BRENTWOOD FRIENDS, THE ARCHIVE

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From everything I read, networking with friends and family is healthy. Meet my high-school friend, Faye Gebo. If I’m lucky, I get to see her about once a year or every other year. I spent Wednesday night with she and her partner, Dave Goodwin.

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Her only child, Celeste is like one of those miracle babies, it almost didn’t happen. I haven’t seen Celeste in about 6 or 7 years. She loves the para-normal, high adventure, nature, and her fur children.

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This is only part of the family.

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Through Faye’s living room window, we watched a parade of jack rabbits, cotton tails, ground squirrels and ducks. They see deer, and infrequent foxes and coyotes, too.

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Somehow, I just never tire of watching wildlife of any type.

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Dave is an avid golfer, three times a week, at least. We went to his favorite Mexican Restaurant for dinner. Afterward we played a silly game, called “What’s Your’s Like?” Dave commented, “It brings up topics for conversation,” and it did.

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On Thursday morning, I made my way to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Archive and Museum. Bud Harlan, former deputy sheriff and avid volunteer was discussing the old Harlan Family House with two visiting archivists from Dublin. The house is from Contra Costa County and is on the National Register of Historical Places.  Bud has family records going back to the 1800’s from the Livermore Valley.

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A third archivist, lost his hearing in an accident, from a blow to the head. Totally deaf, he prefers to use a microphone to talk to people. I’ve never seen an apparatus quite like his, but it was very comfortable talking to him this way.

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The Association President, Bill Rhodes is very good about finding better ways to display our collections. His strength is in the museum end of things. The uniforms, and regalia of all types are here. And, the sign, Fick The Pugs has an interesting story. It is a replica of a butcher paper sign as wide as a building from the 1960’s protests in Berkeley. The protestors at that time were much too polite to reverse the P and the F. Now the F word is so common, it amazes me to this day.

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During that riot, the deputies were given birdshot and told to reload their rifles and replace the buckshot. But, someone failed to do that, or didn’t unload enough of the buckshot and a another protestor sign went up over a building with holes in the windows proving that was the case. The sign, partially hidden reads:  Birdshot?? Bulls_it! Buckshot.

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Every time I go, there is something new, or newly placed. The group has made good use of the old, and now rebuilt, guard tower to display items. They electrified the guard tower and will have an old siren and a search light operable for demonstrations when visitors come. The original building did not have electricity. It was electrified later and the light and siren added. The original tower had a sign on the door reading:  “Aim the B.A.R. (Browning Automatic Rifle) away from the Highway when firing at inmates.”  That sign was actually original from Camp Shoemaker days. The Sheriff got the property from the Federal Government. There are many stories in this building, some funny, others desperate and still others heroic.  If you know a story about this place, contact me and I’ll record it for the archive.

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