Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 18, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 5


Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 18, 2020 


 by Deanne Davis

KATIE Tse....This and That


As promised, 
I finally whipped 
up a new article 
for you. This one’s 
about a beloved 
YouTube gem, 
Gerry Brooks. 

you’ve heard of 
him. Maybe you 
haven’t. I hadn’t 
until I attended a professional development 
workshop a few months ago. To keep us 
awake and lucid, the presenter interspersed 
her content with occasional videos featuring 
Gerry, a retired principal from Tennessee.

Gerry’s perfected a kind of drawling hick 
persona. I can’t do his accent justice except 
to say that “educator” becomes “erjucator,” 
etc. Gerry typically films these flicks in his 
car with a dash cam. Nothing says class in 
education like a setup like that.

So, what kind of stuff does Gerry post? The kind of thing educators find relatable and 
amusing. One I saw at the training was about Google Teacher Translate for parent teacher 
conferences and report cards. Helps with finding creative ways of saying, “Your kid keeps 
licking other kids at recess, and that’s weird” without coming off as offensive. A more positive 
spin on that might be, “Your child has a unique way of initiating social interactions with 
peers.” You get the idea.

Another dealt with how to get through the dreaded evaluation observations. Gerry 
suggested filling a large capacity weekly pill box with chocolate pudding and dipping in 
regularly. Or keeping little plastic shooters of an “adult grape beverage” handy. If both those 
methods fail, Gerry has a surefire solution --a box with a puppy inside. Can’t top that for 
stress relief.

 I casually shared these with my mom, and before I knew it she was off to the Gerry Brooks 
races. Every day she sends me a video or two. Or three.

Other great ones have Gerry peddling t-shirts. Except these are tuck-in surprise t-shirts 
you can un-tuck to reveal hidden messages. For example, the top might say, “My principal is 
the best!” but the bottom adds “... at making dumb decisions.” 

Thank God I have a great principal, but still the joke’s funny. Similar messages are “I love 
my principal,” with a snarky chaser of “Not really, but I ain’t got tenure yet.” Gerry’s got other 
school personnel covered, too. A shirt for nurses says, “School nurses can’t fix stupid.” So 

There’s one of Gerry wearing a fluffy Grinch outfit pretending to be a morning car line 
attendant. He tells one woman to stop brushing her kid’s hair while holding up the rest of the 
line. Instead, she can park in the vacant “beauty parlor” spot. 

Ha! When I was in elementary school there really was a crazy vain mother who pulled up 
in a minivan every day, opened all the doors, and proceeded to brush each of her children’s 
long, golden locks. Just goes to show you can’t make this stuff up.

Wanna’ know what else is based on real life stories from the educational trenches? My 
novel, “A Year at Apex!” Yup, over ten years of my personal experience coupled with that 
of friends’ and family in education have culminated in a not-so-classic humor/romance tale 
spanning the length of a school year. Great for educators. Great for people who are glad they 
didn’t go into education. Great for you! Check it out in paperback and ebook on Amazon 
and Barnes & Noble. 

“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.”

“All my life I’ve been drawn to misfits and malcontents; that’s why I had four kids. As I 
may have mentioned, our hospital has a no-return policy on babies; they won’t even allow 
exchanges. Doesn’t matter – a day, a decade, you can’t return them.” 

“Good persons need to be talked about.” 

“We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” Heni J. M. Nouwen

A few weeks ago I mentioned 
having a stack of really great 
quotes I wanted to share with 
you friends and neighbors and, 
a couple of weeks into the New 
Year, here are a few more of 
them. You can see why I’ve been 
stockpiling them, they’re pithy! 
Especially the one about the 
hospital’s no return or exchange 
policy. Admit it, if you’ve got kids, 
there have been moments when 
you really wanted to give them 
back. I know there were days in 
my parenting experience… but, 
‘nough said.

Have you noticed that all TV 
programs currently are loaded 
with commercials touting every 
kind of weight loss program there 
is? Weight Watchers with Oprah 
clapping together a couple of 
baguettes and saying how she just 
loves bread, and happy people 
dancing about while their weight 
loss numbers are at the bottom 
of the screen. Nutrisystem with 
Marie Osmond still looking 
great and talking about her fifty 
pound loss. Remember when she 
fainted on Dancing With The 
Stars? South Beach Keto friendly diet and on and on. The net result for me is that I’ve been 
hungry for just about anything that didn’t seem like a diet. For instance, the Texas Cheese 
Fries at Chili’s featuring shredded cheese, bacon, jalapeños and green onions, served with 
house-made ranch. And if you ask for extra crispy fries, it’s beyond fabulous. With their $5 
margarita of the month, this is about as good as it gets.

