76ers

Near the end of my junior year at Independence High School in 1984, our wrestling coach, Jesse Barajas, let the team know that a young stud, Marco Sanchez, an eighth grader from one of the feeder middle schools (Sheppard), would be coming to join the 76ers at IHS the following year. We didn’t know a …

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Faith and Columbine

“Oh my God, oh my God, don’t let me die!” Not exactly the words I wanted to read before boarding a 737 one night ago. I’ll get back to that in a moment. If you spend a lot of time in airports, “people-watching” may not be something that you do much of when you’re at …

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Bruce!

The holiday season has a way of bringing out the best in people. Just the other day, I was on the receiving end of generosity, when a kind gentleman — whom I had just shared a brief conversation with — politely asked if he could pay for my coffee at 7-Eleven. I was taken aback …

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No Trespassing

When I was a kid, orchards, ranches, and barren land were within walking distance from our house. Nowadays, it’s hard to find any of these things in my hometown of San Jose. In those days, signs like the one you see here were all over the place, and the message was pretty clear: Stay off …

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Ride Sharing

If the numbers 22, 70, 71, 81, or 63 don’t mean anything to you, my guess is that you probably haven’t spent any, or much time on our local buses, like I have. Today I rode the 27, 64, and 81. When I was 15 years old, I caught bus 63 at 6:45 a.m., and …

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Vick

In the summer of 1977, I met a boy named Vick at the grand opening of the original Chuck E. Cheese’s in the Town & Country shopping center in San Jose. We, and other kids, were there with our parents for some pizza, soda, and fun. Back to Vick in a moment. Pizza Time Theater, …

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Miss Kidd

The most influential and rewarding educational experience of my childhood followed an extremely tumultuous time in my life. When I was in the fourth grade, my parents decided to make the painful decision to separate. While I didn’t know it at the time, as I look back, I believe that my less than stellar performance …

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First Customer

Earlier tonight, before visiting my mom, I stopped at this 7-Eleven at the intersection of White Road and Quimby Road in East San Jose to buy a cup of coffee. As some of you know, there’s nothing extraordinary about my visit to a 7-Eleven. In fact, eleven months out of the year, it’s my first stop …

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Brothers

If there is one thing that my wife and I often repeat to our kids, it’s this: choose your friends wisely. People my age have seen enough friends come and go that we’re pretty much experts on “choosing wisely.” This time of year is always a time of reflection — at least for me. I …

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BFFs

The first time I considered someone a “best friend” was in the first grade. I used to live a few houses down from a little blue-eyed blond boy named Johnny. He and I used to play on his pretty awesome Matchbox racetrack at least twice a week. He was my best friend for about a …

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