The Star-News


A crabby beginning to the new year

Sat, Jan 12 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Richard Pena

It seems to me that January habitually enters the scene in a flurry of activity. Instead of making the scene in a slow and easy manner, sort of a “…well folks let’s see what we got?” it is more like, “OK, let’s get this show on the road!” It would appear that it looked at the December calendar and found a bevy of things undone and could hardly wait to dip in, get its hands dirty and see a little action.

This past week was a prime example of this get busy attitude.  I was invited and attended three functions and could have had more except I cancelled my date with the nice, young lady who cleans and examines my teeth.

All this January activity started on Tuesday when the Merrie Ukes had its first meeting of the year. The musical lexicon director, Hideyo Haga has put together a musical program that would do justice to a night at the symphony.  It is all in preparation for the unit’s first gig in a couple of months. Once more the group has been invited to the Collingsworth Assisted Living home on F Street, playing for an audience that seems to have as much talent as the musicians. For this one venue the Ukes’ fearless leader, John Porner gives up the baton to Eloise Luhnow, who has a strong rapport with the residents of the home.

I had to hurry home because at noon I was due to be picked up by Mike Gailband, a friend and neighbor.  We attended a Kiwanis function, an interclub meeting with our club, Bonita Kiwanis, joining the host club, the Chula Vista Kiwanis.

I have been a Kiwanis member for about 40 years and in that space of time have attended interclubs that number well into three figures. This method of co-mingling, in our early years, was an excellent manner of learning what other clubs were doing, and, in many cases, emulating some of those activities that were for the good of others.  There really is no copyright on the good things that any unit can do for others.

By the way the Bonita club is a spinoff from the Chula Vista.  Back in 1972 some of the club members who lived in Bonita decided that it was to their advantage to have a local club.  Some of the founding members like Bob Montgomery or the late Tony Maio referred to the Chula Vista club as the “mother club” a very apt pseudonym.

In another January activity one of our neighbors, Gayle Fredsti had asked me to come over and partake of something that is pleasing and also highly delicious. Gayle’s eldest daughter, Yvonne, is going into the restaurant business. But this is not an ordinary restaurant. She purchased a large vehicle and has transformed it into a state of the art traveling restaurant specializing in crab cakes. Now me and crab cakes go back a long way. My Maryland kin who frequently visited Chesapeake Bay introduced me to them some years ago.

Yvonne’s crab cakes are patterned after those Chesapeake Bay delectable’s that are seldom found on our shores. We have had crab cakes in some of the North County fisheries but they leave much to be desired. We wish Yvonne much luck in her business endeavors and hope that I can remain in her circle of tasters.

On Thursday afternoon we attended the annual January luncheon of the California Retired Teachers Association. Some time back the division set aside this month’s meeting in honor of those retired persons in the profession who have reached the age of 90. Since I qualified for this distinction some years ago I take advantage of it. Incidentally, we will be highlighting the CRTA in this space sometime in the next month.

One might think that I got away with that teeth cleaning and examination that I had to cancel.  Not a chance.  I could not get off the phone until another permanent date was set.  Sometimes you can’t win for losing.


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