A memorial service is planned tomorrow,
Friday, Feb. 26, at 2:30 p.m.
at the Brandywine Apartments clubhouse
for Robert Melvin Cane
who died February 17 at his home in Delano.
Since joining the Record on May 4, 1992,
he had been a one-man reporting staff for the Delano Record.
Born March 11, 1935, in Oakland to Archie and Yvonne Cane,
he spent his childhood in San Francisco and the Santa Cruz mountains.
He moved with his family to the Sparks/Reno, Nevada, area
and graduated June 1, 1954, in Reno from Bishop Manogue Catholic High School.
He worked several jobs, including as a taxi driver in San Francisco.
Cane began studying journalism in Reno
and graduated from San Francisco State with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1976.
Cane was a local reporter for the Gonzales Tribune
and the Inyo Register before taking the position in Delano in May of 1992.
In his writing he had a conversational tone to attach with his readers.
He kept his personal life private but had shown in Delano
a strong interest in the people, activities, and progress of the Delano community.
Some complained that he was not present at a particular community event,
but few understood that he spent nearly every evening attending
one or more community activities to report happenings and/or take photographs.
Arnold Morrison, a contributor of photos and articles for the Record,
emailed his condolences,
stating his sadness when he learned of Cane's passing.
"His column was the first that I read every Thursday
when I opened the Delano Record newspaper.
The two of us would always be at local events with our cameras,
always trying to stay out of each other's way as we looked for the perfect shot.
He would often smile and ask me how everything was going with the schools,
and I would often respond with something positive.
"At the graduations I asked him if he would like a seat to take his pictures,
but more often than not he was very content to sit on the field and get his shots from there,
just like the picture of him last June that I am emailing to the Record.
"Many of the articles he wrote were controversial, but that's what drew me in.
Whether you agreed with his point of view or not, Bob Cane made you think.
He made you read. I'm certain that in many local households his articles were the spark
that started many discussions on a wide variety of topics.
He also welcomed other points of view,
and many rebuttals to his comments were placed in the newspaper
the following week,
so there was always something to look forward to in the next Delano Record.
The community of Delano, including myself, will certainly miss him.
Rest in peace, Bob Cane."
Several poignant thoughts appeared in two of his final columns in the Record.
In the Nov. 5, 2015, edition,
he reported in his column that he was in his first week of recuperation from surgery.
Then he told how his surgery had been moved back to November 16.
Then Cane related some experiences with doctors and illness
and noted he would soon learn for sure more about his impending surgery.
He also related some ideas that he would have to check on
that had brought to mind community leaders Angel Diaz and Ruby Hill.
His last column--and his last writing for the Record--
were in his November 23, 2015, column,
starting with the sentence, "Affairs of the heart--mine."
He quickly noted that he was NOT having an affair but rather
"the aorta, the big artery which pipes blood from the heart to all the rest of the gang"
was what he was referring to.
Cane then related what his surgery would require and
then told of visions of either Ben Carson or Rand Paul as two doctors
among those seeking the Republican presidential nomination.
Cane also listed a "I am thankful" series of sentences.
He thanked Angel and Joanne
of the Record staff for volunteering to take him
on his many round trips to Bakersfield
to see the doctor and/or have surgery.
He thanked Grace Vallejo and Rev. Summer and Wilma Goodloe
for all volunteering to help in the transportation.
Then he thanked others including his ex-sister-in-law, Grace Morris,
for making him feel there were people he could turn to for help.
He also thanked the Reed Print publisher for being understanding,
doctors Soto, Mendoza, and Joshi
for their care of his 80-year-old body and for
"Grace and her kids because they are just about the only family I have left."
He closed with being thankful to all those people
who get involved in the communities of
Delano, McFarland, Richgrove, and Earlimart,
and "who teach our kids, enforce our laws, volunteer in civic activities,
and--often at the risk of getting whacked with verbal brickbats--
make the hard decisions for our communities.
I am thankful that in my opinion, at least,
we have a bunch of good, competent people running the cities The Record covers.
And I am thankful for all you friends of The Delano Record
and hope we will continue to earn your trust and friendship."
Cane was known for enjoying the beach and classical music, being an avid reader,
and being a student of history and a member of the Supreme Court Historical Society.
His parents and brother, Barry, are deceased.
He was a loving uncle to nephew Steve and nieces Marianne and Corrine Cane.
He is also survived by several cousins.
Cane's full-time reporting for the Record was interrupted by surgery
to repair an aortic aneurysm on December 14, 2015,
but he intended to return to work later this month.
Cane loved his work and being part of the community.
Donations in Bob Cane's honor may be made to
ARA First Step Home,
1035 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 863-3661.