Celebrations and Compelling Proposals

Happy Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge! Doesn’t the bridge seem like a fixture? It’s hard to fathom a time when it wasn’t there. The Golden Gate turned 75, which sounded old until I realized it’s a few years shy of twice my age. Ehem. Nonetheless we celebrated the old girl with a lot of shared love, admiration and a brilliant fireworks display.

There was more than one occasion to raise a glass in acknowledgement of an undertaking this week. I received an interesting proposal. Not from the handsome devil pictured above, but from two of the people for whom I work.

Penny Edgert, who wrote the California GEAR UP grant proposal and is our Principal Investigator (among many other roles and titles)  hatched this plan: to write about the life of Lynn Baranco and the Baranco family, as an exploration of the impact of civil rights and education on one Bay Area family.

The man who hired me, Lynn Baranco, started his career in his father’s shoe shine shop in the 1950s. The first of his family to go to college, he eventually landed at Cal (University of California at Berkeley) where he worked for many years starting with Upward Bound and serving as Special Assistant to the Chancellor and as the Director of Student Recruitment.

Lynn has lived a charmed life and there is a lot of great material to work with. He’s a natural story-teller with a ready sense of humor and a booming laugh; you know when he enters the building.

Penny and Lynn are Characters in every sense of the word. They’ve known each other for just about 40 years, so there is a lot of shared material! I’ll probably never get to hear it all, but I’ll be hearing a lot. They have asked me to help them write Lynn’s memoir. I’m thrilled to be asked and hope that I’m up to the task. It will be a fun project no matter how you slice it.

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