Right about now, you’re saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” And I don’t blame you. This 
is where that first quote really belongs; the one about tempting parking spaces on the road 
to success. It’s time to get out of the kitchen, put the rest of that bag of Doritos in the trash 
and start thinking about what we’re actually going to DO in this brand new 2020. Here’s 
an idea that might be a little more adventuresome than we had in mind, but I came across 
an interview a while ago with Elena Shateni, originally from the old Soviet Union. Elena is 
one of 100 semifinalists vying to become one of the first humans to live on Mars, as part of 
the Mars One project. This mission is a one-way trip and, if chosen, Elena will never have 
breakfast at Fork in the Road on Main Street in Santa Monica – her hometown – again. As 
I read this interview I wondered if I would sign up to go to Mars, spend a year on the Space 
Station, take another one of those “small steps for man, one giant leap for mankind” as Neil 
Armstrong did back in July, 1969. As men walked on the moon for the very first time, I was 
ten days away from delivering my daughter, Crissy, about the same size and shape as the 
moon, and pretty cranky. Stated simply, I could have cared less.

Time has gone by, and now, reading what this 58 year old woman has to say about, “boldly 
going where no man has gone before,” as Captain Kirk would say, I find, once again, that I 
am most definitely NOT Pioneer stock. No, I wouldn’t have wanted to trade my rocky field 
in Massachusetts for a trip across the prairie, dodging arrows, possibly ending up as part of 
the Donner Party. I wouldn’t have signed up for the maiden voyage of The Mayflower and 
I honestly think that had I been living in the Garden of Eden and God said, “ Have all the 
mangoes, papayas, peaches, and bananas you want, but leave that apple alone!” I could have!

My grandfather, Solon Kimball Weed, was prone to take off, when the urge overcame him, 
to Mexico to search for gold. As he put it, “The fever never lets go.” He found some, too. 
Not enough to make us all staggeringly wealthy, but he did leave behind a few nuggets and 
my Dad, Howard Kimball Weed, actually came across the treasure map some years ago. 
My grandfather also claimed and cleared 480 acres of land in the Imperial Valley area of 
California. “It was difficult and dangerous work as the heat was excessive and the scorpions 
and rattlesnakes were countless. One day my brother, Dana, and I brought in fifteen snakes 
while clearing the land with a rail drawn by eight horses. When the place was all in mostly 
alfalfa, we figured we had killed at least one rattler for every acre.” (From A Treasure Map, A 
Drunken Owl and 47 Rattlers in a Bag*).

To quote Ms. Shateni, “We stagnate here on Earth. We are so predictable. We want what is 
comfortable and predictable.” Yep! When you’re looking for those people who are really fond 
of the ‘comfortable and predictable,’ I’m raising my hand right now.

My book page: Deanne Davis


 “Sunrises and Sunflowers Speak Hope” 

Is available on as is

“A Treasure Map, A Drunken Owl and 47 Rattlers in a Bag.”

“Emma’s Etouffee Café” is a new Kindle story by me,

Also available on and here’s the link:


The Friends of the Sierra Madre Library are pleased to announce that the annual Vintage sale of 
collectible books will be taking place on Friday, February 7 (3:00 p.m.– 7:00 p.m.) and Saturday, 
February 8 (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.). The sale will be held behind the Sierra Madre library in the 
parking lot and the basement. Featured in the Basement will be a complete set of Woodrow Wilson’s 
History of the American People and a complete set of Novels and other Writings by Leo Tolstoy. 

We will have several children’s books illustrated by famous artists such as N.C. Wyeth, Jessie Wilcox 
Smith and Arthur Rackham, and the complete set of Nature Neighbors (1914). We also have the 
first trade edition of Steinbeck’s East of Eden and an early printing of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged as 
well as other treasures. Come early for the best selection!

The Parking Lot will have a collection of Wizard, D.C./Marvel and TOPPS comic books for only 
$.50 each and a large selection of crafting books (quilting, cross-stitch, knitting, graphic arts, and 
jewelry) for only $1.00 each. As always, we will have our Bargain Books for $1.00 each, small 
paperbacks for $.25 each or 5/$1.00, and Children’s/Teens for $.25 - $1.00. 

Don’t forget Saturday is our $5.00 BAG SALE!

This sale is sponsored by the Friends of the Sierra Madre Public Library. All proceeds will be used 
to support programs, services and acquisitions for the library.

Come early for the best selection and to talk books with knowledgeable cashiers and other book-
lovers! The sale will be behind the Sierra Madre Public Library, 440 West Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra 
Madre. For more information, please visit us at our web site, 
our Facebook page; or call 626-355-7186.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: