Confessions of a Selfish Walnut
Did a windshield note inspire an episode of self-reflection? No
By Ed Goldman
According to a reliable though anonymous source, I’m a ”selfish walnut.”
The accusation was leveled at me a few weeks ago when I took what I thought was the last available parking space at the Jensen Botanical Garden in the town of Fair Oaks, California, just outside the capital but still in Sacramento County.
A Non-Grace Note
What I didn’t realize until I returned to the car about 90 minutes later was that I’d inadvertently blocked some additional, even more waterlogged spaces. I was called out for my callous oversight by a hand-written note on my windshield which read, in full, “You parked blocking more parking space you selfish walnut.”
What I found charming about the note was its avoidance of profanity. It sounded like something little kids who hadn’t yet learned to curse might call one another. Or what an elementary-school teacher, thwarted from getting a space for her SUV while hauling a group of overly juice-boxed students to the venue, might have written to demonstrate to her young charges that indignation is an acceptable reaction but must be modulated.
My least likely theory: The note writer was a visiting intergalactic tourist on whose home planet (Juglandaceae*), walnuts are death tokens you wouldn’t wish on even your worst enemy. (*For younger readers: This is the unpronounceable name of the walnut genus.)
It’s certainly food for thought, as they say. I think I’ll mention it to the guys tonight when I join them for Monday Nite Happy Hour at Neuters. Jeez Louise is booked.
A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela
President and CEO, Golden Pacific Bank
photo by Phoebe Verkouw
March is International Women’s Month—and even though we have only one day left in the month, this still remains a time to reflect on women that were leaders in history.
There are many women that deservedly have stories that will be told and retold. Names and faces that will not be forgotten. I love women change makers and ground breakers. Women like:
- Abagail Adams, one of the first and fiercest advocates of women’s equal education and property rights. She also thought married women should play as active a role in decision-making as their husbands. Hers, John Adams, happened to be President of the United States;
- Susan B. Anthony, the women’s rights activist who did more for the women’s suffrage movement than anyone else, starting as a teenagers who collected petitions calling for an end to slavery. Her contributions also earned her the posthumous honor of being on a U.S. one-dollar coin;
- Dorothy Day, a journalist, who went from a free-wheeling, artsy youth into Catholicism—without abandoning her (considered at the time) radicalism;
- Sojourner Truth, the former slave who boldly spoke for abolition, and civil rights in the nineteenth century. Her book attracted the attention of the well-known reader President Abraham Lincoln, who invited her to meet him at the White House; and
- Rosa Parks, the acknowledged mother of the civil rights movement who refused to cede her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama, an act that sparked the 1965 Montgomery Bus Boycott, which drew 17,000 black citizens.
I would like to also reflect on all the unnamed unrecognized women throughout history that persevered through challenges, silently and humbly being moms, eking out livings, working hard to support others, loving fiercely. To all my female friends sisters colleagues I blow you a gentle kiss and blessing of thanks and respect for holding on and keeping it real.