From the emails and voice mails:
HAT TRICK – With a 7-year-old daughter and 20-month-old son, Keith and Sandra Mejia of Manteca thought they’d add one more child to the family.
Think again. And again.
April 11, Sandra gave birth to the first set of triplets born at Kaiser Modesto Medical Center since it opened in October 2008. Welcome to the family, Emma, Grace and Faith.
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The Mejias conceived the triplets naturally – without fertility drugs – which occurs roughly once per 8,000 or so births. Two of them are confirmed identical. If the third also is deemed to be identical, that kicks up the odds even higher. Identical triplets come from one egg that splits three ways.
The Mejias recently moved to Manteca from Morgan Hill; Keith works in construction in the Bay Area remodeling Walgreens, Home Depot and other retailers. Kaiser-Permanente spokesman Edwin Garcia said Keith Mejia feared losing his health benefits because of a lack of work during his wife’s pregnancy, but the work continued and he retained the family’s medical coverage.
All three children are home now, and the family is adjusting to the overwhelming routine of having triplets while also caring for the older children, Garcia said.
ON THE AVENUE – Cruising is taboo in Modesto. Instead, the annual two-day American Graffiti Festival and Car Show offers a “parade” that, on June 6, will draw more than 1,000 custom and classic cars from all over the Western states for the festival June 7-8 at Modesto Junior College.
The annual carfest is sponsored by the North Modesto Kiwanis. Rather than staying downtown, this year’s parade will extend out McHenry Avenue to Orangeburg, which is appropriate. Much of the cruising in the 1960s and beyond happened on McHenry Avenue, ending at the long-gone Felix’s up that way.
The route, the event’s general chairman John Sanders said, “will make the parade less congested for the car owners and provide better viewing for the families who line the parade route to see these beautiful vehicles.”
The organization plans to work with the Modesto police to inform businesses along McHenry of the avenue’s temporary closure June 6, Sanders said. The parade is free to the public and is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. downtown and head north.
JUST WONDERING – Does the car show area count as a free speech zone on the Modesto Junior College campus? Can the drivers hand out copies of the U.S. Constitution if they so choose, or do they need to get permission from the school? Inquiring minds want to know ...
CLASSROOM SETTING – I learned a great deal in chatting with wood artisan Randy Schmidt of Escalon for Sunday’s column. I learned I’ve basically been ruining the value of antiques by completely stripping, restaining and refinishing them rather than lightly sanding through the dead-skin layer of the old varnish, cleaning with paint thinner and then recoating to preserve the original color. Oh, well ... . The pieces still look great even though they’re not worth as much. I’ll do better next time.
BYO H20 – Several agencies, including the Tuolumne Utilities District and the county’s Office of Emergency Services, will host a series of community forums to provide information regarding the county’s extreme drought conditions. The first event will be Wednesday at the Sonora Opera Hall, with subsequent sessions May 6 at Twain Harte School, May 12 at Soulsbyville Elementary, May 21 at the Groveland Community Center and May 28 at Columbia Elementary School. Each of the sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m.
How serious is the drought? Organizers will not – I repeat, not – provide bottled water during these events. Bring your own.
POETIC JUSTICE – Modesto resident Gordon Preston recently released a book of 24 poems in a collection titled “Pieces of Monterey Bay.” Published by Finishing Line Press of Kentucky, the book is priced at $12 and is available through Amazon.com.