It’s starting to make me feel insecure, all the change that’s
happening right here in little Hollister.
It’s starting to make me feel insecure, all the change that’s happening right here in little Hollister.

A few weeks ago we learned that the principal of San Benito High School is leaving.

Last week the big headline was that Leatherback, a landmark for years, is closing its Hollister plant, and about 40 workers will lose jobs as a result.

At my job, a co-worker is having surgery and we will have to get along without her for up to three months.

And then Tuesday there were two headlines side-by-side: Mike Sanchez, principal of San Andreas Continuation High School and Pinnacles Community School for years, has been promoted to assistant superintendent for alternative education, and Eric Dietz, general manager of Ridgemark for the last four years, has moved to Minnesota to manage a golf course there. His wife Leigh, executive director of our fledgling homeless center, will join him there.

Pow, pow, pow, pow. That’s a lot of change. I may need to retire to bed with a murder mystery and a box of bonbons for the next month or so.

But wait … except for my co-worker, do these changes affect me personally? What am I whining about, exactly?

Well, it just makes me nervous. Take the case of Leatherback.

I once asked my husband, “Why is Leatherback even here?” I wasn’t complaining; it just seemed like Hollister was an unlikely spot for a company making roofing materials to find the right combination of resources and access to markets, and I was wondering what brought it here in the first place.

I guess Leatherback’s management wondered the same thing. But having them lay off that many workers and shut the doors will be a real upheaval. And eventually, when a new use for the large property along McCray Street is found, the landscape of Hollister will change visibly.

The moves of Mike Sanchez and Eric and Leigh Dietz won’t change the landscape so much. The change will be more the kind that makes you pause and lose your train of thought as you reach for your Rolodex or phone. I didn’t work directly with Mike Sanchez, for example, but I’ve sat in several meetings with him and knew he was the person I would call with questions about continuation schooling.

And the same goes for Eric Dietz and Ridgemark. It’s just comforting to know who’s available to help with certain kinds of questions, even if you only call the person twice a year.

While it’s comforting Mike will still be in charge of alternative education, Eric is already far, far away.

I know change can be good; in fact in my own life I’ve stirred things up more often than not. But I’m not sure how to deal with all this change in San Benito County.

Perhaps instead of taking to the bed I’ll go downtown, get an ice cream cone and sit and stare at the Vets Building – a landmark with no known plans to change.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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