The Power of the Written Word


I’VE OFTEN WONDERED about the legacy I’ll leave. Will people, decades from now, look back on my column and smile? The pages will have yellowed, and I will have mellowed. But, hopefully, the words will hold meaning.

While I’m thankful to have this outlet, there are other ways to leave one’s mark, like the story-telling group Polly Johnson founded at Montclair Presbyterian Church.

“We’ve been getting together every Tuesday morning for five years,” says Carol Peacock, who hosts the gals weekly at her house.

They’re all grandmothers and women of accomplishment, with lives full of happiness and heartache.

“We’ve become very good friends because we know each other’s history and struggles,” she says, adding that more than 60 people have written and shared their life’s stories with the group. Their “shares” include everything from tender childhood memories to bouts with family illnesses and troubles.

Peacock, herself, is up to 350 handwritten pages. Each week, she journals her journey through life, from birth and beyond. “Then we sit at the table, always in the same spots and the same order, and take turns reading our work.”

After each lady reads, a discussion ensues, and life lessons are shared. Then it’s on to the next story, and the next.

“It’s just been wonderful, personally,” says Peacock, who admits she would never have written all those chapters without a weekly deadline. But years later, the laughter and tears are still flowing, and the stories being told will never be forgotten.

Remembering Faith

It was just last October that longtime KTVU reporter Faith Fancher lost her battle with breast cancer. Her courageous campaign touched us all and brought powerful people together to fund outreach and research.

In Faith’s honor, the first annual “Leap of Faith” dinner is being held at Scott’s Seafood Restaurant on Thursday, June 3. Money raised that night will go toward the new Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. If you’d like to go, and I hope you will, call 510-204-1667 for more information.

Strange sightings

Is it my imagination, or is this Prius craze getting a little scary? Like a scene from a sci-fi movie, a pod of Prius proceeded down Park Boulevard the other day. My seaside pearl was surrounded by two silvers, a blue and a purple.

If it’s not bad enough that we travel in groups, some of us have satellite mapping systems. A voice from my dash speaks to me. It knows where I’m going, and it follows my movement on a little screen. I could be worried, but what’s a little paranoia when you’re getting 50 miles to the gallon?

Tick tock

Plans for a clock in Montclair Village are moving ahead. Thanks to Al Atallah, owner of Raimondi’s Paint and Wallpaper, for sharing some possible designs.

Deep thinking

We’ve covered life’s stories, but what about death? It’s a much tougher topic to tackle, but one that the First Congregational Church of Berkeley is ready to deal with on Sunday, June 6. With a panel of spiritual leaders, speakers will explore thoughts on what happens to people after they die, and how our views of the afterlife affect the way we live. For more information, call 510-848-3696.

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