Tragedy in the air
April 5, 1977 Top story of the Pleasanton Times
Headline: "The Day Moonies Ran Into Town"
He could be another Jesse Owens or Bruce Jenner if he keeps running across the Amador Center parking lot in Pleasanton in a suit in hot weather. The real story is he is making solicitations for the Unification Church.
Across the country these days they are "The Moonies." They are called Moonies because their leader is the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the athletic one was trying to sell candy, or at least get donations, for the Bay Area church.
Most of the observation was at a long distance. It's amazing how much ground a guy can cover on a hot day even when dressed in slacks, dress shirt and tie.
The reporter was trying to do an undercover hit. The reporter employed his casual Perry Como stroll in front of Safeway to lure the alleged Moonie into meeting him.
If the kid is a religious fanatic he will try to corner the reporter, right? Wrong. The young man ran right past the reporter, past the fabled nose for news.
Even when the stakeout reporter got into his car, the man didn't run over as he did to every other shopper who got into their car. Is this the life of an undercover agent? They can spot him from a mile away? Is this the hell that the city's only undercover narc, Ed Valin, has to go through?
"The man must have a sixth sense," thought the reporter. "He knows that though I am dressed up, I have only 10 cents in my pocket. That's why he picks people with sure proof of wealth -- a bag of groceries."
Finally, the reporter cornered the man while he was talking to a lady getting into her car. The reporter asked if he was a Moonie. The man replied he was from a Bay Area Christian church. The reporter asked if it was the Unification Church. He pulled out his wallet and flashed a business card. The reporter looked over the lady's shoulder. The card said "Bay Area Unification Church" with a Berkeley address.
Way Back When
Real Estate: Harris Realty, Pleasanton. Custom four-bedroom two-and-a-half bath that has it all. Features custom drapes and outstanding skylight and automatic sprinklers in landscaped yard. $97,500.
Groceries: Lucky's. Dungeness fresh crab, 99 cents a pound; fresh turkeys, 66 cents a pound; smoked ham, 90 cents a pound; and asparagus, 65 cents a pound.
Trivia question: In 1950, who was the first African American to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize?
Answer to last week's question: According to CurbsideClassic.com, the ugliest car ever was the 1977 Datsun F-10.
Contact Louise Hartman at email@example.com or follow on Twitter at Newsie1195.