Friday, November 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Looking back to messages from readers

MarionFranckW

By
From page A9 | December 30, 2012 |

When a reader sends an interesting response to one of my columns, I often think, “I need to write a follow-up column” to share the reader’s ideas.

But then I forget. Or I haven’t got enough material for a whole second column. Or I simply move on.

There’s a fourth option.

Today I offer an end-of-the year wrap-up of responses I received to a variety of topics.

Giving up the landline

In October I wrote about the ever-growing number of people who are giving up their landlines. One reader pointed out something significant that changes when a household has only cell phones.

When you call a cell phone, the person who answers will be the person who owns the cell phone. You won’t have an “accidental” conversation with another person who picks up the phone, as you might in a home with a landline.

In most cases, it’s good to get the person you want.

But I feel a loss. Every time I call my son, who has only a cell phone, I reach him. His girlfriend, who has her own cell phone, never picks up. Recently, they moved in together.

I don’t feel comfortable calling her directly yet, but I would love to have an accidental conversation or two. Cell phones make that impossible.

My favorite cereal

One of my lighter topics was about the demise of my favorite — in fact, my only — cereal. I was addicted to Smart Start Oat Flavor, which my 3-year-old grandson thought was named “Grandma’s Cereal.” When it disappeared from California supermarkets, I flew it home from my daughter’s place in Wisconsin.

When it began disappearing from shelves there, I found it on Amazon and bought a case. When that ran out, I wrote my column and a sainted reader (whose husband pines for the vanished Product 19) told me it was being unloaded at the Dollar Store.

I bought 16 boxes.

I ate them well past their expiration date, until finally I was about to run out. Feeling panicky, I bought other brands and tasted them. Most were too sweet. One reader had sent me a photo of a cereal she liked and I bought it for no other reason than her good will, but I didn’t fall in love.

Last week I slowly and sadly ate my last bowl of Smart Start. The next day I tried a new cereal that I had bought in Placerville. Oh joy! Nature’s Path Heritage Crunch is the most delicious substitute I’ve found so far. I danced around the room.

Then I remembered something. It was heavily marked down at the store where I bought it.

Could it be headed for oblivion, too?

Job Hunt for Academic Women

The column about my daughter’s job search drew an exceptional number of responses. Many readers reacted with sadness to the idea that a young woman with children (or planning to have children) cannot present her whole true self on academic interviews. My daughter had been advised not to mention her family.

After that column, I was invited to a meeting of the faculty advisers for UC Davis’ Work Life Program (established 2003) which tries mighty hard to make sure our local academic women get a reasonable shot at combining children and success in their careers. They also support time off for fathers. UCD’s family-friendly policies are more generous than policies in the 10-campus system overall.

Engineering professor Michael R. Hill, a member of the committee, wrote, “My hope for (your daughter) is that she will land a plum position and lead a family-connected life in plain view of her colleagues, and one day tell her students to present on their merits, without hiding things so lovely as a devotion to children, to family, and to a full life.”

I didn’t manage to write a column about UCD’s Work Life Program, but I applaud their efforts.

‘Larry’

I have written about Larry more frequently than anyone outside my family. Whenever I write about him, I get email thanking me for continuing his story. Larry is the former home health aide to my father who began life with many disadvantages, including an abusive father, started college after I met him and became, at age 40, a poet.

Recently, he works as a host and guide at the Apollo Theatre in New York. His emails, which formerly contained punctuation and grammar mistakes, are smooth and polished. He sounds happy.

One reader described my role in Larry’s life as being his “witness,” which is not the same as being a friend or even a supporter. I wish I had the wisdom to write a column about what it is to be a witness, but not yet.

Hawaii

I wrote about traveling to the Big Island for a family wedding and missing the free leis we received on our previous visit 25 years earlier. Here’s the message I got from my daughter after that column:

“Your column brought back the scent for me — and I didn’t encounter any leis when I went as an adult. These must be old scent memories from 25 years ago.”

Her recall of a smell from the distant past — she was 6 years old at the time — fills me with wonder.

I am so lucky to write this column and get the messages I do.

— Marion Franck lives in Davis with her family. Reach her at marionf2@gmail.com

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Shop-local focus highlights Small Business Saturday

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Looking for the gift of life

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    The artistic process of a neighborhood legend

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Davis MRAP didn’t go far: Woodland

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Bob Dunning: MRAP your arms around this

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

     
    Holiday shopping in full gear

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Tell us your Putah Creek stories

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Gorilla death prompts S.F. Zoo changes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Explorit: Water expert will speak Dec. 15

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Ceremony Tuesday celebrates MU bus terminal

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Enterprise holiday decorating contest is back

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A4

    Free bike clinic, ride set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Locals come through for families in need

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Travel the world at Logos Books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Dormant-season pruning tips offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Junior high students set walkathon fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Horse owners needed for online survey

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chamber of Commerce lays out 5-year plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Flyway Nights talk focuses on sea otters of Elkhorn Slough

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Shakespeare folio discovered in France

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Students come together for sustainability

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Workshop will answer financial aid questions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Holiday gifts galore available at crafts fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Wolks share their unique perspective on Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Christmas Bird Count workshop planned Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Watch, then make, a holiday floral decoration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Behavior straining friendship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Cheers and Jeers: Thankfully, no jeers

    By Our View | From Page: A6

    Many thanks for a great benefit

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    It all started at the bookstore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    What can we do to help?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    What if we really need it?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Elias: Utilities look to soak small users

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

     
    Seahawks shut down San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Aggies out-Fox Utah State after dramatic Les shot to forces overtime

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Defense, depth lead Aggie women to home win

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Youth roundup: 10 titles for the Diamonds Level 3 gymnastics squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Mumbo Gumbo plays for post-Thanksgiving dance party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Horrible Bosses 2′: Fire ‘em all!

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Sonata evolves into more sophisticated car

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    John Walter Neves Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B3

     
    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A10