” or perhaps they do. Younger folk assume that those of us fortunate to hit our “golden years” are relics of the dark ages. Many of us keep up with the times and have an idea of what works and what doesn’t. We also have the sense to accept suggestions.
I didn’t start this column with any idea that I would launch into a treatise about the passage of time. Thanksgiving was to be my theme and thus it will be. I am thankful that I am not alone, that I have a great husband who supports everything I do, within reason. I have four animals (one on the doorstep of the great animal farm in the sky), my children and grandchildren are close, if not in miles, in spirit and I am grateful that the internet, Face book, and email keep us connected. There are even the occasional telephone calls; although, Mr. Bell would be disappointed to know that his means of keeping in touch is, little by little, disappearing. I cherish my friends, personal and professional, many of whom overlap. I love my job and hope that I can continue for many years, if only my feet hold up. I learned that losing ten percent of my weight would improve the condition of the lower appendages; I thought this was a grand idea until I saw that slice of cake and piece of chocolate. I have come to accept the “silver” hair and wrinkles, mine and those of my friends.(who allow that to happen) We run into people we haven’t seen for years, “oh my,” we think “how could they have gotten so old?” or a man who should be a little boy.
I remember very little about Turkey Day (or tofurki for those who shun meat) when I was little. Once when still stationed on Governor’s Island we went to Castle Williams for a feast. This was the site of the disciplinary barracks over which my father had command. We also received presents from Santa at that famed forte. When we were transferred to Ft.Huachuca in Arizona, Daddy was post adjutant, and holiday meals were enjoyed with the troops. It was an interesting time, late thirties and early forties, the enlisted men on that post were African American, the officers and their families, Caucasian. There was no fraternization and, unless their wives were servants in the officers’ quarters, no families of the enlisted men. My father was a favorite with those under his command and we were treated very well.
When we moved to Tucson and had a house downtown near the university we filled the place with “orphans”, those who had no place to go for the feast. During the war, we housed some British refugees and college boys who couldn’t go home. I loved it… Later we celebrated Thanksgiving with our doctor, Clarence (Chunky to his friends) Robbins and wife in their wonderful ranch house. For several years there was a little girl in attendance with her family. Her father, Gilbert, had a successful hardware store, he came from a pioneering Arizona ranching family and was of German, English, and Mexican ancestry The family’s influence and contributions to Arizona’s history, including wagon making, commerce, pharmacies and music, are chronicled in the library of the University of Arizona. This little girl, Linda, grew up to become a famous singer, as a sophisticated teenager, I found her and her brothers somewhat annoying. They were very “cute”. Little did I know?
For the past forty years there have been different ways to celebrate, and celebrate we did. It was always family and strays. Occasionally we all went to my cousin Mary’s on Lisbon Lane and Big Sur. When Jay married Denise and they gave us two fabulous grandsons, we spent Thanksgiving at the home of Don and Lydia Criley, the boys generally in pilgrim garb or with Jean Cooksey at the Country Club… Later we moved the feast to our house where it has remained these many years, the faces have changed, unfortunately because they have left us, At one point there was a huge group, spread all over. Jean, sometimes Eleanor Work, Ann and Andy Simpson, Don and Lydia Criley, our two girls and later their families and Jay, Denise, Justin and Spencer, and anyone who needed a place to be… The Simpsons are gone, but their daughter Suzi Matmiller, and her significant other, Bill Golden, are with us, as are Lydia, Sean and Becky Flavin. The DeVines are coming, Justin with his lady friend, Megan, we don’t know about Spencer (he lives in San Francisco and might have an acting gig), and Vicki Knight. It grieves me that we see so little of Ellen, Jennie and their families, but that is life. The birds fly away when they are able. In the meantime we will thank God for giving us a wonderful country in which to live, despite the political turmoil, it is home and our friends cannot be replaced… Thank goodness for what you have and don’t be bitter about what you are missing. It is time to give thanks and don’t worry about breakfast every half hour, just be thankful that there is still breakfast….
Jane Roland manages the AFRP Treasure Shop and invites you all to the open house on Friday, November 22 from 5:00 until 7:00 and all weekend long..new items and special bargains throughout December.. email@example.com
by Jane Roland
It is becoming apparently clear that those of us born in the last generation are hopelessly out of date. The most recent revelation is that cursive is being removed from the school curriculum. Educators to whom I have spoken about this are not happy; but it is the sign of the times. There has been significant discussion about the fact that the use of computer technology has all but eliminated the hand-written means of communication. I must admit I am one of the guilty ones. I send Christmas greetings and birthday cards on line. However, I have somewhat of an excuse. My handwriting has never been very good, no matter how hard I tried. I suspect it is because I should have been a left-hander. In my youth, the subject was actually called handwriting, the name changed to cursive many years later. I recall struggling to make the perfect circles. Now I have a ganglion in my wrist which makes typing messages much more appealing than struggling for symmetry. John (my husband and volunteer) asked a teacher why this was happening. She replied, “Because youngsters cannot read script.” So there it is.
Last week, there was an article in the Herald devoted to reading. Questions and answers by teens. Most did not read books. They didn’t like to, didn’t want to and just plainly would not. Thank goodness there were a few who actually went to the library or ordered books online, but they are in the minority. I have not and, hopefully, will not succumb to a Kindle or other tablets devoted to furnishing literature to read more comfortably than holding a tome and turning pages. I like the feel of the paper and the smell of old books (unless moldy). While my handwriting skills were lacking, I more than made up for it by reading well beyond my age. My parents read to me when I was little, but were often busy, so, in order to catch up with the story I taught myself early on to be able to continue without them .My father, until his untimely demise would plop me on his lap and read The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. I would pretend not to understand so that I could continue to bond with him. When we were transferred to Ft.Huachuca in Southern Arizona, a cavalry post that became infantry there was a one room school house. The first six grades were together. I immediately was bounced from first grade reading to fifth; however, not so much in other subjects (certainly not “cursive”), and I couldn’t spell a thing. Everything was phonetic and it didn’t work. When I became older and realized that English and, later, journalism, was my forte, I went nowhere without a dictionary. I was fortunate if I knew enough about the word to look it up, yet I received highest honors in English.
These days I read a lot, resting my book on Sammy the cat who lolls in my lap at night. In the mornings I lie in bed awaiting deliverance of the newspaper by my husband and the two dogs. Lilah leaps on the bed, Brandy comes along side awaiting a pat and bestowing a kiss (she may be a heart patient but she is still going). On Sundays the Chronicle accompanies the Herald and I peruse the contents for a couple of hours. There is little I don’t read. This morning I learned that Willie Brown, not a favorite politician, but fine writer, told me that if I see “Twelve Years a Slave” it should be balanced with “Last Vegas” (a movie he thoroughly enjoyed, especially Mary Steenburgen). There was quite a section in both the Herald and Chronicle about war horses. I thought of the steed upon which I learned to ride. His name was Silver (days before The Lone Ranger) because he had a silver forelock. He was my father’s horse and moved from Governor’s Island to Ft.Huachuca with his master. He was not a young horse at the time, but full of energy, strong enough to carry my father and gentle enough for a six year old to mount. I have no idea if he had seen war, I loved him dearly and was promised that soon I would be given a smaller horse and accompany my father on rides when he was not working (he was post adjutant) Sadly none of that came to be, my father succumbed to pneumonia and shortly thereafter, his beloved steed was euthanized. It is only fitting that these wonderful beasts should be honored. Do you remember when it was thought that horses were “dumb”, with little brains? Those of us who know the animals have always been aware that this was not true. I eventually got my own horse, but it was years later. I continued to ride but on borrowed beasts
On November 22, 23 and 24 the Treasure Shop will have its Holiday Open House, stop by and see the window designed by our wonderful Frank Quilantang; the opening celebration will be from 5:00 until 7:00. Once again those who attend will have first shot at wonderful decorations, vintage, new or like new gifts for friends, family and themselves. Felton and Michele’s music will entertain and there will be delectable nibbles made by volunteers and Mando’s. Festivities will continue throughout the weekend. On December 7 at the Monterey Beach Hotel, AFRP will host its annual Holiday Party, featuring the comedy of Dan St. Paul, for information and reservations, call 333-0722
by Jane Roland
Fall has arrived and our smart clock is right on time (I also have a car timepiece that is once again correct). I rather enjoy it during the day, but there is a period from 5:00 until darkness that can be depressing. I recall how my mother and her friends enjoyed having company during twilight, especially during the winter months. Now I understand, but don’t know exactly why. If one is alone, he/she is more alone and even when there is someone else around there seems to be a pall.
“Between the dark and the daylight, when the night is beginning to lower, comes a pause in the day’s occupation that is known as the Children’s Hour.” In our youth, at least in mine, this was bath time, after an early supper and bedtime stories. I was raised in the era when in certain families’ children were not really an integral part of the “household community.” We had nursemaids who carried out the amenities for their charges. I sat with my parents while they had a drink before their meal, then I was whisked off to my repast and subsequent retirement. I recall lying in bed upstairs looking out the window at the sunshine filtering through leaves and thinking about another poem by Robert Lewis Stevenson “…….I have to go to bed and see the birds still hopping on the tree. Or hear the grown-up people’s feet still going past me in the street. And does it not seem hard to you, when all the sky is clear and blue, and I should like so much to play, to have to go to bed by day?”
I was always and still am a night owl. When I was very young I would often read all night. In college I would stay up studying and was often the recipient of sad stories from some of my dorm mates — I was a sounding board and was perceived to have great wisdom (probably not – just the 18 year-old sense of empowerment). Even today I rarely turn off the news until midnight.
