Escondido, CA
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An event to put a smile on our faces


How about this week a column that just might put a smile on your face. This past Saturday I attended the monthly 2nd Saturday Art Walk on Grand Avenue. This year the event was especially “artistic” with most of the k-rails having been decorated and a few in the process of being decorated. With the new dining and parking configuration as a result of the ongoing CV19 pandemic it made for a much more vibrant and exciting event. To use an olden days journalist term, throngs of people were meandering our beautiful main street. Only a Boomer can come up with this.

There is a group of busy BE’s who have taken on the responsibility of maintaining the k-rails. I just coined that “busy BE.” BE stands for Beautify Escondido and their members were all wearing black aprons with their BE logo so they were easily distinguishable among the large crowd. Just a whole lot of fun activity on a beautiful Chamber of Commerce day.

I met Suzanne Nicolaisen and Cindy Peters there and Suzanne explained that each member has one block as their area of responsibility. Then she gave me a felt marker to add a comment to a clean rail which she said the Mayor would be adding art a bit later. My contribution was “this is legal graffiti” and signed my name. I have to thank VFW Past Commander Matt Foster for the idea who was strolling Grand with wife Carrie who is also a busy BE member.

Since I mentioned k-rails I must tell you that they were originally called the Jersey Barrier having been installed on state highways in the late 1950’s. The original design was an 18 inch concrete barrier which was soon found to be too short as big rigs could hop on top and still have a head on collision and a new 36 inch model was adopted. Rt. 22, on the North end of the town where I grew up, was notorious for head on collisions and the subsequent barrier basically ended that catastrophic event.

In recent years retailers began displaying Christmas decorations for sale in September before Halloween and Thanksgiving. That is bad enough that we are willing to overlook these two national events but the other day I saw something that just blew me away. A fully decorated Christmas tree in someone’s living room and a few outside decorations. Really? I know we may not have turkey next week but geez can we not jump the gun? The Hershey’s Kisses bells commercial is airing already but the clincher will be the Norelco ad or the Coke polar bears. Yeah, that’s it.

Let’s see now, we can probably have Valentine’s Day material offered next month, if not already in the stores, then Easter merchandise in January, Mother’s Day goods in February or March. Probably have Halloween candy and costumes up for sale in July or August at the absolute latest. I believe the use of the internet and lightning fast speed to get information has driven us to get to the next step as fast as possible. To what end? What is everyone doing with all this supposed extra time on our hands?

Today I read where the city of Lemon Grove adopted a cat who patrols City Hall. The tabby is credited with helping relieve stress employees, and many others nationwide, are dealing with during the CV era. This reminded me of when the Escondido Library was adopted by a black cat. She began her stay in 1994 and served as mascot and greeter for 9 years. LC became a national celebrity and was the subject of a lawsuit and at age 11 died at the home of a resident who took in LC after she was relieved of her duties at the library. Longtime residents will remember LC affectionately.

Have you noticed shipping boxes with large arrows and “this end up” markings. This is supposed to alert anyone handling such boxes as to the fragility of the contents. Do you really think that box stays in the upright position from manufacturer to customer? I’ve seen them delivered upside down.

Okay, this week I offer STLTMAN. No idea. This one’s easy HZKNGDM

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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