After seeing your tribute to John R. Hood in your February 5th edition of The Alpine Sun, I thought I would add some personal observations that I made of John throughout our friendship in Alpine.
I first met John in 1974 when my wife and I had completed building our house in Alpine. I would see him at the Post Office and he was a very friendly person and loved to talk. His main interests were the young children and their education in S.D. County.
One day John asked me about my wife’s involvement with The Alpine Bobby Sox League and I told him that she had formed a team. He asked if he could help in any way. I told him that it was all volunteers as the League had just been formed. I additionally told him that we needed umpires and John responded that he knew about baseball and he used to attend The Atlanta Braves games and kept a detailed score card.
Well, John showed up at my wife’s first game and he had all of the equipment to be a behind the plate umpire. Betty, my wife told John that he would also have to make calls in the field and it would require running out to the runner’s position and making the call. John replied that he needed the exercise as he was putting on a little weight. We made it through the game but many of the parents were complaining about Johns calls behind the plate. John said he would get better and he did. Yes, we still had complaints but tried to explain that John was doing this job out of goodness of his heart. John made it through the season and The Board of Directors awarded John a certificate for his volunteer work. John continued his volunteer work for The Alpine Bobby Sox League for a few more years.
Yes, John was an amazing man and I was proud to call him my friend for the many years that he and his family lived in Alpine.
May he rest in peace, Dick Rabell
Somebody said something this week that made me take a moment, and think, and consider. He said, don’t make any resolutions this year to do something special, to lose weight or to change who you are, just decide on three things in your life to make better. If you are a parent, be a better parent, or be a better friend or do better at work.
What a concept! If we just decide to do better, and be better then we don’t have to make those life changing resolutions, because our life will already be better.
Our little town of Alpine is the perfect place to stroll and enjoy the eclectic collection of businesses, and homes. We have everything here, well kinda if you don’t count the lack of high school, hospital, theater etc. But we do have the very best sunrises and sunsets that a mountain community could witness. We have creativity in shops and homes. We now have sidewalks to ease strolling. We have Wright’s Field that is beautiful as long as you stroll with care.
By Glenn Mollette
For The Alpine Sun
I wish I had been a better father. I wonder if anybody else has felt this way?
It seems like yesterday that my two beautiful sons Jared and Zachary were only small children. What happened to those days when we played in the yard, swam, or just spent time together?
The days of telling silly nighttime stories, tucking them in bed and just hanging out flew by faster than a breath of air on a frosty day. If I could reach back and pull a few of those days back to the present I would stop the clock and savor every moment of those beautiful childhood years.
I’ve heard that fathers on their deathbeds do not wish they had spent more time at the office. Most fathers do regret not spending more time with their families.
We get preoccupied as dads. I’ve heard great spiritual leaders like Billy Graham and Charles Stanley talk about being totally preoccupied and consumed with their speaking, writing and vocational interests to the point that they knew they had neglected their families.
It’s not easy being a dad. We know we have to bring payroll into the house, keep a roof over the family and try to keep the family fed. In and around those daily duties there are the desires to give to your children. We want them to do well in school and enjoy music and sports. Dads want to provide vacations, an occasional fun weekend, and comforts to the family. Often the stresses of work, personal goals and life’s problems make dad’s life a juggling act.
Most every dad feels the pride of fatherhood. I was right “there” when both of my sons were born. I leaped for joy on both of those occasions. I have leaped many times since. My two sons are now in the military. My oldest has served almost eleven years and my youngest is starting his fourth year. I am very proud of them both. While I can’t go back and try to be all that I wish I had been for my kids I can keep trying today. I never miss a chance to hug and kiss them and tell them how much I love them. More than ever I want to spend quality time with them but now the time is relegated to a few days a year.
In the remaining years of my fatherhood I want them to know I am on their side. I am their father regardless of what comes their way. I am here to help if I possibly can but will always encourage their independence and personal goal setting. I want them to be happy and fulfilled. I know time is passing.
My dad passed on several years ago. He lived to be eighty-five. However, life was quick and the time we had together seems like a vapor, here for a moment and then gone.