There was a time when each day, each month and year was beginnings with more to come. Now we are winding down and grateful that we have the stamina to keep going. In my case I am more than fortunate that my employers value my knowledge and care and don’t appear to think about my age at all. On the other hand, other contemporaries, including my husband, seek employment and are cut off the moment it is known that they are ancient. It is a shame because society is missing out on great resources. John, for instance, would be a fantastic office manager, he is bright, friendly and people love him. I have heard that these elderly folk are taking the jobs away from the young. That isn’t really true; some of the Medicare group did not have retirement benefits (I certainly didn’t) and work out of necessity. As in my case it is a combination of many things, the economy to be sure, but being around people, helping a needy cause, and utilizing skills which I seem to maintain.
Fall meant that football season was upon us. This is a sport for which I had absolutely no interest other than be with my friends and cheer on our teams in high school and college. I sat through the contests in torture thinking about the party that was to follow. After I was divorced and living in Miami I had a beau with season tickets to the Dolphins. Even though I saw the emergence of the team from the dregs to the first rung on the championship ladder, I was bored. Then I came back to California and married John Roland. It took some time; however, it was sink or swim. He is an inveterate football fan both college and professional and, until three years ago had owned what was called an upper box in Candlestick Park. We went to every game possible, little by little eliminating the preseason and night challenges. We were there in the rain, the sleet, the cold. We took our children and our friends. As time went on it became difficult, the six seats that John bought at Kezar at $5.00 each were now almost $100 each for the four remaining. It became increasingly hard to find companions and physically challenging. We sold our ticket rights to a friend and now watch on television, still rabid fans (although we regret the departure of Alec Smith and cheer him on). It will be a conundrum when the Chiefs play the Niners.
I think that is the thing about aging that is difficult. We have Brandy who is on her last legs. When she goes it will be hard to know what to do. I suspect we will take an older pooch from AFRP or Peace of Mind. John’s father departed this world just short of his 101st birthday, my parents went too soon, with luck we will be around for years to come. I will still watch television until midnight and God willing get up in the morning and go to work. I do not “dress by yellow candlelight,” but welcome my coffee served by John and the dogs at 7:45 AM.
by Jane Roland
I have never thought of Halloween as a holiday, but this year it has stretched out for more than a week. Yesterday at the shop we had little trick or treaters stop by for goodies, they were bedecked in colorful costumes. Doc Holiday has embellished the shop with ghosts that sweep above us and create quite a stir.You will read this after the ghosts and goblins have returned to their lairs for another year and turkeys will be strutting their stuff (ing)…or tofurkeys, the choice of many. Actually, Halloween has significance in my life. More than I realized. When I was a youngster growing up on an army post we didn’t beg for treats, we tricked. One such dastardly activity was to move the contents of a family’s basement to the house next door; we switched porch furniture to another home and once went into the BOQ and turned the dresser drawers upside down. All seemed hilarious to us, not so much to those on the receiving end of the mischief . Later, after moving to Tucson, we celebrated with parties, I really don’t remember trick or treat occurring until I was in high school and too old to participate (a fact ignored by many today).
When my children were young I took great pride in the costumes I created (for the girls, more often than not, it was a gypsy, until they took command)…One year John had dug a hole in the front yard , determined to trim the roots of the large tree by the front door. That hole was still there on Halloween and the children had great delight in turning it into a grave, with crosses and skeletons. Five year old Jennie wanted to be a ghost. She stepped outside the front door and after walking a few steps realized she couldn’t see, the sheet kept slipping, back into the house and transformation to a gypsy but with a broom. In the comic strip “For Better or For Worse” this morning, I was mentally hauled back to the time when Jay begged to have a store bought costume. He was fed up with his mother’s attempt at creativity. So there he was a super hero and proud as punch. I thought he was far more effective when he wore my mini-skirted dress, boots and blond wig. A stylish young woman.
Halloween probably had a great influence on my relationship and subsequent marriage to John. We had known each other for a number of years. We met one summer when I was visiting Mother in PebbleBeach. A mortgage broker by trade, on the weekends he traveled with the Dan Gurney auto racing team as a scorer. He promised he would give me a call when next in Florida. It didn’t happen. Two years later an elderly friend called and said she was having a cocktail party and John Roland would bring me. I had forgotten his name but was delighted to see the young man with whom I had spent hours years before discussing books. We attended the gathering after which John and Tom Ehrman took me to the Mission Ranch for dinner. At that point he invited me to a birthday party that was being hosted by Ken and Jean Ehrman at the end of July, I accepted with pleasure. Time went by and he didn’t call. I was annoyed beyond belief and when Bunty and Andy McFarland invited me to dinner I accepted and met a professor at DLI whom I greatly enjoyed.
At that time my mother was not very well, she had been suffering heart problems for a number of years and was alone in the house on the hill. Her best friend talked to me and suggested I return home. On the plane back to Florida I told the “kids” that we would be moving. “Oh, no,” cried Ellen “I can’t leave, what about my friends? What about Cindy?” “Don’t worry” said eleven year old Jay “you will make new friends”. Once back in Miami, I gave notice to my landlord and employer, packed up the house, sent the furniture by van and piled everything and everyone including Mandy, our hamster, in the Karman Ghia and drove across the country. It was a great trip, easy and comfortable. We stopped early and visited friends along the route. We arrived in PebbleBeach a week before Labor Day and soon were settled in a little house in Monterey.
A friend called and asked me to a party and suggested I bring a date. I wracked my brain, who could it be? I had been away for almost twelve years, my male buddies had moved away. I thought of John who had stood me up. However, he was attractive and pleasant (except for the breach of etiquette) so I called him. We went to the party and soon began seeing each other on a regular basis.
Where does Halloween fit in? Well, here it comes. On a Monday (bridge day) he called and asked if the children and I would be interested in attending the 49er game in San Francisco the following Sunday. I was stunned; most of my beaus would do anything to avoid having the youngsters around. John promised we would be home in time for Trick and Treat. I was already impressed by the inclusion of the young in our trip. En route, I broke a fingernail. My escort drove out of the way to a drugstore to get me emery board (thoughtfulness to which I was unaccustomed). We got to the game, and John’s guests decided they could leave their jackets in the car, despite his urging to bring them. At half time John trudged back to the car to get the garments as we erstwhile Floridians were freezing. On the way home there was a crash in front of us, and we sat and sat while the “kids” fought in the back seat. We arrived home too late for Ellen to join her friends. She was in despair until John said “I will take her” Off they went, my new hero, my little girl and our dog, Sophie. Jay had already jumped into his costume, the aforementioned, mini skirt and boots and departed. This was the time that I realized that this man might be a great addition to our household and on January 8, 1972 we were married. Halloween is also the birthday of John’s brother, Jerry..shhh..we won’t say which one..Happy Birthday Jerry.
This morning, our not so smart clock “fell back”. It didn’t realize that date light saving time doesn’t happen until next weekend.
Jane Roland lives in Monterey, with husband John and four animals..she may be reached at 649-0657 or firstname.lastname@example.org
by Jane Roland
I enjoy writing about people and animals I know and love. However, every so often, along come stories of critters and individuals who have compelling tales, so I put “pen to paper” and make an effort to bring them alive for my readers. Recently I told you about Dodge and the efforts being made to help with his medical bills. There are some who say “with a dog that old, why spend the money?” Those of us who know his owner, understand. He is her life, her raison d’être (reason for existence). When we see him it is impossible to believe that he almost nineteen years old. We hope he will be with us for years to come. .
Many of you have asked about our dog, Brandy, who has a heart ailment. We thought we would lose her, but she seems to be thriving. She is on medication and can no longer go on her beloved walks. However, she seems happy, is eating well, and adjusting to her new life. My Siamese, Sammy, gave us a scare when he appeared to be very sick; eyes glued shut, hiding under the bed or in the yard. Before we could catch him for a doctor’s visit, he came around and now seems as good as new. It was probably a fight, who knows, he didn’t tell us.
I have mentioned often my admiration of those who work directly with the animals, those who tend to their needs, at shelters, fostering, and driving, among other duties. A “blast” goes out about a dog or cat needing a ride to a distant location. Somehow, someone always comes through, usually by return email. If there are any of you out there who can help, please call the AFRP Adoption Center or Peace of Mind Dog Rescue. Both are small Pacific Grove animal rescue groups that always need assistance.
If, on the other hand, you have some time and want to help raise funds for AFRP, stop by and see me at the Treasure Shop at 160 Fountain Avenue. Right now we are looking for furniture, obviously we would love to have it delivered, but can make arrangements for pickups if necessary. Also, bring us your goods, clothing, jewelry, books, small appliances, art work and more. These donations need to be in new or like new condition as we haven’t the means to clean and repair. On November 22, we will be celebrating our eighth annual Holiday Open House (how fast time flies). The evening event on Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 is always a lot of fun, and, once again we will have the music of Felton and Michelle which everyone enjoyed so much last year. Come, have a sip of wine, a bite to eat and pick up some wonderful Christmas gifts for your friends, family or yourself.
Our second Fiesta del Perro was a huge success and we thank everyone who participated, donated goods or money, or all. It is PG Rotary’s gift to Pacific Grove. I am happy to include the following information about Zane who was the subject of a column a while back:
“Remember Zane, the sweet German Shepherd who lay in a field, waiting for help for three days over Memorial Day weekend after being hit by a car and suffering two broken legs? After three surgeries and many months of recovery, Zane was cleared for adoption this week and found his forever home with Karen R. of Carmel! Karen had been profoundly touched after reading Zane’s sad story. She donated towards his medical care and followed his progress as he healed. Karen lost her beloved German shepherd earlier this year, and felt that somehow she and Zane were destined to be together. We are thrilled that Zane has found his soul mate and friend for life!
Many thanks to Dr. Mehalick and the AFRP clinic staff for pouring their hearts into Zane’s medical care and recovery, and to all the generous people who donated to Zane’s medical fund, kept him in their thoughts and prayers, and made this happy beginning possible. Working together, we made a miracle happen for this wonderful dog. Thank you!”
