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Remembering Peggy Stinnett

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This morning, I'm attending a funeral for my friend Oakland Tribune Columnist Peggy Stinnett at Our Lady of The Lourdes Church at 2809 Lakeshore here in Oakland. I think I'll walk and remember Peggy as I do. This is hard as it's the fifth funeral of a friend or family member this year and it's just June. Too much for me.

At any rate, I met Peggy in late 1993 at the Lakeside Park Garden Center on 666 Bellevue Avenue next to Lake Merritt. I kid you not; that's the address.

The Oakland City Council meetings were there because the City Hall was being rebuilt after considerable damage due to the Loma Piereta Earthquake in 1989. But the Garden Center, with its small size litterally brought everyone close together and made for a kind of government / community togetherness not seen since.

Peggy was at the center of it. The dean of Oakland Columnists. We'd get together for lunch and just plain gossip. In fact, I learned how to get information that others didn't want me to have from Peggy. To this day, I'll never tell what the secret is.

Peggy told me "Zennie. A great columnist has to be angry about something," or words to that effect. So whatever anger I bring to what I write or talk about is due to Peggy's egging me on!

Peggy's passion was for education. She was a former teacher and school board member so she was an expert on Oakland school politics and had the best understanding of what was going on of anyone. Peggy also had a passion for the Oakland that was materializing. She wrote about the little changes in our neighborhoods,like noting the development of a kind of gourmet ghetto along Grand Avenue long before it was popular to come to the area.

I'll miss Peggy; a lot.
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