Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bob Dunning: I only want what’s coming to me


From page A2 | August 23, 2013 |

HUMBLY, I ACCEPT … the best award one can receive is one that was not anticipated … thus I was pleasantly surprised last week when the Red-Headed Girl of My Dreams pointed to The Enterprise headline that declared for all the world to see “Lifetime achievement award for Dunning.” … “What did you win?” she asked in a voice that suggested modesty had kept me from telling anyone about this clearly major award …

“I have no idea,” I responded … “Honestly.” … then again, “lifetime achievement” awards in my chosen field are generally given to folks who have been around forever and never won a Pulitzer … so they make up an organization like the “Central Yolo County Society of Talented Journalists” and come up with a never-before-heard-of award, then present it to you over lunch at Taco Bell with a gold watch they bought off a street vendor in West Sacramento …

Believe me, I know how these things work … it’s just like never winning an Oscar despite starring in dozens of movies … when the Academy finally decides to give you a lifetime achievement award, you can pretty much be assured that an Oscar will never come your way … still, curious if I had the date available for whatever award ceremony awaited me, I took a quick look at the story under the “Lifetime achievement award for Dunning” headline and was stunned and frankly devastated to read that “Harrison C. ‘Hap’ Dunning has received a lifetime achievement award from The Bay Institute recognizing his 40-plus years of environmental advocacy.” …

Well bully for him … then again, it makes me exceedingly hap, hap, happy to have any kind of Dunning win an environmental advocacy award … trust me on this …

SPEAKING OF AWARDS … earlier this month we had a story in this very newspaper about a Yolo County chap named Mark Mezger who has dedicated two acres of his rural property north of the small town of Yolo to growing zinnias, which he then allows folks to pick for free … well, it turns out Mezger has been rightly rewarded for his fabulous floral efforts by being named as the “Woodlander of the Month.” …

A couple of things here … first, I’m glad to finally and officially know what a resident of the county seat is known as … for years I thought maybe it was “Woodlandite,” but wasn’t sure, especially since that sounds more like some sort of flooring you might buy at Home Depot to put in your living room … secondly, if you honor a Woodlander every month, seems to me pretty soon you’re going to run out of worthy Woodlanders …

I mean, do we have a “Davisite of the Month,” and if so, what are the criteria? … The Davis Enterprise does have an “Employee of the Month,” but after 523 months as Senior Typist here without once being so honored, I don’t exactly stay awake at night wondering when my day might come …

SPEAKING OF ZINNIAS … having never encountered a U-pick zinnia patch anywhere in the world, we took a beautiful Sunday ride after Mass to Mezger’s plot of bountiful blooms and were not disappointed … there were thousands of zinnias of every size and color, complete with vases of water and several pairs of clippers …

Basically, zinnias are simple, bright, colorful and happy flowers that aren’t likely to win any awards … but they certainly made our family happy and those we distributed the blooms to happy as well … Mezger’s “Woodlander of the Month” award is well deserved …

In fact, I’m thinking of nominating him for “Woodlander of the Millenium” and naming him grand marshal of the Picnic Day parade … all Mezger asks is that in addition to picking a bouquet for yourself, you pick one for someone who isn’t capable of doing so … a simple request that brings even more smiles to everyone’s face …

— Entries to the Contest to Replace the Above-Pictured Columnist are due Tuesday, Sept. 3 at midnight. Entries may be about any subject and should be between 400 and 800 words in length. Entries, including daytime and evening phone numbers, a brief biography of the author, and a mug shot suitable for publication, can be emailed to





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