So there you have it. Zane has a home. When I went into the AFRP web site to find this information (it was actually on Face book), I scrolled through the pictures of the animals needing homes and help. It is heart breaking how many pets are abandoned for one reason or another. Were we younger we would have many more than our two dogs and two cats. When my mother was living at the River Ranch, my friends and I rescued many of these creatures. Obviously there were too many to keep, but Dr. Weston had started the shelter in Pacific Grove and often our foundlings went there where they would be safe. I cannot describe the pound in Marina without shuddering. Just think “Lady and the Tramp” and you will get the picture. Thank you, everyone for your support.
by Jane Roland
Long before anyone heard of the odd couple there were two gentlemen from Massachusetts. Nicholas Richardson (a cousin of Sir Ralph) hailed from England and was married to my aunt… Percival Chittenden, his best friend, was a New Englander through and through. The former was slight and serious a little grey, the latter round, pink and beaming. They wore hats, carried canes, and dressed in rumpled tweeds or flannels. They were my Prince Charmings and I awaited their yearly visit with anticipation…
I first knew Uncle Nick when we lived on Governor’s Island in the New York Harbor when he and Aunt Harriett came to visit. Perce (Uncle Percy); and his wife were frequent houseguests. When the women died, the gentlemen traveled together. Nicholas had a wry sense of humor, rather naughty for the times, generally involving the digestive track, which made his rather dour countenance erupt with joy. Uncle Percy was a child’s delight. When they came for an annual visit, I often feigned illness, just to be at home with my adored adopted relatives. When I took to my bed the uncles would hover. If I had a particularly favorite book, they would toddle off to the bookstore to purchase stacks of Bobbsey Twins or Nancy Drew. Beaming they would stand over my bed to present their gifts, the Magi of my life.
Uncle Percy and I took little treks, which often involved food. We lived downtown, a few blocks from the University of Arizona whose environs displayed many quaint dining spots
Our favorite was the University drug store where we would feast on our favorite, an ice cream soda; Uncle Percy christened a “choc-van” as we loved a combination of the two flavors. He would buy me stacks of movie magazines and we would wend our way home.
The two old men adored our animals, a Wire Haired Terrier, Pat and Scottie, Duke, and an assortment of cats. We often took walks; the dog leashes on one arm, the canes swinging from another, a little girl skipping behind… Unfortunately Pat enjoyed running and unexpectedly he would bolt and head down the street with one of the old men in hot pursuit.
When they were back home I would receive communications weekly, from Uncle Nick, typed rather terse notes talking about his performances in the chamber music society for which he played the violin. Percy would send postcards, hand written and embellished with quaint little pictures. He would talk of squirrels he saw or other fanciful tales. He died when I was thirteen, a tragic day. Uncle Nicholas lived for many years more and I received gifts from him purchased by a buyer from Jordan Marsh. In retrospect I realize they were equal in affection for the lonely child, just different in their ability to demonstrate.
Many years later, I was thirty-six and going through a painful divorce. One of my best friends was into fortune telling and psychic phenomenon. She convinced me to join her at a performance by a mind reader. It was a large audience and we had no opportunity (and I no desire) to speak to the woman. She asked each member to think of someone dear to their heart… I sat there and, suddenly, I thought of my friend from the past (where it came from I have no idea). The lights dimmed, it was very quiet…suddenly Psychic Dora started calling out names and said there is someone in the middle of the tenth row “Percy has sent you a message.
by Jane Roland
I have no idea when I first met Dodge and his owner, Sibylle Bautz; it was many years ago when I was still working for the SPCA at their Benefit Shop on Forest Avenue. When I became involved with AFRP and opened the first Treasure Shop on 17th Street, he was a frequent visitor. Sibylle is a Rolfing Practioner who is considered to been amazingly talented and skilled, as she was trained as a physical therapist and naturopath. Her knowledge of the human body has served Dodge well. He has been raised with care and knowledge. Despite an ongoing ear infection he would visit cheerfully and accept the treats which Sibylle would surreptitiously slip to us.
He would plop himself down on the floor and there he would stay while his owner perused books. It is impossible to believe, but this beautiful creature is almost nineteen years old and, until recently, had the demeanor of a much younger dog. We love him dearly (as we do his mistress) and were distressed to learn that he had a cancerous tumor removed. The prognosis is excellent and it will not surprise me to see him and Sibylle strolling down the street five years from now. She in her walking shorts and vest, both of them with big smiles. The surgery was expensive and the economy has slowed her business but she will do anything for her remarkable companion. If you would like to greet them come to the Fiesta del Perro this Saturday. They will be there from 11:00 AM until around 1:00 PM, when Dodge will need to go home for a restorative nap.
Speaking of Fiesta del Perro, it has been a long time in the making. Two and a half years ago, at a Rotary meeting, Jane Durant Jones and I were talking about possible fund raisers for our club. We both enjoy raising money with special events and needed something new to add to our major event, The Pacific Grove Auto Rally. “Ah, ha,” said Jane. “What about a dog show?” I found the idea appealing and the ball started to roll. My friend, Will Bullas, nationally acclaimed local artist and creator of whimsical creatures, was enthusiastic and agreed to do a painting which would be used for the poster. We assembled a fantastic committee (all Rotarians are fantastic in my eyes). We picked a title, and a date, the fifth of May, 2012. Little did we know (or remember) that this was the time of the SPCA’s Wag and Walk, and we were too involved when we found out to change things. It went off without a hitch and those who participated and attended had a great time, but the numbers were small. Some came from the “walk” but many who would have been there were simply tuckered out. Undeterred we determined to repeat the project, picking a date, that, hopefully, would have no major conflicts.
Please mark your calendars for September 28 and the second Fiesta del Perro, to be held from 11:00 until 4:00 at Robert Down School, benefitting such activities as Smiles for Life, IHELP dinners, Polio Plus, Rotacare Clinic, Peace of Mind Dog Rescue and Animal Friends Rescue Project. There will be a children’s art show, with prizes for all from Judges Will Bullas and Don Livermore, “fun” dog judging, by Dr. Cynthia Nelson and Bullas, a pet parade, demonstrations of agility by Motive K9 Fitness, SPCA, D-Dog Agility, Zoom Room, Dance-A-Bulls, and Monterey County Search and Rescue, food, entertainment by The Wharf Rats, 23 booths and a fantastic silent auction, baskets of treasures from local pet venders and animal aficionados.
by Jane Roland
The year was 1995; Jennie graduated from UC Santa Barbara, Ellen and Shawn were marrying in September and John’s niece, Tracy, tying the knot in New
Jersey. We were attending the nuptials in June and decide to combine it with a graduation trip for our youngest. Early in the year we perused activities in New York City during that period. New Yorker magazine provided a wealth of information. Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close had opened, Miss Saigon was still running. There was a wonderful package that included meals at places such as The Russian Tea Room. Our friend, Suzi Mattmiller, a travel agent, found a reasonable hotel across the street from The Waldorf. We ordered our tickets for Miss Saigon and asked Jerry (John’s brother, Tracy’s father) to pick up good seats for us for the other. We packed carefully for many events, I placed all of our tickets in my tote bag and off we went. When we reached The Big Apple we took a limo into the city and settled into The Beverly Hotel. After a time we decided to embark for dinner at a nice little home style Italian Restaurant recommended by Ann and Andy Simpson. I looked for my tote bag, and then I looked again. Everyone looked; it was not to be found. John called the airport. It was an unavailable telephone number (except for ticketing) he was directed to a hub which had no human. When it became apparent that we were accomplishing nothing, we started out for the restaurant in a taxi. After we passed St. Patrick’s four times, it was obvious that our driver either didn’t know where he was going or was scamming hapless tourists. It was finally made clear that we were not happy and, eventually, were dropped at our destination.
As the place didn’t accept reservations (we would have been late anyway) we sat in the bar for a time, then at a table where we enjoyed a wonderful meal. We ate more than usual, as we had left San Francisco early in the day and had not eaten since the morning. Replete we asked for the check. They did not accept credit cards. This was a semi disaster, the traveler checks had been in my bag and none of us had much money. We managed to scrape enough together to pay the bill and leave a little tip. We were tapped out; no one had a dime, so we walked. It was one of those nights in New York, light rain and lightening flashing between the buildings followed by a gentle roar of thunder. About three blocks from the hotel we spotted a quaint little bar across the street and hurried to take refuge and assuage our despair. The minutes tuned into a few hours. We made many friends and by the time we went “home”, our sorrows were greatly diminished.
The next morning, John started calling the airlines. He had no success. Jennie and I decided to leave him the problem and hit a couple of Museums. I was happy to introduce her to Monet’s Waterlillies at MoMA and marvel at Calder’s mobiles. When we returned to the hotel, John was not there, we waited, wondering what we were going to do. That night we had a six o’clock reservation at Sardi’s and the play across the street at 8:00 PM. My husband rushed in and said he was awaiting a call. When the call came through, it was a United Agent in San Francisco. John had gone to The Broadway Theatre to see about replacing our tickets, no such luck. On the way back to the Beverly he stopped at a United office and told them our plight. The young woman was most sympathetic and said she would see what could be done. She followed through and our bag was in San Francisco; it had flown back to “the city” and found by maintenance people who turned it in. “Can you be at the Newark Airport at 4:30; our Mr. Lindsay will be flying in and can bring your bag which you can pick up at lost and found”. Needless to say we promised to be there. Jennie declined to accompany us so we rushed off to Port Authority, zipping past the seamy part of Times Square that existed in those days. When we reached Newark, we waited and waited and waited some more, the plane was delayed. Jennie was going to Sardis at 5:30, it was nearing 5:00 and there he was our savior. We rushed to Lost and Found, he handed us the bag “What may I give you?” asked John. “Not a thing, it was my pleasure” and he disappeared, an angel in the mist.
