A bullet pinged past the soldier’s ear as he crouched behind bushes near the frontlines. A soldier near him suddenly lurched forward, letting out a horrible scream as he crumpled to the ground and died. All gave some, some gave all.

This Memorial Day, we honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice that we might be free to have “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” as Thomas Jefferson expressed it — or, as Tom Petty put it, to be “runnin’ down a dream.”

Legendary frogman John Wolfram will visit Alameda as part of a series of events occurring across the nation to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. The USS Hornet played a pivotal role in rescuing the Apollo 11 astronauts from the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969. When Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins splashed down, the first person they laid eyes on was Wolfram in his inflatable raft. He had flower decals all over his wetsuit.

Strolling through Alameda’s downtown commercial district and viewing the varied architecture reveal that Downtown Alameda has long been historic, hip and worth the trip. At the time that the historic Alameda Theater was being built on Central Avenue in 1930s, Art Deco was swiftly becoming the preferred style for the new age. Confident, vibrant and electric, it was different from styles of the past and its new message fit the growing Park Street community. 
The next time you stroll the downtown district, see if you can identify the Art Deco details on these and other buildings:

Every Friday morning I drive to a different place to eat breakfast and meet with the other members of R.O.M.E.O. Usually five to seven of us. We meet at 8:30 (a respectable hour for gentlemen) and eat and talk for between 60 and 90 minutes. We talk about sports, each other and politics. Nowadays the political talk is considered aerobic exercise since it gets our blood flow racing, our hearts pumping and our arms flailing. Healthy exercise in the face of encroaching autocracy.

Events taking place on the West End recently included “Taste of Alameda,” a delicious tour of the Island City on April 24 (left) and Bike to Work Day, May 9 (right). Both events were well attended. Above, volunteers from the West End staffed the Bike to Work Day Energizer Station at the Main Street Ferry Terminal. According to BikeWalkAlameda, some 1,100 cyclists participated in 2019’s Bike to Work Day. Some were even seen pedaling the new Schiller water bikes across the Oakland Estuary.