Cambrian Letters to the Editor Oct. 17

October 16, 2013 

Heartfelt thanks

For the second time in one family’s history in Cambria, we find ourselves again humbled and eternally grateful for the people who make up our community.

More than two decades ago, Cambrians, former Cambrians and friends rallied and stepped up for Wendy Cashdan, who, at 31⁄2 years of age, was diagnosed with leukemia. A benefit held for her raised much-needed funds for medical care and travel associated with her illness. She is now a healthy and beautiful 27-year-old married woman, living in Paso Robles.

A couple of weekends ago, Cambrians once again proved what they are made of.

The Mexican dinner benefit held for Nathaniel Cashdan, Wendy’s cousin, was successful beyond our hopes. We cannot individually thank the 775-plus Cambrians and friends who purchased meals for the fundraiser but wish to do so through this medium. You have our undying gratitude.

Special thanks to Ramon and Lena at Creekside Gardens Cafe for not only preparing all the delicious meals, but also for donating the entire cost of doing so; thanks also to their employees who donated their time and effort. Thanks from the bottom of our hearts also to Dawn Putney and her husband, Bob, for their help in organizing all the details for the fundraiser.

Thanks so much also to those who donated funds without receiving a meal, and to all who could not donate monetarily but prayed and let us know they were thinking of “Beau,” Kalie, Zeb and the rest of the family. You are much appreciated!

We will never forget, yet again, the generosity and love shown to us by our extended Cambria family.

We humbly ask that you patronize Creekside Gardens whenever possible to help us say “thank you” for their sacrifice and hard work.

The Cashdan family

Pay this pub a visit

I just returned from a trip to a rural Irish pub, and the experience was an eye-opener. It was a cold and blustery night — just the kind of Gaelic reception you’d expect, and a perfect backdrop for some pretty riveting tales.

The little establishment is tended by Brendan, a nice, earnest fellow. He’s a good listener and makes you feel very much at home. While I was there, a big bloke, Jack, an auto mechanic by trade, came rambling in and filled the place with his presence — both physically and psychologically. He means well, but he has a few hang-ups.

Well, things started really heating up when a more successful guy, Finbar, entered with a newcomer, Valerie, on his arm. It turns out he’s married, but not to Valerie.

The locals all have some pretty spooky tales to share with one another, but the most haunting and moving turns out to be a real one by the newcomer.

The language has some rough edges and is a bit hard to comprehend at times, but effort pays off. These are odd and lonesome people, but their stories are worth listening to.

Oh, I forgot to mention: You can get to the place pretty easily, and maybe have a similar experience. It’s called “The Weir” and it’s currently at the Pewter Plough Playhouse in Cambria.

It’s worth the visit.

Donald Archer

Parents, get involved

Recently, I had the pleasure of doing something I have never done before — attend a back-to-school night as a parent. Representing our exchange student, my wife and I had the pleasure of meeting his teachers. Our only regret was not being able to spend more time with each of them. They were all delightful, informative and gracious.

Besides the usual information about teaching style, homework, attendance policies, etc., we learned how some teachers have adapted to the new technology infusion of iPads and flat-screen monitors, while others still find solace in the reliability of a hard-bound textbook.

But the most appalling aspect of the evening was the glaringly small number of parents in attendance. In the classes we attended, there was an average of two to three others sitting with us. The teachers and administrators made a tremendous effort to be available directly to us parents, and for the most part we said no thanks.

I believe the pathway to better grades and post-high school opportunities starts with the parents, so big kudos to those who attended. But I think overall, we stumbled out of the gate this year.

Please get involved and stay involved in your child’s education. It is, after all, a partnership.

Randall Schwalbe

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