Friday, January 30, 2015

Where does vacation end and my job start?


From page B1 | April 04, 2014 |

After having spent much of the past two weeks on vacation, it’s occurred to me that my whole life has evolved into what others might consider “vacation.”

The first hint that my time away from the office was just an extension of the privilege with which I’m charged here at The Enterprise came about five hours into my wife’s and my trek to the Southwest.

Driving first to Las Vegas, I asked my wife if she wanted to hear something cool …

At the expense of her Michael Bublé disc, I got my cell phone out and played recent interviews I did with UC Davis basketball coach Jennifer Gross and gymnastics guru John Lavallee.

“Hear how Jen loves her players?” I’m telling my trapped passenger, revisiting the emotional, final Aggie postgame press conference at the Big West Tournament.

Then I’m getting fired up about gymnastics.

“Can’t you just feel the excitement in John’s voice? How much this run means to them?”

My wife, a former gymnast, has a special interest in listening to Lavallee, assistant coach Tamara Ross and co-captains Anna Shumaker and Madeline Kennedy talk about this NCAA-bound season.

Suddenly we’re past Tehachapi and I figure she’d like to hear what Mike Meier has to say about his new book on his team’s road-racing hobby.

I’m wrong and it’s back to Bublé — but I promise her she’s missing out on a terrific interview (after all, one of Meier’s drivers, Zep Brattesani, was a preschool classmate of our son’s 23 years ago).

We get to Vegas during the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament.

The casinos can wait. By mutual agreement, we’re watching every bracket-busting contest we can find.

From the women’s side, I’m especially smug. I’ve seen Connecticut and Stanford play the Aggies. From Day 1, I’ve penciled them both into my final four. “No one’s beating the Huskies,” poor Debbie hears about 200 times on “vacation.”

Next there’s a pleasant drive to Sedona. Made even less tedious by phone calls to ultimate destination Phoenix, arranging things for visits to spring training baseball and seeing all the sights — all of the sports-related sights.

As luck would have it, friends Debby and Mike Elliott live in Mesa. There will not only be games to attend, but before and afterward there will 40-year-old stories about Mike and me playing basketball at 3 a.m. with former Dallas Cowboys QB Danny White. The nights at old Phoenix Municipal and how, in our youth, we smuggled necessities into Sun Devil and Packard stadiums at Arizona State.

In between, the NCAA tourney raged on — and HDTV was a welcome addition at our Scottsdale digs.


For my wife (who happens to be the editor of America’s Greatest Community Newspaper), the trip was a mandatory respite — especially when she got away from me. The pool, her walks downtown and that massage/spa treatment in Arizona were the kind of breaks she needed.

I’m afraid when she was with me, it was business as usual.

Nonetheless, vacation for me, I’ve come to realize, is 24-7.

To be able to tell the stories of local teams, deserving, curious and courageous athletes, events and daily competition has long been a blessing.

You think my week is demanding?

Here’s one day from the week: coffee with Joe Taxiera to chat about the latest edition of his “A Unique Look at Big League Baseball” — while spending an hour exploring who was better, Ted Williams or Joe DiMaggio (Sorry, Joe. Give me Ted).

Then it was off to watch UCD spring football and interview new linebacker Travon Brooks and transfer QB Turner Baty (poor me).

After that, I read six more chapters of a book about how Teddy Roosevelt saved American football (review coming next week), then covered a DHS boys golf tournament (bright sunshine, high 60s, a great time catching up with Devil coach Karl Ronning).

After writing a couple of stories toward the evening, my email continued the dream …

Do I want credentials for the Sacramento River Cats? Can I meet with folks at the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame to discuss a new addition? A note from a friend: “How was vacation?”

Honestly, I forgot where it started and doubt that it’s ended.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected] or 530-320-4456.



Bruce Gallaudet

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