Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day ... and, another of Dorian's delightful expressions of art. (Take note Marc Chagall.) ...

Saturday brought a trip to San Francisco's Crissy Center for the 5th annual Community Heroes award ceremony. The day was a rare one -- spring at her best -- and even at one o'clock in the afternoon, hometown folks, visiting suburbanites, and a healthy sprinkling of tourists were already gathering on the green for the Kaboom! activities that would end with one of the largest free barbecues and firework displays of the year.

I'd been asked to accept one of the 3 awards for Sharon Fuller of the Ma'at Environmental Youth Academy. Sharon could not be present and, as a member of her board, the role of recipient fell to me by default. It simply meant saying a few words about the honoree and having another opportunity to meet with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area national park staff and to revisit some of the young people who work with other younger people in some very exciting environmental programs.

The Crissy Center model is one we'd love to emulate in the emerging Rosie the Riveter/Homefront NHP on the Richmond shoreline. I've been fortunate in that my co-worker in developing the community outreach part of the program is one of the three Crissy Center staffmembers, Naomi Torres, who is with us on loan, parttime. It is from this experienced career park ranger, that I've learned much about the concept of civic engagement. Though I suspect that this is something I've known in theory a number of times over a long lifetime; something that keeps getting dusted off and renamed each decade. The important things are like that. They get rediscovered and refurbished and redefined into new realities -- if they're really worthy. Civic engagement may be one of those. There are times these days when I no longer know whether I'm learning or simply remembering old concepts.

On Sunday, David, Dorrie and I drove to a nearby Pacific Asian buffet restaurant where we joined many families (mostly Asian) celebrating parents lining up for booster seats for little wiggly ones -- it was one of those restaurants. Not a bit like the all-grownup sophisticated crowd at Tadich's in San Francisco's financial district on Thursday evening. Few smartly-dressed Porsche-driving brokers and admen and women here. A gaggle of strollers parked haphardly in the lobby. Shorts and tee-shirts on most; with a few "holiness" types decked out in church-going outfits topped by those elaborate signature hats African American sistahs wear on such occasions. The noises were different; the steady hum of conversations in strange languages nicely laced with the universal language-free sounds of children's laughter nicely blending with the clattering of pots and pans and cutlery.

Happy Mother's Day!

Photo: Dorrie's gift was this drawing of her two cats, Gracie and Marilyn, designated granddaughters for the day. The happiness in her choice of color may give some indication of the lack of fear at the fairly recent move into her own apartment across town. At least that is my hope. I see no indication of worry or instability in this drawing. I'm always searching for signs ... .

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