Town Crier: Son’s grown up, but he still needs me


It’s 4 p.m. and the kitchen phone is ringing. The phone rarely rings at our house anymore, unless it’s a telemarketer or my husband or kids.

“Mom,” says my son in a state of semi-panic. “MOM. I need my tassel and hat. I couldn’t find it this morning and now we’re lining up and I NEED my tassel and hat!” Yes, it’s graduation day, and you’ll have to excuse me for getting sentimental. My son is 18, and, despite all the signs of adulthood, there are still times when he needs me.

When I think about all the things I’ve run down to school in the last four years, it seems like a blur. The lunches that got left in the fridge, the shorts that didn’t make it into the gym bag and the homework left on the computer desk — all urgent matters, to be sure.

It leads me to wonder — when boys go off to college, who is there to help them? If there’s a service called “Rent-a-mom” or “Who’s your mama?” I need to know about it. The University of Oregon is a long way to drive for one of life’s little emergencies.

SCHOOL RAZE: It’s the end of an era at Montclair Elementary School. The old cafeteria and a handful of portables are being demolished today as part of a major renovation. In its place will be two new energy-efficient buildings — one multipurpose and one housing 10 state-of-the-art classrooms for grades three, four and five.

While I’m on the subject of Montclair Elementary, I want to note the retirement of several longtime teachers including Jeanne Mulgrew, Rob Jue, Sandy McClain and MC Haug. Together, I’m told, they taught a combined 98 years in Montclair. Dr. Susan DeMersseman, the school psychologist, is also retiring from the district but will stay on one day a week, thanks to the PTA.

SHOPTALK: Say goodbye to a Glenview institution. The True Value Hardware store is closing after 50 years of service on Park Boulevard. Owner John O’Sullivan is retiring, and everything in the store needs to go in the next few weeks before the lease runs out.

“It’s just time — just time to relax,” says O’Sullivan, who has owned the shop for 21 years. Now he’ll have more time to spend with wife Donna.

Speaking of the Glenview District, the long-shuttered Compadres space (4239 Park Blvd.) is once again seeing signs of life. Word is the 160-seat Latin restaurant called Rumbo al Sur may finally be ready to open next month with South/Central American offerings from local chef Matt Colgan.

ANIMAL TALES: Thanks to the folks at Oakland Animal Services for checking in with the results of their recent adopt-a-thon. They found homes for 93 dogs and 73 cats and made well more than $100,000 in one weekend. That’s great news, especially since the city has slashed almost half of OAS’ budget and is looking at even more cuts.


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