Dads, today, before the vapor of life is gone, do the most important thing that you can do for your children – spend time with them.
Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author.
Waking up this morning, I took my menagerie out for their morning walk, and I smelled smoke. That thick, murky smell that brought back a flood of memories that were just terrifying.
Reliving the cedar fire, and then the Horse Fire, and Witch/Harris Fire all in a matter of moments. I searched the horizon for another sign of new fires flaring up in our back country.
We are being inundated with news coverage of burning brush, fantastic flames licking at homes, destroying property and people’s lives, it all just flooded back over the last thirteen years.
I live in the Cleveland National Forest, and fire is a terrifying reality. While everyone tries to be clear and prepared, are we ever truly prepared enough to avoid the disaster that may be heading for us this year with the lack of rain, and dry conditions that are intensifying in these uncharacteristic heatwaves that are blazing across our county?
We watch the horror on television, as the news media turns it all into a complete ‘media fest’ and I find disgust at the disregard for lives, and memories. I would like to see the media take a more responsible stance during the Santa Ana season. Instead of constantly saying how dangerous our weather is making the fire season, why can’t they advocate the necessity to take caution. Instead of broadcasting five times a minute how the weather can whip up a wild-fire in an instant, try not to give people with arsonist tendencies any ideas. Just a thought. . . .
This week has been very sad. A very good friend, Jim Archer has passed away. He will be missed. This morning when the papers came in from the printer, it hit me very hard, tears started to sting when I realized that Jim would not be coming in to collect his paper with is dog Marcus on the leash. He always rolled up 2 papers, one for him and one for Glenda. I will really miss him.
This Sunday, The Alpine Sun wishes all a very Happy Easter! Please enjoy all the events that are available like the Kiwanis Easter Pancake Breakfast, and the huge Easter Egg Hunt at Bethel Community Church.
This is the Alpine Al column for this week. . .
Old Al has had a lot to chew on these past several weeks. Kinda getting choked up wondering what ever happened to courtesy, common sense and maturity.
The Alpine School District is out of control on both sides. Teachers are putting signs on their cars about how much they care about student education. Then they go picket in the Lakeside District which has no dog in the fight and disrupt Lakeside students trying to get to school where their teachers are happy and ready to teach. We hear complaints about teachers losing homes due to the pay cut. Gee, if you only work 190 days a year, you might consider a summer job. Have you ever wondered why so much Alpine enrollments have dropped? Ponder that for a while. They sure seem happy over in Lakeside.
The school district has to share a great deal of the blame for this situation also. When a district spends money they don’t have because they think they will either get it later from the state or they will convince long suffering residents that they need to pass another bond, it makes you wonder just what caliber of administrators and elected officials we have. Al thinks maybe he will go out and by a Ferrari today. Maybe I will win the lottery next week.
Between union officials flashing the finger at a photographer and both the Alpine Teachers Association and the School administration requiring a news blackout on actual negotiations, Alpine residents are left with conflicting stories from both sides with no actual reason to believe either parties.
Teachers and District need to grow up, sit down and either get something worked out or simply quit. There are hundreds of qualified teachers that would love to teach here where they don’t have to wear a bullet proof vest to work and likewise, there are many qualified administrators and citizens who would be glad to step up and return our district to a system we can be proud of again.
What do you think???
Historically, Alpine Union School District has been a stellar district and a great choice for parents when looking for excellent education for their children. Our teachers here on a whole, have always put 110% in to their positions for the benefit of our Alpine students. I personally know many students who have gone from this district, graduated with honors at the high school level, and continued on to Universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and Notre Dame.
These children who have worked their way through our District and received a wonderful foundation for their education was in part due to teachers whose occupation was their calling in life.
