Stanislaus Safe Energy

Dan Pollock

April 18, 1998

My Dear Friend Sam,

I hope you will excuse the computer, I use it so much that I have forgotten how to use a pen. Well, not really, but then again my longhand always is so atrocious, maybe it’s better this way.

I discussed the issue of Stanislaus Safe Energy Committee with Barbara as we were having dinner. My problem is making a connection with date of events remembered. To begin, I remember being at the old Peace Center office in midtown Modesto and talking about somehow merging the efforts between EA and Peace/Life with respect to concerns about energy, its issues and alternatives. I think what happened was that rather than either the Peace Center or EA taking over the energy issues, the Stanislaus Safe Energy Committee(SSEC) was Born out of the Peace Center and a few EA People including a few people more interested in the energy issues than Peace or Ecology. I remember talking to Cliff Humphery who may have come to one SSEC Meeting but for some reason never got really involved. Some people I remember were bob Zellman, a strange man who built one of the first solar homes I had seen, whose hobby was model trains. Bill Wilson who found a home for his interest in energy alternatives. Of Course Indira was involved from the beginning helping to organize as well as many other Peace people I cannot remember. It gets fuzzy with me because at the time I was involved with so many people and groups. Heifer Project, Farm Workers, EA, SSEC, teaching organic Gardening, hunger projects, Board of Education, Open Plan, Sierra Club, etc., etc. GOOD times and so many Good people!!!!!

I do remember Jim Higgs at some of the MID public meetings on the PG&E proposed nuclear plant, Jim would wear those crazy hats and storm down to the podium yelling and giving them hell. I remember bringing John Gofman to debate PG&E at MID and PG&E not showing up. I had the honor of escorting John around and the pleasure of talking to him(thanks I believe to you). My impression was that John was a gifted scientist who knew more about the dangers of radiation than perhaps anyone in the world. He gave me tremendous confidence in my personal battle against nuclear power.

I will never forget you and I going to Sacramento debating with PG&E on Channel 10. Man, we were great, just tore them up. I will never forget that stupid woman insisting that solving the nuclear disposal problem was just months away. the County Fairs where we all gave time to talk to the people about the problems of nuclear power.

I still maintain the Pancake breakfasts were my idea. Anyway, it was always good for us to get together even if we didn’t raise a lot of money. Some others involved were Dan Onorato, the Bupps, Peggy Mensinger, Charles Milligan, Ron Alves, Elaine,

Sandy Sample, our good librarian Oscar Smealders, the Van Diepens.

I have to tell you a story. I met Joe Cosner at the Peace Center and because of our mutual interest in farming and SSEC he invited me out to his place to help him make adobe bricks. This man was in his late 80s and not only did he make adobe, but showed me the incredible wonder nude sculptor that he had done of his granddaughter. Later it was banned from public display because of its realistic detail. Stupid closed minded puritanical people! What a wonderful man!!

I think one of the best things to happen out of all this was not only that we stopped PG&E, but that I made so many lifelong friends.

As I get older the more concerned I am for the future of our once wonderful world. There are going to have to be some radical changes soon if this planet is to survive the future. It will really be terrible, if other emerging nations become as greedy, consumerist and short sighted as this nation has been. I can’t blame then for not wanting a better life. I think it is up to us to convince those who are to come after us that the quality of life equals the preservation and sanctity of life.That water, air, soil, plant and animal diversity, all the basics that support life, should be our international interest, more important than the GNP, shares traded, personal wealth and power. I hope it doesn’t take an environmental disaster of a greater magnitude than we have ever seen to bring about positive change, God knows we seem to be setting ourselves up for it.

Thank God for people like you Sam, you have lived your life understanding your unique place in the natural world and have participated with rather than used or exploited our Mother the Earth(today is Mother’s Day). More than a gentle participant of the earth Sam, you are a role model for me and countless others that your life has touched.

Let us pray that our children and all of the children’s children in the whole of the world can live in peace with each other and experience this world as a priceless and enriching environment that will sustain them physically and spiritually. That is my hope.

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from Roots and Fruits, a publication of the Stanislaus Peace-Life Center and the Stanislaus Safe Energy Committee

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