Town Crier: I’ve come to love my jaunty cane


I’m not here to brag, but I’ve reached a milestone in my recovery from hip surgery. I’ve dumped the wheelchair and the walker, retired the crutch (by the fireplace), and settled on a nice little cane. It’s the sports model from Kaiser – with a sleek, curved design and enough power to go from zero to point-one mph in three seconds flat.

So I’m trying to come up with a name for my cane, which will be part of my persona for the next few months. Should it be a boy cane named Herb or Horatio, or maybe Michael? Or should I honor my girlfriends and all their support, with a female cane called Candy?

These are the lofty issues I face as I sputter down the road to recovery. And while I know that my cane is not quite as cool as that of John Steed or James Bond, I’m smitten with it, just the same.


Squab, anyone? The bird is the word in the heart of Montclair, where pigeons have taken to roosting on the awning above Madison’s Department Store. Reader Enrico Antiporda says it was like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, the night he and his wife passed the area. “The worst thing was the pavement was slippery with pigeon droppings and you had to run across so you wouldn’t get firebombed.”  That’s why they call them the dirty birds, Enrico.


Chic lit: You say you want to join a book club, but don’t have the time? Local women Apryl Rhinehart and Dale Marie Golden have started a women’s book club on Facebook. The social networking site makes it easy for members to post comments and questions – whenever time allows. “We started two months ago,” writes Rhinehart, “and already have over 200 members spanning the globe from here in the Bay Area to Japan.” If you’d like to sign up, type Women who Rock into the Facebook search engine and request to join the group.

E-mail bag: Have you been slapped with a parking fine you didn’t deserve? Reader John Cascardi says he fights Oakland City Hall electronically – by e-mailing the Parking Citation Assistance Center at There’s one other trick he uses – but you didn’t read it here. He puts “class action suit” in the subject line.

Frosty hello: She was hoping for a homecoming, but all Lisa Wemple got on her return to Montclair was a frosty reception. After seven years of living in Boston, Wemple and family moved back to the Bay, recently, only to find that Oakland was handing out traffic tickets like candy at a Fourth of July parade. After getting nailed twice – she’s no longer keen on returning to the village she once called home.

Animal tales: And next time a friend offers to take you to dinner, consider this. You might end up being the main course. Just ask the rooster, who was crowing so loudly in one hills neighborhood that the owner was forced to give him away. At last report, the Black Chinese Silky (a delicacy in some cultures) was going out to dinner at a restaurant in Chinatown. Apparently, you bring the bird – and they cook it for you.



Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by phone at 510-273-9418, by email at or on the web at








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