Jeff Jardine

Jeff Jardine: Modesto Beatles fan interviewed for documentary

From the emails, voice mails and other sources:

HER 15 MINUTES OF FAME – My Aug. 11 column told about Modesto resident Kathy Riggs, who was a 13-year-old teenybopper attending The Beatles’ final official concert at Candlestick Park in 1966. She and lifelong friend Linda Breslauer of Hollister saw the concert together that year. So when Paul McCartney scheduled the final event ever at Candlestick on Aug. 14, they were there, too.

In fact, they answered the call from a company filming a documentary, directed by Ron Howard, on The Beatles’ concerts. They went to the park at 1:30 p.m. that day for their brush with fame.

“Our interview was at 1:30, but it ran late also,” Riggs wrote to me in an email. “Was I nervous? Yes. They (White Horse, the production company) gave us an idea what they would ask you, but when you’re put on the spot, sometimes you just kind of freeze up. They just wanted to know what it was like then compared to now. They also interviewed my daughter and her friend.”

Now, they get to wait until the documentary debuts – there’s no release date yet – to see if they survived the editing process and will have their moments of fame.

As for the show later that night ...

“The concert was amazing, the crowd very enthusiastic, and it was awesome,” Riggs wrote. “I’ve never heard so many people all singing at once. Even Sir Paul stopped singing so he could hear the crowd sing.”

And like everyone else who attended, they spent hours stuck in traffic trying to get back to their hotel.

TO THE RESCUE – In March, I wrote about a horse rescue group launched by three local veterinarians, Tim McDaniel, Dawn Price and Cathy Gile. Autumn Rein Equine Rescue is a nonprofit organization with a facility on Ellenwood Road, a few miles north of Waterford. Like other rescues, they help animals that have been abandoned and often abused or starving.

Since I mentioned them in March, they have completed the filing process to become a nonprofit, meaning any donations coming their way are now tax deductible. With hay now at $17 a bale and higher, the cost associated with helping the animals is significant.

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TWO YEARS TOO EARLY – A few months ago, convicted killer Marty Don Spears was given an Oct. 7 date for an early parole hearing under SB 260, which allows inmates to request such a hearing based upon evidence or the contention they have dramatically changed for the better and thus merit earlier hearing.

That seemed way too soon to the family of Phillip and Kathy Ranzo. The Ranzos were murdered in their Modesto home by Spears in a 1979 crime that sent him and three others to prison. At his 2011 parole hearing, commissioners gave Spears seven more years before he could try again. But he filed earlier this year for the early hearing and was granted the date.

As it turns out, he’s not eligible for the early hearing until 2016, the family and Stanislaus County Deputy District Attorney Beth O’Hara DeJong said.

“Only because of the vigilance of the family was this caught,” she said.

One of the others convicted in the case, Darren Lee, also has applied for an early hearing, though his request hasn’t been approved and no date has been set. His most recent hearing came at Vacaville in January 2012.

PAY-PER-PUSH – My column last week about the continuing problem of stolen and abandoned shopping carts drew several responses, including some from people suggesting that if the stores demanded a refundable deposit on the carts, customers would be less likely to leave the carts out where they can be taken. It’s a concept similar to what is available at airports, using coin-operated dispensers. Good idea.

TALKING ABOUT TALKING – Last month, I wrote about Colin McKechnie of Turlock, who was headed to Malaysia to compete in Toastmasters’ world public speaking championship. He lost in the semifinals but gained experience he hopes will pay off next year.

“Got treated like a Rock Star for days, everyone wanted photos with me, and YES I’ll be back,” McKechnie emailed.

AND FINALLY My Aug. 10 column focused on the Rim fire recovery as the one-year anniversary of the day it started (Aug. 17, 2013) approached. In that column, I reported that the environmental statement/record of decision documents were scheduled to go to a federal judge Aug. 22. They now are expected to be available on the Forest Service’s website Wednesday and signed by Susan Skalski, the Stanislaus National Forest supervisor, on Thursday before going on to the judge for review.

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