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Today, as I was standing in the middle of southbound 101 just north of Hookton Road working with a total stranger (Cynthia, you were inspiring!) to somehow protect and get ahold of two stray California milk cows, who were very confused about traffic rules in general and the Loleta Hill in specific, I realized why I love living here in Humboldt County ("Town Dandy," June 24).

Okay, that isn't a sentence you read very often, and that is part of what makes this place so insanely great. Sure, maybe I was still battling traffic to keep everyone from running over some cows, but even the drivers, except the young idiot in the huge pickup truck, were eager to help -- one even assisting me in blocking the malinger in with his pick up truck. We were a team of freeway cow herders. How often does that kind of bonding happen on big city freeways?

Sure, it sounds like Hicksville, but I spent the rest of the day getting the kind of services that in my mind surpass what I could get in a big city. I started the day at my favorite state-of-the-art gym and saw some of my favorite bunch of insanely healthy people; had a quick visit to my favorite extremely knowledgeable doctor; did the Cow Thing; then headed to Fortuna to help a friend clean out the home of her recently deceased mother and still got back to Eureka in time to have my hair done at my favorite high class hair salon. Oh, I think I hit a yard sale, visited my favorite shoe store where the owner does special orders and fittings, picked up some dry cleaning and was home in time to play in the yard and admire the practically toothless grin of my dog who just had some bad teeth removed at our favorite veterinarian. All done in time to see Ellen interview Tom Cruise. If I wanted to, that is.

Tomorrow I will hear some fantastic music (including at NCJ's 20th birthday party) and view exceptional art in Old Town during Arts Alive because we have more great artists and musicians per capita than most places, it seems. Sunday there are the many Fourth of July events, a Crabs game, and what will probably be another Fourth of July fire works display followed by a morning of "Yeah, we couldn't see the fireworks either, wasn't it fun?" heard round the county.

There is something magical about a place where random groups of people, with differing political, economic, land use, religious and social belief systems can so often come together to enjoy the same things; art, music, nature and even cow wrangling now and again. Sure we have our share of serious community problems, but so does everywhere else. I would rather have our problems here than the problems somewhere else any day of the week.

Maggie Kraft, Eureka


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