We made it back to Times Square and ran to Sardis. John, fortunately, was dressed for the city and looked natty in his dark blazer and tie. His wife, on the other hand had worn summer clothing for early morning touristing in the dead of summer, an off the shoulder, flowered (gasp) sun dress and sandals. I sat there in the restaurant wanting to hide under the table as I viewed the smart women in their black dresses, proper heels and jewelry. Jennie, also beautiful in black, on the other hand, was on the top of the world. During her hiatus while awaiting us she had charmed the waiters and maitre d and been treated to a tour of the fabled eatery. We saw the musical, enjoyed it not so much. We topped off the evening with a nightcap at Sardis.
The next day, Jennie and I were treated to a “ladies” luncheon, hosted by Tracy and her mother, Ann, at The Tavern on the Green in Central Park. That night was our dinner at The Russian Tea Room. Thursday we had lunch with our friend, John Gingrich, near his offices off Columbus Circle. John is a theatrical agent for classical music performers. On our way to meet John, our taxi.
John Gingrich made arrangements for a fellow parishioner to drive us over to New Jersey and to the Marriott where we were staying. He was a darling man, but as unfamiliar with the area as we. We drove along the turnpike passing the hotel many times. We arrived finally and met with the rest of the Roland clan. There was a dinner that night for the wedding party and Jerry and Ann’s siblings. The wedding the next day was beautiful, Tracy was a gorgeous bride. The next morning a breakfast at Jerry and Ann’s and took a long cab ride back to JFK and home… We can call the trip “Jennie, John and Jane’s Excellent Adventure.”
by Jane Roland
This column is a compilation of bits and pieces gleaned primarily from newspapers, magazines and life. Please don’t look for any consistency, as you will find none. I have a theory about life in general and believe that there is far better than about which we read. However, my experiences have been isolated as I have lived in a protected society in the United States. I have not been exposed to evil other than that which I have read or seen on a screen. If there were ever such a survey conducted there would be a higher example of goodness than bad, again my personal belief.
Everyone has terrible experiences, most of which are self-inflicted. There are those who devote themselves completely; “there are no greater givers than those who give themselves.” I won’t list them as it would fill chapters; it is puzzling that some of these are smote with disasters too cruel to comprehend. I believe in a supreme being and often wonder why it is that some of these folk who have never done anything wrong are made to suffer horribly, is it preparation for another life as some think, or simply an unfortunate set of circumstances?
I am increasingly impressed by those self-sacrificing souls who protect and save people and animals. With the latter group I have been intimately involved most of my life, a tendency inherited from my parents who rescued and housed anything that breathed (often including people). Currently I manage the AFRP Treasure Shop in Pacific Grove, have dog volunteers and dog visitors, occasionally there is a cat or bird that is brought in, and once a very large snake introduced to us by a local belly dancer. I hear the stories of the animals needing homes and my heart bleeds. Had we the funds, the space and the youth, we would house far more than the four with whom we share our abode.
Some of our shop volunteers walk dogs at the Center, house foster animals, nurture kittens that have lost their moms and still come in and man shifts, to be with like minded volunteers and help raise funds to care for the critters. AFRP has recently opened an animal clinic in Ryan Ranch to help their charges and desperately need some underwriting to help funding. Just as it seems that all bills are paid and we might slip into the black, a dog like Zane (the shepherd that was found on the road with multiple and serious injuries) comes in. There are too many of these stories. Kelly Leherian, the Executive Director, her board, staff and volunteers, will never turn aside one of these creatures and we at the shop will make every effort to help cover expenses.
To that end we ask for donations that will bring in the needed funds. New or gently used items, clothing that is current or vintage, dishes and artifacts unbroken, furniture, art work, jewelry, up-to-date electronics, linens, you name it, we take it if it can be sold. My rule of thumb to some donors is the question “is this something you would buy if you needed it?” No one is offended as they give to help the animals.
A huge need at the shop is a computer, PC desktop. The one we have is more than temperamental and more often does not work than cooperate. It is a very big part of our pricing process as we check on it several times a day, also, of course, to make signs, send press releases and information. If anyone has one no more than a couple of years old that he/she has updated, will you please let us know, we will be happy to pick it up. We do not take old computers, printers, etc. but the door to Hope is happy to accept them. There is always need at the shop for someone with a truck to help with pickups, so let us know if any of these needs might be accommodated.
Mark your calendar for November 22, our annual Holiday Open House, Tami and Bob Felton will play again and there will be wonderful treats and goods to buy. Also, of course, our Fiesta del Perro, a Celebration of Dogs at Robert Down School on September 28 to benefit Pacific Grove Rotary projects, AFRP and POMDR. There will be great demonstrations, information booths, silent auction, raffle tickets for Will Bullas’s painting, food, a dog parade and “fun” contests, children’s art show and music by the Wharf Rats.
I cannot let this day go by without honoring my oldest daughter, Ellen Morse DeVine (married to Shawn Michael Patrick, an actor), mother of Joseph DeVine Patrick and William DeVine Patrick. She will be 50 years old on the 12th; you will read this two days later, on Shawn’s birthday or the next day on their 18th wedding anniversary. Ellen was a wonderful baby and very quiet, shy toddler, partially because Larry and I were going through an ugly period which culminated in a divorce. Divorce is disastrous for children. Sticking it out “because of the children” is worse. Ellen clung to me, afraid that I would leave also. When she was four she developed an illness idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura associated with a systemic disease, although often following a systemic infection; believed to be due to an immunoglobulin that acts as an antibody against platelets. It took months for the doctors to determine what caused the problem and deal with it. In the interim she had her blood drawn daily and took high doses of prednisone, which caused a hump on her back and swollen face (a man once said “my, little girl, you must eat a lot). I was volunteering at the hospital and Ellen was a “guinea pig,” so there were no charges. She never whimpered, never cried. As she recovered she and I took a road trip to North Carolina (Jay was with his father for the summer). I will never forget the journey; we became very close and remain so to this day. The illness was caused by a reaction to an antibiotic and will never recur.
My shy violet became a tough, humorous, brilliant, creative, driven woman. There is nothing she won’t take on and she has the patience of Job. In college she worked in a fishery in Alaska to help fund school; afterwards she and a friend (another beautiful blond) trekked in Thailand for several months. Ellen became a production manager for films and commercials and never looked back. Now she works at her younger son’s school, her husband runs an insurance company, the acting roles getting slimmer (too bad — he is good, and I love him dearly). The boys are great, involved in many activities and happy. My only regret is that we see them so infrequently. One must give their children their wings and be happy when they fly.
by Jane Roland
I first met Skip Hollins in the early 1950s when we were visiting my Uncle Sam in Pebble Beach. She was a strange, wizened, homely little woman with a wicked sense of humor and great penchant for spirits (hard). I liked her enormously, because she was delightful and thoroughly enjoyed young people at any hour of the day or night. My friends and I would often call on her well after midnight and she was ready to receive. At that time she was in her early sixties and we in our late teens and early twenties. Her history was one of novels, tragic novels, riches to rags stories. She was born to the affluent Chase family and taken under the wings of her famous uncles, Addison, the renowned Palm Beach architect, and Wilson, playwright and raconteur, both were nefarious; although talented. In the research I have found fascinating history, but this story is not about the Mizners, it is about their niece, Ysabel Chase Hollins. She was listed in the social register, where her marriage to McKim Hollins was duly noted. Hollins, the brother of famous golfing champion, Marion (the designer of the famed 16th hole at Cypress Point and Pasatiempo golf course). He was always in trouble, never sober, and, it is said, they married on a dare. How long they were together I don’t know…Long enough to have a son, upon whom “Skip” doted; although I didn’t meet him for many years. I recall hearing of McKim’s death, how and where I don’t recall. Who raised Kim Jr.? I cannot remember; surely neither of his parents. Later, when he returned from a tour with the Merchant Marines, Kim Jr. and I became good friends.
In 1924 Addison bought a prime lot, designed,and had built for his niece, a Palm Beach mansion, in the Spanish style for which he was famous. It is on Padre Lane in Pebble Beach overlooking Cypress point, a view that does not stop. The house was created for entertaining, and entertained did Ysabel and later Kim, constantly. They also had a house in Virginia City where they hobnobbed with high society, as it were, such as Lucius Beebe. Most of us today cannot imagine the hard living and drinking that existed in the twenties. Fortunately we have The Great Gatsby and other stories from that era to enlighten us. Kim and Ysabel ran through their fortunes, he disappeared. Some time in the forties, everything was gone including her house. Uncle Sam (Morse) bought the guest house on the property for his friend and there she lived until her death in 1967. I have learned, doing this research, that he also took care of Marion Hollins who had lost everything, to whom he referred as “a good Joe”. Although, Sam was not known for his benevolence, but for his business acumen, he was truly one of the better people in the world, never forgetting his friends in high or low places.
Skip’s tiny house was charming and also had the magnificent view of Cypress Point from her patio which hung over the Pacific. She entertained in a simple fashion, as she had little, but always seemed to produce a bottle of bourbon and put together a little meal. Her garden was gorgeous, and there she spent most of her days, tending and nurturing. Her companion was an Australian shepherd, named Shiner ;( I still can hear her “Shiny, Whiney, and Woo”), who terrified delivery men, but adored his mistress and anyone she sanctioned… In her yard above rested a rusted out, dilapidated Plymouth coupe, which somehow managed to get Skip to the grocery store by the Lodge. A few of the old guard still visited her, Elinore Work, Jane Hunt, Ruth Crocker, Marion Whitcomb, my uncle and Mother when we moved to the Peninsula. As far as I know the others could no longer be bothered.
