WORLD RECORD FOR BRENTWOOD: About five months after the 20th anniversary of the Brentwood CornFest, organizers received word that Brentwood had officially broken the world record for the most people husking corn at the same time. At Brentwood's signature festival on July 14, 659 people were recorded husking corn simultaneously.

The Guinness World Records only gave Brentwood credit for 654 people because a few had to leave early, according to organizer Dirk Zeigler. That was still enough for Brentwood to take the title.

"You know that at some point someone will break it, but for now you can say that Brentwood, California, broke the record," Zeigler said proudly last week.

Zeigler said that it was a team effort involving 13 stewards, two official witnesses, endless paperwork and pictures and videos for evidence.

The EYE offers some numbers advice: Attending the 18th annual Threads of Hope Awards at the Orinda Theatre, The Eye accepted an unusual call for help from Danville's Lorrie Sullenberger.

"You've got to help me with numbers," she pleaded. "When I told Diablo Magazine (the awards' sponsors) I'd been a Big Sister to Sara for 27 years, I got it wrong. I based it on her birth date. I can't ever remember those, so actually, it's been 28 years!"


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Worse, she confided, the birth date of her husband, national hero and master of safety husband Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, is equally slippery. Few can forget his celebrated landing of US Airways Flight 549 in the New York's Hudson River, but his wife can forget his exact birth date.

"It's either Jan. 21, or the 23rd ... it's 1951, I know that," she laughed, reaching toward her husband (who confirmed the Jan. 23 date) before adding, "You come up with a rhyme or a way I can remember it, OK?"

So, having pondered and puttered toward a solution for Sullenberger's numerical challenge, The Eye presents a few suggestions:

  • Change your phone number. Memory experts tell us a phone number's seven digits are the perfect length for "chunking": It's 123-1951.

  • Use another memory trick: "23" rhymes with "Sully."

  • Remember that the THIRD annual Emmy Awards occurred on 1-23-1951. So three is a theme, see?

  • Forget the actual year and just go with the month and date: 1-2-3! It's a snap!

    The Mayor Was Here: To say that Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor is excited about a long-awaited expansion of Highway 4 through his town may be an understatement.

    The mayor watched with glee when contractors installed large bridge girders over Sand Creek on Dec. 11, joking that he wanted to take a ride on the 500-ton piece of concrete as it was positioned into place.

    Well, at least The Eye thinks he was joking.

    Taylor did manage to tiptoe off to the side of one of the girders while crews were making it fit snugly into place and with a black Sharpie write "MAYOR BOB TAYLOR BTWD."

    "The mayor has been waiting for this for a long time," Taylor said as he put the cap on the pen. "This is going to be a game-changer."

    ANGEL LADY PLAYS SANTA: Ruth Concannon of Danville, along with members of the "18th hole ladies" of Castlewood Country Club of Pleasanton, played Santa last week, suppling more than 600 gifts to abused families in the East Bay area. Every year for the past 14 years, Concannon has placed her angel requests (a piece of paper with a specific gift request) on a table at the country club.

    The ladies of the country club pick up the request and buy the gifts. This year, Concannon's living room was filled with more than 600 presents that were handed over to staff at Tri-Valley Haven, Sheperds Gate and STAND for distribution Tuesday.

    Concannon, known as "The Angel Lady" for her work, added that 150 stuffed animals were in the pile of 600 gifts.

    SPEAKING OF SANTA: Old St. Nick is allowed to sneak down chimneys, but The Eye learned last week that even Santa has to sign in for a visitor's pass at school.

    While grabbing a visitor's pass at Oakley Elementary School last week, The Eye glanced at the list of names and saw "Santa" had signed in about 8:30 a.m.

    The man was actually one of Santa's helpers, taking pictures with more than 100 preschoolers during a party.

    Staff writers Paula King, Paul Burgarino, Susan Pollard and Correspondent Lou Fancher contributed to this report.