Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 28, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain View News Saturday, May 28, 2022 



A Tale About Death 

An excerpt from “’Til Death Do Us Part?” a book by Christopher Nyerges, 
available on Kindle, or from 

It was Memorial Day 1998, and I had scheduled to conduct a wild food 

outing at Pasadena’s Hahamongna Watershed Park. Since it was Memorial 

Day, my topic for a short discussion at the end of the outing was “death.” 

Hahamongna Park -- formerly called Oak Grove Park -- is the site of one of the Gabrielino 

Indian villages along the Arroyo Seco 

It was a cool and overcast day as participants for the wild food outing gathered in the parking 
area of the park. Among the half-dozen participants who showed up for the outing was 
Martin Kruse, a bearded, burly bear of a man who looked like he’d be more at home in the 
19th century. He introduced himself and told me that he’d long wanted to meet me. Martin 
and I chatted as the other outing participants listened, and he told me about his work with 
archery and primitive bow-making. 

We walked down in the flat area of the large expanse of the park, where the wet mud had 
hardened, capturing countless animal tracks. Martin told us how to differentiate between 
coyote and dog tracks. He’d obviously done a lot of tracking during his time hunting with a 

I later learned from Martin’s father that this was a favorite place of Martin’s when he was 
much younger. He’d come here and spend a week or two and study nature and tracks and 
practice with his bow. 

After walking throughout the flat area, I led the way back to the oak trees where I would 
share my lesson. Within seconds, someone in the rear called out. Martin had fallen. I first 
thought it was a joke, and ran to him. It was no joke. His face already looked purple. The 
man who had been walking with him said he’d not tripped -- he just fell. I tried to rouse him, 
but it was quickly obvious that he was “out.” 

Several of us moved Martin into what we assumed would be a more comfortable position, 
and that wasn’t easy! Martin was a big guy. And then -- since I was the only one who knew 
the area -- I ran to a phone to call 911. This was before the days of ubiquitous cell phones. 
Within 10 minutes, before I even got back to the group and Martin’s flat body -- paramedics 
from the City of Pasadena were on the scene, attempting to revive him. They all worked like 
a highly-coordinated team, speaking among themselves only briefly and in terms we didn’t 
understand. They were what we call a “well-oiled machine.” They carried him into the ambulance 
and took him away. 

I could tell that the remainder of the outing participants were in varying degrees of shock. It 
had all been like a dream, and now Martin was gone. We discussed the merits and pitfalls of 
the modern medical system, and whether there was more we could have done to help Martin. 
We discussed whether we thought Martin would revive or not. 

So there we stood in the cool afternoon breeze, contemplating death in the most sobering 
manner possible. I explained to everyone my death lesson -- which hardly seemed appropriate 
now. I didn’t talk everyone through the intended exercise -- I just explained a process that 
I’d done many times on Memorial Day. 

Write a list of all those close people in your life. Then, close your eyes, and imagine getting a 
phone call telling you that they have just died. For most people, there are tears and a feeling 
of regret that they never told that person something. You write down all those things you 
wanted to say to that person. Then, since these folks are still alive, you then go and call them 
or write them or see them in person and tell them. This is a very profound exercise, and in 
many ways can be called “healing.” 

Each person commented how “coincidental” it was that the lecture topic that I’d chosen for 
the day, and listed on the schedule, was “Death.” We kept reflecting on Martin. At that moment, 
none of us knew yet that Martin would not recover, that he had in fact died, and that 
he died in a place he loved. Nor had we known that Martin had a heart pacer, and an artery 
to his heart that was narrow. We were aware that he’d had surgery -- probably to the heart 
-- because we opened his shirt and saw the scar. 

A German woman who’d been on the outing, Walti, told me that we should not feel sad. 
“It was quick,” she told me later. “What better place to die.” I could not help but agree with 
her. Martin’s death was apparently sudden, and his last memory would have been looking at 
the willows and the rushing stream and the cloudy sky and the sand flats of the Hahamongna 
Watershed Park. In his final moments, he was surrounded with friends that he’d only met 
that day, trail compadres who shared a common love of the outdoors, all brought together at 
this time and this place to witness his passing. 

The Chef Knows By Peter Dills 

“Time in a Bottle” was a hit song by singer/songwriter Jim Croce. A 
question I am asked almost weekly basis is “does wine get better as 
it spends more time in a bottle?” Answer is “yes… and no”. Philipe 
Jeandet is a professor at University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne 
in France, and was lucky enough to discover a shipwreck that had 
quite a cargo. Gold? No, champagne. Jeandet and his crew brought 
all 168 bottles to the surface, and actually opened one on the spot. 
First tastes were fantastic. Given his knowledge of bubbles, his first 
guess was that they were at least 100 years old. The bottles had no 
boxes or labels, so after a few years of inspecting the corks and bottle 
engravings his group decided that the champagne was over 200 years 
old. It’s home at the bottom of the Baltic Sea provided total darkness 
and a temperature of 35 degrees, aided by the compression of depth 
for the discovery, perfect for storing wine. 

