LOCAL HERO STEALS SHOW: Those able to keep their eyes open late Wednesday were able to catch Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

Fresh off being awarded the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama on Monday, the one-time Antioch resident appeared relaxed and poised, even cracking a few one-liners with the talk-show host.

Carter recalled "going down to a recruiting office in Antioch, Calif., and saying can you sign me up" during his roughly 15-minute appearance.

Letterman asked about the call from Obama informing him that he had been awarded the Medal of Honor.

The 33-year-old, who now lives in western Washington, matter-of-factly explained that he said "no" when asked whether he could take a very important call from a high-ranking official.

Letterman was taken aback.

"I was going to be on vacation," Carter said, laughing and shrugging. "I could hear the stress in his voice. I understood something could be going on."

In telling the story of the phone call with Obama, Carter said he and his family weren't allowed to park at a gas station, instead parking on the side and taking the call in a "$5 camper."

After his story, Letterman said: "I would have gone back to the gas guy and said 'By the way, we can park here.'"

The full interview can be viewed at http://bit.ly/16XfCHM.


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SUNDAY BEST: Parishioners at St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church were greeted by a surprise visitor at Mass the weekend of Aug, 18.

Just days after being discharged from UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital after receiving a life-sustaining kidney and liver transplant, 2-year-old Matthew Ouimet, of Antioch, visited all three services.

At the 8 a.m. Mass, the Rev. Robert Rien, the church's parochial administrator, brought Matthew and his family up to the front of the congregation.

Rien told Matthew that everyone had been praying for him during his months in the hospital, and Matthew responded by giving everyone a thumbs up and saying "Awesome!"

Matthew received a standing ovation, and on his way out after a blessing, he blew everyone a kiss and said "God bless!"

Closing the Deal: Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor is known for having a folksy way of interacting with others, and he showed it recently during an event to celebrate partial completion of the Sand Creek interchange on Highway 4.

The mayor told The Eye he was "jacked up" about the long-awaited project being completed before the event started, and during his comments mentioned that Brentwood is often confused with the Los Angeles district with the same name.

"That one is close to Disneyland, but today we're here in reality land," he said, referencing the long-awaited project to help move gnarled traffic.

Taylor also took the chance to thank his wife, Pam, whom he called Brentwood's "real mayor"; invited guests to take home some Brentwood corn provided by City Councilman and farmer Erick Stonebarger; and presented Contra Costa Transportation Authority Executive Director Randy Iwasaki with a Titleist putter.

"I've heard you enjoy golfing. The putter is the most useful tool in the bag, and you've helped us putting in the final putt in the final hole," Taylor said.

Staff writer Paul Burgarino produced this column.