By 1952 the house had been purchased by mutual friends of Skip and Mother, Chatty and Pembroke Brauner. Whether it was the propensity of the owners or the spell of the doomed house, Chatty and Pem fell into the same pattern of drinking obsessively. They spent their time in the master suite at the end of long logia. Off to the side of the hall was a smaller bedroom for “Deary” Chatty’s mother. Her room smelled of brandy, theirs of bourbon. The place was in disrepair and not very clean. Our friends were spending a month in Belvedere and asked Mother and me to stay at their place. We accepted with pleasure. Mother hired a cleaning woman and they did what they could to bring a cultivated touch to the premises. We cut the ivy that was taking over windows and rid the glass of spider webs, the peeling paint and chipped masonry remained. Our room was a tower room reached by a small circular staircase from the hall below. It was cozy and pleasant with the same glorious view from a little balcony. We saw a great deal of Skip (and Shiner). Mother was able to have large parties, and, at one such soiree, she introduced Uncle Sam to her friend, a recent widow, Maureen Dalton. He, also widowed, courted and married her some months later. I still think about the beautiful house, because, despite the disrepair, it was marvelous, a lady who had fallen unto hard times with scuffed heels and torn clothing, but, none the less, stunning. I heard that the hand carved paneling in the dining room was either painted over or removed by subsequent owners.
I would lie in bed before falling asleep and read. One night I was deep into Bram Stocker’s Dracula when I dropped off. Suddenly there was a scratching on the window pane to the balcony, I awoke with a start and lay there listening as the “scratch, scratch, scratch” persisted. There were few winks for me that night. Exhausted I started down the staircase in the morning and heard the cleaning women say to my mother “Mrs. Christian, do you know there are bats in this house?”
by Jane Roland
The year was 2000; we were embarking on a long desired remodel of our house. The galley kitchen would be removed and a new one would become part of the family room. Things were getting torn up and torn down. We went out for dinner and when we returned our beloved yellow lab, Bailey, was lying on the floor, his final sleep. He was only ten and had shown no symptoms of illness, none the less, he was gone. At the time we had two cats, Joe (Montana) and Mike (Crawford), and a little dog bestowed upon us by Jan Carnes, Dixie. In view of the enormous disruption that was about to occur in our lives, we decided to wait until the work was finished to get a new pet. Mike and Joey adored each other, and Dixie was quite satisfied to be the only pooch. They all slept on our bed and for a time, everyone ate in the bed or living room.
In March of the next year we were talking about getting a buddy for our Southern Belle, Trae Dunnick who worked at the SPCA and had become a good friend as well as house sitter was a humane officer. One day she called from Hollister saying that there were three chocolate labs at the Shelter .. John drove over. Two of the dogs demonstrated significant abuse, the third was a gorgeous female about six months old and, when I returned home that evening we had a new pet. Our vet, Bill Cleary, said that she was a beautiful purebred and he was surprised that she was at a Shelter and there had been no inquiries. We soon learned the reason. Brandy was a travelin’ woman. The moment a door was opened she would scoot past and tear off. We received calls from all over the city. Fortunately we had an AKC chip and only once in the last thirteen years did we need to pick her up at an impound. She had also, obviously, been kicked by someone, previous owner (?), and was very nervous if a heavy shoe touched her rear end. Once, she viewed walking boots, she was at the living room door looking across the patio where people were sitting. She screamed in terror. In time the fear abated as she realized she was safe.
Unlike our former escape artist, Cinder, Brandy did not scale fences. She, as did our black lab, Beau, would await an opportunity to escape. She would run and run. Always happy to be home but, in earlier days, happier with the “wind beneath her wings”. Six years ago little Dixie, by then in her teens, gave up the ghost. She simply laid down for a nap and never awoke. Dixie had a good, happy life, more satisfied in a lap than anywhere else. She did not bond with Brandy; however, the two tolerated each other. When she departed we sensed that the Lab was lonely but determined to wait before finding another dog.
When the time was right, we went on a search, taking Brandy along as her approval was essential. No dog at AFRP suited our girl and I headed out to the SPCA. Dog after dog came out to meet her in the yard, there was no chemistry. As I was about to depart I passed a cage with a small dog. It was a pup with long ears, tail and short legs. A dachshund mix from a puppy mill, about six months old. “Well little girl, I will give you a crack”. Out we went to meet a possible friend, there was immediate chemistry and my ride home was with two dogs.
That was five years ago, Lilah adores Brandy (her best buddy is Toby the cat), whom she sees as a maternal figure. If Brandy needs to leave to see a vet, Lilah has hysterics; she screams cries and runs around in desperation. Daughter, Jennie, made the comment. “Dogs drive you crazy when they are hyper kids and teen agers, then they settle down and are sweet and quiet, then they die”. We have reached that milestone. Brandy is on her last legs; she has congestive heart failure and is living on borrowed time. She is comfortable with her pills, eats well and misses her walks, which are forbidden. Lilah is distraught and in sympathy won’t eat unless “mama” does so.
In the past month I have heard similar stories from friends, the loss of cats, dogs, birds and horses. Those who don’t understand the love of
animals have missed one of the greatest pleasures in life. Where else can one find a friend who adores without question, accepts his owner’s imperfections, doesn’t gossip, doesn’t complain, just loves and is always there? People have said it is like losing a member of the family, they are wrong; it is losing a family member.
by Jane Roland
We see them all of the time, the large black birds that have taken over the Monterey Peninsula. There are a number that reside near our house and make their presence known. They hang off the feeders, competing with the squirrels, jays and woodpeckers that seem oblivious to the fact that the seeds are not intended for them but for finches and other little avian fellows. As the dogs walk by Othello and his friends attack, not quite pecking but alarming their target. I thoroughly enjoy watching the fellows; they preen, screech and let us know they are here and here to stay.
There has been speculation as to what they are. Rooks, Blackbirds, Crows and Ravens are often confused with each other. They are actually four distinct birds,
Crows, Ravens and Rooks are all Corvids, whereas the Blackbird is a member of the Thrush family. They all have different voices, and if you are so inclined, you can go on line and hear the difference. I have no idea with what species we are dealing and I am sure someone will let me know. They are large, black, noisy and omni-present. The Raven haunted many of Poe’s works, no one will forget “Quoth the raven “Nevermore”. Blackbirds were a subject of many famous songs and poems and Native Americans took the name to designate honor and strength…
None the less, whether they are Ravens, Blackbirds or large Crows, they are all over the place and the subject of many artistic works. As I look out the window of our home office, I see them hopping along the fence. There haven’t been as many of late, perhaps they are seasonal, or have left for a summer vacation. I am not a bird watcher per se, but I enjoy watching birds and their antics.
The lark’s is a clarion call,
And the blackbird plays but a boxwood flute,
But I love him best of all.
William Ernest Henley
Enough about birds. We need to talk about dogs and Fiesta Del Perro, a celebration of dogs to be held on September 28 at Robert Down School by Pacific Grove Rotary Club. It is a “fun” dog show with entertainment, food, competitions (cutest, funniest, fattest, look alike owner, fastest, loudest, etc) judged by local stars. Lots of food, good music with The Wharf Rats, clowns, face painting and more.. Everyone is welcome and, should you wish to sponsor, have a booth, or present a demonstration, let me know, we want the world to know that Pacific Grove loves dogs and welcomes them. Will Bullas, President of the Carmel Art Association and famous international artist, is an honorary member of our club, active on the Fiesta Committee and judge of children’s art competition and “fun” dog judging contest. (a disclaimer – I have long loathed the use of the word fun as an adjective, but it is now accepted and, often, is a good descriptive noun.)
“You have a chance to own the framed original artwork by Will Bullas created for this year’s Fiesta Del Perro poster for the mere cost of a $5.00 GRAND RAFFLE ticket (or five for $20.00)! Proceeds to benefit activities of Pacific Grove Rotary, Animal Friends Rescue Project and Peace of Mind Dog Rescue.”
There will be opportunities to obtain a signed poster. The original art work is devoid of all printing other than DOG SHOW. Tickets may be purchased at The Animal Friends Rescue Project Treasure Shop where the painting may be viewed currently before moving around town.
by Jane Roland
Jonathon Livingston Seagull searched for meaning to life and returned from “a higher plane of existence” where he had met other gulls who love to fly. He returns to earth to find others like him, to bring them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, the very first of his students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right and Jonathon leaves to teach other flocks. So goes the novella by Richard Bach, written in the 1970s. In 1972 and 1973 the book topped the Publishers Weekly list of bestselling novels in the United States.
Later a movie was made, with a sound track by Neil Diamond, whom Bach despised; the film was blasted by the critics who said it was “for the birds.”
I watched the birds with fascination when I was a child, living on Governors Island across from Manhattan. They are beautiful creatures with very bad manners.
Anyone reading this knows that Pacific Grove has an infestation of these birds. In the building where I work at the AFRP Treasure Shop, they roost on the roof and constantly let us know they are present. There are peculiar noises that sound like trespassers, but, in truth, it is Jonathon’s friends, finding material for nests, rolling a purloined piece of bread along the roof top, and hopping. They are brazen and unafraid.
The damage created by our birds is substantial. There is no doubt that the problem is of epidemic proportions as cited by Pacific Grove residents and civic leaders. The sidewalks are “mucky” and any automobile of color is polka dotted, I hadn’t intended that design for my little red Cadillac; none the less that’s what I get, week after week. The car wash establishments must be extremely happy and those who do their own cleaning full of a thirst for revenge. There is nothing that can be done. Seagulls are protected and cannot be assassinated. They are really very beautiful and, I am sure, very nice, but Jonathon forgot to toilet train them.
