* … ANGELOU: I was saddened to hear of the death of Maya Angelou, one of our nation's outstanding poets and thinkers. One of her poems - Still I Rise - is a powerful poem that I shared with students when I read at Christa McAuliffe Elementary School where my daughters attended. The opening phrases: "You may write me down in history … With your bitter, twisted lies… You may tread me in the very dirt… But still, like dust, I'll rise."
* … SCHOOL: Benny de la Cruz wrote to wonder if anyone remembers St. Joseph's School,across the street from Washington School on Baker. "It would be nice to have a school reunion, but I'm afraid there are only a few of us alumni left," he said.
* … MORE GOOD FORM: Joan Muller submitted this bit of good form after a 30-foot tree fell on her house last week. Neighbors alerted her and in the 20 minutes "it took me to get there my fantastic neighbors (on Redwood Meadow Drive in Oildale) had used their hand saws to cut away some branches so I could at least get my vehicle into the garage as the front door was completely blocked. My gardener, Tino Olvera of Olvera's Trimming (661-444-9992), came by that night to make sure I was okay and assess the situation. He returned bright and early on Friday morning and worked all day to clear the tree. He had the whole yard cleaned up by the time I got home from work. He even took pictures of the damage to the roof for me. I am beyond blessed to have all these extraordinary people in my life and am now trying to think of an appropriate way to thank them for all their support. "
* … VIETNAM: In keeping with the spirit of Memorial Day, Charlie Wilmot updated me on some statistics on the Vietnam War Memorial: Originally the Wall had 57,939 names on it when dedicated in 1982… Since then 361 names have been added, with the latest 14 additions being dedicated May 11, 2014; 1,642 names on the wall are missing in action; one soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was only 15 years old.