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MAILBAG: Hamming it up about Kimber

In Dan Kimber’s most recent column, (“Bring Bob’s home,” July 10) he waxes sentimental about his fond memories of Bob’s Big Boy. In doing so, he makes the outrageous claim that Bob’s makes the best hamburger of all time.

First of all, had Kimber actually done his homework, or simply bothered to ask someone more knowledgeable than himself on the subject — world-renowned author and food critic Calvin Trillin springs to mind — he would’ve come to the obvious conclusion that the best hamburger of all time was, is and will always be the one served at Winstead’s in Kansas City. Look it up, Dan.

Now, I don’t know what Kimber has against Midwesterners in general or Kansas City residents in particular, but I find it disturbing that someone with such an obvious burger-bias is actually teaching in one of our local high schools. What else passes for “truth” in his classroom? That Texas barbecue is edible?

In all fairness, Kimber admits that his nostalgia for Bob’s might have clouded his judgment — and as such, I think the jury might still be out. But Kimber needs to realize that his words still have their consequences, and we villagers still have our torches.




Reunion stretches across counties


What do you do when the snow is on the roof and the decades have whittled their passing on your brow and brain, when the bones are popping and you must lean in a little closer to hear what you used to catch from across the room? You gather together with a bunch of classmates you haven’t seen in years and go on a “Sideways” trip to the wine country of Solvang.

Don’t reach for the shovel yet for the Hoover Class of 1969, we are still moving, grooving, laughing and embracing life as it comes. When the 40-year milestone of our high school graduation began to rise in the fall, Rick Pratt and Marci McQueen had an idea: Let’s get a reunion together for our class where we can hang out and get to know one another again, embrace each other and see who we have become.

That initial meeting turned into a string of barbecues and dinners, phone calls and e-mails, a makeover for the Hoover “H” on the hillside, hospital visits and a memorial for a passing friend — a love fest for the ’60s kids who survived the Vietnam turmoil and made a life for themselves.

Now that we are just three months away from our reunion goal, we gathered a substantial group of old and new friends to go and embrace the vintage of the rolling valleys of Santa Barbara County. Under the guidance of Rick Pratt, Mike Morreale and Roy Nichols, the Glendale boomers made their way through the many wineries of recent fame and clinked their glasses to one another, embracing, laughing and breaking bread together in a style that would be the envy of the country.

Embrace your friends and love them while you still have the chance; you never know what great blessings can come your way.




Nothing laughable about L.A. traffic

A poll reports that people of Glendale favor the extension of the 710 freeway by a margin of 2 to 1 (“Poll touts 710 tunnel,” July 10), yet Councilman Ara Najarian calls the survey “a joke.”

Believe me, for those of us who spend hours a day commuting through bumper-to-bumper traffic, we’re not laughing. The main impact of the 710 extension would be to divert traffic from the I-5 over to the 210 Freeway. The two freeways each pass through roughly one mile of Glendale, so the net effect within Glendale may be nil.

And Najarian’s NIMBY political gambit may backfire if he is only considering support from those living close to the 210 in Montrose, and ignores those in south and west Glendale living closer to the I-5. The truth is, even in Montrose, many people make daily commutes on the I-5 and will benefit from a relief in that traffic.

The Los Angeles area has by far the worst traffic in the country, and every year it gets even worse. Sadly, with Najarian as the new chairman of the Los Angeles County Transportation Authority, we should expect no relief in sight.




Plenty to like about Virgil’s Hardware

I am sorry to see Virgil’s Hardware Store sold to new owners, but even sorrier to read Paul Chamberlain’s fuming and disparaging remarks (“Virgil’s has history of overcharging,” July 14) about a store and store management that served the community well for decades.

I’ve been a frequent shopper at Virgil’s for more than 20 years and seen the operation Tony Maniscalchi created. What a relief from the big-box hardware store. With Virgil’s we’ve got convenience, a courteous, knowledgeable staff and expedited service. The price tag may have been higher than you would pay at Home Depot, but not necessarily cheaper. Time is money.

If Chamberlain’s time is worth any money, say $30 per hour, then he could easily add $60 to whatever purchase he would make at a large box store as he searched for an item, searched in vain for assistance and then waited in a long checkout line. He would need to add more time if he got the wrong part and then had to return it.

Virgil’s staff adds value. They explain the benefit of a particular choice and, often, the best tool and approach to solve a problem.

To a customer, that means getting the job done right the first time. What is the price for peace of mind?

There is real value to intelligent, experienced customer service, and that value is embedded in the price you pay.

For anyone who values their time, and values knowledge, Virgil’s has been one of the best bargains in Glendale and a truly rewarding shopping experience. Let’s hope that doesn’t change.