Tag Archives: life-in-the-lope

400 alarm fire in Antelope!

So there I was, kicking back on the couch, sipping on a wine cooler single-malt Scotch, and reading a book, when Homer runs to the back door and starts going apeshit.  Now, if you know dogs at all, you know that apeshitty behavior, though random, is not an uncommon occurrence.

So I ignored him.

Five minutes later, though, there was a vigorous, insistent knock at my front door.

I looked at my clock.  9:35 pm.  WTF?  Kelly was at a volleyball game, and no one was coming over, so who the hell could it be?

I peeked out the window and saw an 18-year-old kid.  He looked harmless enough, so I opened the door:

Me:  'sup?

Kid:  Nothin'

Me:  You gellin'?

Kid:  STFU

Me:  True.

Kid:  There's a fire behind your house.

Me:  Tight shit, yo.

And then I punched him in the neck.

So I raced to the backyard fence, and, sure enough, there was a fire blazing behind my house.  Beyond our fence sits a big, undeveloped grassy field.  The grass is dry — very dry — so I wasn't completely shocked that it was ablaze, it being the peak of fire season and what not.

I grabbed my ladder, unspooled the garden house, and donned my pithhelmut to attack the blaze.  It wasn't until after I'd gotten everything all set up that it dawned on me: my firefighting would be much more effective if I opened up the back gate and took the hose out into the field, rather than spraying wildly from a ladder in my back yard.

So I ran back into the garage to get the gate key.  Just as I finished opening the gate, a Sac Metro fireman came through my front gate to save the day. 

I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that Sac Metro, Roseville FD, CDF, and whoever else was involved did their jobs supremely.  They got on the scene and had the fire out quickly.  There were at least two trucks in front of my house, and at least 8-10 on the road behind my house.  They were there in full force, and they got the job done.  Kudos.

I wish I had some live action shots or video to show you, but I was too busy first hauling my fire gear out to the front lines, and then, after the FD took over, entertaining the neighborhood teenagers who had come through our yard and congregated around my back gate.  I didn't smite them only because one of them knocked on my door and let me know that my wooden fence was in mortal danger.

And where was Troy throughout this whole ordeal?  Sleeping.  Dead to the world.  A sonic boom 10 feet over his head couldn't have woken him.

Good news, for once

Life in the 'Lope ain't all bad.

We occasionally run into this kid's dad when we're walking Homer at night:

At 22, Eric Giannini Jr. has been overseas once to attend a summer study course in England in 2005.

This weekend, the Sacramento-born Giannini begins a second foreign trip, this time as a Russia-bound Fulbright Fellow.

"I feel very thankful that I got the Fulbright," Giannini said in his parents' Antelope home last week, a month after he graduated magna *** laude from St. Mary's College in Moraga with a bachelor's degree in integral liberal arts.


Pretty amazing stuff!


Regular trash pickup resumed this morning, meaning that our neighborhood should be spic-and-span by tomorrow morning.  It is starting to look like a regular cesspool.  Around every toter, there is a swarm of flies.  Virtually no one is able to fully close the lids on their containers.  It’s about damn time these “sanitation engineers” are getting back to work.

I don’t begrudge them their ability to strike and hold out for better pay, but I think they’re going to get the short end of the stick in the long run.  They’re going to have to pay 20% of their medical costs starting next year, and with the way health care costs keep spiraling upward, that 20% is going to eat into their new salaries very quickly.  Then again, it’s only a 5-year deal, so I’m sure they’ll be able to renegotiate then if costs are out of control.

Whatever.  My trash is getting collected tomorrow, and (hopefully) the county will formulate some sort of reasonable rebate for those of us who have been without service.

Stink, stink, go away… and don’t ever come back!!!

It's not all bad

Life in the ‘Lope isn’t all bad.

On Saturday, The Bee ran this story about a boy trying to raise funds for his recently-deceased father’s funeral:

Eddie Mendez Jr. died a week ago with his 15-year-old son giving him CPR as his wife held the phone and called out the instructions from a 911 operator.

The 38-year-old Rio Linda tree trimmer was a poor man, which became all too clear by the order of things in the days after he inexplicably stopped breathing. […]

Today is the car wash. That’s how the Mendez family hopes to pay for everything.

Nicholas Mendez, the son who tried to keep his father alive with chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, is the force behind the event.
The car wash begins at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of Original Granite’s restaurant, 6749 Rio Linda Blvd., in Rio Linda.

“I’m going to look at it like it’s helping my family out. I wanted to have a good funeral for my dad,” Nick Mendez said. “He didn’t want to be cremated. I really respect him and love him and I want to give him what he wanted. ”

The Mendez family borrowed from relatives and “everybody we can think of” to pay for the funeral, said Dawn Mendez, Eddie’s wife.

She is intent on paying everyone back. […]

Yesterday, they ran a followup story about the overwhelming response from the community:

By the time 15-year-old Nicholas Mendez arrived with pails and soap to begin washing cars Saturday morning, the line of well-wishers was stretching down Rio Linda Boulevard.

All day long they kept coming, forming a steady stream of minivans and pickups and luxury cars, each one touched by the story of the boy who tried to resuscitate his dying father and who is now trying to pay for his funeral.

“It’s just not right,” said Jerry Bergen, who lives in Fair Oaks but steered his Mercedes-Benz to Rio Linda to donate his Saturday golf winnings to the Mendez family. “This kid probably hasn’t had many breaks in his life to begin with.” […]

The modest funeral on Friday cost $6,000, far more than the tree trimmer’s family could afford. They borrowed what they could from friends and acquaintances. […]

When family members arrived at 9 a.m. to begin washing cars, they saw a line of waiting clients and a stranger who handed them a fistful of donations she had collected from people who had already come and gone.

“People washed their own cars and gave us donations,” said an incredulous Dawn Mendez, Eddie’s widow.

Many of the donors didn’t bother with the car wash, but wound their way through the crowd to tuck a $20 into Nick’s hand. They recognized him, and his mop of blond hair, from the newspaper photograph. Many of them gave him a hug and handshake, too.

“One lady came up to me, and she was crying on my shoulder,” said Kaitlyn Mendez, 12, Eddie’s daughter.

By the time Mark Granite arrived at 10 a.m. to open his Original Granite hamburger stand, there were about 40 cars waiting to be scrubbed in his parking lot.

“It shows there are good people,” he said. “Some people gave $100 or $200 without even washing the car.” […]

A stranger approached the boy before noon with an envelope.

“He said, ‘Count it after I leave. I hope it helps,’ ” Sublett said. It contained about $3,700 in cash.

A group of firefighters from Rio Linda pulled up on an engine with a $1,000 donation. Mel Rapton, a Honda dealer, drove up with a check for $500.

A man from the Pomo Indians tribe brought a $5,000 donation.

James Thompson came before noon with his children to help wash.

He didn’t know the Mendez family but was moved by their plight.

“It wasn’t my payroll weekend, so I didn’t have money to give, but I figured I could help out,” said Thompson, who spent more than five hours on the job, proud that his 8- and 14-year-old daughters refused to stop washing cars and go home.

As much as I rag on Antelope (stolen cars, gun shots, the constant presence of police helicopters), it’s not that bad of a place.  The people we’ve met are all extremely friendly, and reading about an event like this confirms that they have good hearts.

What a great kid.  I wish him the best of luck.

(I know that it’s technically not Antelope that the story is talking about, but it’s close enough.)