Thumbs up to Hanford native Steve Perry and his band, Journey, for being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this month. He graduated from Lemoore High School, where he played in the marching band, and attended College of the Sequoias, where he sang in the choir. He has had a stellar career, and just to make your day, listen again to him on Journey’s monster hit “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Thumbs down to the dim-bulb Christmas light Grinches who did their best to douse the Christmas spirit this year by stealing lights. But at least one Fresnan would not be denied. Jackie Ryle, one of Fresno’s brightest human lights, tried out the new Star Power laser lights at her house this year. Thieves stole one, so she wired another to her tree. Thieves stole a second but she refused to give up – this time wiring the lights tighter. They stole a third. Apparently it is a national plague, according to the New York Times.
So, she broke out her icicle lights and draped them along bushes. She got the installation in backward, putting the plug at the far end. Too late and tired to reverse, she ran a pair of really long industrial extension cords. The creeps swiped one of the cords. Almost giving up, Ryle said, “No, damn it! I will have Christmas lights.”
She reversed the lights and rehung them on the eaves, running the extension up under eve and through the mailbox. Affixed in garage. “That was this evening,” Ryle said. “So far so good – lights still shining! But it was expensive, somewhat laborious and temptingly cynicism-producing.”
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Since Ryle is well-mannered and a huge supporter of the arts, we will call on Shakespeare in “King Lear” to describe these bulb burglars: “Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood.”
Thumbs up to the Brothers Osborne country music duo for improvising earlier this month by taking their show to the top of their tour bus in the rain after a chunk of plaster fell on the stage at the Hanford Fox Theatre.
Fortunately, no one was hurt physically but it had to hurt in the wallet, since the theater just reopened earlier this year after a two-year restoration that cost nearly $4 million, largely done because of a ceiling collapse. Somebody’s got some explaining to do to owner Dan Humason. Rolling Stone reported on it. The Brothers Osborne received the 2016 vocal duo of the year award from the County Music Association.
Thumbs up to Kaiser Permanente Fresno employees for donating hundreds of toys and books to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, plus toiletries, diapers and even cellphones to domestic violence survivors at the Marjaree Mason Center. What a lovely gesture of hope for many poor and wounded families.
Thumbs up to the California State Retirees Chapter 11 for their Christmas donations of 247 coats, 148 toys, 318 socks and slippers and 175 books for children, which were presented to the Fresno Police Chaplaincy, Support Blue. About 100 pounds of food were donated to Highway City Community Development.
Thumbs up to Nikiko Masumoto of Masumoto Family Farms in Del Rey for performing a short piece from her one-woman show “What We Could Carry” at a White House event last week. The “Generational Experiences of Asian Americans” presentation featured speakers from the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, as well as Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities.
Some, like Masumoto, addressed the experiences of Japanese Americans during and after World War II, while others drew parallels to the treatment of Arab and South Asian individuals today.
Thumbs up to Granville Homes for providing a grant-matching program that will make it possible for the Animal Compassion Team to open a new shelter for pets. The 4,800-square-foot Granville Animal Refuge Building had its ribbon-cutting ceremony this month at the Sofia Adoption Center near downtown Fresno.
Thumbs up to the Associated Students at Fresno State for its annual Caroling for Cans campaign. The volunteer singers traversed the campus offices singing carols and collecting nonperishable food and hygiene items to stock the Fresno State Student Cupboard. The cupboard is a place where students can get free supplies, in an effort to combat food insecurity on campus.
Thumbs up to businessman Bill Smittcamp for being named the 2017 winner of 2017 Leon S. Peters Award. The Fresno Chamber of Commerce has selected him for his leadership of Wawona Frozen Foods and his commitment to the community.