Q While driving on Interstate 280 one day, my son-in-law Brian was hit by another vehicle, which caused Brian's car to roll four times. Although his car no longer resembled anything but a small tuna can, other than severe road rash, cuts and numerous stitches, and after being treated at VMC's trauma unit (gotta love those seat belts!), our family would like to publicly thank all involved parties from the CHP, paramedics, AMR folks to the VMC staff for making the best out of a very harrowing experience.
Rita Barsotti Nostrand
A On Thanksgiving, let's give thanks to so many who have done so much to make our roads a safer place. First, back to Valley Medical Center.
Q Gary, because the majority of patients coming into the VMC trauma unit have had their clothes cut off by responding emergency personnel, most of those blessed enough to be released in a few hours have to rely on wearing hospital garb or something from the trauma unit's "clothes closet," which on Brian's day was pretty empty. We had no idea that this closet even existed.
Would you please be so kind enough to pass on the information that the trauma/ER unit of VMC will gladly accept clean but usable old clothes for men, women, teens, children, toddlers and babies?
Rita Barsotti Nostrand
A More than happy to do so. Individuals interested in donating clean clothes in good condition can drop them off at VMC's new main entrance, 751 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose. Said Joy-the-VMC-Spokeswoman:
"We limit the donations we accept to focus on those items most needed by our patients. We welcome new or gently used items, for both men and women, although our greatest need is for clothing for men, especially large sizes, such as: sweatpants, sweatshirts, T-shirts, socks (new only), underwear (new only), jackets, sweaters, ponchos, athletic shoes and canvas shoes."
Q If you're looking for a positive addition to your column, I hope you'll consider printing my expression of thanks. I'm so grateful to the man who, while driving northbound on Interstate 880 near the Oakland airport on Aug. 6, signaled to me that we had inadvertently left a set of keys on the back bumper of our car.
The keys were wedged between the lip of the trunk and the bumper, but who knows whether the next bump in the road would have knocked them loose. Thanks to him, we were able to take the next exit, rescue the keys, and thus prevent an unfortunate lockout from my apartment. It was a nice reminder that a small act of kindness by a stranger can make a huge difference. I'm hoping he might see my letter in your column and know how thankful we are.
A I hope he sees it, too.
Q Gary, good behavior on the road needs to be reported, too. On Sept. 10, my bike and I went sprawling across Alpine Road in Menlo Park after I clipped a rock. Ignoring the possible wrath of drivers behind her, the driver of the car behind me got out and insisted in checking out my damage. No one even honked!
No road shoulder there, so after a few minutes we moved to an area with a shoulder, where she insisted on cleaning, applying antibiotic cream and applying a cold pack to a badly road-burned area. Only after perhaps another 10 minutes would she let me proceed, but only on the condition that I signal to her as she waited farther up the road that I was OK.
She did. I did. What could have been a real downer for me turned out to be a pleasant experience. Thank you Erika in the BMW, and the patient people in cars behind her.
A Erika, you are a princess. And there's more news about bicycling on Alpine Road:
The San Mateo County Transportation Authority Board has approved a $215,000 project to improve the bike lane at I-280. This will give bicyclists their own lane to navigate safely through the interchange. Work could be under way late next year.