Typed with a smile by “The Old Man” John Platt.
Rocking Around Alameda
Rocking Around Alameda
Rudy, your roving canine reporter here, filing my occasional report.
I mentioned before that I was worrying about the Old Man, and I’m still worrying. Aside from our walks he rarely leaves the house and has been exhibiting very strange behavior. He has developed a taste for climbing ladders, for example. He used a ladder to take down a perfectly good light, and replaced it with one that has been collecting dust in our garage for 2 years. He keeps going into the attic and bringing down boxes, and the other day two old doll houses. He also won’t leave the backyard alone. He digs, fills in my holes — and he threw away some of my treasures. He washes me at least once a week. Why doesn’t he read a book or watch the talking box? When is this going to stop?
We see lots more children these days, running and wheeling, followed by weary-looking parents. All sizes of bicycles are coming and going down our street, which delights the Old Man, who loves to two wheel. But although we see dogs running next to their owners gliding easily down the street, we’ll never try that again. Two years have passed and he still blames me for his broken ribs — how was I to know that when I dashed after a squirrel he would end up flying over the handlebars? He only bounced twice. My fault? I thought he was an experienced rider.
But the Old Man has a plan. After I announced the arrival of a man dressed all in brown, who retreated after dropping a large box on our porch, the Old Man gleefully attacked the package, revealing a tent with 2 wheels.
He rubbed his hands together, chuckled, unfolded the tent and attached the wheels and a long pole to it. “Now we are going places,” he said. He attached the wheeled tent to his bike, smiling a smile that made me feel very uncomfortable. First he tried his soft voice, than he gave stern commands, but no way was I climbing into that contraption. So the old geezer picked all 60 pounds of me and deposited me in it. He zipped it up, leaving just enough room for me to stick my head out, and we were off.
I tried my weight-shifting tactic, dodging side to side inside the tent like I had done once in a canoe, but it did not work this time. The Old Man pedaled faster, which forced me to sit down. Sticking my head out the opening again I was greeted by one of my favorite things, wind in my ears. This wasn’t bad. The world was passing briskly by and at my level. We whizzed into Jean Sweeney Park, passing lots of walkers and dogs. I was riding, everyone else was walking and the Old Man was doing all the work. The Old Man finally got something right!
The Old Lady informed me Friday night is date night. So the Old Lady, the Old Man and yours truly use my nightly walk on Fridays to go out on the town. These days, from 6 to 8 p.m. music springs up on porches and in Alameda’s streets all over town. It’s like a musical Halloween: Around the corner from us there’s a couple that sing new songs of a cleaner and re-emerging California.
On one dead-end street a band sets up and rocks away while their neighbors bop on their porches and lawns. When we went to our friend’s street, a pair of musicians two doors down from him serenaded their neighbors while everyone walked around visiting each other, enjoying the music while maintaining a proper safe distance. I got to meet a Corgi pup while friends and generations talked and caught up on their news. Excellent!
The Old Man keeps saying things will be returning to normal, but when we do, I hope we will continue to find the time to appreciate our Island and our neighbors.