The Old Red Barn just ain’t what she used to be …

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With the warmer days, a walk at Christmas Hill Park is always welcome and standing there near where the Gilroy dog park should be, refusing to give in to being imprisoned and ignored, is the grand old Red Barn. It’s an iconic nod to the past, home to roosting pigeons, stray cats, and a symbol for government inaction. Wouldn’t it be cool if the city, the historical society and the Garlic Festival worked together on a plan to restore it? Summer movies in the barn for kids, home to the Gigantic Garlic Mercantile during the fest, composting demonstrations … I don’t know what could go on there – children’s plays,  a revived barn dance? What I do know is that putting a chain link fence around the place and doing nothing for years, makes a whole lot of no sense.

You really have to commend our representative on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, Mike Wasserman. Not only does he show up at many South County events, he can really “read the room.” At the library grand opening, with the hot sun beating down on the crowd and many children fidgeting, he  knocked it out of the park keeping his remarks short, sweet and enthusiastic while delivering them with genuine inflection. That, seeing Head Librarian Lani Yoshimura absolutely beaming at the podium and having Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero work out his words to the kids, were the definite highlights in an otherwise too-long ceremony.  

The trip’s too long to save any cash on gas, but on Wednesday I travelled to Hollister and paid $3.87 a gallon. Back in Gilroy town, $4.11 a gallon was the lowest I spotted – 16 or so miles away, 24 cents a gallon cheaper … crazy.

Stopped on the way back from Hollister – home of Tiffany Motors, the best local place to buy a Ford – to take a look at offerings inside Garlic World off the freeway.  Lots of fun food stuff,  and it made me shake my head and wonder why we can’t get a full-blown Garlic World-type store downtown. Dave Peoples at the Nimble Thimble has some good food products, but it sure would help Garlic City’s Downtown to have a specialty food store right in the heart of Gilroy.

So maybe there’s something you can do about it. During the upcoming Downtown Wine Stroll – mark your calendars for Saturday, May 19 (and don’t forget to make a reservation at the Milias for dinner after  the stroll) – you have an opportunity to mark your ballot and stick it. The new grassroots group, Rally Around Downtown Gilroy, is going to be handing out easily removable “name tags” and asking people to fill out a business they want to see downtown and stick that “name tag” on a vacant building. The intro on the tag says, “I Wish This Was …” and you can write in, for example, “Combination deli and specialty food store” or “Bring back the Pirozzoli Bakery.” BTW, tickets for 3rd Downtown Art and Wine Stroll, brought to you by the Gilroy Downtown Business Association, are available now – $20 in advance – at all participating locations downtown, the Chamber and the Welcome Center in the outlets. Event starts at 2 p.m. (perfect timing) and goes to 6.

Actually, though it was before my time here, the Pirozzoli family business was called the New Gilroy Bakery, I’m told, and the stories about the delicious bread – they even delivered bread back in the day – and the fresh-baked aromas wafting through downtown are ingrained in the taste buds of those who enjoyed its delectable goodness.

On the comment board this week a happy request: “Hmmmm, so how about publishing that Spaghetti Bolognese recipe which came from your Nonni and Nonno?” Sure. Wonder if someone will pass on the Pirozzoli family bread recipe to go with …

Our Gilroy Farmer’s Market will open with a bunch of fresh new additional vendors on Sunday, May 13 in the parking lot adjacent to the Gilroy Interim Center for the Arts at the corner of Monterey and Seventh streets. But, alas, no fresh bread vendor yet – perhaps Market Manager Kersty Daniels can land  one in the next week or so. Meanwhile, the vendor list is improving, so show up, spend some money and help it grow into something fabulouso. Market opens at 10 a.m. and lasts until 2 p.m. every Sunday through October.

If you’re reading this, you can help change someone’s life by tutoring an adult who doesn’t have your skill. Materials and support provided by the Reading Program, now housed in the beautiful new Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth St. Next training sessions Thursday, May 10, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Details: 848-5366.

 No training required to fill out a scholarship application by Friday, May 11 for the Gilroy Chamber Business and Education annual award. One, as in uno, application currently in for up to $3,500. Grrrrrrr that’s annoying … graduating high school seniors headed for college or vocational school eligible. Download a form at www.gilroy.org and you might not have to occupy anything or worry about overload on student loans.

Overly amazing how it’s taken a $450,000 trip-and-fall lawsuit settlement to re-focus on fixing our city’s heaving sidewalks. We’ve built police and fire stations, a sports park, pay for City Councilmember’s cell phones, but semi-ignore the elephant in the room, the sidewalks, for decades. Figure it out Council, trust your guts, use common sense, listen to what residents and The Dispatch Editorial Board has said for years and years: Fix the SIDEWALKS. All of them, and then maintain the sidewalks and the trees. Ît’s the city’s responsibility.

 

Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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