Spevak: Column responses show that it's a small world

By John SpevakFebruary 1, 2013 

It is once again time to let readers comment on what I've written.

All of the respondents are from outside Los Banos, some are even from outside the United States.

It's interesting to see the different ways my column gets to an out-of-town reader. In some cases, it is electronically forwarded by a Los Banos friend. In other cases it appears when a person accesses the Enterprise online.

And, as you'll see in the last response, it sometimes appears by way of a search engine.

Today's respondents reside in the Bay Area, Japan and Canada.

The first two comments relate to my column on baby-sitting my 2½-year-old grandson AJ, when his parents were out of town for a few days but his older sisters Hanna, 14, and Kaila, 12, were helping me:


Good job with AJ. But you and I both know how much you depended on Hanna's and Kaila's help. Without them giving you all the directions of when, where, how and why, your time with AJ would have been a whole lot more challenging.

Gregg Wilson, San Leandro

Gregg, I'm glad you keep up with Los Banos news, even though you moved to continue your PAL (Police Athletic League) work.

You are so right. Without the help of AJ's sisters, I would have been not just up a creek without a paddle; I'd been up a whitewater river!

Hi John,

I liked the column you wrote recently on baby-sitting. I can relate. I'm in my 60s and have two grandkids, a girl (age 10) and a boy (age 7).

Grandkids are wonderful but can surely get on grandparents' nerves after a while, with their constant energy and our constant no-energy.

I was just wondering, though. You only mentioned changing AJ's diaper once. Was this true, or did you just leave out other changings to shorten the story? Just curious. Cheers!

Lila Riser, Richmond

Lila, I'm glad you can empathize with me. And, yes, I did change AJ's diaper, according to the schedule that his mom Karen gave me. For the sake of space and decorum, I mentioned diaper changing only once.

The next two comments relate to my columns on Italy.

Hello, John,

I am Chet and Lucy Downey's daughter. My parents mentioned your trip to Italy to me, and I just read your column online.

I have a house/apartment outside of Lucca, Italy. I will be heading back sometime this year, but I will be going (hopefully next year) for an entire school year with my kids to have them learn Italian.

We currently live in Japan and my children speak mostly Japanese. It is really amazing to see how kids just seamlessly pick up the different languages and cultures! My kids act so American and Japanese at the same time. I need to get them speaking some Italian, too!

Rene Downey

Rene, thanks for the email. You have certainly broadened your horizons since you lived in Los Banos.

I agree on how quickly and easily young children pick up other languages and cultures. Your kids are getting a wonderful global experience.


I have just forwarded your column on Venice to my daughter and sister, with this comment: "This guy 'gets it.' " And they will totally agree.

We are all in love with all things pertaining to that enchanting city, and it is nice to know that you enjoyed Venice as much as we do.

I had the very wonderful experience of living in Venice for three months in 2007, and have actually visited the city seven times since 2000.

As you saw, with Venice's history, architecture, art, food and wine, music, people and the water, there is nowhere else like it.

I came across your article because we are signed up to "Google alerts" for Venice. It's a great way to keep in touch with the city until you can return again.

I live in Canada, near Windsor, Ontario. Buon viaggio.

Bobbe McCarty Bobbe, it is indeed a small world, and seems to be getting smaller each day.

Comments on the writings of John Spevak, an Enterprise columnist for 29 years, are encouraged, and can be sent via email to john.spevak@gmail.com.

John, Good job with AJ. But you and I both know how much you depended on Hanna’s and Kaila’s help. Without them giving you all the directions of when, where, how and why, your time with AJ would have been a whole lot more challenging. Gr

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