They are extremely intelligent, or have a great sense of time. At the ball games, late in the day (or at night), they start attending. First they are there to watch, perching above the stands. A few weeks ago, one swooped down on the field when the Giants were playing. He probably thought that the ball was food. Normally, however, they sit up there…waiting…waiting. If the game runs late, their patience runs out and they start swooping to gather morsels that have been dropped. They are all over empty stands and parking lots by the thousands. On the other hand, we made them this way; we invaded their territory, and fished the oceans, the gull’s source of food. What is worse, we feed them.
Humans have infiltrated the domain of the animal world. The deer population is ever present; they saunter across the street without fear. It amazes me that we hear of so few accidents involving Bambi and cars.
At the meeting called to address the problem, Lori Mannel, executive director of the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, told the audience that these are not sea gulls but western gulls…sea or western, they all look the same. Pacific Grove denizens will wash sidewalks and store fronts, they will clean their cars, and hope that Jonathon or one of his disciples will return and teach their brethren better manners. In the meantime cover your cars, wash your sidewalks and, every so often, duck.
It is not all gulls in Pacific Grove. We have many dogs. Unlike Carmel we are not advertised as a dog friendly town. As far as I know we have no charts listing establishments where Fido may also come, natives and visitors need to discover this for themselves. Pacific Grove Rotary Club, working with Animal Friends Rescue Project and Peace of Mind Dog Rescue, plans to change this. On September 28, the second Fiesta del Perro will be held at Robert Down School. There will be something for everyone, entertainment, food, music, demonstrations, a dog parade, a children’s art show and much more. An original painting to be used for the poster has been donated by Rotarian, Will Bullas, who is also on the committee.
If you would like to have a booth, know of a good demonstration featuring dogs, or simply to be involved, let me know. There will be more to come in the following weeks. Save the date and help us let the world know that Pacific Grove loves dogs (and, of course, cats, but that’s for a different fiesta)…
by Jane Roland
This is not the column I intended to write, but an obituary in the paper this week changed my plans. Robert Keith Bullock died on Thursday, July 18 about 60 years from the day we first met. I hadn’t seen him for many years, but thought about him from time to time as he was the Sports Editor of the Herald with which I have had a fond attachment almost sixty years. It was the summer of 1952; Mother and I were visiting PebbleBeach and living in my Uncle’s home while he was traveling in Europe. Aunt Relda had died the year before and he needed time to get away and recover. The house was facing the 18th hole of the famed golf course, with an unrestricted view of the ocean and Pt. Lobos. Today if you walk down the driveway and continue left to the end you would be on the site of the “President’s House.”
I had not been a visitor for several years and there was nothing for a young girl who was not part of the inner circle. Mother went two or three times a year. I remember the day Uncle Sam came to our house in Tucson and said “I think you girls should come and stay in my house when I am away”. I was thrilled and excited to be included as, previously, my presence was anything but desired. In those days in a certain social milieu youngsters were shipped off to boarding school, camp and/or Europe. Most of my mother’s inheritance had been embezzled by her guardian when she was young. It was only her sense of entitlement which accrued her benefits of a certain social status. We lived in a tiny house, in the middle of the dessert, drove an old car and (according to Mother) were “dirt poor”, in retrospect I realize that wasn’t true, we simply had lesser means than those who were my Mother’s friends.
We drove off to California, leaving in the middle of the night, due to the heat of the summer in the southwest. I was, at the time, engaged to be married and Don agreed to housesit and take care of the house. I considered myself an excellent driver, my mother’s foot was pressed to the floor most of the time I was behind the wheel. I remember stopping in Twenty-Nine Palms to catch a little sleep, before we drove on to San Jacinto, my Aunt Rosa’s home and a visit of a couple of days. Then on to our ultimate destination. When we reached the gate Mother leaned out and said “We are going to the Morse residence. Mr. Morse is my brother”. The gatekeeper leaned in and said “Well, aren’t you lucky” and sent us on our way.
I entered a life I had left more than ten years earlier, since that time, I revisited in books and movies. Breakfast in bed every morning, should we wish, I did not “wish”, Mother loved it (a return to a life she had lost years before). Dinner prepared and served by the only staff on duty at the time and wonderful cook whose name I have forgotten. My parent immediately connected with old friends such as Mae Piggott, Charlotte Cruickshank and Virginia Stanton for lunches, cocktails and, of course, bridge.. She met new ones, among whom was Maureen Dalton, who was to become my Uncle’s wife, thanks to Mother’s getting them together that summer.
I had little to do; I knew no one and was abnormally shy. Oh, I was very comfortable in a small group of people but I was uncomfortable in crowds and fitting in was something that was hard for me. Mary, my cousin, was married to Richard Osborne and lived in the house which is now Casa Palmaro. It was large, comfortable and a little run down, much more to my liking than the perfection of our summer abode. They did everything they could to embrace and entertain the young collegian. Richard had a charge, Freddy Mills, the younger brother of his college room mate, who was a recent Harvard graduate. Freddy was a free spirit and we became good friends. However, the condition of his stay was that he must find a job. Freddy is another story for a different time. In the beginning I had no one. I liked playing tennis, but soon learned that I was not the caliber of those who were on the courts, so I would sit and watch, hoping to meet someone.. That’s when I met Bob Bullock. He seemed to understand the frustration and loneliness of the young girl. He suggested I come to a party at the Beach Club (in those days it was a real beach club not elegant at all). He introduced me to girls who, because of the introduction by someone everyone loved, took me in hand. Soon I was getting calls from these young women to come to gatherings and, someone, I don’t remember who, took me to the Mission Ranch, a Mecca for many years. Bob was always there, “Hi, Knuckles (why Knuckles who knows), good to see you”. We shared many an evening at the Ranch drinking, singing around the piano and discussing the current plays on Broadway. Once someone introduced me as Sam Morse’s niece, Bob intervened, “She is Janie Christian from Tucson, the U of A, and a writer” It made me comfortable and happy.
During that summer and in the years to follow, I became close to many who worked at The Herald, some were editors, publishers, and some were reporters or typesetters. I spent time at the offices downtown. I saw Bob from time to time over the next few years, but it has been decades. I will never forget him and his kindness to a “desert fish out of water.”
by Jane Roland
This month is an anniversary for me. Seven years ago I left the SPCA Benefit Shop on Forest Avenue after twenty years; I started writhing for Lee Yarborough at the Pacific Grove Hometown Bulletin and was asked to consider opening a benefit shop for Animal Friends Rescue Project. I am still a scribe, now weekly for Marge Jameson and her Cedar Street Times. The Treasure Shop has expanded year after year until we were ensconced in our current location on Fountain Avenue. I am heavily involved in the Pacific Grove Rotary Club and enjoy my involvement with the newspaper. Above all, I love my job, the cause and the people with whom I work, the volunteers, the staff, the donors and customers. It is a win, win situation. Over the years I have had the pleasure to meet wonderful people and their spectacular animals and, over those same years, have penned tales about them. Here is another. I met Jerome a few weeks ago, when his parents, George and Mary Bergman, from San Francisco stopped by the shop for the first time.. I was quite taken with this cheerful fellow. I asked his age and his background and was treated to a heart warming story:
“Jerome is a wonderful, former Taiwanese street dog, with a chequered past, who is enjoying a serene and good life in San Francisco. Almost eight years ago, the five month old dog was found in a cardboard box with a broken leg. He had been left starving and thirsty to die alone, probably a casualty of dog hunters who did not return for their captured prey. Fortunately, he was seen, rescued and taken to a shelter where a veterinarian successfully mended his damaged limb.
Another, unknown, kind soul made arrangements for Jerome’s passage to San Francisco and placement with Wonder Dog Rescue in the Mission District. Although he had, amazingly, become a happy, smart and house trained seven month young dog, no one would adopt him because he was no longer considered a puppy. Then George and Mary saw him, fell in love at their first meeting and have nurtured and protected him ever since. He became a devoted brother to a feral Maine Coon Cat, Kittner.
Jerome suffered a set back when he was between two and three years old. He was playing with another dog and received a small bite on the previously broken limb. It manifested into a severe infection that was resistant to antibiotics. After reaching the end of the line with a series of local vets, George and Mary took Jerome to U.C. Davis, where a team of professors and students undertook a multiple step strategy to conquer the problem and save Jerome’s leg. He survived yet again and has been completely healthy, romping on all four legs.”
They told me that Jerome is extremely sensitive, intelligent, highly spirited and loyal. He adores his “parents” but is very cautious and wary of strangers (he allowed me to pet him graciously and made friends with one of our doggie volunteers, Bootsie) Boots, if you recall, is a local pup who was found on a road with two broken legs, she was a few months old. AFRP had the legs repaired, Dave Winter walked her, the rest is history, and she became his forever friend and one of our dog greeters. If Jerome is shy and hesitant, he cannot be blamed, somewhere in the back of his mind lingers the memory of the broken limb and being alone with no sustenance. Little did he know that there was hope in sight and his remaining days would be spent in a country across the sea in San Francisco with Mary, George and Kittner.
There are many stories of animal rescues and committed nurturers, we see and hear about them all of the time. Even on a much smaller scale those involved with AFRP give their all to save and protect those in need, those that cannot help themselves. We all wish that abusers would be smote with an iron fist or burned for eternity, that being out of our control we do what is possible to repair the damage and bring peace to the beasts that have been abused. There are groups around the world whose mission is to save animals, all animals, all sizes, domestic and wild. They do it with no wish for acclaim but simply success.
Taiwan was known for its abuse of street dogs. The rescue group in the area has gone to all ends to end the practice and offer succor to those whom they are able to save. When Jerome was rescued it was determined that he should be “put down” as his leg was so badly broken. A foster mom took him in; although her house already exploded with cats and dogs. She made certain he received treatment for the limb. He didn’t seem to remember the terrible experience of being hurt and left alone with no sustenance.
