Will Rogers The last time I wrote...

Will Rogers

The last time I wrote about a ‘wish list’ for the Boys and Girls Club

of Burbank, it included the club’s wish for a 15-passenger van. That wish

was granted. Isn’t that great? All right, it’s true I had absolutely


nothing to do with it. Publicity I gave the list did not prompt the

donation. Some have said the contribution by local Kiwanis was more

likely made despite that tenuous connection between myself and the club.

But I’ve been working around politicians so long that I can’t help but


feel entitled to kudos for accomplishments that were not mine. So please

be tolerant while I bask in the glow of wholly undeserved glory.

While I am feeling so good about my non-accomplishment, I want to let

you know about another opportunity to help the Boys & Girls Club of

Burbank. The club is hosting a holiday party for the kids next week and

needs us to help by donating new gifts. You’ll find there’s nothing on

the list nearly as challenging as a 15-passenger van, and I urge you to

help if you can.


For boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 12, the club needs all

the popular action figures and dolls, Hot Wheels cars and related

equipment, and Legos. As parents of kids that age can tell you, the club

will also eagerly accept gifts in any way related to the Pokemon


For kids age 13 to 17, the club is taking the smart route. They’re

asking for gift certificates to let kids buy their own tapes and CDs at

stores like Virgin Records and Sam Goody’s. Movie passes for the local


theaters are another great idea. And because these are for teenagers,

gift certificates for clothes at Miller’s Outpost, Target, Mervyn’s and

Sears are requested.

As any teen can tell you, except for important staples the club asks

you to

donate new - like t-shirts, shoes, socks, sweaters and jackets - DO NOT



Finally, the club also requests donated school supplies like folders,

backpacks, novelty pens and pencils.

When I try to promote wish lists like this one, realizing how basic


needs are always moves me. At least for now, there isn’t a thing on this

list that my kids can’t count on having when they need them, and I’ll bet

most of you can say the same.

Just a few years ago some doubted we needed a Boys and Girls Club in

Burbank. Today the club has more than 700 kids as members. That many

attending the holiday party next week can’t count on basics many of us


for granted reminds me of how lucky I have been. And while I know that no

one of us can help all of them, I have to believe 700 of us can help 700



Please deliver gifts to the clubhouse at 2244 N Buena Vista St.


11am and 5pm, or call for information from the program director, Norberto

Oropez, at (818) 842-9333.

[BOLD]Signed, Eternally Yours[END BOLD]

State Senator Adam Schiff has been sending holiday cards to some local

voters. The cards, paid for by Schiff’s campaign for congress, include a

picture of the senator, his wife and their daughter. Whenever I rap

campaigns for sending us cute pictures of the candidate’s kids instead of

material on the issues, the pols angrily accuse me of ‘dragging’ their


into politics.

Inside the greeting card, a message from Schiff reads, ‘We hope the


thousand years will bring you continued good health and happiness.’ I’ve

heard of empty gestures, but this one takes the cake. I have reason to

believe that sometime in the next 1,000 years I will be dropping dead,


I’m a tad peeved at Schiff for reminding me.

Maybe this is Schiff’s way of telling us he’s opposed to the ultimate


‘term limits.’ Perhaps he’s promising legislation to forbid mortality?

Surely he’d get bi-partisan support. But I suspect this just is an


of taking optimism too far. I predict that, of those who receive a copy


Schiff’s good wishes for the next 1,000 years, most won’t make it even


that long. Then again, maybe he’s stumbled on the next fad in political

promises. ‘Elect me and health care will be reformed by the year 2657!’

[BOLD]Who Rang That Bell?

A volunteer working for a candidate I’ve never met recently turned up


my doorstep. The poor fellah, canvassing door to door to see a candidate


believes in elected to state office, had the bad luck of coming across


But maybe I’ve won some revenge for those irked when solicitors turn up


at dinner time.

I grilled the poor guy on recent legislation and local issues. I admit

it’s unfair to expect that a volunteer can be sent out with detailed


to all the questions I had. But I was also surprised the volunteer was

unfamiliar with a couple of heated debates in Burbank, questions I hope

others on my street share. For example, he said his candidate favors a

mandatory curfew at the local airport. But when I asked if it was the


described in the ‘framework’ proposal, or the one in a proposed ballot

initiative, or perhaps some other version, the perfectly nice fellow took


the look commonly described as ‘like a deer in the headlights.’

I finally clued him in as to why I happened to be such a big-mouth

with so

many questions. When I asked if any locals had endorsed his candidate,


volunteer said, ‘It’s too soon for announcements, but you’ll be reading


those in the newspapers.’ I told him, ‘No, I’ll be writing about those in

the newspapers.’

[BOLD]Out Of The Frying Pan...[END BOLD]

A week after the volunteer’s visit, his candidate called me to follow


We had a pleasant chat, we talked a lot about politics, and he did his


to convince me he is in touch with Burbank. He wanted me to know he’s up


date on local controversies, has talked with local officials and


and now he knows what’s what.

Then I asked who in the city has endorsed him that I might know. He

happily chirped, '(Former councilman) Ted McConkey!’ Forget what I may

think, or even the results of Burbank’s last council election. Glendale


in the same district. What are voters over there going to do when they


the name?

Will Rogers’ column appears in every edition of the Leader. He can be

reached 24 hours a day at 241-4141 voice mail ext. 906, or by e-mail at