Town Crier: St. Mary’s Victory Parade Makes Sweet Impression

MONTCLARION: March 26, 2010

Everyone loves a parade, it’s been said, but this one was one for the ages.

It was after 11 the other night, when a merry band of St. Mary’s fans led a procession through Moraga. At the front was a fire truck, followed by three squad cars, the Mayor, some others – and me. We escorted the Gaels basketball team to their campus – fresh from the airport and a giant-slaying win over Villanova in the second round of the NCAA Tourney. (Round three is today against Baylor, and our guys are well rested and ready).

But back to the late night procession and rally, in a town that gets sleepy at sundown. It was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever experienced.

No, there weren’t throngs of people. Moraga doesn’t have throngs of people. But as we rounded the corner toward campus, there were dads and their little boys holding up signs. There were grandpas and grandmas with cameras. There were students and alumni with ear-to-ear smiles. And at that moment – the world seemed small and safe.

“Son, those are your boys,” one dad said to his kid, pointing proudly at the team. They had overcome the odds to get into “the dance” and were now in the Sweet 16.  Those are your boys. I don’t think I’ll ever forget those five words and the look of sheer joy on that child.

Writer David Poole summed it up well, when he made this observation: “Sports don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. But in the moment, when things are just right, they’re the most important thing in the world. That’s what makes them so great.”

Speaking of Sports: It’s worth mentioning again that if you’re not running in this weekend’s Oakland Running Festival, you may want to come down and watch. The city’s first marathon in 25 years winds around Lake Temescal and through Montclair. See the full schedule and course at

Crime Story: Each week there are too crimes to recount, but I’ll share one reader’s story about the terror of having their home broken into, not once, but twice in recent months. The first time the front door was kicked down in broad daylight. The second time there were two attempted points of entry, but nothing was taken and police seemed to imply that it was a false alarm. “An alarm blaring for minutes should not be ignored,” writes the reader, who says the broken window was proof that someone tried to get in. She urges neighbors to be vigilant and report suspicious activity as soon as they see it.

E-mail Bag: The Town Crier is getting a cat pan full of comments on last week’s “homeless” kitty column. The account of our cat and the neighborhood buffet is strikingly similar to the story of Six Dinner Sid in a popular children’s book. In both cases, a black cat fools several neighbors into thinking he belongs to each one of them. Somehow I missed this sweet little story, despite having raised two children who loved cat tales.

On a more serious note, reader Lindsey Smallsreed suggests I catch kitty and take him/her to the vet for a free microchip scan. “They all have scanners and it only takes a minute,” she writes, adding our Blackie should also be checked for diseases that could spread to our pets.

Funny-bone Fundraiser: You can call this one “laughter at sea”. There’ll be a night of music and comedy, next Friday (April 2) aboard the Fume Blanc Commodore Yacht in Alameda. Oakland comedian Ross Turner will join Will Durst, Johnny Steele and Diane Satin in a seaworthy show for People Care 4 Day Care, a non-profit that works with local day care centers. Check it out at

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


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