Bob Dunning

Standing In: Harbor lights right here in Davis

By From page A2 | October 04, 2013

Musings of a bipolar insomniac: It all started at the monthly meeting of the Hi-Lo Club, sponsored by the Yolo Mental Health Alliance. The theme of the meeting was “Thinking Out of the Box.” I grabbed two more dishes of dim sum when the cart came by at King’s on Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento.

Gordon Brown, a former colleague, mentioned that his brother-in-law is the renowned construction magnate Waylon Cromwell, who was in the papers several years ago when he received a $20 million check from Caltrans for finishing freeway bridge repairs ahead of schedule after the San Fernando earthquake.

Cromwell Construction was the general contractor for the Los Angeles City Hall. Gordon mentioned that Waylon had expressed interest in the controversial cost figures publicized for the Sacramento River-to-Woodland-to-Davis water pipe and treatment plant. Waylon said, I believe I could put  in the water pipe from the Sacramento River and dig a 35-foot ditch beside it for $100 million for a canal.” A bitterly divided Davis City Council reluctantly accepted Cromwell’s bid. Nine months later, the city of Davis cut Cromwell a check for $10 million for finishing ahead of time.

So, that’s how it all started. It’s now a little over a year later. I’m sitting at a table on the new roof garden of the venerable Davis Amtrak station, watching a parade of boats in the Port of Davis marina. Harbormaster and  Commodore of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Ted Puntillo (is there nothing that man can’t do?) glides by in his patrol boat followed by several craft: the Tandem catamaran (Roe, Roe, Roe your boat): Reed Youmans in his cabin cruiser, Bill Streng in his sloop, Grant Noda in his yawl and Maynard Skinner in his Old Pol schooner.

We had a great view of the Brinley boat ramp and the Anderson-Partansky fountain. Corinne Gee in her junk pulled up and offered us a ride to Ikeda’s fruit stand. She was on her way to Gas ‘n’ Pray. On the way we were serenaded by loud music from Sudwerk’s north patio. We noted that the Carol Greider overpass was almost finished.

Woodland, eat your heart out. Only in Davis.

— Dave Allen, a native of South Central Los Angeles, came to Davis in 1965 to teach Spanish at UC Davis.

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