Don’t Destroy Hecker Pass City Entrance – ‘One of the Most Beautiful in the State’

Dear Editor,
This morning, when I opened the paper and saw your headlines

Homes Prompt Hecker Pass Widening.

My first impression was,

Oh, how nice, continuing signs of progress and improvement in
Gilroy.

Dear Editor,

This morning, when I opened the paper and saw your headlines “Homes Prompt Hecker Pass Widening.” My first impression was, “Oh, how nice, continuing signs of progress and improvement in Gilroy.” Then, I began to read the article and something in me said, “Dang, they are going to destroy one of the most beautiful city entrances in the state.” Perhaps, the headline for the adjacent article “Disaster Plan for City on Solid Ground,” should have been the headline for the story on Hecker Pass.

So often when we live in an area, year after year, we stop seeing the beauty around us. We are so busy with just living and coping each day, that we cease to enjoy the simple things, like the trees that line the road on the Hecker Pass. This is a treasure, a gift, and a joy that each of us takes for granted.

Having spent most of my working life in the Middle East, Western and Central Europe, I have seen the results of what happens over the years, as people stop seeing. One example: Lebanon’s vast cedar groves, the same trees that were used to build the famous Temple in Jerusalem, have slowly and methodically been reduced to two small groves.

The Romans when they decided to build a city, they would first build the wall around the city. The purpose was not defense, but to keep the city from spreading out into the farmlands and forests. They knew from experience that keeping an area livable by providing parks, forests and farmland in and around a city made real sense.

The people who own land and are visualizing the huge profits to be made on development. The city desires to expand its tax base, the business interests want to create easier access to their property. Often, those are reasonable and desirable goals. But the community has a right and responsibility to prevent the destruction of places of beauty, places that have a unique and sacred quality about them.

A few years ago, I read a story of a man who fell to his death from 10,000 feet. He was a member of a skydiving club in Dallas, Texas. The day he died, he was taking his turn as club photographer. His camera recorded the activities of club members on the ground, the chatter and friendly banter in the airplane as it ascended to the jumping altitude. Then, one by one, the men and women in the club left the plane. The last to go was the photographer. He recorded their movements until it became time to pull open his own parachute … guess what? There was no chute. In his determination to do the job at hand, he overlooked the most important thing – his own parachute.

Profits, progress, economic development and tax base are important, but there really are things more important in this world. How about a small grove of Deodora cedars which belong to the people of Gilroy. These “Gift of God” Cedars were planted by Gilroy High School students in the early ’50s, as I recall.

Mack Sacco, Gilroy

Leave your comments