Thursday, April 14, 2016

A local attorney rides 224 miles over a 24-hour period just because he could, yet another memory of Merle Haggard and white glove service at the Craft Tap House

 * ... THOMAS MORGAN: Do you ever wonder what drives people to excel, or achieve feats of physical pain and endurance that would make most of us shrink from the challenge? I posed that
question to my friend Thomas Morgan, who just punched his bucket list on a quest to climb on his bike the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest, some 29,000 feet. Morgan, deputy county counsel with a fascinating personal story (years ago as a young deputy sheriff he was shot in the neck at point blank range and left for dead) took his bike to the base of Round Mountain and put in 224 miles over a 24-hour period, climbing 29,137 feet in some nasty and wet conditions. Why? Morgan told me it would be easy to answer "because it is there," but more deeply said he was moved at what it brought out in his friends who rallied to help by bringing food, shoveling mud off the road and riding alongside to help him stay awake. "Why indeed?" he told me. "At first it was the idea that I could, even at an age far beyond most great athletes, do something extraordinary. I wouldn't need any support or fanfare or a pile of money. All I would need is a mountain and a bike and a little free time. However, in the end what was really extraordinary was all of the people that came out to support me... At times it seemed they willed me back up that climb when all I wanted to do was go home and sleep."

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "When life throws me a curveball, I try to duck so it hits someone else."

 * ... BILL MURRAY: And there was this quote floating around social media attributed to comedian Bill Murray: "I don't trust people who don't like dogs, but I trust dogs who don't like people."

 * ... FOODIE: After hearing friends rave about its bar food, I finally stopped by the Craft Tap House on Truxtun the other day and settled into one of their custom hamburgers. The bacon burger was outstanding, but more impressive was the white glove service provided by on site manager Robert Reyna.

 * ... MERLE: Reader A.S. McClaren has this memory of Merle Haggard when McClaren was a young deputy sheriff back in 1972: "I was working as a reserve deputy sheriff in 1972 when we got a call to meet the man at the Hart Park offices regarding a possible assault with a deadly weapon. Upon arriving we found a very wet Merle Haggard. He had been across the river at Shell Beach with a female friend when her significant other showed up. According to Merle, he had a very large gun and told Merle he could save his skin if he swam the Kern River, which he did. A few years later I was working in Los Angeles when I heard a new song by Merle Haggard entitled 'I'll Never Swim Kern River Again.' I just about fell out of my truck. I don't know how many know the story behind songs but this is one that only a true song writer could write because he had been there. And I was a witness. Sad to have lost him."

 * ... CALM: The California Living Museum (CALM) is putting on a fancy dinner and musical evening on Saturday, May 7, to expose more folks to the only wildlife rehabilitation facility in the southern San Joaquin Valley. It's called the Beastly Ball and it will feature a gourmet dinner, music, and auction and an opportunity to walk the grounds around the CALM zoo. Tickets are $125 or $900 a table.

No comments: