Food For Body And Soul

THE POWER of prayer is not to be poo-pooed. Just ask the Dinner Dames, a group of Crocker Highlands and Corpus Christi Church women who specialize in food for the body and soul.

Started by local Realtor and radio personality Katie O’Shea, these ladies are more than just good cooks. They also have a perfect record when it comes to healing.

“We have done dinner and prayers for six people who have had various life-threatening problems,” says member Jean Zika, “and they all pulled through.”

She should know. Her own husband, Pat, was the recipient of one of their heavenly interventions. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last spring and the Dinner Dames went to work. They started a prayer chain that eventually stretched around the world and then they really started cooking, bringing meals to the family twice a week.

The proof was in the pudding. Just hours before Pat’s scheduled surgery, doctors did one last test and determined he didn’t have cancer at all — he had a bile stone. Was it a miracle? Jean thinks so.

“The power of prayer from all the friends and the support from the Dinner Dames — it changed it from something very bad to something that was treatable,” she said.

Whether you’re a believer or not — it’s hard to argue with the outcome. Six people — six little miracles. Life is sweet.

NEW NEIGHBOR: Montclair’s Village Square Shopping Center finally has a tenant to replace the old Montclair Produce. AAA (California State Automobile Association) is opening an office in the oversized space that’s been vacant for a couple of years. Some merchants are concerned about the number of employees and customers the office will bring (parking has always been an issue here). But everyone is glad to finally have a tenant that will bring potential business to the center.

E-MAIL BAG: As Oakland braces for more rainy weather, hills resident Catherine Brady makes this plea to readers: “Would you be so kind as to remind the public that our city employees cannot do all the work that needs to be done.”

She says we all need to go outside and clear the storm drains near our homes, so water has somewhere to flow. It’s good advice that may help prevent another lake from forming at the bottom of Shepherd Canyon Road.

PHONE HANG-UP: It’s tough to communicate when you don’t have phone service. Just ask the folks along Moore and Shepherd Canyon Road, who have been without their telephones since the New Year’s Eve storm. And to make matters worse, reader Steve Fuerch says he had to call SBC more than once to report the problem (apparently there’s a communication problem at the phone company).

By the way, cell phones don’t work in that part of the hills, so these folks are really at a loss for words. Here’s hoping they’ve fixed the problem by the time this column is published.

DÉJÀ VU: What’s old is new again when it comes to recording music. Just ask local musician Mark Abboud, who’s band Genghis Khan has just put out a 45 — as in RPMs. It’s a two-sided platter he had pressed in the Czech Republic for less than a buck a record. But who has the machines to play them?

Abboud says most of his fans borrow record players from their parents, which really makes me feel really old. Still, I’d take mine out of storage if the price were right.


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