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Wine and chili make for a great combination Richard Pena | Fri, Apr 16 2010 04:44 PM

With the end of winter and with the start of more agreeable weather we seem to find more activities come to life, more things that are going to make an agreeable statement in the community.

Today, I would like to touch on two of these, both important and both enjoyable. And both on the same weekend, one day apart.

The first of these concerns the Chula Vista Library. I met with Terry Cleary the other day at the Bonita Museum and she filled me in on a coming activity that will benefit the library.

For some years the city of Chula Vista has had plans to build another library in the Otay Ranch area. This would, of course, serve the users who live to the east, those in what we refer to as the Eastlake area. This library, in addition to aiding patrons in that area would also take some of the pressure off the other two city buildings that house libraries.

Unfortunately, the economic times that we are currently enduring have made this move impractical if not impossible.

There is, however, a group in the city known as the Chula Vista Public Library Foundation, whose principal function is to promote the public library concept in any way possible.

One of these is raising funds. On Saturday Evening, April 24 this group will be hosting what they call, "Fools for The Love of Literature and Wine."

Cleary tells me that this is a renaissance evening of food, wine-tasting and music. It will be held at the Salt Creek Recreation Center that is located at 2710 Otay Lakes Road in the Eastlake area of the city. It will start at 5 p.m.

Cleary, who by the way, is a recently retired Chula Vista Elementary teacher, gave me a bit of information on their unit.

They wish to keep the library dream alive. Their membership reads like a who's who of local educators, most retired, but all still working for the common good.

Cleary's career carried her through various schools in the district but the major part of her teaching stint was spent at Valley Lindo School. She is a graduate of San Diego State at the El Centro campus. She still volunteers for various units in the valley, the library as well as the Bonita Museum.

The admission, we learn, is by ticket only. They are available at First Bank, the Proctor Valley Road location or one may call Dency Souval at 421-9208. One may also visit www.cvplfoundation.org.

After going to the library function one might look ahead to the following day, Sunday, April 25 to what is billed as the 12th Annual Bonita's Rootin' Tootin' Chili Cook-off and fair. It will be held on the parking lot of the Chula Vista Municipal Golf Course, right next to the Bonita Library on Bonita Road.

I have written of this cook-off, probably every year since its start. Outside of reporting on its staging I have also waxed philosophically on various aspects of chili, the dish, itself.

In this respect there were many factors to consider. Should chili contain or not contain beans? Should it contain or not contain tomatoes? Is it true that the origin of the dish comes from the "Chili Queens" of San Antonio, those ladies who came over from their Spanish homeland with the spices and herbs that made up the dish?

Or are we to believe that the cattle trail cooks invented the dish simply because they could find nothing else in the prairies that they traversed? Queries such as these join that myriad of unanswerable items that have plagued learned men since time began.

So for the purpose of this treatise we will state simply that the cook-off will start at 11 a.m.

Carrie Long, the executive director of the Bonita Business and Professional Association, tells us that for $10 one may sample and taste each chili entree and for an additional $10 the kids corral fun zone is open for games, prizes, rock climbing, pony rides and jumpers. The fair will also offer entertainment on three stages, a classic car show and a pie-eating contest sponsored by Henry's Marketplace.

Like the library function the chili cook-off is also for a good cause. Proceeds will benefit the Bonita Public Safety Center, Southwestern College Scholarships, and BBPA special projects.

So members of the community have their weekend mapped out for them. May you enjoy the wine on Saturday and the chili on Sunday. Even if the latter has beans.

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