Saturday was a day to take note of the end of several eras as two special celebrations were held. One was a "celebration of life" to honor the memory of the late Margaret Zank and the other was a farewell barbecue for equestrian pioneer Jerry Cox.


But at the Jerry Cox event was another person who has made one of the largest impacts ever on Hesperia. That man is Cal Camara, who in two weeks will officially step down as general manager of the Hesperia Recreation and Park District.


Last month, Camara's friends packed the Percy Bakker Community Center to pay respect to the man who has done something very unusual for a park district manager he's stayed at the top for a quarter century. During that time, Camara has helped keep the independent district solvent, opened many facilities and created a diverse array of activities for the entire family. (Well, there's still no skateboard park.)


To do what Camara has done is no easy task, but former park board president (and mayor) Percy Bakker believed in Camara when he first met him as an administrator in Santa Clara. Camara has the experience and insight to deal with the nuts and bolts (i.e.budgetary issues) of running a district. He also knows how to navigate the political waters, which is probably why the park district has remained autonomous all these years.


On July 1, Camara will hand off the reins to Lindsay Woods, an able administrator who will follow a very tough act.


Good luck in your move, Cal Camara. Thanks for your many years of service.


***


Last week I walked to the corner of Main Street and 11th Avenue and pushed the pedestrian signal button. But after several traffic sequences I realized the button had no effect.


Rather than risk walking at the wrong time while north and south, east and west and four turn-lane drivers took their turns, I decided on a safer alternative. I walked down the street and effectively jaywalked from the south side of the street to the median. When traffic was clear on the north side I scurried across.


Unfortunately pedestrians in Hesperia and the entire Victor Valley, for that matter face real dangers every time they cross the street, especially Main Street, Bear Valley Road and the busier north-south arterials. Pedestrians need to use caution, but it certainly would help if budget permitting the city could check to see that all pedestrian signal buttons are working properly.


And someday it would be great if Hesperia could upgrade its pedestrian signals to the level of crosswalks in parts of Los Angeles. At some intersections, pedestrians always have a green light.