There are many stories such as this and those of us who are able should do all we can to help. Animals feel the same pain as humans. We don’t know how they think, it is said that dogs, have no sense of time. That may be true, but I am sure that the hours suffering in a box seemed like eternity to Jerome. If you have room in your home, ability to transport animals, volunteer at a facility, goods or pennies to give search your heart and do what you can. We want to save as many Jeromes and Bootsies as possible.
by Jane Roland
Despite his challenges, Bubba is a happy, wiggly and affectionate pup whose main goal in life is to have fun! This ten-month-old Chihuahua/Corgi mix came to us with a spinal injury that prevents him from using his hind legs properly. He has responded to physical therapy sessions at Natural Veterinary Therapy (thank you Dr. Richmond) where he swims and uses the underwater treadmill like a champ! Staff members work with Bubba to perform daily exercises with the goal of strengthening his muscles and improving the function of his hind legs. He has made progress, but even if he always has mobility problems, Bubba can expect to live a long, happy and love-filled life.
Bubba is healthy and happy, but his spinal injury left him with some urinary incontinence, which is easily handled by using a belly band to keep him (and the floor) clean and dry. This special little dog finds joy in each new day and deserves a chance to enjoy life as a cherished family member. For more information about meeting or adopting Bubba, please call AFRP at 831-333-0722 .
A very generous supporter responded to our plea for a wheelchair cart for him, which arrived several weeks ago. Everyone loves Bubba, but, nobody has offered him his forever home…yet! He always wears the biggest smile at the Adoption Center and we know it is just a matter of time before someone falls in love with him.
by Jane Roland
Managing a benefit shop was never on my bucket list of things to do. Perhaps it was my DNA without any awareness. Mother had been a volunteer for as long as I can remember. Her last tasks were helping at MPVS and assisting on the board of the Lyceum. In New York she was a grey lady at Bellevue in the children’s ward. When the war broke out after our move to Tucson, she was with AWVS (American Women Volunteer Services) where she dragged me along with her driver, a tough retired Army Sargeant, to pick up scrap metal. She loved jumble sales and bargain basements and was drawn to volunteer at the store in Seaside. I had worked in advertising, written for local newspapers (in Florida), been the Executive Director of the Lyceum and was heavily involved in the arts and the SPCA. In Miami our little high church Episcopalian community always had a rummage sale, I suggested a store take its place, it did and we made ten times the amount we had in the once a year affair. When I moved back to the Monterey Peninsula, I was always involved in rummage sales for non-profits and our churches. I found that these activities created a community where people who did not know one another became friends. When Lucy Reno, an SPCA board member who served with me on the board of the Auxiliary, suggested I become the first paid manager of their benefit shop in Pacific Grove, I had reservations, but I took it on and twenty seven years later I am still at it. For the past seven years for a different animal organization.
One of the first people to volunteer early on was Grace Bemis, whom I had known previously. She started shortly after we opened and when I moved so did she. She was a feisty, game, hard working woman. On the first day of April she would come in and announce that she was quitting. She never tired of the joke and I never wearied of being amused. Joe Young, another worker and one of the best people I have known, would refer to Grace as the “dumpster diver” as she would go through Good Will buckets and haul out items that she might be able to use. Through thick and thin she would appear in her ancient car with, first, Ursula I and then Ursula II, (Russian Wolfhounds) ensconced in the back seat. Early on she had two cats, Calvin and Hobbs, both Manx whom she adored. When they died and then the first dog, she was devastated, but she went on and, soon, adopted another. Grace was not young, yet she came to work on time several times a week. Her body started giving out; she fell a couple of times, but would not let me assist. Bloodied but unbowed, she appeared, week after week, year after year. One day she wasn’t there. I called and she told me that she wasn’t feeling too well, but that she would be back. She tried a couple of times, but simply couldn’t. At that point she was approaching 90 years old. Ursula 11 was also failing, her body eaten with cancer, but, somehow, and mostly pro-bono, Dr. Bill Cleary kept the dog alive and going, until there was nothing left to go. Ursula died; Grace went to bed, her body and heart too broken to fight. My friends, Phillips and Shirley Wiley, were her neighbors and did all they were able to maintain the little lady. They visited and brought her food; however, soon Grace did not recognize them. Last week, Shirley came in to tell me that Grace had left us to ramble in the pastures of heaven with her beloved pets. She left behind a seven year old Manx kitty named Uno who is looking for a home. Contact AFRP if you would like to meet him
There have been so many wonderful volunteers who have departed over the years. I care deeply because, as odd as it might sound, they are an extension of my family, my friends, and they make going to work a pleasure. What could be more fulfilling than being with people you love and working for a group that puts animals before anything else? The mission of the shop is to raise funds for the maintenance of these creatures whose lives might have ended or been hell were it not for the good folk at AFRP, the staff, the volunteers at the adoption center and shop and all of the foster families who nurture the animals. If you are afraid to help with the critters because you might take them all home, come and work with us at the Treasure Shop and raise money for their nurturing. Following is another story about a dog in need.
by Jane Roland
I left you with sharing my first kiss, in the park on the Fourth of July.
The summer continued and I was soon looking forward to returning home. We boarded the train in Indianapolis, once again housed in a compartment. And once again my mother befriended the person in the next room, a young Naval Officer, Dick Reynolds, who, coincidentally, was headed for Tucson and the Navy School which was housed at the University. He played a rudimentary game of bridge; they found a couple of others (after attempting to teach me, an 11 year-old).
When we landed, Mother offered the maid’s house on our grounds to her new “adopted” son. He accepted with pleasure, in exchange for taking care of odd jobs, trimming trees and mowing the lawn. I don’t believe many of the chores were accomplished but he had dinner with us most nights, His wife, Marjorie, and very young daughter, Caroline, lived in Stockton and visited a couple of times. Dick played the piano and entertained us with all of the popular songs of yesterday and the current times. It was a delightful period.
A few years later, in 1945, we returned to Shelbyville. This time Mother elected to drive and found a college student who was heading for home in Indiana, to assist. As I recall it was not a pleasant trip, the assistant chauffeur was not very communicative nor was he clean. It was the days prior to automobile air-conditioning and we had a bag that hung on the window which, allegedly, circulated air. The motel situation was deplorable so we spent most nights on the road in second rate hotels. We also had both dogs with us — a Scottie, Duke and wire haired terrier, Pat. Neither was able to acclimate to the long trip and were unhappy until we arrived at our destination.
Shelbyville hadn’t changed as yet. My first love was no longer interested but there were other young people. Howard Eichesdoefer had returned from the war, a decorated soldier, and was life-guarding at the local plunge. I thought he was a dream and had a terrific crush; he had evolved from a fat little boy I knew when we were small to a “hunk.” At 19 he found the 13 year-old guest in his home a pain in the neck. Ike had died succumbing to the ravages of liquor. I missed him. Mary was more dour than ever, while she had berated her errant husband and adored her son, neither was around (Howard was off with his friends most of the time), she was sour and angry. However she loved the dogs and they returned home a few pounds heavier. She didn’t really know how to react to a teenage female and, frankly, nor did my mother and there was considerable talk about sending me to boarding school at Tudor Hall in Indianapolis.
My friends and I found much to do. We frequented the center on the town square which offered food, drinks and games. We spent a lot of time in this retreat. In the evenings we would catch fireflies in a bottle, play croquet, throw horseshoes, attend the single movie theater and hang out in general. There was an elderly woman across the street who had a library full of the classics which she made available. I really loved the town and the feel of it. There is something romantic about walking along tree shaded sidewalks. At night, when it became dark, I would scurry home hearing footsteps behind me and running for protection. The sounds were, of course, a result of a mind full of the mystery of Sherlock Holmes and the adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Gracie Porter sent from Tucson the Adventures of Mary Worth so I could stay well up on our favorite comic paper character missing in the local newspaper. Occasionally we would drive to Indianapolis to shop which was highlighted by lunch in the Aires Tea Room which served a coconut cream pie I shall never forget.
Then it was over, time to go home. Mother found another college student who was heading back to the University. We bid adieu to Mary and started out.
It wasn’t long before there was a noticeable problem with the motor. Steam erupted from under the hood. Naturally this occurred miles from no where, near one of those towns with six people, five of whom were in the fields. The problem was a blanket that had been thrown over the engine. Mary, who didn’t drive, had feared that the rain the night before our departure might damage the mechanical function and wanted to keep it dry. Time and an outlay of funds resolved the issue and we were on our way.
This driver, Stewart Bailey, was wonderful, clean, cheerful and a youth who was to become a long time friend. I saw George and Jane Breedlove 10 years later at the bar in the Casa Madrona Hotel in Sausalito, not having communicated for years. It is, indeed, a very small world.
by Jane Roland
I left you with our move into Tucson and relocation into a very small apartment from a large house. This was accomplished by my mother who, although fiercely independent, had few physical responsibilities. After a few months she found a house near the University which accommodated her furniture, in storage since a week after my father’s untimely demise.
The summers were blazingly hot and Mother accepted an invitation to visit her friends, the Eichelsdoerfers (Mary nee Hill was my godmother). Their son, Howard, had been a companion of mine at Governors Island; however he was several years older and, at the time of our visit in 1942 had enlisted in the Army.
We took The Southern Pacific Railway across country. Those of you who are older (I refuse to use elderly, it sounds SO old) will understand when I say these memories come in flashes, a little here, a little there, a sudden remembrance of names and places. We were in a compartment, but Mother was sociable and ingenious. Before long she had befriended those in the adjoining room; soon there was a “suite” where the adults could play bridge.
The train released us in Indianapolis, just south of our destination, where we were met by our hosts. I was not an attractive little girl. Long gone were the golden curls and come hither smile. My hair was brown, straight; I was bespectacled, too tall for my age and slightly chubby. Aunt Mary took one look at the child whom she had last seen years before and determined to make changes.
