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SMITH: The training wheels are long off

There wasn't one whit of news in the columns I wrote about looking into the eyes of my newborn son and about moments such as his first solo pedal on two wheels.

Such experiences are as common as thumbs. But they're extraordinary even so, and back when I wrote regularly about Max I hoped the stories might strike chords around the universal odyssey of parenthood.

We just passed a major milestone and are fast approaching another. Max, at almost 23, graduated from college Monday with a degree he hopes will lead to a career in health care.

And Friday, he and six fellow members of a cycling team supporting Face AIDS and Partners in Health will dip their rear wheels in the Pacific at San Francisco. Then they'll set out for the Atlantic, at Boston.

The old man stands astounded by all that goes on in his heart.

IMAGINE THE EFFORT it took for trucker, hotrod builder, combat veteran and Graton resident Glen Lane to pull his lumber-loaded big rig safely to a stop and shut it down alongside Highway 37 the other day as his heart was giving out.

Lane managed to get his tractor and 45-foot trailer entirely off the busy highway near Six Flags. Had his firefighter/paramedic son, Jonathan, been on duty in Vallejo at the time he might have been among the responders who answered 911 calls from passersby and found the 65-year-old Analy alum lifeless behind the wheel.

More than 300 admirers turned out at Spring Hills Community Church to honor a life focused, to the last breath, on concern for others. Pam Lane said that was just the sort of man her Glen was.

THE BEAR OR BEARS ambling about western Sonoma County inadvertently caused some summer-camp kids to be ushered indoors the other day at Sebastopol's Apple Blossom School.

Folks spotted a bear on Watertrough Road and got on the phone when it headed in the direction of the school.


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