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Opinion: Live music at The Vineyard Restaurant

My mom, Quo Vada, said she knew she was getting old when the policeman and doctors began looking like kids. Recently I saw a young man doing something very foolish and I swear he couldn’t have been much older than 15.

So I’m sitting on my porch, taking a break, and a Fed-Ex van drives by. The kid behind the wheel is holding a smart phone with both hands at the top of his steering wheel as he is rolling down the street doing about 30 mph. It would seem the young man wasn’t as smart as his phone. People who drive for a living need to do a better job. Distracted driving, like driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, is a very good way to get killed or to kill someone else.

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This Saturday night, 9 p.m. to midnight at The Vineyard Restaurant, 605 South I Street, a band once known as The Skydogs or Quadrasound, are reuniting. Locals David Boyle on the keyboard, Gary Roseen on guitar, Joey Arriola on drums and Debi Montanari Valorosi on bass guitar will play a wide variety of music from Duke Ellington to Bob Seager, Valorosi said. Theirs was a popular garage band that played at clubs, weddings and dances in the valley in the 1970s and 1980s. Should be a good show. Go for dinner and stay for the music.

I saw the first illegal firework of the season last night, which means July 4th can’t be too far away. Bottle rockets, firecrackers and the like are brought into California from Mexico or Nevada. While I admit to enjoying the guilty pleasure of watching, they are dangerous.

The year we lived in Tennessee my older brother Rocky gave me a package of half firecrackers, called Ladyfingers, for Christmas. They sell fireworks year-round in Tennessee. He also taught me how to light those firecrackers. In California, only fireworks deemed safe and sane can be sold legally. In the City of Madera, only non-profit organizations are allowed to sell fireworks. The window of time to sell them is about a week, and usually ends on July 5.

I usually designate a $20 or $30 donation to fireworks and buy the biggest single-banger I can get for that money. On Independence Day, I watch my neighbors set off their fireworks and once they are finished I ask if they would please light my mega-boomer. It is a great way to meet my neighbors and I enjoy watching them set fire to hundreds of dollars.

Local graduations and promotions are finished and “School’s Out for Summer,” as Alice Cooper sang in his summer anthem. Bicycles, scooters and other modes of junior transportation just increased probably 10 fold. Slow it down and give yourself the extra time needed to allow for kids in the road. Think of it as the pedestrians always have the right-of-way.

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As you go about your day, perform random acts of kindness to make your world a better place. Tip your server, return your shopping cart and hold the door for the person behind you. Let a car into your lane. And if you have a basket of groceries and the person behind you has only a few items, let them go ahead of you. You could be the only nice thing that happens to them today.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a great weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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