The population was just under 10,000 and was around nine miles in circumference. It was a typical small Mid Western town, large old wooden houses on quiet streets. I recall the town square where the businesses thrived. Mary immediately took me to the local beautician for a permanent, told me to remove my glasses when I was in public, shopped for clothing, and put me on a diet. The lack of glasses was a challenge. I was severely myopic and could see nothing more than a few feet away. As I grew older, I removed the spectacles out of vanity. When I did not, even my mother would say “Janie, take off those damn glasses” (a sentiment echoed by my former husband). I walked down the street, passing people whom I knew, and was soon considered a snob, when I simply hadn’t recognized them.
The clothing part of Aunt Mary’s project I quite liked, as Mother had a penchant for brown and two of everything and she also thought orthopedic oxfords were appropriate. Mary put me in sandals.
I made friends quickly. There were two children living a block away, George and Jane Breedlove, with whom I became close. We would ride our bikes all over the area, stopping at the covered bridge to toss stones in the river and attempt to catch an errant fish. Once, when riding home I detected a black surface on the road, sensing no problem I rode over and down into the fresh tar. That mishap involved hours standing in the kitchen with Mary rubbing my body with mineral spirits. The smell and sticky substance lingered for weeks, or so it seemed. Shelbyville had tomato farms all around. We children would go and pick for a nickel a fruit, we did it for fun and the entertainment lasted very briefly.
You wonder what my mother was doing all of this time. She was relatively young – early fifties and very attractive. A minx with very blue eyes. There were not many single men around but those who were came courting. Mother had slipped on the sidewalk when we arrived and was relegated to a large degree to sitting on the front porch and holding court. The gentlemen callers would arrive for a drink (Mother’s was strong bourbon or martinis, but never more than two). One of the suitors brought her a cane with an elk on it (from the club which was the town’s social headquarters and the site of Sunday dinners) … she looked at the stick and said “Oh, in Pebble Beach they used to come and eat the roses.” (How well I understand that comment, we feed our deer dessert often.)
Mary was not much of a cook. For lunch we always had peanut butter, tomatoes and bacon sandwiches, because I had an expressed a fondness for them early on (but not every day, please!). Her meat was over-cooked and chicken soggy. Ice cream finished the repast. She was a sour woman; her husband had not fared well in retirement. There was not much to do for an Army colonel, an equestrian and adventurer. He succumbed to “demon rum” and often would stumble in the house and up the stairs. He was as kind and gentle as she was cross.
There was a park in the middle of the town square where they held a Fourth of July picnic. Think of William Inge and you have the dynamics. Folks bid on pies, tossed horseshoes, there were little booths where the unchallengeable could be challenged. A large scale would weigh and tell fortunes, imagine. There were some fireworks. As we approach the celebration this year, I think back – George kissed me on the cheek as we sat under a tree. It was the highlight of my summer and first kiss.
Summer came in last week, on June 21st, and the MontereyPeninsula welcomed her in proper form. The days were halcyon, the evenings clear and comfortable. We know better to become accustomed to this gift from Mother Nature, today it is chilly and breezy. Tomorrow there is a thirty percent chance of rain and we will don warm jackets.
When I was in school and the vacation time arrived, I, as were my classmates, was excited to welcome the freedom from drudgery, in the very early days it was coloring, as I aged, math became my nemesis. I was happy to escape for a few months. Life was so different then, it is hard to understand how things have changed so much. There was no terror associated with children being “off the reservation”. Youngsters could play outside without fear. Each person has his/her own theories as to what has happened, but this is not a political column so I won’t tell you mine.
While we were stationed at Governors Island and lived in a beautiful old house on the sea wall, my best friends were Olaf Andersen, Howard Eichelsdoerfer, and Michael Collins. Olaf was my age, a curly haired tot, Howard a few years years older and Michael (who later circled the moon), I loved with the intensity of my five year old heart.
There was a bachelor colonel, Joe Dalton, who lived across the street, a long steep lawn stretched down to the side walk from his house. Uncle Joe, as we called him, loved to have us play in his yard. We would roll down the hill with delight. Sadly when I was six, we left our home and traveled to Arizona and Ft.Huachuca in the mountains near the Mexican border, just a few miles from Bisbee, and south of Tucson by 100 miles. Huachuca was seasonal, blizzards in the winter, heat in the summer, but it was beautiful. During the summers we would climb the mountains behind the post, hide in the caves, swim in the wonderful pool and drive our mothers crazy. Not many places to go, nor much to do. It was the days of intense segregation, the infantry enlisted men were African Americans and were housed in barracks, no families permitted; although some lived off base and some in the maid’s quarters in the homes of the officers (all Caucasian) for whom they worked. My father was post adjutant and was on the eve of becoming a colonel when he was hit by the flu which developed into pneumonia. There being no hospital on the base the army, in its infinite wisdom, shipped him by train from Bisbee to El PasoTexas, a journey of two days to the hospital at Ft Bliss from which he would not return.
We moved to Tucson, my mother and I, into a small apartment, as she was given a week to clear out the huge house, move her furniture and leave. To her credit she pulled herself together and accomplished all that was necessary, ultimately purchasing a home near the university which would accommodate most of her belongings, her child, whom she was getting to know, and enable her to have animals, which joined us in abundance. Most of the summers in Tucson were brutally hot. After a few years we moved to the country, next door to our best friends, the Porters (their home is now Tucson’s botanical gardens), a family of three daughters, my age or close. There was a swimming pool where I spent many days working on a tan.
We also visited our family (my mother’s older brother and my cousins) in PebbleBeach. Until I was old enough to enjoy night life (permitted, I should say), I didn’t much enjoy those visits. Children were not welcome in adult gatherings, they had no friends with young offspring and my cousins were much older. Mary and I are now very close, but she was either away or certainly not interested in a little girl. However, it was beautiful and my thirst for reading paid off.
Some summers were spent in San Jacinto where there were other relatives, Mothers sister and another brother (much older than she). Mother was the youngest of eight, six of whom remained, her older sister was twenty-two years her senior. Uncle Sam was the closest and, even he being eight years older was away at school during most of her childhood. None the less they bonded and remained devoted until his death on Mother’s Day, 1969.
The summers which meant the most to me and which I remember with clarity were in Shelbyville, Indiana. I mentioned Howard Eichelsdoerfer early in this column. His mother, Mary was my God Mother. She had grown up in the little Midwestern town and, when Ike (her husband) retired, they moved into her childhood home. Howard was in college and then the military. I saw little of him until later in my life. Shelbyville is a story into itself; it is an example of Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street. Although Booth Tarkington, whose Penrod series were once as well known as Mark Twain’s boys, was born in Indianapolis, Shelbyville claimed him as a resident at one time. My next column will be devoted to summers in Indiana and some of the more interesting trips involving the visits.
In the meantime enjoy the good weather every minute because in an hour it will have changed.
by Jane Roland
Yesterday those of us involved with Animal Friends Rescue Project received the following communication, written by Linda Wilsey, Animal Adoption Manager. I found it so compelling, heart breaking and heart warming at the same time. There is such a need in the world for education about animals. How often do we hear “oh, it is just an animal”. These beasts whether domestic or wild suffer in the same way as humans. Animals do not comprehend what is happening, just that they are in pain. I hope by reading this, it will open some eyes to the need of assistance to those offering succor to our four legged population (and feathered or finned) that cannot help themselves.
“Zane can’t yet stand without help, but his brown eyes are full of trust. He’s in pain, yet accepts a treat from your hand with gentle nuzzles. Hit by a car on May 31 and left to suffer on the side of the road in rural Salinas for three full days, Zane was betrayed by each human who passed him by and neglected to make a simple phone call for help. He lay immobile, suffering alone while minutes turned into hours, and hours turned into days.
Finally, the phone call was made that saved Zane’s life. He was picked up by the Monterey County Animal Control officer on Monday, June 3 and was immediately taken to the vet clinic for assessment. Despite the pain he was in, he allowed the officer to put him into her vehicle without a protest. X-rays revealed the horrible damage inflicted by the collision. Zane’s right front leg and right hind leg were badly broken and would require expensive surgical repair with plates and pins.
Zane has now undergone one surgery to pin and wire his hind leg, and a second surgery to plate the broken bones in his front leg. He faces a possible third surgery if external fixation is required to keep the bones in place during the healing process. Thankfully, Zane is being kept comfortable with pain medication and is doing well. Zane is looking for a foster home and will be available for adoption once fully healed.
Why bother going to all the trouble and expense to save the life of one stray dog? The answer lies in Zane’s eyes, his gentle cooperation and his grateful tail wags. After all he’s been through, Zane deserves a chance to heal and the opportunity to experience love with a family of his own – but we can’t do it alone. Zane’s journey of healing is going to take time and money.
Your donation, large or small, proves to Zane that his life is worth saving, and that there are people who truly care about him. AFRP fills a niche in our community by rescuing animals that will not survive in the shelters; providing medical care (including spay/neuter), behavior training, and finally, placing the animals in good permanent homes.
These are typically shy, senior, underage or un-weaned animals, those in need of minor and major medical attention, pregnant or nursing animals and those who have just been overlooked and been there too long. We have a lifetime commitment to every animal that comes into our care”
Animal Friends Rescue Project (AFRP) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Pacific Grove, California, dedicated to finding good permanent homes for abandoned, stray, and abused companion animals and ending the pet overpopulation crisis through focused spay/neuter programs.
Please help Animal Friends Rescue Project in its worthy mission. If you cannot donate funds, your time is valuable, volunteer at the AdoptionCenter at 560 Lighthouse or the AFRP Treasure Shop (a benefit store) at 160 Fountain Avenue. The telephone numbers are respectively 831-333-0322 or 831-0491. http://www.animalfriendsrescue.org