The Ghost’s tough break forces date with a comeback

All set to write about getting excited to attend Robert “The
Ghost” Guerrero’s fight at HP Pavilion on Saturday, Aug. 27, when
the left hook came out of nowhere.
All set to write about getting excited to attend Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero’s fight at HP Pavilion on Saturday, Aug. 27, when the left hook came out of nowhere. Boom, shoulder injury, fight off. Good thing Robert’s a fighter in every sense of the word because it takes a serious dose of intestinal fortitude to get off the canvas when you’re knocked down on the brink of the biggest fight of your life. That’s what he’s going to have to do. Hopefully, there won’t be surgery involved. But whichever tale the MRI tapes tell, patience and persistence will be demanded. That’s what it takes to overcome adversity. The Ghost is surrounded by people who care to support him. That will be a huge help.

Maurice “Red” Elder, who passed away this week at 95, did the same for our city’s other famous modern-day athlete, former NFL Pro Bowl Quarterback Jeff Garcia. Red was an old-school rock, larger than life, usually, if not always, gregarious and tough on the inside. At least, that’s what I surmised in the times I had chances to talk with him through the years. Jeff dearly loved him and Red’s “you can do it” support no doubt helped his transformation from a bird-legged running QB at Gilroy High to the star signal caller of the San Francisco 49ers. Heartfelt condolences to Linda, Bobby, Jeff and all the family. Missed he will be, but not forgotten for a moment.

Conveniently have forgotten to call my cable TV provider for a few months to report a problem. Wish I could wave a wand and restore the meaning of customer service. If only it worked as directly, (hint, hint) as the company advertises. Anyway, 23 plus minutes on the phone is godawful, navigating whether you want to speak English, telling a computer voice (which can’t understand English half the time) what the problem is, then getting shuffled from the here department to the eternity department. Alas, it’s the way of the indifferent customer service world. So you have to resolve to persevere and, when you’re catapulted into that world, here’s a tip I enjoyed discovering by accident: It’s a website that gives tips on how to get to a human being on the phone faster when facing a battle with the phone maze monster. Now, whether you get a human who will actually help solve your problem is another story. Anyway, if you spend 20 minutes on the phone – whether or not the outcome has been satisfactory – ask for a supervisor and request something to ease your pain. Usually you can get a credit on your bill, and that at least sort of compensates you for your time.

No time like the present weekend to visit Martin Ranch Winery on Redwood Retreat Road, enjoy the gorgeous weather with a picnic and a glass or two of wine. Gates swing open at noon. If you fall for Therese’s Petite Syrah or husband Dan’s award-winning Merlot, join the wine club and then you’ll be invited to the annual BBQ the following weekend. Supporting our local wineries is a great way to enjoy yourself and contribute to a healthy local economy. The deli counters at Nob Hill and Mi Pueblo are stocked and the weather should be picnic perfect.

“Perfect” Pellicione, as in Debbie, and her crew are making cookies for the “One for Brian” benefit golf tourney to help Garlic Festival Director Brian Bowe with medical bills associated with the treatments he needs to fight carcinoid cancer. That should be enough to entice anyone to the post-tourney dinner on Friday, Sept. 9 which is a mere $25 donation. We do have room for one more 4-person golf team, and a few tables for dinner/auction patrons. Email me if you’d like to reserve a slot and I’ll send a flyer.

A flyer is what most of us took when voting to spend money on the state’s high-speed rail project. Get this from The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) announced that the Bakersfield to Merced section, part of which will comprise the first part of the system to be built, will cost between $10.0 and $13.9 billion. This is an increase of approximately 40 percent to 100 percent over the previous estimate of $7.1 billion, an estimate itself less than two years old.

This “flatter than Kansas” section should be the least expensive part of the system. It can only be imagined how much costs might rise where construction is more challenging, such as tunneling through the Tehachapi Mountains and for the route across the environmentally sensitive Pacheco Pass that leads to the Silicon Valley. CHSRA officials admit that the present $43 billion cost estimate to complete the Los Angeles (Anaheim) to San Francisco first phase will rise substantially. This estimate was also less than two years old. Get out now, there’s no sense throwing good money after bad. And, frankly, the state of California doesn’t have one extra dollar to spend on this. Fix the roads, focus on solar and alternative energies and shoot the bullet train in the head.

Careful customers … the local internet service provider warned Thursday not to respond to an email with the subject line that reads “New Secure Mail Regarding Your SVI Garlic Webmail.” Just delete it and, if you goofed and sent info, call South Valley Internet at 1-800-899-4125 to change your password ASAP. We don’t want no stinkin’ garlic mail thieves around here.

Around Gilroy, it seems like the quiet time, the time in between the Garlic Festival and … holy Toledo, school’s about to open. Always seems too soon, too soon, but the test scores are going in the right direction for 13 out of 15 public schools in Gilroy. Christopher High is complete and the first Cougar seniors will graduate. So, it’s back to school. Be careful out there, traffic begins Monday – which means bikers, walkers and rushing drivers. For us and The Ghost, it’s a time for patience.

Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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