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Trail Maintenance

October 11, 2008

Secret Trail / Calabasas-Cold Creek Trail

LA County Parks

This was a joint project with the Sierra Club Task Force

Following the event we paid tribute (see narrative below from Boyd Holister Palmer) to Al Bandel, who recently passed away.

Before & After Trail Improvements...

Getting Creative...

Wildlife spotted...

Gathering to pay tribute to Al Bandel...

Photos courtesy of Greg Sweel

A Toast to Al Bandel - by Boyd (Holister) Palmer

In a small glen, near the head of the Secret Trail, they gathered. Each innocently displaying their love and dedication with smudged faces and dirty clothes. It was mid-afternoon, Saturday, and they’d been swinging Pulaskis, McLeods and pruning since early morn. A few clean faces, who hadn’t worked on the trail that day, now joined them to pay tribute and remember Al Bandel. One of their own.

Al died Saturday, September 6th. He loved trails and he loved to ride bicycle on the open road. Saturday would find him one place or the other. At the end, it was on the bicycle. Al was rooted in earth and the community. Drew his strength from family and friends and recycled it.

Each of us who knew Al has a story to tell. As Ron Webster, Pete Warden, Ruth Gerson, Noel Bell, Chris Morneau, Burt Elliott, Jerry Mitcham, Maryanne, Linda, Bill, et al, spoke, we were reminded of a man who loved nature. Noticed the subtle play of light and shadow. The way it illuminated a Western Bluebird bickering in a tree. Several pointed out how they’d learned something from him. A jack of all trades and master of most, he didn’t mind pointing out when there was a better way. Many remembered him for his stories. He was a gifted story teller.

It was pointed out that this is still The Garden and Al knew it.; And name it as you will, the Presence is still here in everything that is; That Al spent himself and never counted his change too closely, as is true of the trail workers he’s left behind.

Ron brought champagne and Martinelli Sparkling Cider. We sang Auld Lang Syne (literally defined as "old long since," or, long ago) and as we completed the chorus:

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

We lifted our glass in rememberance... to Al Bandel and auld lang syne.