MONTCLARION: July 15, 2016
When Kimberly Miller took lifeguard classes in 1999, she clearly paid attention. The 33-year-old Montclarion has saved five lives since getting her park and recreation training in the pool at Oakland Tech High School at the age of 16.
The most recent rescue was last month, during a rafting trip on the American River. It was Father’s Day, and Kimberly and her family were having lunch on a sandbar at the halfway point.
“The river was very crowded with other rafters,” says her father, Taylor Miller. The heavy Sierra snowmelt had the waters running high and fast.
Suddenly, a young woman — about 20 feet away — fell off her raft and into the swiftly moving current. Several nearby rafters tried to rescue her but nearly drowned themselves, “as she desperately grabbed ahold of them and tried to get her head above water again.”
Miller says his daughter knew exactly what to do.
“She swam around behind the drowning victim and took control of her from the rear, telling her to relax and to quit struggling, and that she would save her life,” he says. Then she told everyone on the sandbar to form a “daisy chain” to pull her and the victim to safety.
“It was the most beautiful and heroic lifesaving action I have ever witnessed,” says Miller, himself a retired Oakland police officer. “Kimberly made us all so proud.” And of course, the rescued woman and her raft mates were beyond grateful.
As far as Father’s Day gifts go — I’m pretty sure Miller will say this one is priceless.
Musical notes: What a way to ring in 50 years of summer entertainment at the Woodminster Amphitheater. “Shrek: The Musical” is an adorable show with smart comedy and enduring life lessons. And Rod Voltaire Edora — who’s been acting at Woodminster since 2006 — rivals Eddie Murphy as the wisecracking donkey. The show runs through this weekend, and you can get a preview with Stephen Woo’s short video: https://youtube/1Nranuwh4AY.
Around town: I ran into Oakland’s royal restaurant couple — Rich and Rebekah Wood (Wood Tavern and Southies) at the Oakland Zoo’s Walk in the Wild recently. They think they’ll have Bay Wolf open by November and are shortening the name of the iconic restaurant to just “The Wolf.” Rebekah says they’ll keep the intimacy in the corners of the restaurant but put a full bar in the middle “blowing up that part of the restaurant to expose the kitchen liveliness in the middle.” Here’s a short video of Walk in the Wild, produced by Jean Hurricane:
Animal tales: A little bird told me that the owners of the Little Free Library on Merriewood Drive are celebrating its fifth anniversary. The purveyor, Jenny Fish, says the library has evolved from “a cardboard box of books to a gathering place for my neighbors” complete with a new bench. And Fish has added a photo montage of the library’s four-legged patrons. “The dogs come for the treats in the library. The cats,” she says, “are not big fans.”