Responsibility

Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza      September 17, 2021

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Responsibility
Photo by Jane Hammond Birdie, a one-year-old Border Collie has come home to Topanga. This is her “glam shot,” which was only possible to get after we had run her around Bonnell Park a couple of times. Photo by Jane Hammond.
After days of observing and reliving the horrors of 9-11 20 years later, I vividly recall seeing the smoke billowing out of the north side of the North Tower after the first hit. I frantically called my son who worked overnight in the area. He didn’t answer. Failing to reach him, I called his father in New York to see if he had heard from our son and told him to turn on the TV. I left more messages for my son, who, it turned out, had finished his shift around 6 a.m., walked home and fell asleep oblivious to what had happened. He was okay. Reliving family members’ memories of those lost consumed much of my time that weekend. I felt an obligation to at least know something about who the victims were. Naming them seems to me an essential civic responsibility. Our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren onward should know their stories. During August the drama of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan consumed the airwaves and also much of my time. My heart ached for those trying to leave and, messy as it may have been, the Biden administration achieved a heroic goal in airlifting 124,000 Afghans and Americans by the August 31 deadline, 200 more the following Thursday. There is no doubt in my mind that the Kabul Airlift was America’s Dunkirk. Heroic. Back home, we at The Canyon Chronicle are hearing first-person stories relative to Afghanistan that reflect how America’s generosity is manifested, which we’ll bring to readers in future issues. We must never forget. For what’s in this issue, turn the page...
Birdie Comes to Bonnell

There’s nothing like a young dog to take your mind off your troubles. Birdie came to me from friends who couldn’t keep her any more. It was a tearful farewell for them to let this one-year-old go; for Birdie, it was more confusion. Walking down the street the first evening ran the gamut from curiosity to terror to over-stimulation: so many new smells, new people, smiling (everyone’s first response to this beauty), a courteous young skateboarder who obligingly stopped when we walked by. The next morning, Birdie was eagerly air-scenting, exploring, pulling, everything you would expect from an active Border Collie. Later that morning, as she explored her new home, she kept stopping at my friend and landlady’s door.

I finally took her in for a visit. The joy of just seeing Birdie reinvigorated the 91-year-old, who sat up in her bed and happily received a lick on the hand and another on her nose. We may have a future therapy dog here, among other things...like my new fitness plan. Between oblig
Flavia Potenza

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