Mark Derry
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Not that it really matters, but “Spry” Sig Sanchez’s honor at the Chamber’s annual Gilroy “Spice of Life” community awards dinner should have been the “Lifetime Achievement” award instead of “Man of the Year,” an honor which he probably should have received when he was in his 60s, instead of in his 90s. Sig did a grand job, as usual, with a classy and humorous acceptance speech. Besides that, I got to chat briefly with his two charming granddaughters, Nicole and Jaynie (hope I remember that spelling from filling out the Little League line-up card), who were friends with my daughters growing up. Love it when I talk to young people who I knew when they were “this high” who are blossoming as young adults.

So, with a bit of presumption and a glass of Solis wine, Oh-So-Spicy Awards from Chamber Oscar night go to:

• Best Speech: Woman of the Year Barbara-Lea Granter, vice president and general manager of Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park. She delivered a professionally polished, yet down home message which had an overriding theme about reluctantly becoming a Gilroyan. Barb included a well-deserved and heartfelt tribute to the late Bob Kraemer and solid doses of hometown Gilroy humor.

• Humble Without Bumble honor: Volunteer of the Year, David Boll. Our cabinet shop owner  is a fellow who can’t say no except when it comes to accepting plaudits for giving of his time and talents generously.

• Longest Joke in Master of Ceremonies History: the engaging and bubbly Frank Angelino. You know I love you Frankie, but … holy toledo that opening joke written down would take up this whole column. (Yeah, I know what I’m going to hear when I see you next, “Well that might not be a bad idea, want me to write it down and send it to you?”

• One for the Good Guys Award: The Gilroy Foundation as Non-profit of the Year. The GF is a true community-based philanthropic organization that does tons of good every year. Plus, they’ve got the best slogan going, “Give Where You Live.” And you can start now with a $100 donation,

• Best Meal for a Charitable Event: Dave Bozzo’s scrumptious feast at this year’s Day in the Country Gilroy Foundation event knocked the socks off what was served up at San Juan Oaks Saturday. Just sayin’ – bring the Gilroy awards event back to Gilroy. We don’t need to drive 30 minutes. And for $65 a plate, the meal should be darn good and the service top notch. That’s happening at the Gilroy Elks Lodge these days.

• Table Tidbit Honors: Paula Goldsmith. She prom dated Duane Eugene Kuiper, Giants radio sportscaster and former Giants second baseman, in high school back in Racine, Wisconsin. Fast forward a few years. Paula’s husband Joel, a former pitcher, went to a Giants Fantasy Camp and struck out two batters as Mr. Kuiper announced Joe’s two-K performance. As an aside, it’s worthy to note that Kuiper holds the major league record for most career at-bats with exactly one home run.

Will be a home run of sorts – or, as they say in rugby, a “try” which is the primary method of scoring – this weekend as daughter Mariah and the Oregon State University women’s rugby team invade our Gilroy home for the Bay Area swing, back-to-back games with Stanford and Cal. Have to remember to tell the neighbors not to worry when the huge bus rumbles down the street. Get ready Rocca’s Market, here I come for BBQ supplies. I’ve got 30 hungry ladies who ruck, scrum and maul to feed.

Food for City Council thought: Went downtown Saturday for lunch and finding a parking spot on Monterey or in a couple of nearby parking lots was tough. Imagine what it would be like if all the empty buildings downtown were filled with thriving businesses. Time to plan for that is nower rather than later.

Later it occurred to me that the highest dollar grossing restaurant in Gilroy might very well be the downtown, family-run gem Carnitas Michoacan. Their carnitas take-out business is killer on Friday night and steady all the time, plus the dining room is constantly near capacity. Jaime, Lourdes and Genesis Canizal really devote themselves to top-notch friendly service and a product that is consistently mouth-watering tasty from soup to pork.

Pork barrel politics abound and our only defense is to become informed and vote. The California Taxpayers Association publishes a booklet called California Tax Facts, which tells a lot about why so many businesses are having trouble in this state and also why so many people are leaving. It goes over everything from the Death Certificate Fee to the Marine Invasive Species Fee to the State Tire Fee. Speaking of which, it costs $50 to dispose of a tire at the San Martin Transfer Station and $40 to get rid of an old refrigerator. Meanwhile, our elected officials scratch their heads and wonder why it is that people dump their trash all over our rural landscape.


Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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