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Ladies bring a breath of fresh air Richard Pena | Sat, Nov 10 2012 12:00 PM

In this topsy-turvy world of negativism one need go no further than the ladies of the community to find that fresh air bit of positive acts that makes everything worthwhile.  This past week I was exposed to something like that in attending a couple of functions that emitted a breath of that aforementioned fresh air into the proceedings.

This last Saturday I was the guest at a meeting of a local chapter of PEO.  This is the organization that is devoted to further the lot of women.  They do it through scholarships, that is, financial aid that will aid a local young woman in pursuing her dreams of higher education.

Carrying the title XU this is a relatively new chapter of PEO.  Some months ago I had been invited to speak to the group by two of the founders of this chapter, Donna Ciolli and Marlene Giles.  Both these ladies are retired elementary school teachers and are both members of our retired teacher bridge club.

We met at the La Mesa home of one of the club members, Janet Bower.  The club holds their regularly scheduled meetings in private homes, foregoing the expense of rental space.  XU was founded in September of 2011 and was a spinoff of a parent club in Chula Vista.  They are a vibrant group of ladies who are devoted to the objectives of PEO and take satisfaction in seeing their recipients reach their goal.

PEO, incidentally, has its own school of higher learning, Cottey College, in Nevada, Missouri.  It was founded in 1884 and offers two-year associate degrees.  I understand from one of the XU members, Terry Cleary, that some of its members will be attending classes there next May.  Ciolli is one who will be attending.  She tells me that she believes that spouses will also be included.

My talk, by the way, was about the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  Although this was a battle that occurred some 71 years ago it still demands some attention.  It stands out as a historical happening and it left its indelible mark on those who were there.  We will have more on Pearl Harbor in a later column.

In our next segment of the women of our community we are going to insert a few men in the mix.  I attended a luncheon of the California Retired Teachers Association at the Holiday Inn in National City.  We were entertained by a group of children from Clear View Elementary School in Chula Vista who demonstrated Folklorica, a unique type of folk dancing that is part of the Mexican heritage.

The CRTA is a strong, viable arm in the community.  Although its members are retired from active teaching or administrating it is still a strong influence when it comes to public education.  It is an organization that keeps a keen eye on the pulse of education and promotes those things that are going to enhance the furtherance of the system.

The last group of ladies that we wish to laud is the Sweetwater Woman’s Club. Their annual home tour was this past weekend and from all indications it enjoyed the success of past home tours. Betty Parchman, a 57- year member of the club keeps me up to date on the unit’s activities.  Most residents of the community have, at one time or another, participated in some activity sponsored by the club.  May it continue to blossom.

By the way, the luncheon at the CRTA the other day featured roast turkey, dressing, gravy and all those other things that we associate with Thanksgiving.  Such a feast is a harbinger of better things to come.

My favorite holiday season is just around the corner.  We are confident that it can do much to assist the ladies of the community to right this topsy-turvy world.

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