Goose Egg Park?

By Jean Sedillos

On Tuesday, the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously to rename a city park for my friend, the late Councilmember Bob Holbrook ("Council Names Park for Former Mayor Bob Holbrook," May 25, 2022).

It delighted me to hear that Bob will be recognized by his city. Delight soon turned to horror, as the residual English major in me regarded the symbolism: GOOSE EGG Park?

It’s a nice little park, which he apparently enjoyed as a kid, but a goose egg -- a big zero -- does not represent Bob’s life and his service to the people of Santa Monica!

Bob racked up bigger numbers than any elected official in the city:

7½ years: On the Santa Monica-Malibu School Board, part of the time as president. (One term was cut short because the election date was changed.)

24 years: On the City Council, twice serving as mayor.

79 years: A life-long resident of Santa Monica, Bob attended Roosevelt, John Muir, John Adams, and Santa Monica High schools -- also Santa Monica Community College before earning his doctorate of pharmacy at USC.

Other relevant numbers:

6 years in the California Air National Guard.

41 years as a community pharmacist in Santa Monica and then at USC as Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, director of the campus pharmacy, and pharmacist for the USC football team, taking all the credit for their success.

Not quantifiable was his love for Santa Monica and dedication to our schools, especially the music programs. He was an amateur mechanic, and his red Model T highlighted many Main Street Fourth-of-July parades. He loved history, collecting hundreds of vintage postcards of Santa Monica, also old radios and pocket watches.

He was fiercely loyal to his friends and stood up for people he believed were being treated badly.

But now that I think about it, a couple of goose eggs do describe Bob’s life:

0: Number of times he was unkind or disrespectful to anybody, even when city politics got nasty.

0: Number of times, as a public official, he made a decision to benefit himself instead of the city.

So I’ve changed my mind: Goose Egg Park does work to honor Bob.

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