College trip sparks memories of past


I FEEL LIKE a young schoolgirl again, having just returned from my daughter’s new college. When did she become so mature? Where did she find time to learn, not just the campus — the University of Georgia is huge — but the best restaurants in town?

As she led me around at a frantic pace, I pictured myself rushing to class and then off to a frat party or campus event. I imagined taking notes in a lecture while the guy next to me slept. I saw myself eating in the dining hall and having seconds on dessert.

The memories of my own years at Montana State University came flooding back. I could feel the wrinkles of time getting softer.

It took all day to get to Athens, Ga., and another whole day to return. But the 36 hours I spent with my daughter were precious moments in time. They made me feel young again and perhaps made my daughter feel older. I can hardly wait to go back.

CREEPY CRAWLERS: My story about scorpions prompted this tale from reader Nancy Lane, who says she was stung by one years ago when she was working with clothing for a yard sale at Thornhill Elementary School.

“I was trying to figure out where to put a cloth hat when I felt a sharp pin prick,” she remembers, saying she thought it was a hat pin.

It turned out to be a little black scorpion, about an inch long, looking very annoyed. A little ice on her finger and Lane was just fine and the scorpion was donated to Miss Fairchild’s first-grade arachnid and insect collection. By the way — this all happened on Lane’s birthday. You guessed it — she’s a Scorpio.Speaking of animals, reader Margaret Thompson says she saw a coyote in her back yard on Magellan Drive last week.

“He was kind of twitching,” she says, adding she thought he might have had rabies, but then just figured he had fleas. The real kicker is the reaction she got when she called Oakland Animal Control. The officials there said there was nothing they could do — that coyotes were around and we just had to live with them. This, despite the fact that one cat is missing and a dead deer turned up at the same time as the coyote sighting.

JAZZ DINNER: The Oakland Museum of California has First Fridays — so why not Montclair? Beginning tonight and continuing the first Friday of each month, the Montclair Bistro will feature live jazz in its banquet room.

Tickets are $10 (waived if you’re dining during the show) and the music runs from 8-10 p.m. with JetBlacq featuring hills entertainers Frank and Rebecca Faiola.

PEDAL POWER: The East Bay’s Bob Frick is rounding the corner toward home as he pedals the last 800 miles of his bike ride for Habitat for Humanity.

What’s so unusual about a cross-country bike trip? Frick is 71 and a cancer survivor with not one, but two, hip replacements. Check his progress and get a six-pack of Humanitis Wine for a $100 donation at

FANCY FOOTWORK: You can’t keep a good man down, it seems. One of Montclair’s most colorful seniors, artist Michael Grbich, has just tap danced across the Brooklyn Bridge.

On the heels of his Golden Gate Bridge feet (he pranced across that span last spring), Grbich completed his Big Apple tap on the last Sunday in October.

“God smiled upon me,” he says, “and gave me a record 66-degree day full of sun in every direction.”

His mission is to help others face their fears, take risks and say yes to life even if it means dodging all manner of pedestrians and two-wheeled vehicles.


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