Thursday, October 25, 2007

Barrett Junction -- anger and relief over breakfast

Posted @ 11:18 AM

The smell of pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausage signaled the opening of the Barrett Cafe this morning. As did the clanging cowbell hanging on the door when residents like Bob Davis and Julie Cisneros and their neighbors came in.

The cafe opened for the first time since the fire for the traditional Wednesday night fish fry. This morning, it was breakfast as usual -- but not completely as usual.

It was one of the first time neighbors had been able to get together since the fire scattered them on Sunday.

There was anger and relief at the cafe’s long tables.

Bob Davis lost his home, but still has his neighbors, whom he calls his best friends and his family.

“They have been offering all sorts of things,” he said as one after another came up to offer a handshake or a hug.

Cisneros was fortunate. The house she shared with her husband and four children survived.

“We were lucky,” she said, “lucky and blessed.”

Firefighters positioned themselves in her driveway as the Harris fire swept toward her four-bedroom house. She praised them for saving the house.

But Tom LaVera condemned the firefighters. He said they pulled out as the fire roared toward his home. His house survived in the end, but his anger lingers.

“My wife was in tears and pleading with them to stay and help us,” he said, “but they told her we gotta go.”

Cafe owner Leon Herzog opened his café when it occurred to him that a number of people had stayed behind.

”One by one, we started to realize there were a lot of us still around,” Herzog said.

Opening the cafe gave people a place to meet, to share news and needs.

From just outside the kitchen, Herzog surveyed those having breakfast and named the lucky and unlucky.

“Chuck lost his house. Bob over there, (his home is) gone,” he said.

Midway through breakfast, Romero Crawford called for everyone’s attention.

Crawford, who makes sure everyone knows to call him “Cowboy,” was organizing a trip to gather supplies and wanted to know what his neighbor needed. Because of his contacts, he had the promise of law enforcement that he could come and go.

He was given long list of medicines, food, toiletries, daily needs.

“We’re all coming together to help one another,” Crawford said. “We are all family here.”

--Dave Hasemyer, staff writer

1 comment:

smcclure said...

Does anyone know if the McClure Ranch next to the mobile home park made and my dad and I are trying to find out if Red Farely is ok