We thought that a different Farinelli should write a letter to the editor for a change, especially in this very important election year. We are writing to show our support for Rick Farinelli, candidate for District 3 supervisor for Madera County. It’s hard to get involved when you are busy with kids, work, family; but it becomes absolutely necessary if you want to maintain a free life.
Our kids are now growing up in Madera and it’s coming to the point of either moving away or standing up and changing the status quo. Just because Madera County and city have been run by the same people for years, doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.
What has been done to improve your life these past few years?
Our dad has a vision of bringing life back to Madera through limiting government involvement and decreasing taxes. He was born and reared in Madera and in turn reared us here. I am proud to say that we are upstanding citizens and are trying to raise our families with the same kind of values and drive that was instilled in us. Rick has passed on to us what his parents, Dorothy and Albert Farinelli, taught him as he grew up working on a ranch at Avenue 12 and Road 23 in Madera.
Our dad is probably the best example out there of an industrious and capable man. He has pushed past adversity to become a leader in his field and is constantly learning and testing to find solutions to problems whether in business or community.
Rick has always been involved with finding a way to do things better. He was our soccer coach on multiple teams but went beyond just a team leader to serve on the soccer board and bring many improvements to the league. The number of kids able to play grew from 250 to 1,200 under his guidance. He, along with Pat Pipes and Doug Bared, helped bring Little Okie motocross to Madera in 1972. This helped get kids off the streets and has turned out several national champions. It is still going strong today.
Rick’s dedication to empowering people didn’t stop with kids. He also started the Apollo program at Georgia Pacific in the 1990s, a program that taught employees how to earn their GEDs and continue their educations. He helped the maintenance department employees earn key classifications needed for their field of work. Currently, he sits on the Madera High School Engineering Committee, which is promoting the development of our future engineers and tradesmen.
Who else can you honestly say has as much hands-on life experience? None of the candidates can hold a match to our dad. And if you forget the status quo and the behind-the-scenes manipulations and look at his integrity and commitment to excellence, then you can only choose one candidate for Madera County supervisor, District 3, our dad, Rick Farinelli.
Tricia (Farinelli) Birdwell, MD; Steven Farinelli and Michael Farinelli
Keep rolling, wagon train
Having completed this last wagon train trip, I have now sufficiently recovered to crawl to my study, climb onto my chair, sit at my desk and turn on my computer. I am sure you others who went on the wagon train all feel my pain — but as usual, you are not giving out any sympathy.
I suppose that the “motorized mule” is just about as close to an expression of sympathy as I will get from any of you. Oh, well, life goes on.
On behalf of all of the children you allowed me to bring: Thank you. The federal grant which allowed me to work with them is running out, so my contact with them from now until the end of the year will be minimal.
If I were with them every day, believe me, you would receive a huge thank you in the form of a booklet like the ones that Kathy Davis’ kids put together.
Still, let me assure each of you that they were given the time of their young lives. The wagons, the mules, the food, the crew — it all came together into an experience they will never forget. For that I say, thank you.
I do appreciate your allowing me to go on this trip. I was truly inspired by all that you continue to do and by the outstanding performance by Mike Tomasian, my successor as the wagon train teacher.
I have known Mike for a long time, and have worked with him at the college level, but I had no idea that he was talented in so many other ways.
Now you have a real wagon train teacher who will truly take what you are doing to the next higher level. Go with him — let him weave his magic — he is good, better than I ever was on my best day.
Finally let me say thank you for giving me a whole lot of years of pure joy. I never really told you how much I got out of my time with the Madera Method Wagon Train. I assure you, the benefits were incalculable.
You will remember that you once gave me a coat with the words, “Madera Method Founder” on the back.
As I think back to 1995 and that first real MM wagon train trip, it occurs to me that everyone on that trip (and the couple that followed) are all founders. We all came together at the same time with the same idea but with different contributions to make. Mine was only one — yours were just as foundational.
So thank you for those years, and thank you for this most recent trip.
I doubt that I will be in a position to ask again to take kids on a trip, but I sure would like to drop in on you from time to time, just to set around the campfire and keep connected.
I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, but I feel I must tell you that I include you all in my morning prayers. I’m not preaching here — just trying to show how much I love you all.
Please keep on moving down the trail. The rest of us will all be watching.
Bill “Stovepipe” Coate,