Simple way to let soldiers overseas know we care

Mark Derry

It’s about 2,263 miles from Gilroy to Nashville, TN. That seems like another universe when you get a call from your daughter who’s in college telling you she’s been hit by a drunk driver in a car accident. Cayla’s OK, fortunately, getting over the sore and scary parts, the sirens, the ambulance and the late-night visit to the hospital. They arrested the guy on the spot. The officers told him to take his cowboy boots off before walking the line, he staggered around, fell, tossed the boots and failed, Cayla said. She had been studying for a pediatrics nursing test at a coffee shop and headed home when he smashed into her. Hug your kids, call them, tell them you love them and try to remember that life can change in an instant.

Our deployed soldiers face that reality every single day. You have until Feb. 15 (next Wednesday) to drop a goodie bag off at Christopher High School that will find its way home to a United States soldier overseas through the wonderful organization, Operation Interdependence. Make a Valentine’s Day pledge to do it – a bouquet, if you will, of toiletries, treats and a note of thanks.  A touch of home to let someone know we care. In response to the moving story about CHS junior Katie Wheat’s letter to fallen Gunnery Sgt. Ralph “EJ” Pate Jr., there was this comment on our website: “Being a Soldier from Gilroy, deployed to Afghanistan, I can say that these letters really do mean a lot to us. My battery has gotten a few letters from churches and school and it really does bring up the morale. R.I.P Gunny Pate and my condolences to his family.” Stop in the grocery story aisle or the drugstore aisle, pick up a few extra goodies and take them to the CHS office at 850 Day Road. You can make a difference.


Don, Bill and Karen Christopher are going to make a difference in a young woman’s life. The 34th Garlic Festival Queen will receive a $10,000 cash award from Christopher Ranch. Contestant applications at the Garlic Festival office, 7473 Monterey St., or at The deadline is Monday, Feb. 13, so go, go, go … it’s fun, quite a bit of work, and you’re guaranteed to get your picture in the Dispatch.

Dispatch classified advertiser called to put in an ad about the coming End of the World. Same ad they paid to put in last year. Seriously.

Seriously creative and humorous is this catchy ad: Fish Bowl Fridays at Garden Accents. OK, I had to bite on the banner ad on our website. I like to take the occasional outdoor stroll at Garden Accents, with its very well designed mini-gardens that feature mountains of fountains and decorative pots, and so now I know that I can “fish for a discount coupon on the last Friday of every month … ” And I will.

 Will, too, buy tickets for the annual Gilroy High School Athletic Association Crab Cioppino Feed and Dance. It’s the best cioppino feed this side of Sopwith, Kansas, Hugh C. Davis agrees. Money goes toward defraying travel costs for the Mustang teams. Saturday, May 12 is the date to fill those bowls and pack the warehouses at Christopher Ranch. Get a party of 10 together and it’s $5 off the ticket price of $50.

Rob Bernosky should buy 10 tickets today. He’s the alternative candidate to represent South County instead of Assemblyman Luis Alejo. You can meet him at First Street Coffee Saturday at 9:30 a.m., 1211 First Street in Gilroy, and ask the self-proclaimed “Practical Conservative” what’s going to be different if he’s elected. He’s worth a listen.

Listen, it took me 50-something years to win one of those big stuffed carnival animals by shooting out – all the way out, without a smidgen of red left in the paper target – the “despised red star.” It always seemed like the beebees would run out just before you were about to obliterate the star. Sometimes you think you’ve done it, then they reel the target back and there’s a teeny, tiny splotch of red hanging by a wee thread. The agony, however, was vanquished at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and I deliberately stayed at least one hour longer so my Sweetie could walk around sporting her obviously newly won leopard companion. Next, a hole-in-one on a non-miniature golf course.

Web commenting on one of the too-many gang arrest stories, Ms. Spelling says, “Gang injunction, finally. Why haven’t we already done this? I want my city back!” It’s a good idea from City Administrator Tom Haglund and Police Chief Denise Turner. Perhaps Ms. Spelling should consider a run for City Council. We need all good hands on deck.

Lots of good deckhands come from the former ranks of the Boy Scouts, and opportunities abound in Gilroy. Spring is a great time to sign up for new adventures. Denise at 408-722-1455 is the phone contact or look up There are even co-ed opportunities for teens. Can still remember my mom as den mother back in the Cub Scout days, and hope my grandson, Jackson, aka Buckaroo, has as much fun scouting around through projects and in the great outdoors as I did.


Did and have thought about it. Don’t think local elected officials should receive any medical or fringe benefits as compensation for their service. It should not be the motivator. Nor do I think (and I’m not necessarily picking on MayorAl here) that elected officials should have the ability to purchase items like an iPad with campaign funds they have raised. Use the funds for the campaign, anything left donate to a local charity. Now, if we had a proposed “ethics ordinance” with those kinds of reforms with teeth, I’d support it.


Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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