Tilted Windmills: Stop and pay attention to life
by Mike McLellan
Sep 20, 2013 | 2394 views | 2 2 comments | 79 79 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Just outside the Tracy Press office, if you look southeast rather than at your feet, you see people coming and going at Barista’s. They ebb and flow, cups in hand.

The Roasted Bean, just down a bit and across the street, has a different clientele. The people gathered there seem less in a hurry. They linger longer.

Between the two coffee shops is the giant former JCPenney building. You have to have some minimal history to know what it was. Interestingly, it seems like a large building for the current real estate office.

That corner is also the location for Ten-Bee Village. It is at 10th and B streets. Cute name, don’t you think?

Some of us miss Richard’s Men Wear. While we can understand retirement, it was a place not only to get a suit or shirt but to catch up on things, as well. Down the way and on the other side, Main Street Music is going to move a couple of doors to the east, and there are signs for more eateries.

There is Reich’s Pharmacy, always busy with customers and gracious, patient people to help.

The trees along 10th have really grown these past couple of years. The new ones provide more shade and less trash than the ones they replaced.

There are three sturdy looking banks and a credit union. There is also a place to buy insurance and an eye doctor at which you can use it.

Usually, we rush along the sidewalk, glancing but not seeing. People are intent on getting another place. Only a few stop on their way to a salon to gaze in a window and look at what might be for sale: new or on consignment.

Change happens when we are not looking, because we rarely give life our attention.

Life comes and goes. Experiences happen and then are gone.

Neighbors seem to do the same thing. We do not pay enough attention. We are surprised to learn that the little girl is now a grown-up and the middle-aged man is now elderly. We were not watching; thus, these things happened without us.

People claim that it is just that we are busy. There are so many things tugging at us. Work, play, family, friends, and more distractions and attractions help us lose focus.

Have you seen the nice trash cans along the streets downtown or the new bus stops? There are hunter green benches on which to sit and watch others. The lampposts in the same color all have holders for signs, this week advertising the downtown itself.

You have to stop or at least slow down to take in the particulars. You know, the devil is not always in the details. Sometimes the devil is in a schedule that prevents us from tarrying long enough at the intersection to notice something new or even old.

• Mike McLellan can be contacted by email at drmikem@sbcglobal.net.

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September 20, 2013
Well said. One of the things I used to enjoy most about working in the Loop was experiencing downtown each morning and evening... The street musicians, the theater or other ads posted in the bus shelters, the fruit and vegetable cart vendors alongside the river in summer, the people looking back at me atop architectural cruise boats as I crossed the bridges, the shadows from the fire escapes, the city sweepers cleansing the sidewalks, fat drops of water dripping from the "L" tracks... So many sights, sounds and scents... A veritable smorgasbord for the senses.
September 21, 2013
Like Chicago, one can only see the dirt or hear the noise while walking our town. Tracy is our home, and home is where you overlook some things because of loyalty and love. When we go to the West Valley Mall, we can either think how sad it is that it is not the Mall of America, or we can be happy that we have it and we do not have to drive to Modesto anymore to make a purchase. Thanks for reminding me.

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