Saga of traveling shoes generates most reader feedback to Spevak’s recent columns

These are the shoes ordered by John Spevak. They traveled around the country before rightly being delivered to his Los Banos home. That column generated more reader reaction than others Spevak has written in recent months.
These are the shoes ordered by John Spevak. They traveled around the country before rightly being delivered to his Los Banos home. That column generated more reader reaction than others Spevak has written in recent months. Special to the Enterprise

It’s to time to give readers a chance to express their opinions about recent columns.

Many people said, especially in casual conversations, how much they appreciated the column on the city’s application for state grant funds to renovate Los Banos’s Pacheco Park. Here is one thoughtfully written comment.


Maybe I’m becoming an old-timer now, but I’ve never thought of Pacheco Park as run down. I think of it as the place where the community comes to remember, celebrate and dream about the future. Maybe it’s because I’ve been to so many events there (Relay for Life, Mother’s Day in the Park, candlelight vigils, peace rallies, car shows, Cesar Chavez celebrations etc.).

I’m all for revitalization. I was just a little taken aback at the idea of the park categorized as something less than a community hub, which I believe it is.

Corey P

P.S. Keep up the good work. Your columns are the only way we commuters can get news about Los Banos that is not crime related.

Corey, thank you for your heartfelt words. The city’s grant application has been submitted to the state. Now we have to wait a few months to see if Los Banos is one of the cities awarded a grant. I hope so. It would be well deserved.

College students and staff and community members I’ve heard from have responded favorably to the new dean of the Los Banos campus of Merced College, Lonita Cordova, and the column I wrote about her, including this Los Banosan:


You are right about Dr. Cordova. She is bright, experienced and energetic. But her most important characteristic is her desire to help all students at the local college campus succeed.

Joe G

Joe, I agree with you. Dean Cordova is already working hard to connect with her community and make a difference in Los Banos. The local college campus is such an asset to the area. It has helped so many students in the past improve their lives and achieve rewarding careers. I know that Lonita will build on this success and create even more educational opportunities.

Many people commented on my column about my moving from a two-story to a one-story house, leaving a comfortable home and pleasant back yard. As one reader wrote:


Your column on leaving your home for a different one is such a relevant article these days. You’re brave for taking this big step.

Julie S

Julie, thank you for your kind words. My wife Sandy and I are happy in our new (older) home, not having to climb steps. Little by little we have sorted through the items we accumulated in our other home and are getting so close to putting it up for sale. It will be nice not to have to pay two mortgages.

John Spevak New Photo
John Spevak, columnist for the Enterprise. Enterprise file

Several dog owners commented on my column about restaurants that allow dogs to accompany their owners when they eat at patio tables outdoors. One reader from Colorado expressed this view:


Denver isn’t dog friendly at all because there are so many restrictions. My dog Tutu doesn’t enjoy restaurant excursions anyway. She likes walks, rabbits, a mouse or two and her regular human buddies in the neighborhood.

Susan T

Susan, I agree that most dogs would rather be out romping than hanging out on restaurant patios. However, some dogs, like mine, would rather be with their owners rather that home alone, especially if they can have some nibbles while their owners eat.

Many readers expressed appreciation for the column on the public officials who have decided not to focus on the Democratic or Republican parties but on a new coalition, the “Get Stuff Done” party. As one reader wrote,


I love this approach to solving political issues. GSD is my new motto.

Julie St.

Thanks, Julie. Let’s hope more elected officials adopt this motto, too.

But of all the columns I’ve written during the last few months, the one that has gotten the most comments by far is the one I wrote about ordering online a pair of shoes that took several months to get to me, because they were shipped erroneously to various states in the country, including North Carolina and Colorado. As one reader wrote,

Dear John,

I enjoyed your traveling shoes column. You do have your little adventures. I’m impressed your sight-unseen shoes fit. You were lucky to end up with the correct size. I did a similar mail order once and spent way too much time returning. I find the travels of your shoes hypnotic, but the customer service?

Shiena P

Shiena, thank you. Many people approached me to say, as you did, that they enjoyed that column, which was the most whimsical I’ve written lately. Comments about the shoes far exceeded comments about new parks and better political approaches.

John Spevak wrote this for the Los Banos Enterprise. His email is john.spevak@gmail.com.