Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: He was the best dog on the planet.

Bonding

Bonding
The author of Mark's Work with Ellie Mae

Guess who's coming for dinner

Guess who's coming for dinner
Blue heron, sitting on the dock of our pond

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

BFF's forever

BFF's forever
Margie and Ellie Mae

Tomatoes and peppers are us.

Tomatoes and peppers are us.
Spicy salsa with roasted peppers, here at HappyDay Farms

Much love, John-Bryan

Much love, John-Bryan
Eric at 26 on the left, and John-Bryan in January of 1973.

Halloween fun

Halloween fun
SmallBoy and Dancing Girl

Our house

Our house
The snow season approaches...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Christmas Box: Entry # 4: No Danger of Starving

The Christmas Box 
Entry # 4:
No Danger of Starving
The following excerpt is found on a storage box, used to house Christmas ornaments, a bedraggled cardboard arrangement, upon which I began scrawling an annual message, careful to affix the date each year.  Some of the messages are filled with hope and whimsy; others, with dark forebodings of dire straits.  Still others contain a blending of the two, a more accurate description of life up here on the mountain, on Bell Springs Road, and possibly where you live, also.
January 2nd, 1989
Well only the next year will answer the following questions:
Will the snow ever stop?
Will the 49ers win the show?
How about those Giants?
Twenty-five words.  The entry this season was sparse.  Was I in a hurry?  Was I going through the motions?  I only know that the timing for two of the three questions was impeccable, and the answer to the third one was easy:  Yes, it stopped snowing.
It stopped snowing, but only after we had been trapped seventeen days, with no vehicle up on Bell Springs Road.  OK, that’s not right.  It snowed a bunch and then stopped.  Then it started to melt, got cold again, and then froze into a solid sheet of ice.  That was the problem.  If it had kept raining, it would have melted, or if the whole thing did not freeze, the snow would have disappeared as it normally did.
When it got cold, it stayed that way, and we were stuck, with our two-wheel drive pickup, in the driveway of our home.  We could walk, gingerly, overland to Robert and Pauline’s, but there was no way we could drive up our steep driveway, the quarter mile to Bell Springs Road.
Of course, Pauline had her pantry filled with supplies, so there was no danger of starving, and we had those bridge cards.  
We also had the VCR, which was novel enough in those days, because we also had access to their library of VHS films.  Robert favored war films, Pauline the classics, but Kevin was the Man, supplying us with a range of contemporary comedies, and a steady flow of kid-friendly combos.  One of his best efforts, combined Treasure Island, The Swiss Family Robinson, and The Man in the Iron Mask.  The boys loved it, and so did their parents.
When it came to the answer to the second question, I only had to wait three scant weeks.  On January 22, at Joe Robbie Stadium, in Miami, The 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 20-16.  This was the second meeting between the two teams in the Super Bowl, their first meeting being seven years earlier, when the Niners won 26-21.
The game is remembered for the 49ers’ fourth-quarter game-winning drive.  Down 16-13, San Francisco got the ball on their own eight yard line with 3:10 on the clock, and marched 92 yards down the field in under three minutes.  They then scored the winning touchdown on a Joe Montana pass to John Taylor with just 34 seconds left in the game. 
49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice was named the Super Bowl MVP.  He caught eleven passes for a Super Bowl record 215 yards and a touchdown.  This was the final game coached by the 49ers’ Bill Walsh. 


 We had driven down to Tom and Reiko's, in Santa Rosa, to watch the game, and we were awfully glad we had.  The boys were old enough to be able to relish the obvious excitement that the [male] adults were exhibiting, so we were all in synch.

         In a poll taken in 2006, this game was rated the number one most exciting Super Bowl in history.  Since 2006, many would give the nod to the NY Giants versus New England Patriots, when the Pats were prevented from going undefeated, by a team led by Eli Manning.  It was a game of the ages.
If the Niner victory in 1989 was not enough, the 49ers went on to do it again, almost exactly one year later, when they established the greatest margin of defeat in Super Bowl history, by defeating the Denver Broncos, led by John Elway, 55-10.  The Niners remain the only team to score eight touchdowns in a Super Bowl.  Who needs field goals, when you score eight touchdowns?
And I am sure there are no Giants fans out there who do not remember what happened in 1989.  Can you say Loma Prieta earthquake?  While the Giants and the hated A’s were conducting pre-game practice before the third game of the World Series, the first earthquake tremor to ever be recorded on live TV took place.  Of course the real reason for the earthquake was because the Giants were down two games to none in the series, and the baseball gods felt that anything to “shake things up” might help jump-start the Giants and get them back into their game.
It didn’t work.  I remember being up in Arcata, taking the National Teachers Exam (NTE) at Humboldt State.  Of all the subjects I worried about, prior to taking the test, science was the biggee.  I have always struggled in science (and math) and I figured out it was because I had a hard time accessing information delivered orally.  Now, I had spent several weeks, honing my science knowledge, by studying this book which contained a whole slew of practice tests, so as to allow prospective teaching candidates to gain some proficiency, before taking the test.  
I had already taken the CBST, and that had been easy.  Olga had been guiding me along, through the process of acquiring my credential.  She had directed me to Dominican, and to Susan Rounds.  She had been the one to lend me the practice books.  Now Annie and I had come up to Arcata, after registering my intent to take the teat at Humboldt State.
We tried to make a festive occasion out of it, by taking in an early dinner, and then going to a sports bar, to watch the Giants try and dig their way out of a hole.  They were unsuccessful, and it made for a sober and early night, which was just as well, as far as the test was concerned.
Our plan must have worked, because I scored a 99 on the science part of the test.  I figured that was good enough.  I wished I could have shared some of my success with the Giants, who were blanked in the Series, four games to none.  Maybe I wouldn't hate the Oakland A's so much. 

2 comments:

  1. Yes - Loma Prieta earthquake was a shaker and I do remember that it was right before the game - and , oddly enough, I remembered that the Giants flubbed the whole series.
    As far as the NTE goes, I took that in 1977. I too dislike science immensely and feared that portion of the test the most. I have no recollection of my scores, only that I know I passed all sections on the first go around. I took the CBEST in spring of 1983 - I was required to pass it before a second credential could be authorized. I actually was surprised at its relative ease for me. I do remember that I scored well , especially in the writing section!

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  2. It wasn't that they flubbed the Series, it was that they flubbed it to the hated A's. :(

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