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March 3, 2021

Raindrops please keep falling on my head – and Jimmy’s ace in the hol

What to my wondering eyes did appear, but drops on the front porch that wouldn’t disappear … great to feel, hear and see the rain. Wow, it’s been such a long time …
No point now in having a pool on when it’s going to rain next, but I’m in a couple of Super Bowl pools. They pop up like recipes for the Big Game fare. Daughter Mariah, a “poor” student at Oregon State U, gets my two squares in the office pool, and I’m happy to do that for a senior on a budget partially because …
My sweet youngest daughter has volunteered to be a poster girl for the latest T-shirt. She’ll be watching the Super Big Game – likely with some rugby teammates – clad in a white shirt with red-and-gold letters and graphics that reads “Anybody but the Seahawks.” As they say in the college way, “I’m down with that.”
Down with getting a blast from the past which I did a week or so ago when former longtime Gilroy High Coach Ron Leonti called to tell me that his buddy, legendary wrestling coach Jim Fahey at 77 years old notched his first hole-in-one while the two were playing together down in Nevada where Jim lives. Fahey got more than an acknowledgment in the local paper. A conversation led to a story in the Pahrump Valley Times about his “luck” and experience as a survivor of the infamous plane crash that took the lives of 16 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo football teammates just after takeoff from the Toledo, Ohio airport. Fahey, of course, aced the most difficult hole on the Lakeview course, the 11th, a 220-yard monster over water. Quoted in the Pahrump Times, was Frank Cox, president of the junior golf association: “The 11th hole is the hardest hole on the course and in my time here, nearly 30 years, I have never seen anyone hit a hole-in-one on that hole.” Ron sent the article with a note, “Great talking with you! Jim and I still talk about our early days in Gilroy as “the city that loves sports and life.” Call anytime Ron and may you and Jim have plenty of sweet golf rounds together in the year ahead. (And, forgive me Lord, I’m not 77, but I would dearly love to check that hole-in-one box off my bucket list and I’ve been so very close a number of times and it would be very beneficial to my golfing mind.)
Beneficial is the work the Open Space Authority and a non-profit group called Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE) are doing to save huge chunks of the 7,500-acre Coyote Valley from development. The plan is to foster increased ag viability for current farmers as well as a new generation of farmers growing high-demand and high-value crops. More info to come, but it sure sounds promising.
This recent press release, once again reminded me that we as Gilroy residents do not support the Open Space Authority. Perhaps it’s time for a change in direction. If the OSA is going to actively seek to provide an ag-oriented buffer between South County and San Jose, that’s worth something to a longer-term vision of attracting visitors to our area. If the vision comes to fruition through government grants and OSA funds, and farmstands become prolific in Coyote Valley, that could provide a jumping off spot for visitors to our wineries, parks, Gilroy Gardens and golf courses. It’s certainly worth taking a look at whether we’re motivated as a community to join the OSA.
Motivated employees make all the difference. Chamber President and CEO Mark Turner knows it’s true. So, he’s bringing Roberta Young, expert human resources consultant, here to present “Motivated Employees – A Competitive Advantage.” She will present at Station 55 restaurant downtown on Wednesday, March 26 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. For $20 you can learn how to engage employees to drive your business – now that’s a good deal.
Good deal to have a bar with a shuffleboard, but those long swaths of slippery fun are going the way of the Pac-Man machines. There’s no longer a shuffleboard at Daisy’s in San Juan Bautista nor is there one at M & H Tavern in Morgan Hill. Too bad, a beer and a shuffleboard with the newsroom crowd always went a long way toward the camaraderie that gave us a “competitive advantage.”
Speaking of advantage, … er, Gilroy’s weak-kneed site, is once again stealing our stories – and this time with headlines intact. This despite numerous cease-and-desist letters. It’s no wonder this failed experiment into cookie-cutter fluff-puff journalism is going down in flames across the country.
Water isn’t just an issue in this part of the country, it’s a life-threatening issue for the Mazatec people in the Oaxaca, Mexico. Humanitarians John and Rachel Perez are hosting a fundraising reception featuring Jose Armando Alvarez Cano, the Bishop of Huautla. There’s a Huautla Water Project Committee at St. Catherine Parish in Morgan Hill that raised $50,000 for water storage through tamale sales, car washes and a dinner dance. At St. Mary in Gilroy there’s a push to join the effort. This year the villages of Teocuatlan are targeted. There’s a gala dinner at the beautiful Perez home on Friday, Feb. 7 and well known Palo Alto Chef Rito Castaneda will man the kitchen. If interested, call John at 408-202-5792.
Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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