Playing at Valmonte School with my son, Niall

Today I walked to Valmonte School with my 7 year old son, Niall.  The first thing I noticed was the breathlessness that I sensed as I walked up and down the steep but tiny hills that are on the way to/from the school.  Far too out of shape for my own good!  As I huffed and puffed I was remembering that in my childhood I would ride a bike or briskly walk up and down those hills with great vigor and dispatch, unaware of any physical limits or problems, and in a body that was in very much better physical condition then, in comparison with now.  Now, a lot of years later the hills were a challenge and a chore–but a pleasant one nonetheless.  Niall wanted to go there to practice his soccer skills.  Being the soccer buddy with a 7 year old requires stamina and so I welcomed the chance to at least pretend to myself that I was getting some exercise while at the same time relishing the chance to play with Niall.

At Valmonte I notice that it is not a K-5 school like it used to be.  I also notice that the playground areas are underdeveloped, unchanged for decades, and not useful for its intended purpose–a place for kids to play.  I am annoyed that the playground does not offer more options for the benefit of kids–for example, much better baseball/softball fields with decent backstops, basketball hoops for little kids to use, drinking fountains, etc.  It seems to only be a “developmental” kindergarten in some of the classrooms while at least a few other rooms that are entirely empty.  I do not understand or agree with the school district’s phase-out of Valmonte and Malaga Cove schools.  It seems odd that students in the local area–the area where I grew up as a child–have to travel further away to go to school.  Local kids in the Valmonte area of Palos Verdes Estates have to be DRIVEN to other schools which are not nearby, unlike in years past when we were able to walk and play at Valmonte or Malaga Cove schools.  I am especially confused why several classrooms at both campuses are barren and empty and unused.  Why are there no adult education classes or other enrichment learning or recreational activities taking place in those rooms, for the benefit of the local folks who are forced to leave their neighborhood for schooling?

I had a great time with Niall but my mind was left to wonder without  logical answers.

A documentary film about Jack London, author and photographer

These days I am writing and researching about Jack London (1876-1916) as I develop a grant proposal in the search for funds.  He is a highly-esteemed American author of fiction, nonfiction–and a photographer too.   He had a spectacular yet brief life and I want to produce a documentary film for PBS about him.  I am particularly interested in his socialist views and his photography.  He took photos during his travels all over Asia, Pacific Islands, Mexico, and the USA.  I have assembled a great team of scholars who will collaborate with me on the development and production of this project.  I am still seeking a PBS co-producer with a national track record as I seek funds and develop the program’s content.  Wish me luck!

About my friend, RL “Bob” Morgan

I want to write about the struggle of my friend, Bob Morgan, who is battling with cancer.  He has an ongoing blog that describes the process of treatment he is undergoing—please visit his blog at:   www.bobmorgan.org/bword/

Bob and I have had a friendship since we were age 3.  Bob has blossomed as a man, husband, father, and all around family man of the best kind—with his lovely wife, Eve, and his daughters, Julia and Annika steadfast at his side.  My friendship with Bob has survived for a long time and I am grateful for the huge range of things that we did and learned together over these many years.  Bob lost his wonderful mom, Marion, and his dad, Harry, a few years ago and they are sorely missed.  But now Bob has an epic struggle of his own to endure and he is a battler.  I am so impressed with his ability to learn and know what is happening throughout this ordeal.  He writes reflectively and in an informed way about the details and big picture of what he is enduring, and for that I am amazed and grateful.  In my own blog I will write about some stories about what we did together over the years, with appropriate editing so as to not mortify the kids or the feint of heart!  I hope that these stories will be considered to be fun to read and will be helpful for his recovery.

PLEASE VISIT Bob’s Blog at:    www.bobmorgan.org/bword/

My prayers are for Bob and his speedy recovery, and I ask that you all send out good energy to Bob!

Anthony

My ranging and restless mind

Hello and welcome to all!

I am Anthony Collins and this is my first post on my first blog site. I am using this blog site to write and reflect upon what I know, observe, do, and seek in my daily life and more. I welcome your comments and input. I am in the process of learning more and more about how to produce my blog site so please notice its growth, improvement, and changes.

Thanks for reading!
Anthony

%d bloggers like this: