Of Life and Labor

Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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Of Life and Labor
With yellow jackets looking to freeload at our outdoor tea table, a friend of a friend passed on this tip to uninvite them. Put a scoop of coffee grounds (not brewed) in a heat-safe container and light it. The wasps caught a whiff of the smoke from the smouldering grounds and skedaddled forthwith. I wonder if sage works the same magic.
Our cover and center pages honor the passing of Henry Smith, Jr., Beloved Elder of the Lac Court Oreilles Band of Ojibwe, born into the Bear Clan at dawn on June 10, 1932, and named “Waa-say-gii-zhig,” meaning “Bright Sky Man.” For those of us who knew Henry, he was indeed that and more, and as his stepdaughter, Wendy Skolfield, writes, “His gentle manner and delightful sense of humor made every room glow.” It is incidental, but seems appropriate that we celebrate Henry’s life during the Labor Day holiday when we also celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. (Pages 8-9) It’s always heartwarming to acknowledge someone who has served as generously as Norm Goodkin has for 43 years. Anyone in the area who has studied and tested to receive their HAM radio operator’s license, probably did so under Norm’s tutelage. Lost Hill’s Sheriffs Station Captain Jennifer Seetoo acknowledged him with the Volunteer in Policing of the Year award for his dedicated service since 1979. (Page 4). The 2022-2023 school year has begun and Topanga Elementary gives us a peek into what looks like a busy activity-filled year. (Page 5) Travel writer Linda Ballou pursues her adventures following the trail of Isabella Bird as the expert consultant for the BBC TV series reconstructing Bird’s journey scheduled to air this fall. (Page 6) Getting a jump start on the mid-term election coming up on November 8 is an introduction to the two candidates, one of whom will be replacing Supervisor Sheila Kuehl in our redistricted Board of Supervisor’s Third District. This is the year to put voting at the top of our To-Do list. It’s not only our civic duty but a hard-won privilege. (Page 7) Dog Days was extended to Part III to add an “In Memoriam” section for those dear companions we’ve lost, yet including a few still with us on the planet, who want to share their stories. (Page 10) Where were you in ’62? Joel Bellman delves into “the soundtrack for our lives.” (Page 12) “Farm to Table, Past & Present.” Look to some ancient grains to feed your flock and save the planet in the process. Finally, Veteran Fred Samia has an opinion on “The Double Standard of War.” (Page 14) Labor Day Weekend celebrates the dignity of work and heralds the end of summer, although not the heat. It’s a good time to relax and reflect on the year so far and make plans to reap the rewards of our labor. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity. I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent.” -Flavia Potenza
Flavia Potenza

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September 2, 2022

September Events