Town Crier: The bounty at my table


They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. With a hungry husband and a 6’4 teenage boy in my charge, I’ve come to realize this is more than an adage. So I want to publicly thank all the friends who’ve brought meals to our home during my recovery from hip surgery.

It brought tears to my eyes, the other night, when we sat down to yet another meal fit for a king. Lamb chops, tubule, eggplant, artichoke salad – even wine and home-made brownies. A dear friend had gone to all this trouble to show me how much she cared. She’d considered not just my needs, but those of my family, which has been stretched to the limits these last few weeks.

Night after night, the meals have been coming to our doorstep. Like Pavlov’s dog, we hear the bell ring and begin to salivate. And the parade of food never ends….the bubbling goodness of a spicy baked penne, the comforting combo of meatloaf and mashed potatoes, warm chickens and soups and salads and sides…and wine – my goodness the wine!

It took a surgery for me to see what was always there – the caring network of friends from Corpus Christi Church and beyond – a gift from God to be sure. I will never forget this kindness. I will pay it forward.

Door knocker: A few bad apples shouldn’t spoil the bunch. That’s what reader Joe Hawkins says, after getting a home visit from a legitimate magazine solicitation company. He says he placed an order, the other day, with Year Up, a program that gives urban youth a one year opportunity to earn money while developing job skills. The program is so well regarded, he says, it was even honored at a giant sales convention in San Francisco, last week, at which the elusive Gavin Newsom spoke.

Around town: Kudos to Dave Strong of Strong Signs in Oakland, for his quick work in fixing the Montclair Village sign splintered by vandals the other night. The sign at the top of Park Boulevard had been whacked by a bat and pieces were strewn in a nearby gulley. Strong had it repaired and back up in two days – reinforced with metal, now, so it can’t happen again.

Digging it: By day, she’s a mild mannered anchor (channel 5 News). But when news isn’t pressing, Wendy Tokuda is on a crusade to eradicate one of the hill’s most persistent weeds. “I tell people I volunteer doing restoration work because when I tell them I pull French Broom, they look at me askance,” she laughs. But she’s been pulling it for more than five years near her Redwood Park home and allowing native grasses and other plants to thrive. So here’s to you, Wendy, and to everyone who works to make our region more beautiful. Upcoming work parties (everyone is invited) are as follows: Beaconsfield Canyon – last Sat. of each month, Redwood Regional Park Skyline Gate – first Sat. at 9 am. Redwood Regional Park Wayside picnic area off Redwood Rd. – 9:30 every second Sunday. Sausal Creek each Saturday and Marj Johnson Park every first Monday.

Perpetual pothole: Who knows what evil lurks – under the streets of Montclair?  The City has filled a plump pothole at the corner of Mountain and Medau – but dark forces are threatening to undermine its efforts. Water is still mysteriously oozing from of a hole in the gutter and collecting in the pothole site, causing motorists to splish splash pedestrians when they go through it too fast. We’ll see how long it takes Public Works to get to the bottom of this one.

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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