Sorting through the e-mails and voice mails while basking in World Series afterglow:
BOBBING ON BROADWAY While we enjoy 80-degree weather here in the valley, Modesto resident Dirk Hoek is among those grounded in the Big Apple as Hurricane Sandy pounds the eastern seaboard.
Expecting to fly out Monday, he's now stranded there at least until Saturday.
"We went to brunch at 11 a.m. (Monday)," he wrote to me in an e-mail. "At noon, they locked the doors so what few staff they had could go home."
The name of the eatery?
"Timmie's," he wrote. "Go Giants."
"Reality really set in when we had to cross the street," Hoek added. "Dangerously strong winds. I just asked a cabbie if he could take me to a wine store (state owned) and he said nothing was open."
He stocked up on snacks at a drugstore and awaited the brunt of the storm.
"(Sunday) night was quiet walking along Fifth Avenue, but definitely the calm before the storm," he wrote. "We're a little higher than the East River, so I don't think flooding is a problem. It's strange seeing on TV places we walked Saturday in Battery Park (that are) now flooded. It is supposed to peak sometime before dawn."
Meanwhile, former Modesto resident Heath Pearce plays for Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls and lives in Hoboken, N.J., just across the Hudson River from New York's Greenwich Village.
An evacuation order went out Monday afternoon for Hoboken residents living in basement and ground-floor dwellings. He lives in a 13th-floor apartment.
In e-mails to his mom, Carol Pearce of Modesto, he called the wind "terrifying."
"They played a game this weekend in Philly and by the time he got back and got instructions on what to do to prepare, all the stores were out of flashlights and some essentials," Carol said. "The crazy thing is how many Modestans live in New York. Heath had no idea until he was traded in May. He was shocked how many old friends and acquaintances have relocated to the New York City area."
And also are trying to stay high and dry.
AUTHORS! AUTHORS! The McHenry Museum will hold a reception and signing session for local authors from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 10 at the museum. All have local roots and some still live here.
Among those honored will be Barrett Thomas Beard, raised in Modesto but now living in Washington. He'll be featuring his books along with those of his father, Franklin Beard, a valley farmer and author.
So far, 15 authors have committed, including Barrett Beard's former Modesto High classmate Tom Thompson, who went on to become a nationally known organist who plays frequently at Stockton's Bob Hope Theatre.
Also attending will be Trina Jo Cipponeri Wilson, Modesto native, current Orange County resident and author of a children's health and fitness book titled "Too Much Food!"
Her parents, Angela and Benedict Cipponeri, founded Modesto's Evergreen Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
The museum also has received 100 more copies of L.C. Branch's "Stanislaus County History 1881," an oversized volume that sold out 150 reproduced copies in short order.
For more, call the museum at (209) 577-5366.
WARM RECEPTION With Veterans Day upcoming, Modesto's Dante Club honored World War II veteran Louie Coelho of Modesto during an event Sunday at the Riverbank Community Center.
The club joined with Gail Belmont of Quilts of Honor of Valley Springs to present Coelho with a patriotic-themed quilt as a way of thanking him for his service.
Coelho joined the Army in 1941 and didn't come home again until Christmas Eve 1945 more than three months after the war ended. He served in the 81st Infantry's Wildcats Division, which invaded and captured several islands in the Pacific, and also in occupied Japan after the surrender.
At 97, Coelho still drives, rides his bicycle, rototills his garden and prunes his trees.
The Dante Club began in the 1940s as an organization for Italian-American men, but has changed over the years. Its current president is Claudia Albertoni, married for nearly 60 years to an Italian-American.
TEACHING MOMENT If you shop at a Raley's or Save Mart supermarket from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. the next two Saturdays, you're likely to see members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars handing out "Buddy Poppies" and asking for a donation.
These fabric flowers are made by veterans who share the money received through the donations. This effort began in 1922 as a way to raise money for needy and disabled veterans after World War I. Unfortunately, the wars kept happening, creating more and more disabled and needy veterans. Hence, the tradition continues.
In the United States, VFW posts will distribute more than 14 million poppies, raising more than $15 million to benefit veterans.
The VFW members are more than happy to tell the "Buddy Poppy" story to your children. It's something they probably won't learn in school.
Jeff Jardine's column appears Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Local News. He can be reached at email@example.com, @jeffjardine57 on Twitter or at (209) 578-2383.