The Star-News


June gloom makes early appearance

Sat, Apr 30 2011 12:00 PM Posted By: Richard Pena

In looking through my notes, that is, those little missiles that I frequently write to myself, I see that it is just about time for another one of those multi-subject columns. Those are the kind where some columnists use the three dot method to separate subject matter. The late Herb Caen, the San Francisco writer, was a master of these. But then Caen was a master of many things when it came to prose. Suffice to say that I am no Herb Caen.

We must mention something about the crazy weather that we have been experiencing. I am writing this on Monday, a day that has wall-to-wall sunshine.

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, it was a dark, gloomy day in the valley. One of my neighbors, Gayle Fredsti, tells me that she was in Jamul on Easter and it rained quite liberally. April, of course, has the reputation for having unsettled conditions when it comes to climate so, I suppose, we can expect that sort of thing. Ah, but we must take heart. It won't be too long before we have June gloom in our midst. That is the time when we will be longing for the April uncertainty.

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In thinking about June gloom I recall a time some years ago when we were having day after day of cloudy skies. My wife, Zula, remarked to me that she wanted to see some sunshine. I agreed with her so we got in the car and started traveling east. We ended up in El Centro. This was a long way to go but it was worth it. We spent the night and came home the next day. On our return we were, of course, greeted by June gloom.

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A few weeks ago I wrote about sports and rejoiced about the advent of baseball season. It seems that I should have held off on the joy of the season, at least, as far as the local team goes. As of this writing it looks like the Padres are trying to write off their season before we even get to June gloom. We might make a suggestion. Why doesn't the Padres management sign up that Chula Vista Little League team of a couple of years ago and play them? I'd bet they could probably score a few runs, something that is sorely lacking in the current group. But who knows? Like the weather the team may make a turn around. As the poet said, "Hope springs eternal..."

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Local resident John Porner and his wife Carmen left this week on an extended trip to Turkey. We have also received e-mails from others who are traipsing about European countries. We say this with a bit of envy because the extent of our travels, of late, have been as far as the J Street marina. Porner, you might know, is the leader of the Merrie Ukes, the ukulele group that plays locally. He told me before he left that he was not packing a ukulele. Just as well. If I remember correctly they play the lute in Turkey and would probably look askance at a uke.

(By the way, I have been in Turkey. My Navy days took me to the Mediterranean on two separate occasions two years apart. And on both those occasions I walked down the streets of Izmir on Thanksgiving Day. I don't know what the odds would be on that happening but it did.) The Porners, by the way, have promised to send me a postcard from Izmir, if they get there.

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I try my best to stay away from negative topics. There are times, however, when I feel I have to express some discontent with something I have come across. The other day the daily paper had an article in the health section about Alzheimer's. Research done by the Alzheimer's Association and others have discovered that they can identify the disease much sooner in a patient than in the past. We wonder what good that is. It does not take a super-diagnostician to spot this disease. A person would have to be half-blind or completely oblivious to those around him not to see the tell-tale signs of impending dementia. Ask anyone who has been around it. Spending energy and funds to determine early stages of the disease is, a waste. Why not channel the research on a cure, or, better yet, a means of prevention than on a prediction?

It has been done on other maladies. Why not dementia? Just a thought.


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