However, I have to say that my whole vision of the caliber of person who now resides in the position of teacher and administrator at the Alpine School District has changed. I am angered and disgusted by what I see. I understand first hand, the feeling of despair and outrage when wages are cut, and benefits are erased. I understand first hand what it is to have your income slashed in half, and what it is to put everything you have out just to cover the bills, almost lose your home, and face the despair of losing everything you worked your entire life for. The economy has dropped to a level of near depression for everyone in this country as well as this little town. That, on top of the recent blows to our town, in the form of construction that obliterated businesses, and all but put franchise in the town on hold. There may be some still untouched by the poor financial atmosphere that looms everywhere, but honestly, I can’t name anyone who has not experienced a lowered lifestyle.
It makes me sad to see that the people of AUSD have disassociated themselves with Alpine for so long that they fail to see the people waiting in food lines at the local churches as they walk into their negotiating meetings. It makes me sad that Alpine teachers feel that their $72,000 a year positions that are earned for 9 months of work is tantamount to an underpaid position. It makes me sad to think that they feel that $8,000 a year towards benefits, is a measly sum.
Make no mistake, I understand that the $72,000 does not apply to everyone in the district, but I do know when someone complains of sustaining cuts to their salaries that equal more than what some of my own co-workers make, and not much less than what I myself make as a yearly income, it puts everything into a different perspective. There are people who are struggling with the task of getting health insurance just so they won’t have to face fines. They can’t afford the health insurance that is being forced on them because of Obamacare, and it will put a huge burden on their finances and when I say huge burden, I am not talking about a skipped vacation, I am talking about whether or not they can purchase food or make rent for that month with the added liability. There are people who are struggling just to exist here in Alpine, who have college degrees, master’s degrees and doctorates. I know some of these people personally.
Please do not insult the people of Alpine. Please do not cry about suffering in your positions while others would give anything just to have a position. Your district that you work in, is facing collapse and you, by picketing at the corner are encouraging parents to pull more of their children away from the district and by threatening to cut off communications to parents after your ‘contractual time’, you are showing a bitterness that is felt like one more slap in the face to this community.
In this community, the people who live here often pull together to make things better. This has been illustrated in the community actions regarding Kylie Rowand, and Vinnie Higgins. But, this community has been stretched far beyond comfort with the promise of a high school, by a district that has been going back on their word for over thirty years. This community passed bonds for GUHSD, with the promise that GUHSD would build a long awaited, and necessary high school, on lands that they used eminent domain to push people off their homelands that they had been occupying for over three generations. This community has felt a sharp pain as the blades of lies and broken promises have prodded the very trust that they have had in a school district, and while Alpine Union School District is not Grossmont Union High School District, they too have been teetering back and forth on the high school issue for years.
In the last bond initiative, if teachers had done their homework like they expect their students to do, they would have found a community that is bitterly opposed to passing any more bonds when a high school is promised but never to be delivered on. This includes a bond that was planned to bail out AUSD after poor financial decisions were made especially with the words ‘high school’ tagged onto the back of that bond language. These decisions include taking out loans because the interest rates were too good to pass up, even though the district had no foreseeable way to pay the loans back especially in a declining enrollment atmosphere that the district had been long aware of. This, on a much smaller scale is the same as somebody buying a new car they can’t afford and asking their parents who are retired and are barely eking out a living to make the payments that they also cannot afford.
With the education and brainpower that is employed by this district it is very difficult to believe that answers cannot be found before a strike occurs and the district falls only to be caught by the County who will not take anything into consideration except collecting the money that is owed. It used to be that education was the main concern of the AUSD, but now, the dollar has replaced the goals of this district.
Both sides need to put their personal preferences aside, forget the idea that a bond will save them, and come up with a budget that they can and will work with. In any healing situation, pain is often felt, hence the term, no pain, no gain. If everyone works together, our district can be a strong force in education that is generating enough funds for all to have a happy and prosperous lifestyle. But if everyone (including administration and teachers alike) keeps taking bigger and bigger pieces of a pie that has shrunk in size, there will not be enough for anyone.
Here at The Alpine Sun, we have found several dogs who have lost their humans, but we have been very successful uniting pets and owners. One of the first things that we do, is visit Dr. Hackett’s office to see if these pets are chipped. This is a really great idea as it allows us to find you right away if you have become separated from your four legged friends.