A great neighbor

To the Editor:

I am saddened to find out that Bill Duffey has passed on. Although

I have never met the man, I feel I have known him since moving here 10

years ago.

As I would leave the hill (Groveland) every Monday morning to work in

the Bay Area and return on Friday, I would always give a wave at the

mannequin as a good luck wave to allow me to return safely from work.

Well today, I am retired and feel that Duffey was a great person

and always touched people's hearts through the many costumes he put on

the mannequin. I am not just speaking for myself as others that I know

always shared the same feelings and always wondered what was next.

I will continue to wave, as I know Duffey is here in spirit.

Thanks for making my journey safe. My condolences to the Duffey family for your loss of a wonderful man.

Joe Olivera, Groveland

A simple plan

To the Editor:

As our Congressional leaders discuss the issues of the economic

meltdown of our financial institutions and economy, those on the left

and the right seem to want to approach the problems on a partisan and

also a bipartisan open-mindedness to the other party.

Both the left and right try to lean to the middle but not so far as

to lose sight of their core values. It seems however, that sometimes

the core values meld into a muddle of rhetoric by politicians that

confuses their fellow colleagues and the general public as to what's

going on and what to do about it. They have yet to arrive at the middle

with a general, meaningful and workable solution to the credit crisis

and liquidity in the marketplace. Round, round the merry-go-round goes.

I tend to think credit isn't the answer. I think cash is the answer. You know, money, greenbacks.

If I was handling the situation I'd take the $700 billion, get it

changed into $20's, load it onto airplanes and begin a money-drop, all

across the United States. This would help pull us out of the recession

by creating a cash flow, put people back to work, increase tax revenues

and put a smile on people's faces once again.

It's not a perfect plan for sure, but it's better than bailing out

Wall Street, the mismanaged auto industry and watching one or two

people in our government dole out billions of dollars to who knows who

or where.

My plan would be transparent, accountable and in keeping with the phrase, "Keep it simple, stupid."

Larry P. Johnson, Tuolumne

A kind voice

To the Editor:

I remember during the early '90s growing up as a gay youth in a

small city in southern California was not an easy task. The beatings,

name calling, the pure humiliation caused by those with no tolerance.

The constant state of never letting your guard down was overwhelming

and brought anger and confusion.

One day after school, I was waiting for the city bus. I was being

attacked once again by local bullies, when the bus had pulled up to my

stop I stumbled onto the bus crying, clothing torn, red faced, busted

lip, aching both physically and mentally. I felt a soft touch to my

hand then a heartfelt grasp of my palm and an angelic voice said to me,

"Child, you dry those tears ... let it make you strong, there is no

shame in being different, you too shall overcome ..." Till this day it

has been my fondest memory.

It was an elderly beautiful African American woman on a bus one

late afternoon that brought me hope and strength to fight back.

From that day on I became a fighter. That beautiful angel of a

woman gave me the courage to fight for the rights of all humanity. For

we are all equal, we all deserve the same rights and respect.

Beaux T. Baker, Jamestown