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Death, Birth, And Service All Rolled Into One

April 4th - Death
You don't need to grieve if you didn't know him, but today is the 2-year anniversary of the death of a beloved colleague, Ken Durling, and so today's date reminds of him. Ken taught band after school and was one of the nicest men I ever knew. A talented saxophone player, composer, and teacher, Ken was driving home from the coast on April 4th, 2007, after enjoying one of his other passions, which was to photograph nature. A cow had gotten loose from a nearby pasture and had wandered onto the middle of the rural highway. Ken's car hit the cow and the car spun out of control, hitting a light standard, breaking Ken's neck and killing him instantly. Granted, that leaves the score at approximately Humans 10,000,000,000, Cows 1, but every time I reflect on it I can't help thinking, "A cow? At that exact moment?" Man, life is random.

Now it actually isn't possible that Ken has been gone for two years, as I can still hear the overtones from the last time I heard him play the sax. But that's what the calendar tells me and so I want to pay my respects to Ken today.

April 4th - Birth
Two days from now a new child will be born, and her name is the 2009 baseball season. We should have gone with our first instinct, which was Margaret. The beginning of April is, as far as I'm concerned, the New Year and I have to say that as much as I enjoyed watching the A's in Spring Training, and as much as I am enjoying seeing the Bay Bridge Series, the adrenaline just doesn't really flow until the games count in the standings. Monday's game counts. Bring it on!

April 4th - Service
Today marks a "first" - the first of what I hope is many times that a group from AN will go out for a Community Service project together. We wound up with a last minute change, because the Alameda County Community Food Bank could not receive us today after all. So along with sending three volunteers to Newman Center in Berkeley to prepare meals for low-income residents, 17 others will be participating in Rebuilding Together Oakland, going on location to help fix up a low-income resident's Oakland home.

Most of us will then be attending the A's-Giants game together, and thanks to the generosity of the Oakland A's we will be attending for free - the A's have been kind enough to provide complimentary tickets to the group of AN volunteers. Thank you, A's!

And thank you, LongTimeFan, for securing the tickets. And thank you, pam5981, for setting up the Rebuilding Together Oakland project just hours after we found ourselves suddenly to be "17 Volunteers In Search Of A Job."

It's Brett Anderson vs. Matt Cain at the Coliseum today, and since I'll be there I won't be here. Look for a post-mortem post soon, complete with photos, from AN's first Community Service Day and go A's!