• author
    • Donald Sanders

      Columnist
    • May 12, 2014 in Columnists

    Wonderful World of Awards

    I’ve just got to win some kind of award. I can’t imagine what kind of award it could be, maybe a Pulitzer or even a Nobel. Yes, I think it would have to be one of those two, maybe both. They are the only two awards I can think of that are awarded to people that they don’t really know. An award committee weighs the merits of all the nominees, picks the most qualified person, they have a big party and then they give out the award. They don’t really know the person they are giving it to.

    In the town where I live, there are countless people who have won awards. I can’t name them all, but off the top of my head, I can name a few – more than a few. In my town, people go out of their way to do the right thing in the right way and they do it quietly, so it is done before you even know they are doing it. The awards they are given are personal in nature. They are given awards by their peers, who know them well, so there is no question about their deeds and merits.

    I’ll start with guys like Craig McNamara. The awards he has been given will come in a long list – a very long list. Let’s see, there is the Leopold Conservation Award, the California Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, the UC Davis Award of Distinction and Outstanding Alumnus Award, the Theodore Winters Award, Businessman of the Year Award, and the City of Winters Citizen of the Year Award, just to name a few. He comes from a family of award winners and deservedly so.

    Anthony Lawlor received awards for excellence in design from the American Institute of Architects and Interior Design Magazine. Michael Sears has been recognized with awards from the California Heritage Council and a prestigious 2013 Palladio Award.

    Recently, Winters High School Students have been recognized as exceptional from over 2,000 entries in California alone and 250,000 in the United States for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the longest-running, most prestigious competition and largest source of scholarships for creative teenagers in the United States. It has an impressive legacy and a noteworthy roster of past winners including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Joyce Carol Oates and many others.

    Jacqueline Plasencia and Fabiola Magallanes received a Gold Key. Tiffany Gillespie, Agueda Moreno, and Janet Soto each received a Silver Key. And Edgar Chavez, Isaiah Cuellar, Alexis Gallardo, Adolfo Sandria, Logan Fox, and Lorenzo Valadez received Honorable Mention. Last year Asusena Lopez received a National Silver Medal and was invited to New York City to accept her award.

    Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, our Mayor, received the 2013 Life Award. Daniel Ward of Winters High School Football coaching received the Double-Goal Coach Award. The people at Berryessa Gap have won so many awards I can’t list them all. Thanks to John Pickerel, we can have an award-winning meal at the Buckhorn Steak & Roadhouse. Debra LoGuercio DeAngelo, the editor at the Winters Express newspaper, is a multiple award winning columnist who can do no wrong in my eyes.

    Baylee Opperman has received 19 awards while playing basketball and softball at Winters High School. She is a cute as a button young lady who obviously has an award winning heart. The Wallace family (father and son) of the Winters Express fame has the curb on just about every award a newspaper man can win, including one of the nation’s highest awards,The Jefferson Award, for their dedication to observing and reporting weather for more than 40 years, the John Companius Holm Award, Winters Citizen of the Year, Philip N. McCombs Achievement Award of the California Press Association and countless “Best Father” awards for both father and son.

    OK, now back to me. I have won a few awards, one I deserved and the rest must be mistakes. I did earn a “Worst Improved Bowler” trophy. I was awarded a few medals from the Army including the Bronze Star but I figure that was a mistake because I killed so many innocent civilians. If I had been killed that day, I would have gotten a Silver Star like the rest of the guys who were all shot in the back of the head with their hands tied behind their backs.

    The newspaper report of that day stated that there were 17 US Army Soldiers missing in action, but I knew they were all dead. I was just under 23 years old and that was the worst day of my life and it still is. I guess that’s why I write so many stupid stories, because they’re easier to write than the real life stories and military awards are harder on the heart than civilian awards. Perhaps it’s understandable why I need awards given by those that don’t know me or what I have done and how I am still paying for them.

    The truth of the matter is this – a shot in the back of the head sure would have been a lot easier to deal with, but it’s too late now. I can’t go back in time for that award.Picture49



    • Donald. I give you awards of the heart every day.



    • Donald… the award you deserve is much more significant than any piddly little award received by anyone else in town… including me. You are the BEST!


      • Terry Vender

      • May 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm
      • Reply

      You never told me about you bronze star, you dick head. That’s cool as hell. I’m even more proud to be your friend.


      • Heather Alani

      • May 14, 2014 at 11:33 am
      • Reply

      Well, I do not have an award to give you but here is “hand” well done Mr. Sanders! 🙂


      • Cathy Earthman

      • May 14, 2014 at 11:39 am
      • Reply

      That you have a lovely family, and volunteer so much of your time to your lovely community speaks volumes about. I’m proud to be your friend. Your Bronze Star is a very special award you I’m sure are proud of.


      • Other Brother Mike

      • May 22, 2014 at 11:15 am
      • Reply

      Other Brother Don,
      With Memorial Day here soon I thank you and your buddies for doing the right thing at the right time. Communism at that time was was akin to facism in their methods. That said, I do not understand why humanity gets so entangled in such horrible events.
      I thank you and my sister Jody for your infuence, changing me to the Anti-War person I am today. I’m really glad you didn’t win the Silver Star Prize! See you soon, Mike



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