Your home wine cellar provides somewhat different conditions than the bottom of the Baltic 
Sea, so getting back to the question above, does wine get better with age? Yes, wines that are 
expensive or rare will get better. No, most wine is produced to drink now. In fact, up to 90% 
of wines don’t actually get any better with ageing. Many of us will let our wines breathe, especially 
the reds, and that’s fine. I suggest using a large wine glass with enough room to swirl 
your wine around, watch the legs on the glass, and drink. Many of my class “A” sommelier 
friends contend that if it’s not ready drink, it isn’t ready to buy. I agree!! 

As for champagne, my storage procedure (for a single bottle or case) is to simply leave it on 
the floor of my closet, laying each bottle sideways. Champagne, for many, is only for special 
occasions, whereas for me it is a weekly toast. You should only put champagne in the refrigerator 
when you are ready to serve it. Once opened it will only last a few hours, so make sure 
you have plenty of help to drink it. My bottom line on the subject is to let the supermarkets 
and wine shops take care of the storage for you. They have the right equipment, and it is a 
heck of job (and a lot of money) to build your own wine cellar. 

Dining with Dills Sundays at 5 PM KLAA AM 830 AM 




Our lovable girl 
Cricket…, with the 
big personality !! 

She is very affectionate, 
friendly, full of 
spunk, and quite playful. 
Cricket is a little 
smarty-pants, too, being 
a very alert and intelligent 
kitty. She loves to 
talk to you, and tell you what’s on her mind! She enjoys chasing 
little bouncy balls, and then will jump into a cat tree and play a game, “Catch me if you can, 
come pet me, while I squirm around happy as a clam, just soaking up your love & atten-tion." 
She can be a little rascal at times, but in a cute way. Cricket has a sleek, athletic body, like a mini 
panther, with her shiny & silky black fur. She does fine with other cats, but she can be a pickle 
some-times, and this is… because she loves to be No. 1. However, she will settle in, just as she 
has with her fellow felines at our rescue. Cricket is spayed, healthy, current on vaccines, and microchipped. 
Find the adoption application on our website where you'll also find more adora-ble 
pix of Cricket. 

Pet of the Week

 Eight-month-old Shadow is an energetic dog who lovesgetting belly rubs from those in his inner circle! Shadowwould do best with an adopter who has experience readingdog body language, can give him time and patience toadjust to his new home, and is ready to teach him lots of 
new things using positive reinforcement (such as snacks 
and praise). Shadow would do best as the only pet in the 
home so he can get all your love. 
The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptions includespay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-andwellness 
exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as agoody bag filled with information about how to care for 
your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoptionappointment at Adoptions are byappointment only, and new adoption appointments are 
available every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be heldfor potential adopters by phone calls or email. 


 In connection with its current mainstage production, King of the Yees, Sierra 
Madre Playhouse will present two FREE screenings of motion pictures: Saving Face 
on Wednesday, June 1 at 7:00 p.m. and Chinatown Rising on Wednesday, June 8 at 

7:00 p.m. Admission is FREE, but RSVP is required. 
Admission is FREE thanks to a California Humanities Quick Grant.

 Saving Face. Comedy/Romance. Written and directed by Alice Wu. Produced 
by Will Smith, James Lassiter, Teddy Zee. From Sony Pictures Entertainment. (Color, 
2004, USA, 91 minutes, rated R) Starring Michelle Krusiec, Joan Chen, Lynn Chen, 
Jin Wang, Guang Lan Koh, Jessica Hecht. In Manhattan, the brilliant Chinese-American 
lesbian surgeon Wil is surprised by the arrival of her forty-eight year old widow 
mother to her apartment. Ma was banished from Flushing, Queens, when her father 
discovered that she was pregnant. The presence of Ma affects the personal life of Wil, 
who is in love with the daughter of her boss at the hospital, the dancer Vivian Shing. 
Once her grandfather has promised that her mother would only return to Flushing 
remarried or proving that it was an immaculate conception, Wil tries to find a Chinese 
bachelor to marry Ma.

 Winner- Golden Horse Film Festival; San Diego Asian Film Festival; San Francisco 
International Asian American Film Festival.

 “The picture is nicely cast….Joan Chen registers strongly as the unwed mom 
caught between two generations.”----SF Gate.

 To RSVP for Saving Face, use this link: 

 Chinatown Rising. Documentary. Directed by Harry and Josh Chuck. Produced 
by James Chan. From Caam. (Color, 2019, USA, 85 minutes, not rated) A 
documentary based on Harry Chuck's collection of clippings and period films about 
the issues that motivated members of San Francisco's Chinese American community 
to reject submissive stereotypes.
“A worthy reminder that each community that comprises the pulse of the city needs 
to see itself represented in the structures that govern urban life.”----POV 

To RSVP for Chinatown Rising, use this link: 

Covid-19 protocols in effect on the days of the events will be observed. As of this 
writing, it means that masks are required and vaccination record (card or digital) 
will be required. 

Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. in Sierra Madre, CA 
91024. This is just east of Pasadena. There is ample free parking in lots behind the 
Playhouse and across the street. 

For more information about our mainstage show King of the Yees, please go to http:// 

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a nonprofit 
partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum. 

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