A city once revered for its commercial citrus heritage and a former home to multiple aerospace industry stalwarts such as General Dynamics, Pomona since the late 1980s has seen its share of tax-base abandonment, political decline, and demographic evolution.
Once an Inland Valley jewel among such well-run sister cities as Claremont, Upland, La Verne and San Dimas, Pomona’s economic demise over the course of two decades had left it a less than desirable residential and corporate destination.
Void of integral, visionary leadership, the city, many outsiders concluded, had seen its best days. As a native son of the city and the community, I can bear witness to the hard times. But I’ve never neglected to see Pomona’s promise despite the doubters and critics.
I believe I represent the best of what this city, this rich, vibrant community offers–and what it can be in the days and years ahead. Pomona is primed for rebirth and resurgence, and firm, thoughtful, smart leadership is crucial to its future. A future I believe I embody more fully and genuinely than my fellow candidates.
I’m Tim Sandoval and I’m running for mayor of the great city of Pomona. If you believe as I do that we deserve a strong, safe, family-devoted, economically viable city, I ask for your vote . . . .
Ideas win the future . . . and the woman. -Rg2
(Roy Greer, a behind-the-scenes political operative/strategist, is recognized as one of the shrewdest, most effective political/funding writers in the Western Hemisphere. Greer is a registered Independent. His strategic communication services are bipartisan: If you want to win, regardless of party affiliation, and your aims are people-first for a better quality of life for voters, Greer delivers results. “Voters want to be pampered, truth be told.” -Rg2)
Candace Parker, WNBA 2016 World Champion, Finals MVP, Los Angeles Sparks
Victory, they say, doesn’t belong to the victor, but to the unsung who made it possible.
People like mom and dad. Grandma. A daughter who idolizes her devoted mother. Brothers Anthony and Marcus. People like Pat and Tennessee teammates of yore. Childhood and Final Four opponents. Professional adversaries and sorors alike. Nneka and Kristi and Alana et al. Coach Agler. Local and global fans.
The unheralded among Candace Nicole Parker had something—quite a lot—to do with the illustrious sparkle that shines from the rare diamond that is the WNBA’s 2016 Finals Most Valuable Player.
But ultimately, in the heat of battle, in the cauldron of war, they can’t play the game for you. You must prove your mettle and deliver when it’s needed most.
Wow, did you do it.
When Magic reminded you and your teammates before the deciding game that he and his Laker soldiers in fact had to go into a hostile Boston Garden and win a game-7, apparently the story had impact.
“Thank you for believing in us,” you cried into his arms.
“This is for Pat,” you exclaimed tearfully into the mic.
Humility. Will. You’re a bonafide winner at every level.
I love you, Candace.
Congratulations and the sweetest Pamper-Her-Friday wishes for you and your world champion teammates.
Forgive me the delay in the arrival of this love letter. As you delve into the soul of this write, perhaps you won’t hold its tardiness against me.
I attended a mayoral debate Friday evening for a city sorely in need of dynamic, people-first, innovative leadership. It wasn’t a particularly spirited debate, likely because of the strict one- to two-minute response times and, noticeably, neither candidate imparted a dynamism that revs a voting public.
The incumbent can tout visibly new development, such as homes and service-based businesses. The knock apparently is he hasn’t galvanized the cross-section of residents with genuine inclusiveness. The challenger, more than a decade younger, appeared to win the room, based on the volume of handclaps punctuating his responses and his vow to “bring people together.”
Though I surmise his intentions are true, and the message is attractive for the times, I sensed a hollowness lurking deeper, a substance rather lacking. He may have his finger on the city’s zeitgeist nonetheless.
Truth is, the city is reflective of the country as a whole—a microcosm of what is unarguably a broken-hearted nation at war with itself. With open wounds on all sides, no one’s satisfied, let alone happy. No wonder Elon Musk is trying to colonize Mars. He knows Earth has seen her best days.
But that’s another subject.
On my way home I approached one of many intersections en route. Idled at the red light, the sole occupant in my vehicle, I noticed a silhouette approach my right corner, readying for the crosswalk. A young, visibly attractive woman . . . garbed in upper thigh-high shorts and heels. It had to be in the low 60s that evening. The street lamp near the intersection apparently was inoperable because I couldn’t countenance her face precisely, though the outline was soft, unweathered even, her hair flowing featherly.
She walked alone.
The red light lingered long enough for her to eye-communicate to this driver. Teasing, playful—yet sinister. I’ve never engaged that strain of communication. And never will.
I think women are angels, God’s gift to a violent, unforgiving planet in need of them. Pamper-Her-Friday is my evidence. I’m sure there’s a naivete to my view. But I have a wondrously beautiful mother, two sisters of her angelic ilk, and a precious niece. With no offspring, I sometimes ponder what a daughter(s) would look and be like of my genes. Gosh, what a thought.
The light flashed green and I fed the gas pedal, but not before glancing a final time at the courtesan at the boulevard’s corner.
My heart sunk.
‘Whose daughter is she?’ my mind talked.
‘Did a family member fail her? An educator? A revealingly cruel boyfriend? Who doused the fire of her self-value?’
Crazy as it sounds, I wanted to ask her if she has or ever had a dream that circumstance heartlessly deferred. I wanted to tell her the jeweled crown she was born with was only temporarily lost, that the dark, dank, musty, lonely streets are so far removed from her rightful place in a purposeful existence. God, I wanted to save her.
But with what?
The world? Religion? Huh, my own faith is fragile. I’m hanging on to morality with everything I’ve got. I refuse to let go. It’s all I have.
And that won’t save her. Let’s face it, we’re beholden to capitalism, unmerciful capitalism. HP just announced a new round of thousands of job cuts. Wells Fargo, the last untainted bank, just fessed up to opening thousands of phantom accounts to pad its balance sheet and appease relentlessly hungry shareholders.
Automation and robotics are the new workers in an ever-shrinking economy. The planet’s steady cry of “Save me, please” still falls on too many deaf ears. Even Warren Buffet recently admitted that there will come a time when money “loses its utility”; imagine the Oracle of Omaha, who bleeds currency, saying that.
And Elon Musk is intent on colonizing Mars.
What could I say to her?
I drove past the intersection, crossing several more at a lawful speed, with Sting and Stevie channeling their compassion through my vehicle’s speakers, silently hoping as I approached the next intersection and its dimly lit, if at all, crosswalk that I wouldn’t see another haunting silhouette in the cold, descending-fog night.
I entered my still-warm place and locked the door. I filled the kettle with spring water and turned on a blue oval flame beneath it for a slow, soothing piping-hot green tea.
I could easily have written that evening. Actually I mentally wrote with each sip of the bone-warming tea.
And then I said a silent prayer for the fallen angel.
May God help us all,
Pamper the woman . . . for she may be fragile. -Rg2
Your last stand in my entryway, wasn’t it Autumn?
A light year ago but only yesterday it feels,
Was the kiss premeditated or just a parting shot
Perhaps we both were backed on our emotional heels
Taken aback, woman, I was admittedly gobsmacked
Did we somehow conjure something unforeseen?
Your eyes, they revealed a long-buried story
Why in the world did we revisit such a pivotal scene?
Is that why you left without so much as a whisper
You abandoned a fragrance that haunts me still,
All I remember is the ruby glow of your taillights
As fog fell, I contemplated a sleeping pill
Well aware that rest would be no night option
It followed your vehicle as if in pursuit,
Straight, no chaser, I settled on a bourbon
A problem remained and, woman, you were its root
There you left me, why would you leave me there
Alienated like a stranger inside my own home,
Alone with the memories and that rekindled image
Our emotional landscape I began to roam
‘Don’t go there, don’t go . . .’ my mind would stammer
Exacerbated by the low roar of that autumn fire,
Each sip of the spirit another moment we shared
Missing you with a pain two degrees from dire
I know unintentional and I can discern a mistake
Is that what it was to have invited you there?
Surely we agree our motives were innocent
Is it truly a wonder to have uncovered we care?
A former life is better left to a buried past
My immature inability to offer a farewell . . .
. . . blame-worthy am I, my demons remain
But there’s a goodness within, Terri, in me you dwell
We haven’t spoken since that mid-autumn night
As well it should be . . . we’ve likely said enough,
You kissed me, and I you, then left me with silence
Life now finds me straddling this emotional rough
I’m not suggesting you reconsider your response to the touch
You’ve gone on, as have I; you appear fulfilled,
Your son and daughter guided by our Savior’s hand
My last confession is written but the envelope’s sealed
I’ve reconciled my mistakes from that time ago
and the integrity with which I treated you throughout,
The expression from your eyes that mid-autumn night
Affirmation of your love for this caring man devout
Still he am I, cultivated by hurt
The once-lingering pain now superseded by joy,
You’ve found your rhythm and safeness of heart
A family you’ve formed, such a beautiful employ
I thank you, so tenderly I thank you, Terri
For that night, it was Autumn, and what you didn’t say,
Spoke volumes of my place still nestled in your heart
I honor our memories on this Pamper-Her-Friday
Pamper the woman . . . and forever live in her Autumn. -Rg2
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