There's no one more prone to hyperbole and flowery oratory than former basketball star Bill Walton. This morning in Balboa Park, moments after declaring—twice—that Jerry Sanders has been a "better than perfect" mayor of San Diego, Walton looked out at the Plaza de Panama and, in his mind, saw future children, running through water spouts, "chasing their dreams."
Walton, who's actually as sincere as can be when talking about his beloved San Diego, was the celebrity attraction at a media event announcing a series of public walking tours of the areas that would be changed under a proposed overhaul of the center of the park. Sanders and philanthropist Irwin Jacobs were there, too, but they were mere bit players to Walton's lead. Jacobs is spearheading the controversial project, which would remove cars from the Plazas de Panama and California via a bypass bridge that would be erected at the east end of the Cabrillo Bridge and lead to a new parking garage just south of Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
As Walton led the press from Panama to California during a shortened version of the tour, I wondered why whimsical endeavors such as dream-chasing in picturesque water features is always the domain of children. Can men in shirts and ties not run down their own dreams in a similar manner?
So, I asked Sanders, if the plan becomes a reality, would he run through the water spouts and chase his dreams, whatever they may be?
"Yes," he replied with a grin. He would. And it would be on opening day of the newfangled Plaza de Panama. However, Sanders added, that will be long after he leaves office, so it won't be part of some media event. We'll have to be there at the right time; otherwise we'll not witness this delightful happening.
I take Sanders as a man of his word, and I don't want to miss such an inspiring sight.
So, Mr. Mayor, I'll be there, on opening day—all day, if that's what it takes—waiting for you. And if your aim is true, and I see you at play in the water spout of dreams, I will join you. I will strip down to my skivvies and frolic with you. And we will chase our dreams. Together.