April 2017 President’s Message by Cindy Towles

Last year, when Supervisor Miley instituted a cleanup day along the Mission Blvd-E. 14th Street corridor, it didn’t quite make it down to my block, so I went out into the median strip at the Grove Way light and hoed some weeds, at the crack of dawn, so I wouldn’t get run over.

I took notice of the lamp posts on the Grove Street bridge and was thinking that I didn’t remember the lights ever being turned on.  Fast forward to early morning March 13th of this year.   I noticed that the lights are on.  When did THIS happen?  I didn’t know how long the lights had been on the bridge; I suspected that they were not part of the original construction in 1910, so I did some research.  I didn’t find out when the lights were added, but I found some interesting facts, such as, that on an average day 3,500 cars pass over it.  And in 2011, some gal publicly repented in the Facebook group “You know you’re from HayWarD if…” for spray painting the bridge on Grove Way at Mission with Led Zeppelin symbols and graffiti in the late 70’s. Good thing she was sorry.   My Grandma had to look at that.

Speaking of Facebook, when I posted the pictures of the lights being on, my dear friend and CCA Board emeritus, Derry Silva, said that she, her late husband had painted that bridge years ago with Bob Campisi, Erica Campisi and Sherry Klepper.   I’m glad, because sometimes that little gateway to Cherryland gets forgotten next to the big one at Mission & Hampton or even Meekland Ave.

That fact and the lights being on reminds me of the lamppost in The Chronicles of Narnia.   That lamppost, which started as a piece of a bar that the sorceress had chucked at the Lion; and the land was so fertile, anything would grow in an instant if it was planted in the ground. Trees and flowers blossomed into life.

Kind of like this plot of land that used to be the Meek Orchards because it was such good ground, until they didn’t rest the land and sub-divided it for houses.   (BTW, the ground here is fertile again.   I know this because tomatoes have volunteered on my property line, near the sidewalk.)   This lamppost, (as our Grove Bridge lights) set in an unlikely location in a Waste place, marvelously displaces the dark with light near the portal between the land and the other realm.

“It will not go out of my mind that if we pass this post and lantern, either we shall find strange adventures or else some great changes of our fortunes.”

―Lucy Pevensie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

May our lights remain ever lighted, and be symbolic of new life and great changes in our fortunes here in Cherryland.   And perhaps also of strange adventures.

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