Reasons 2 B Cheerful (Part I)


A doctor checkup is seldom a great reason to leap out of bed.

Rain isn’t fun, when it’s the first rain of the year, lifting oil off streets so you can crash more easily, etc…and thirty miles to the doctor is ridiculous, specially a nine a.m. appointment. When you have to have fasted for 12 hours beforehand.

This is what neighbors with 2 ton diesel trucks are for. They DAILY drive twice that distance (passing doctor’s office) so…leapt out of bed and we drive.

With Breezer bike in back. It’s five a.m. and there is already heavy traffic going to the Big City.

This is 20% of my lovely neighbor’s life…daren’t show him the great You Tube commercial for biking…

Dreich day in town, with rain lightly falling.

6 a.m, three hours to explore SF’s southern end, pitch black. Gee, after about 5 minutes I need to get warm. Found a tiny hole-in-the wall Scarbucks a couple miles away in lovely Portal neighborhood, got the best banquette seat, bought a $1.45 peppermint tea to warm up and permit a lengthy sit.

When I looked up, the once empty hole-in-wall was packed, and laptops glowing. Click click sounds punctuated by those painful cappucino percussions of the metal thing getting emptied. Bodies in line, all wearing interesting shoes (mostly pointy-scary, stylish, great for podiatry biz).
Oh, for a TEA ROOM.

With Stephen Colbert’s hilarious I am America (And So Can You!) for company the 3 hrs were up, an’ I zoomed off to get a health-check.

An hour later, I’m blabbling with the doc who is in his understated way, admiring my blood work-up results, my flexibility, etc.. I modestly rearrange my unassuming air.

“But I see you have had cancer” he continues.
I shrug. “We’re all in the one-in-five lottery–It’s the price for living in nirvana.”
“It’s shockingly high rate. But…” he hesitated. “Nice place, Fairfax. I play each year at that place up the hill in a healthcare golf tournament”
“Indeed. You don’t suppose those chemicals flowing downstream from golf courses might…?”

Meadow Club sits above our drinking water (Alpine Lake, where I shot the mud pix).

Rode to a nearby cafe to have breakfast with bike pals Greta Snider and John Kiffmeyer.

John mentions he has STOPPED trying to get people to like him, and he’s had the best year of his life.
“Well, duh!” I bark.
“All that wasted energy now plowed back into your own work, you don’t have to worry about scaring people with your brilliance, youthful beauty, AND musicality…so you can let er rip…am i right?!”
“That’s it exactly. besides, what if I am ‘better’?”
“And I don’t hide the rock n roll thing” he adds…(he was a founder of Green Day)..” so like, I can say something like ya, I have a gold record .. they just issue them everytime a million sales happen whether or not you’re still in the band cuz if the old record hits that number, you get that thing, they send you five so you can give your mom one, your drum shop one, etc…

I am agog. I knew he’d quit music early to go to Humboldt State to get eddycated.

ANY HOW, huge fun hearing about GS’s amazing students, what projects they are working on (her seminar is Using Film as Tool for Social Change). Then I’ve got all day to make it back to Marin. But my ‘family’ would be so depressed to hear I was in town and didn’t pay a call.

Stop #1: American Cyclery, where Bradley Woehl welcomes me like a brother. Show off calendar, admire his downstairs treasure trove: scrapbooks, antique mags, pix, headbadges oh god they were pretty, even the crusty ones…San Francisco framebuilders of the old days…

And then he showed me a chrome-plated bike, Oscar’s first wife’s bike. Oscar was the shop owner, a crusty ol’ six-day racer..”this bike won 13 district championships in a row” he told me. “The lady’s 93 years old, sharp as a tack..”

I got very excited…

“Where does she live now?” Tyson, Brad’s right hand man had the answer on Zaba search, which I grab and commence a ten minute straight uphill pedal.

En route, I spy a pink jacket lying on top of a heap in a dumpster, put it on, ( (WET!!) Nice retro but professional looking linen/silk/wool blend, tres Jackie Kennedy…

Came to the house, a homely three story modern, built into hill…rang bell. Three hours later, ok, maybe five minutes later, I hear a weak voice.
“Who is it?”.
(2 V continued.)

~ by jacquiephelan on December 7, 2007.

2 Responses to “Reasons 2 B Cheerful (Part I)”

  1. Dammit, you sure know how to write a cliffhanger…

  2. Gay was my great great Aunt. She passed away in 2009 just shy of her 100th birthday. She was quite a character and full of spunk. I know she would have gotten a kick out of being mentioned in your blog.

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