Dirty gritty city

Every time I get whiny about some flaky freelancer and a cover story falling through, and the prospect of us finally running our version of the white album on the cover (meaning nothing), my significant other points to the always-available cover story she would like to see most. It would feature our dog.

The subject of endless fascination to my wife, Chester is worth writing about, but is he really cover material? A champion Shetland sheepdog with ribbons to prove it, he’s a good-looking canine who’s quirky and yet willing to please—certainly far more obedient than my wife’s husband.

But does Chester have an interesting point of view, a strongly held opinion that we can put down on paper? He could go on forever about the evilness of squirrels and the salivary stimulation of dog biscuits, but does his take on an issue hit you in the gut at street level? Sorry Chester, no cover for you! For that kind of pointed writing, we went to Dawg Doggy Dogg, in the “Dog days” story in our Summer Guide. His is certainly an unexpected and refreshing perspective from ground level.

And if it’s simply refreshment you’re after when the Sacramento blast furnace hits, and the back of your neck is getting dirty and gritty, hit the road to cooler recreation. We get a number of “Bitchin’ escapes” from writer and outdoor explorer Suzanne Hurt, who takes us rolling and a-tumblin’ down rivers and up trails.

Add to that a thorough compilation of cool and amusing things going on around the Central Valley cauldron this coming season, and you have our “Shades of Summer” issue.

Sorry, Chester. All you get this summer is endless pets and, OK, just the one more biscuit.