Letters to the Editor, May 22: A Memorial Day poem

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Departed heroes, not forgotten

EDITOR: This poem was written by my grandmother’s grandmother about the latter’s grandfather. This great-great-great-great grandfather of mine was a veteran of the American Revolution who fought at Bunker Hill and took part in the Continental Army’s unsuccessful 1775 invasion of Canada of Gen. Richard Montgomery. He was captured in Canada by British forces but managed to escape and made it back home to West Boxford, Massachusetts, where his family did not recognize him as he had lost so much weight!

Later, on active duty again, this ancestor of mine, Enos Runnels, stood guard duty through the night, and in the same room, with the British spy, Major John Andre, who was executed by the Americans on Oct. 2, 1780, the next morning.

I have thought that this poem might be of interest for the Memorial Day holiday:

For Enos Runnels (Feb. 20, 1757 – Aug. 11, 1845), veteran of the Revolutionary War,

including the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Battle of Quebec. Poem written by his granddaughter, Sarah Clement Reynolds on Dec. 4, 1870.

To the departed hero

Peace be to thee, dear honored sire;

Calmly thou sleepest in thy narrow home,

Bright gem in freedom’s starry crown,

Thy mission here on earth is done.

Thy children’s children speak thy name,

Wafting thy praise on wings of love,

To freedom’s children, ever sung,

And generations yet unborn.

Robert Demler


Taking it to the streets

EDITOR: In the near future restaurants in Sonoma will be allowed to open to reduced capacity under social-distancing guidelines. Seating capacity estimates under these conditions are 25 percent of maximum seating. This would make it difficult for restaurant owners to pay their employees, rent and other bills. I would suggest that the City of Sonoma close street parking on one side of streets around the square and one block beyond to allow restaurant seating in the street. This would allow distancing and expand seating beyond what is available indoors. People are now more accustomed to walking and could park in locations like behind the Barracks.

Richard Raley


Music lifts the spirits

EDITOR: Yay, Tim Curley, for the story and interview with Lowell Levinger (“Banana Tales,” May 8). What a feather in your cap… actually, I picture a press card in your hatband, pulling out a pen and steno pad as you amazingly recognize and approach the legendary Youngbloods member: “Excuse me, Banana? I’m Tim Curley, music correspondent for the Sonoma Index-Tribune. May I ask you a few questions?” For fellow North Bay musicians and music lovers, the story inspires good feelings. Especially those of us who grew up on the music of the ‘60s, or just love it. When will our great local talent again be able to share their gifts in person, live, breathing? And, by the way, attend events beloved by us guitar enthusiasts like Tim’s visit to the Bay Area Guitar Show or the amazing Healdsburg Guitar Festival? And, with the article’s companion piece, “Rockin’ In Place,” we are buoyed by tales of our brothers and sisters, so key to the local community, and how they are weathering the current lockdown of the live music scene. I was able to meet up with my bass player buddy recently, sharing a few tunes from 10 feet apart, and realized how much this “live, in person” is missed. While, of course, observing the huge importance of the physical distancing measures in helping keep this epidemic in check. I’m here to say, playing music, listening to music lifts the spirits and can boost the immune system, especially with others in person.

“Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now” — the lyrics from the Youngbloods’ classic “Get Together” seem to be so relevant, resonating musically with our current state of being. Thank you, Tim and Index-Tribune!

Carl Finney

Glen Ellen

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me

EDITOR: Restriping of Broadway to accommodate bikes doesn’t seem like a bright idea. Bikes would like to be treated as vehicles and, as vehicles, they should be required to carry the minimum liability insurance of vehicles. Because when you run into a bicycle, or bicycle runs into you, there is a liability that should be covered by insurance.

I recently gave my bicycle away because I can’t afford to be hit or injured on a bicycle. Originally, bicycles had to obey certain laws which included that you had to get off your bicycle and walk it across the street. Bicycles don’t obey the traffic laws, they don’t stop at stop signs, they ride on the sidewalks and, often times, it’s difficult to see them.

Bicyclist cannot maintain the designated speed limit—so they are obstacles.

I think bicycles should be outlawed from traveling on Broadway. They should use side streets, bicycle paths and Fifth Street. They should not be allowed on Broadway or in or around the Plaza.

Bicyclists should be required to get off their bike and walk their bike across the street. Bicyclists should also be required to carry liability insurance. If they want status as a moving vehicle then they should pay for the privilege.

So if you want to dress up like an Easter egg and put your life at risk that’s your choice. But when you go riding your bicycle down the road where there’s barely room for cars you put other people’s lives at risk. You place the majority of the population that drives cars or motorcycles or walks in financial jeopardy. So get some bicycle liability insurance and move to a town like Davis that is set up to accommodate bicycles. When a bicycle runs into a vehicle that weighs 3,000 pounds the guy on the bicycle loses. Take your bicycle someplace where it’s safe to ride. Stop at the stop signs, get off your bicycle and walk it across the street.

If you’re over 50 and you suffer from vertigo it’s time to get off the bicycle.

Bicyclist should be required to take a safety course and have a bicycle license.

And carry the minimum liability insurance required by vehicle.

So there’s no need to restripe Broadway. What we need is stricter regulation of bicyclist. Show bicyclists proper respect.

Eric Heine

Glen Ellen

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