I’ve been in Solano County for about 30 years.
In that time, I have seen a number of honest community caretakers pass our way. Caretakers, to me, are those folks who oversee the community with no personal gain. They comment on what is right, what is wrong and what needs to be fixed. While they may have a political perspective, they are essentially nonpolitical in their motives and have a lot of just plain common sense. There is no desire to be popular so opinions are honest. For them it’s about honesty and the courage to speak out.
The really great thing about our community has been that when one of these caretakers pass there seems to be someone else to fill the void. Who the heck am I talking about? Well, for starters, Ralph Morrell comes to mind. Ralph was a Dixon resident. Ralph was the first person who caught my attention when I moved to the county.
He was a real watchdog caretaker. There wasn’t anything going on in the county that Ralph didn’t know something about, and would comment about with sharp honesty. He wasn’t a favorite of politicians. There was nothing touchy-feely about Ralph. You might not agree with him, but you knew there was never any hidden agenda or personal gain for Ralph. He was definitely not “politically correct.”
Then there was Cynthia Hahn, an outspoken, no-nonsense woman who, for a time, wrote columns for both the Daily Republic and the Vacaville Reporter. She was always “straight up” and impatient with the political manipulators.
Roy Stripe was another community caretaker. He was a lot like Ralph, but too busy to be a full-time commentator. He had great common sense, sense of what is right and what is wrong; plus the ability to communicate those values.
When I first came to Fairfield-Suisun, I was a blank page as far as community involvement was concerned. The caretakers were great role models for a greenhorn like me.
The ranks of community caretakers continues to be filled by honest, selfless people of character who are willing to tell it the way it is. I could mention names of current caretakers, but I won’t. They would be embarrassed.
The good news is that there are a great many potential caretakers in our community who are not yet ready to step forward. I talk to many of them. There is hope that some will find a voice.
Then there are those folks who don’t want to be bothered; coasting out the rest of their lives willing to let others do it for them. They are vulnerable and, in a way, their indifference makes the rest of us vulnerable, too. I guess they just don’t feel threatened. They should.
There is a great safety net of volunteers who keep the community afloat with their work. There is also this safety net of ideas – what I call the community caretakers who work endlessly to keep us free.
I am really thankful for that. I don’t know where we would be without them.
Has a community caretaker helped you understand what is happening in your community? I’d like to know about it.
Murray Bass can be reached at 427-0744 or email@example.com.