Organicallygrowngroup's Blog

The Unsung Heroes
September 17, 2010, 5:54 pm
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Last Friday, you saw me hobnobbing with Hollywood’s elite at the Stand Up to Cancer benefit. Today, I would like to share with you a different kind of story about an unsung hero named Pete Barajas. Pete has been taking care of the park near our house for the past twenty-two years. Yesterday, as I was walking my dogs Hero and Carl, I saw Pete and he didn’t seem like his cheerful self. He told me that he was being transferred. I immediately made a phone call to Lee Marks, the person in charge of the park.

She requested that maybe I could write a letter on Pete’s behalf. The following is the letter I wrote:

Pete Barajas has been serving our neighborhood at Encino Park for the past 22 years. That’s a long time when people these days just come and go.  Pete does an amazing job keeping the park in tip top shape.  When I see how people trash the park (especially on the weekends), I am amazed how Pete gets the park back to brand new by Monday…always with a smile on his face.

One night I couldn’t sleep, so I took my dog for a walk and there’s Pete cleaning the tennis courts at 5:30am! I asked Pete if he was crazy as it was still cold and dark. Pete politely said that he consistently cleans them and that they had to dry for the people who get there by 7:00am!

That’s Pete. I can tell you from working in the park as a citizen forrester with Treepeople, Pete knows where all the bones are buried.

Pete is an ASSET to our neighborhood.  I can get you the names of 100 neighbors who feel the same way about Pete.

I am respectfully requesting that you please keep Pete at Encino Park.  He is a dedicated friend to the neighborhood.

Others wrote similar letters on behalf of Pete.

There are many of us who are not celebrities, just ordinary people who do extraordinary things…Win no trophies or awards…Just figure out how to do the right thing, like put out a fire, stop a criminal, work on finding a cure for a disease, raise loving children, try to recycle and save water, and yes, even take pride in keeping the park spotless.

This morning, Hero and I saw Pete with a big smile on his face. He told me he was staying in the park, and thanked me for writing the letter he never asked for. I said, “No. Thank you, Pete. Thank you for your service to our community.” Thank you, Pete…Just keep doing your thing.