My speech from the Good Neighbor Dinner

My church held their annual "Good Neighbor Award" Dinner tonight. I was asked to present an award to Brady Westwater. Brady asked me earlier in the night if we (as in Alex and Ginny - we) were the ones who put his name in the hat. Again, Brady - Alex and I didn't nominate you - it was someone else. :-) So, take the award, recognize your good work!

There were two other honorees: Councilwoman Jan Perry and Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas. They had good speeches too. However, the congregation really took the cake in terms of providing personality. The more time I spend with my congregation, the more I feel like they are my family. (note to self: other blog entry needed if I'm going down this path)

And, before you read the speech I gave for Brady, I wanted to take a couple of lines to shout-out to Pastor Sandy! WOW! What an amazing job! Dinner was great! Guests were great! Everything was great. She's so amazing! She's a rockstar!

Okay - the Speech!

Good evening everyone! Again, my name is Ginny-Marie Case, and I live in a loft downtown, on Main street. I’m very excited to be a part of the Good Neighbor dinner. The person I get to present the award to - really, he should get the Best Neighbor award. Because, Brady Westwater is probably the best neighbor anyone could wish for. I haven’t heard about any loud parties, unruly pets, and, well, all the things I have heard about it, really I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want him next door.

I leave Los Angeles almost every day of the week. It’s really sad if you think about it. When I leave, I hate it. Most days, I can deal with it just fine. The days I don’t handle it that well - it’s when we are driving down Main street, and we pass the intersection where I can see Disney Hall, then the LA Times, CalTrans, and City Hall. We make that turn on to Temple, and I used to think...that’s it... no turning back now...here I come...Pasadena, watch out.

But, two weeks ago, something happened. On my way home, on the train I noticed that far off, not too far in the distance, I noticed our building’s flagpole. I could see my building from Chinatown. Right at the point when the rail turns to enter into Union Station...there it is. I can see home.

I could see all the way up Main Street.

So, what’s that got to do with Brady Westwater? Well, I feel that Brady has been a driving force to help improve Main Street - through conversation, action, writing, maybe an occasionally louder voice - Brady has helped to call attention to the needs of Main street. And, it doesn’t end there.

I have come to learn that Brady isn’t a street-discriminator...he’s out there calling attention to all of the downtown streets. And, it’s not just street’s he’s worried about, buildings, trees, shrubs, sidewalks, bikeways, tents, apartments, SROs, and yes...and maybe even a loft or two. And, some where in there a pet. Wait, there’s more...People! Kids, teenagers, seniors..

Geesh Brady, that’s a lot of worrying.

One night, Alex and I were driving home from dinner, and we are stopped at 7th and Spring. I see this guy, wearing a nylon windbreaker. I think to myself - Is that Brady? Then, I said it outloud to Alex - Hey, that’s Brady! Look! Look! It’s Brady!

However, it sounded like the time I saw Lenny Kravitz in Malibu, coming out of starbucks. Hey, that’s Lenny Kravitz!!!!!!! Look! Look! It’s Lenny Kravitz!!!! Yes, the rockstar Lenny Kratvitz made me starstruck.

My point is, Once I realized what I had said, and how I had said it...Yes...Brady...you are the rockstar of Main Street, and an amazingly good neighbor. And, I thank you for that!

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