Herb Benham

  • HERB BENHAM: Oh, brother - Amazon spared two dimes

    A few weeks ago, I received a check in the mail. A refund check. I could tell it was a check because of the telltale plastic window. A refund check is one of life's simple surprises -- you're sorting through the day's mail and amid the Country Curtain catalog, a solicitation for an

  • HERB BENHAM: A meating of the minds for Dad's birthday party

    Dad's 90th is coming up and we're chewing on the menu. Food shouldn't be that important but given that people can be wild cards and turn on one another other like hyenas, food is something over which you have relative control, so why not fuss over it? People like to eat. It makes

  • Janie Scott is surrounded by her triplets: Brooklynn, left, Cambria and Autumn in their front yard. Janie and her husband, John, have three older children as well.

    HERB BENHAM: Mommy & me, me, me, me, me and me - meet Janie Scott

    "Believe" is tattooed on her right wrist. It's not so much a statement of faith in the divine, but faith in herself no matter how tough life can get, and it can get thick. Every so often you meet somebody who not only renews your faith in humanity but in the charm and strength of an

  • HERB BENHAM: Saving his smiles for gramps

    Sue emailed during a recent visit south to say that Andrew had smiled at her. I was happy for her. I think I was happy for her. "Andrew smiled at me," Sue said in her email. "Did he really?" I snapped in return. "Yes, he has the cutest dimple," she said. He

  • For weeks, moths everywhere and now barely one besides the moth at work beating its wings against the windowpane. What happened? I asked Scott Begin, vice president and manager at Citizens Business Bank, who is a banker by necessity but an entomologist by training, having graduated from UC Davis

  • HERB BENHAM: Moths flame out - finally

    For weeks, moths everywhere and now barely one besides the moth at work beating its wings against the windowpane. What happened? I asked Scott Begin, vice president and manager at Citizens Business Bank, who is a banker by necessity but an entomologist by training, having graduated from UC

  • Foothill High counselor Jose Garza and three of several students he has helped become successful. From left: Luis Martinez, Joshua Valazquez and Jaynee Anaya. Anaya and Velazquez plan on attending Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire while Martinez will attend the University of Pennsylvania.

    HERB BENHAM: Educator wins top honor for helping students help selves

    Jose Garza is one of those people you hear about now and will hear about five years from now. Nothing he has done or will do surprises. Success is in his DNA. Recently the 36-year-old counselor at Foothill High School was awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Award in teaching. He is one of 49

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    HERB BENHAM: What in the name of Gary have I done?

    I discovered recently I’ve been calling somebody by the wrong name for the last year. Perhaps longer because I’m not sure I’ve ever called him by his right name. I’ve been calling him Gary. His name is Daniel. I wasn’t close unless his middle name happened to be Gary, which a friend doubted it

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    HERB BENHAM: Senior discount not worth cost to pride

    I was at the checkout stand at Floyd's, and a friendly woman with her hair pulled back, wearing a red Floyd's vest, rang me up. I bought a broom made from real corn straw, a white switch plate and several half sprinkler heads. "Do you have a rewards card?" she asked. No, I

  • Vernedene Ebbs, left, shares a laugh with friend Joy Dunham, as she tells Dunham that the last time she renewed her driver’s license, she was told she wouldn't have to renew it until her 101st birthday. Ebbs just celebrated her 96th birthday with 96 cupcakes at Curves, where she exercises three days a week.

    HERB BENHAM: Youth not wasted on the young in this case

    Vernedene looks so good, she almost made me want to give up drinking. She doesn't drink, smoke, eat sweets or, for that matter, sit down. Most people her age -- 96 -- do. They're not only sitting down, they're lying down. Lying down and not getting up. Not that my age group is

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    HERB BENHAM: On a television quest

    Recently I went TV shopping, which led to TV buying, which led to TV euphoria. "Euphoria" because buying a TV qualifies as a big purchase, something that might get you over the hump by slaying the double-headed dragon of depression and despair. It started with Sam issuing an

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    HERB BENHAM: Forget the flame -- what a moth really wants

    When I woke up Friday morning, there were three moths in my office at home -- two small ones and a big one. The small brown ones are harmless. You can feed the to the cats, if they don't catch them themselves. But the big one required a plan. You have to sneak up on the big moth because once

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    HERB BENHAM: Coming to an Accord on beloved car

    I sold the 1991 Honda Accord with 165,000 miles on it last week. "You'll get another 10 years of service from the car," I included in every pitch I made. I didn't know if that was true, but it sounded true and almost patriotic. It's like wishing somebody another 100 years

  • HERB BENHAM: Worse than an empty wallet? A lost one

    I lost my wallet Monday morning. My black wallet, black like the dread in my wallet-losing heart. Losing your wallet is an uh-oh moment. It's akin to dropping your compass into a raging stream. There is a sense of displacement. The where am I is followed by who am I? Without a

  • Former CHP Officer Otie Hunter, left, and his law-enforcement colleagues celebrate Hunter's 90th birthday. Hunter was 30 in 1955 when he pulled over actor James Dean. The retired officer said he never again had contact with any high-profile motorists.

    James Dean: Too fast to live, and officer should know

    My favorite part of the story is that Otie Hunter, the CHP officer who wrote James Dean a speeding ticket two hours before the movie star was killed in an accident near Cholame, had no idea who he was. "To me, he was just another guy who was going too fast," Hunter said. I sat next

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    HERB BENHAM: Dibs on crib - if I can find it

    A friend called and said she had everything we needed in order to set up a nursery at home for our new grandson. No matter that Andrew lives 220 miles away and his parents are staying put for the moment. Andrew's grandmother wants a nursery and it is not good strategy to try to reason with

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    HERB BENHAM: I'm ready to face toll of water conservation

    Concern about the drought is written across the face of California. Last week Gov. Brown called for a 25 percent reduction in water usage. In an effort to do my part, I've shortened my showers to 20 seconds. Yes, 20 seconds. I can't speak for women, but men tend to zone out in the shower.

  • HERB BENHAM: Grandpa ready for another tour of baby duty

    The first diaper I changed, I taped to Andrew's leg. The room was pitch black, it was middle of the night and the little man had squirmed sideways on the changing table. He was lucky I hadn't taped the diaper to his foot. Last weekend, I traveled to La Jolla to join Sue who had been there