Holiday Crab, Anyone?


TIS THE SEASON to be — crabby. This time of year brings out the best — and the worst in people. Cars stack up between Starbucks and Albertsons like they’re in a Christmas parade.

Horns honk, tempers flair and expletives fly. Part of the problem is the Montclair post office, where mail employees and motorists alike find it perfectly acceptable to double-park. It’s a bottleneck anyway, and suddenly you’re down to one lane. It’s enough to turn even the jolliest old soul into a curmudgeon.

Then you’ve got the Raiders. There’s been no joy in Oaktown this year, with Randy Moss sidelined and an offense that runs like my daddy’s old Studebaker. Their Christmas weekend loss didn’t help. I counted five altercations, four stumbling drunks, three provocations, two rude dudes and the closest thing to a partridge in a pear tree — a guy who kept flipping the bird.

There is light at the end of the tunnel — or in this case, Highway 13. The holiday lights on Picardy Lane are a symbol of unity in a decade of dissension. It’s not too late to take the drive down Seminary to the sweet little street full of storybook homes, bedecked in bulbs of all colors. To me, it’s more than just a Christmas display. It’s a beacon of hope for the season and the year to come.

PARK PROGRESS: Santa’s elves have been busy in Shepherd Canyon Park. With cash from a Measure DD grant, volunteer Adrienne Bryant and her merry band of helpers has been pulling pesky cape ivy and replacing it with native grasses in the meadow above Escher Creek.
“Sometimes the progress is hard to see because we chip away at it a bit at a time,” says reader Mike Petouhoff, “but the effort is steady over time.” Speaking of progress — look for the city to expand the parking lot at the popular soccer park this spring.

ABOUT TOWN: Attention shoppers. Albertsons becomes a Save Mart sometime next year and customers are curious about the changes. Will it mean a warehouse-type store for Montclair? Most folks hope not, saying that kind of discount market would detract from the village charm. As it is, there has been an increase in theft since Albertsons changed hands and closed some of its nearby locations. Just the other day police caught a man trying to steal $500 worth of razor blades, a crime he readily admitted was to support his drug habit.

FURRY TRIBUTE: It’s with a twinge of sadness that I announce the passing of Droopie the dog at Thornhill Nursery. Customers remember Droopie as the hound who used to bound through the rows of plants and trees, keeping the wildlife in check. In later years, Droopie preferred napping by the fireplace or in a tucked-away corner of the hillside nursery. Droopie is gone, now — to that big dog park in the sky.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by phone at 510-273-9418 or on the Web at www.ginnyprior.com. Ginny’s radio “ginettes” can be heard on Sirius Satellite channel 122 at 4 p.m. each Saturday.

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