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March 3, 2021

Plan to get your passport and a happy birthday to ‘Cakes’ Marie

It’s Wednesday morning as I write, and it’s my middle daughter’s birthday. Her nickname is perfect for the day. Cayla Marie’s “other” name is “Cakes.” I’m really not sure how all that worked out – my oldest, Shannon, is “Pie” and Mariah, the youngest, is “Root Beer.” Nobody else uses those nicknames, it’s a Dad’s special, and the why and how – who knows? So, Happy Birthday across the miles Cakes Marie, your proud Father loves you and wishes every happiness today and always.
When I scooted out the front door this morning it really felt like spring. A light rain had fallen and the morning clouds were parting as I loaded up the hounds for the daily walk-and-fetch routine. Freshly washed air greeted us and the slight chill promised warm days ahead. Gods be good and send us spring rains to fill the parched reservoirs and moisten the soil for thirsty trees. We shall see, but an early spring seems soon upon us.
Soon upon us will be Passport Weekend where you can make a day of visiting our wonderful local wineries on Saturday and Sunday, March 29 and 30. So many local residents have never visited an area winery. That’s a shame, it’s an up-and-coming region with friendly folks. Many locations are interesting, beautiful and have colorful histories – as well as award winning wines. Passport Weekend is great because the wineries all have special happenings going on like music and food. So, head to Mann Cellars or Sarah’s Vineyard or Lightheart Cellars or Fortino Winery or Guglielmo or Martin Ranch. You can plan out your day in advance. My advice is to pick three or four and relax. Passport Weekend is definitely about the journey, not the destination. Tickets at the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce or the Gilroy Welcome Center.
Welcome is how Miss Jenny and I feel when we attend the annual St. Patrick’s Dinner at St. Joseph’s Family Center. It’s always a busy time since it’s Miss Jenny’s birthday weekend, but when we’re in town, it’s a hoot and it benefits the food assistance programs at St. Joseph’s, the Lord’s Table and the grocery supplement program. It’s on Saturday, March 15 in the St. Mary’s Auditorium, 11 First St., at 6 p.m. Good food, good bar and more than a few laughs. Tickets, at $30 a pop, can be purchased online at
Details are what people need to be on the lookout for. Telephone scams are getting more and more sophisticated. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office just advised us that a fictional “Lieutenant Gore” impersonated an officer and made calls telling people they had an outstanding warrant for their arrest for missing jury duty, but that he could take care of it if a payment was made over the phone. In another instance, an owner of a local diner handed over almost $1,000 when a person impersonating a PG&E bill collector told her they were going to shut off power to her restaurant unless she paid up that day. If you get a call like that, get a return phone number right away. Most times that will be the end of it – the caller will skedaddle. In any case, check with the agency being impersonated first. As the Desiderata says, “Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.”
Hope Elissa Gentemann was careful of all those tricks on Let’s Make a Deal. The episode she’s on will air on CBS on Wednesday, Feb. 26 we’re told. I watched that show when I was a kid, and can’t believe it’s still on, but choosing between the box on the table, what’s behind the curtain or sticking with what you’ve already won made the show interesting. Hey Elissa, hope you made the best deal possible and didn’t get stuck with a box of spoiled garlic bulbs.
Garlic city has a whole lot of grants available for high school students headed to college. But I’m told that a double-digit number of those earmarked specifically for Gilroy High School students through the Gilroy Foundation went unapplied for. Can you imagine? Hundreds of dollars in free money for taking an hour or so to fill out a grant application. Can’t imagine that Principal Marco Sanchez if he hears about this would let that be the case again this year.
This year, the Gilroy Certified Farmer’s Market and Demonstration Garden Board is “attempting to secure one-time only funds to strengthen, grow, and sustain the Farmer’s Market into the coming season.” The Board, wisely, wants to become a member of the California Farmers Market Association (the same group that Morgan Hill’s solid market is associated with). Half of the necessary funds have been raised and $3,000 more would punch the ticket to future success. The Gilroy Foundation, Board President Dale Thielges reports, is handling donations. A few bucks will yield a bonanza of fresh fruits and veggies for years. Let’s do this Gilroy!  
Did take the grandchildren to hear children’s book author Todd Parr at the Gilroy Library Saturday. Had to laugh when I walked into the room and spotted fellow “Papas”, Hugh Davis and Dennis Harrigan, back-to-back Garlic Fest presidents, with their grandchildren. Todd graciously read a few of his books, did some funny drawings, kept the kids entertained and, most importantly, added an exclamation point to the message about how fun it is to read. Our library is awesome.
Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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