Gardena, CA
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Articles by Pat Grimes

My small university town is virtually next door to a much larger university town. Running errands on a fall Saturday, one must be mindful of the zillion cars shuttling partisans to the big football game in our neighboring city. Traffic like that reminds me of my Los Angeles home, but it's not what you want to be in while picking up milk and eggs.

Pope Francis’ visit to the United States is over. Those five days on American soil saw His Holiness visit with the rich and powerful as well as the poor and weak, and he was greeted by huge crowds wherever he went.

Watching news reports reminded me of seeing John Paul II in L.A.'s Coliseum. There was a lot of positive energy in that room back then, as I imagine there was wherever people gathered to greet the current Pontiff.

After a slow start, Serra High’s football team got in gear to defeat host Notre Dame High 35-20 in a Mission League game last Friday in Sherman Oaks.

The Cavaliers, who improved to 2-0 in league and 5-1 overall, trailed the Knights 10-0 after the first quarter before letting loose for five touchdowns in the final three periods.

A woman from my old neighborhood got divorced a while back. Getting together recently to catch up, she told me something sad.

It seems that a few months after her marriage ended, the leaders at her church sent a letter rescinding her membership in that congregation for failing to return to her husband. This church, where she had found great solace in the past, had made no attempt to offer her support through a difficult time; she was hurt their only overture was, essentially, to reject her.

Speaking of mail, which we were just last week, I am the recipient of a new Card Agreement from a major credit card company.  It is a document of wonder.  By that I mean, I wonder what the heck all this means.

In this missive’s first paragraph, the card company assures me this new Agreement is designed with me in mind and is “based on what our customers told us they want to see.”  It is difficult to believe anyone in their right mind truly desires to see 17 pages of legalese.

Coming up on 2 1/2 years residing in this home, it still happens.  Among the bills and solicitations cluttering my mailbox there regularly appear envelopes and notices sent to strangers at this address.  Evidently, a number of people used to live where I live now.

During my lifetime, 11 men have held the office of President of the United States.  I turned 18 shortly before the 1976 election and cast my first presidential vote for James Earl “Jimmy” Carter. 

Historians have taken a middling view of his tenure in the Oval Office; I suppose an economy plagued with inflation and recession, and the energy crisis, and the taking of American hostages by Iran (along with a failed rescue attempt) are lousy circumstances under which to govern, but that is what Jimmy had to deal with.

Took a drive through some of the south last week; in a vehicle with no sound system, I had plenty of opportunity to think. One thing that stood out in my travels was the general absence of the Confederate flag.

It is true that straying a few miles from the interstate highway in one direction or another does not make my study particularly comprehensive. However, with the exception of one side-of-the-road pickup truck selling the Stars and Bars on the outskirts of a tiny Tennessee town, the banner adopted by those who would dissolve the Union was all but invisible.

Regarding healthcare, it is more common to hear horror stories than good things, which makes sense. It is news when a patient has the wrong body part operated on; it is not when surgery goes as planned.

I have been lucky and healthy enough to avoid much contact with medical professionals. So I approached with some excitement a rendezvous at my doctor's office for a long overdue physical.

Not having been there in years, the front office staff did not know me from Adam. They did, however, put on their professional faces and put up with my nonsense admirably. 

Did some hard work lately.  No, not the supreme effort that is composing this prose; rather, I rolled up my sleeves for some manual labor.