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Sound of love is room full of Merrie Ukes Richard Pena | Sat, Feb 12 2011 12:00 PM

We kind of jumped the gun a couple of issues back when we wrote about Valentine's Day. It looked like we were kind of forcing the issue of love. Perhaps we were, but when one thinks about it February, whether it is Feb. 1 or Feb. 28 is really the month of love, that time in the calendar when the thought of love and affection manifests itself and comes out in all.

The showing of love and affection can take many forms. In past years I would show that devotion in the most standard form of the day: lavish my loved one with chocolates and flowers or, if things had crept up on me, a simple card. This year it is entirely different. Love is shown through music.

My association with the Merrie Ukes has made this possible. The other day the group performed a music fest, laden with love, to the occupants of Collingwood Manor, the assisted living facility on F Street.

Eloise Luhnow, a long time member of the ukulele group was familiar with the facility and made it possible.

Almost all the selections had something to do with love. When one is selecting material from a couple of generations ago it is difficult to find a song that is not associated with love. Hence, the selection was simple.

We have written of the Merrie Ukes many times in the past. It is the music group that was formed by Bonitan John Porner in January of 2003. In the beginning it boasted four members who probably knew no more than four chords. It met weekly at the now defunct Norman Center. Its reputation spread and today it numbers close to 30 members, many of whom are accomplished musicians.

The new meeting place is the Bonita/Sunnyside Library Community Room each Tuesday at 10 a.m.

As we walked out of Collingwood the other day, a gentleman met us and asked if we were a group of musicians. It took a bit of thought to answer that one. Most of us can carry a tune, providing we know the melody and can reasonably strum the correct chord if the music is in front of us. Then we have some players who can play the melody on the ukulele. We had, for example, at our program the other day Jerry Sokol give an outstanding rendition of Sweet Georgia Brown and Bob Hobdy strum his way through "Lady of Spain." Then there was our versatile leader, Porner join Eloise in their interpretation of "Cielito Lindo." In the parlance of show business all of the above would be considered show stoppers.

The Merrie Ukes will reprise this program next Wednesday morning at the Veteran's Home in Chula Vista. As long as you have love, might as well spread a little of it around.

The day that the Ukes played at Collingwood was one of those ugly, forbidding days that we sometimes encounter. This was in sharp contrast to the previous day when we had gone over to the Bonita Golf Club for a round of golf. It was perfect golf weather and I joined my long time golf partner, Jerry Mitchell who squired me around for my maximum 10 holes or so. I have given up on playing eighteen holes. In the interval of our golf course conversation I commented that I had a deadline to meet and had no idea regarding subject matter. Since the Super Bowl had been played the day before Mitchell suggested that I write about it.

I really could think of little to add to what has already been written. I did wonder about something. How did the winning team get their championship golf caps so quickly? The game is over by 10 minutes and everyone on the winning side has on their championship caps. The caps must have been prepared beforehand. How about the other team? Did they too have championship caps prepared? If so they will have to forever remain under wraps. One of those would make great souvenirs.

One other thing would be the half time show, the Black-eyed Peas. Where do they get those performers?

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article inadvetrently featured a story about a murder case. This Feb. 11 column by Richard Pena is the story that should have been published. The Star-News regrets the error.

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