Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tribute is paid 'Rollercoaster' caregiver-author

Quality of Life Commission cites decade of pro-green work by author of 'Rollercoaster'

Praise, as the needlepoint goes, has always warmed "the cockles of my heart."

That's true even though I don't have a clue where the cockles (actually clams, if you really want to know) live within my blood-pumping muscle.

What in tarnation am I talking about?

Well, the minutes of the San Anselmo Quality of Life Commission's November meeting, which were approved Dec. 15, include a tribute to me for 10 years of service on the panel.

You probably know that I'm Woody Weingarten, author of the new VitalityPress book, "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer."

You may not know I was on the commission for a decade, and chair for six years.

Chantal Maher
The minutes, as compiled by Chantal Maher, the panel's secretary, note first that I "spearheaded the implementation of the town's prestigious Green and Silver awards program, presenting over 70 'unsung hero' awards to deserving residents…along with a newspaper article written for each."

In addition, they indicate, I helped put in place San Anselmo's "garden exchange program and organic farm stand, helped obtain approval for free parking of all electric plug-in vehicles…and endorsed the use of both public and alternative transportation to encourage people to drive less whenever possible."

The minutes say I also "helped coordinate the 'Connecting the Green Dots' free speakers series at Town Hall, which has so far included [the topics,] 'Supporting our town's climate action plan' and 'Moving towards zero waste.'"

I am, they go on, "a strong supporter of Marin Clean Energy's 100% renewable Deep Green energy option, and [support] the boycotting of plastic bottles and Styrofoam containers."

The tribute further states that I "encouraged residents to consider the BYOB (bring-your-own-bag) concept long before it became necessary, and supported [the] town's recent ban on plastic bags."

I shop locally, the minutes maintain, and especially back "local businesses that have taken the necessary steps to earn their 'Green Business Certification."

It might have been easy for me to accept the tribute without difficulty except that the following sentences made me tear up:

"There are so many more ways Woody has contributed to the greening efforts of our town than can be stated here. We are sad to see him go but grateful to have had the privilege of serving with such an amazing man, whose experience, leadership, guidance and perspectives will undoubtedly be missed. We thank him for all he has done for the commission and our town and wish him success with his future endeavors."

I've always appreciated appreciation — in both directions. I believe that, as James Brown sang so many, many times, it "feels goooood."

So the appreciation expressed in the Quality of Life Commission minutes is certainly gratifying, and indicates that I apparently accomplished what I'd set out to do — "give back" to the community in which I've now lived 28 years.

Many folks know I resigned my commissioner's post during the November meeting so I could focus my energy on promoting "Rollercoaster."

The main thrust of the marketing campaign for the book is expected to kick off in January 2015. Here's hoping it'll be as successful as what I'll probably look back on as "my greenest years."

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