This week I am of a mind to not dedicate my word allotment upon one subject but rather touch upon a couple items gleaned from various sources. One source, our local Rustler, had three entries in last week’s issue; two were about the local hospital and the other a letter to the editor concerning a northern hospital.
First, the letter. It was written by Lucy Jensen, a name well known via her weekly column, her business and her civic involvement. Ms. Jensen’s letter was a scathing indictment of care, actually lack of care, her daughter received by some emergency room staff at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. It was a concise and balanced letter, giving due praise and due criticism where appropriate. I do hope the daughter is on the mend from whatever it was that ailed her.
As counter to Ms. Jensen’s experience, we have two stories about Mee Memorial Healthcare System (MMHS). One cites statistics from the Lown Institute Hospital Index (LIHI), which in three important categories Mee gets a “A” rating. I won’t go into all the percentage numbers, but they are impressive for a small medical facility. The other story informs us that MMHS will receive grants with a combined total of $500,000 for expansion of pediatric care. Those giving out grants of that monetary size do so only when recognizing that the money will be well spent, which the LIHI evaluation clearly shows.
In future South County residents or visitors who are faced with sudden chronic health situations should consider requesting, if events allow, to be taken to Mee before other venues are discussed; as one with personal experience (the old frame is beginning to fail) I can attest they will receive proper, professional treatment.
“It ain’t your Grandfather’s school”; a quote I could have told my granddaughter a couple years ago when we were both doing shows at The Western Stage on the Hartnell Community College campus. It is an appropriate quote as the physical campus I first attended in 1970 when part of the Little Theatre troupe no longer exists, with the exception of the gymnasium; now a practice venue dwarfed by a much grander one. (In fact all three of my first schools were massively altered, both beautiful buildings of Greenfield Elementary and King City High were obliterated and replaced, and up in Salinas … but I digress.)
Anyhoo, for as far back as I can remember, Hartnell has had an agricultural studies curriculum; and now they have $260,000 in grant money to further facilitate a three-year program. If we consider there are campuses in East Salinas, Soledad and here in town that money will see fruition in our agricultural life when these ag students eventually put their knowledge to work.
Kudos to the cops! Last Friday the Monterey/San Benito County Homeless PIT count took place here in King City and of the eight volunteers involved, five of them were members of the King City Police Department. This PIT (People in Transition) count is important in determining the number of those living without permanent shelter in our area so that measures may be taken to assist in getting these folks into a better living situation. It must be noted that these officers participated as volunteers, which meant showing up at City Hall at 5 a.m.
Besides the officers there was City Manager Steve Adams and Community Development Director Doreen Liberto and me; each of us joining an officer in a specified count area. I was paired with Officer Daisy Gurly, a surname familiar to folks in South County who remember Gurly’s Egg Ranch in Greenfield.
There is a plan in motion wherein the Monarch Motel on Broadway will be used as housing for those wishing to improve their living situations. I’m sure we will hear more of this effort in time and will hopefully see fewer people living in harsh circumstances. It speaks well of a community that offers assistance to those among us who are less able to maintain safe and healthy living quarters if even on a temporary basis.
And now for something totally random. The other evening I was watching a show when one character recited a variation of a question I encountered way back in my younger days when I underwent a battery of intelligence quotient tests. The purpose of this section of the test, if memory serves, was to determine one’s recognition of common knowledge or accepted norms when offered in abstract form.
Thusly, the narrative goes like this: A man walks into a bar, looks at the bartender and says, “Water,” whereupon the bartender pulls a shotgun from under the bar and fires off a blast of buckshot, barely missing the man’s head. The man then places a tip on the bar and says, “Thank you.” The test is to explain the situation in as few words as possible. What explanation would you offer?
Here’s a little South County history tidbit. Out in the Wildhorse area east of King City is the location of the old Samuel Hamilton Ranch; Mr. Hamilton being the father of a daughter named Olive, who in time became the mother of Nobel Prize winning writer John Steinbeck.
The Hamilton Ranch is a locale that figures prominently in the monumental novel “East of Eden,” the ranch’s small blacksmith shop cited as where men would gather to watch Steinbeck’s grandfather Sam work on a neighbor’s farm implement while imparting words of wisdom.
When reading these sections one assumes such descriptive account could only come from the pen of one with firsthand knowledge of the ranch and its outbuildings. But according to interviews by Steinbeck biographer Nelson Valjean, John Steinbeck’s two sisters were both of the recollection that their brother never once set foot on the place. He was just a man who knew how to use words.
Oh, by the way, a short explanation of the man in the bar: hiccups.
Take care. Peace.