Monday, September 22, 2008

Good people sharing time and talents

Raising money for children
The Westside Shrine Club had a successful first-time fundraiser Sept. 13. Shriners and guests met for dinner at the rural Patterson home of Carla and Kevin Nelson raising $1,150 for children.

Shriners set out to raise money for the Shriners Children's Hospital in Sacramento and decided to put on a steak and oyster feed. Tom and I were honored be two of the 70 people in attendance, visit with folks in the Nelson's beautiful yard and have a delicious meal.

"Everyone has called me during the week and told me they were very happy with the event and look forward to repeating it," Kevin, who is the local Shrine president, said. "Many people worked together to make it a success."

The entire Nelson family worked hard on the event, and along with volunteer cooks and bartender, helped raise funds for kids who need medical care.

The Westside Shrine Club is one of the units of the Aahames Shrine Center in the Pleasanton/ Livermore area.

Kevin said the money will first go to the Shrine Center, be added to the money raised by other Shrine Clubs and then be passed on to Sacramento to Shriner's Children's Hospital.

There are plenty of great people with great causes out there who work hard for what they believe in -- this dinner is just one of example of what dedicated folks working together can do.

Hansen shares artwork; play depicts life issues
When former Patterson resident Lois Hansen was asked to display her artwork depicting women at the Prospect Theatre in Modesto she said "Yes."

Local resident Colton Dennis is directing an Edward Albee play,"Three Tall Women" at the Prospect. He thought of Lois' artwork and gave her a call. Now, five of her paintings are displayed in the lobby of the theater and ready for Friday's opening night.

Lois, who moved to Hughson 1½ years ago, lived here more than 40 years and she and her husband, Charlie, raised four children here.

After her children grew up, she began classes at Modesto Junior College and then at California State University, Stanislaus, in Turlock, where she studied art. After many years, Lois graduated in 2000 from CSUS with a bachelor of arts degree in fine arts.

"I would lke the viewer to identify with my paintings as they trigger different memories for each of us," Lois said in her artist statement. "In my body of work, a recurrent theme for me is the ageing process. These feelings are ones of loneliness and isolation, as well as the very joy of life and its rich rewards."

Lois, who comes to Patterson often, is also a member of the Del Puerto Art Group here. Her paintings, along with other local artists in town, are on display at various businesses around the Circle and downtown.

Meanwhile, Colton is ready for a long run for the Pulitzer Prize winning play, which will be presented from Sept. 26 to Oct. 19 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. A Thursday performance will be Oct. 16. Evening performances are at 8 p.m and matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person.
For information: 549-9341 or

Friday, September 12, 2008

Remember 9/11

Seven years ago America was reeling from what were devastating attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Terrorists drove three commercial airplanes into those buildings, while a fourth plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania.

More than 3,000 people were killed and the nation was in shock.

Let us not forget, seven years later, the impact of that day. Familes who lost a loved one cannot forget and they still grieve.

We should not forget either.

Although we go about our buisness our lives have changed.
Folks are more viligant when they travel, and are aware of what's going on with the neighbors and neighborhood.

Americans are not afraid to speak up in the face of injustice and fly the flag with pride.

As time goes on do not let the images of that day fade away.

September 11, 2001 should burn forever in your memory.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Jumping from a plane and visiting the neighbors

The big jump

Three-day weekends mean an extra day of fun for those of us who go to school, to work and who have to keep on a strict schedule throughout the week.

Most of us keep our feet on the ground unlike my friends, Linda De Forest and her son, Ryan, who decided to celebrate their birthdays by jumping out of a plane. The pair usually take a trip abroad at birthday time but Ryan, who turned 18 in March, was so busy with school and his summer job they decided on an Aug. 30 jump.

"We both decided before he left for college this is how we were going to celebrate, " Linda said.

The pair headed to Lodi to the Parachute Center to prepare for the big moment. Armed with nerves of steel and the proper parachute equipment — essential — they boarded the plane.
Then they jumped!
Linda and Ryan had a fabulous time as you can see by the accompanying pictures. ( Just a few of the more than 100 pictures they took that day.)

Ryan will leave Patterson to start his areonautical engineering studies at Univeisty of California, Davis, on Sept. 20. We wish you all the best, Ryan!

Visiting the neighbors
The Newman Fall Festival is a tradition of our neighbors to the south. My friend, Coleen Sanguinetti, her granddaughters, Sarah and Ashley, and yours truly headed to Newman for some fun on Sunday.

The big parade — with the Apricot Fiesta float in the lineup — was followed by fun in the Newman Park. Sarah and Ashley enjoyed the rides and bounce houses and we all took part in delicious food and drink. (Of course!) The festival featured a car show and plenty of musical entertainment.

We browsed all the craft booths before starting for home in the late afternoon. It was a fun day for all of us thanks to our neighbors in Newman.
Again I headed south and after helping Coleen with some chores on Monday, our little group headed to the playhouse set up in the Sanguinetti yard.
Coleen and I were the customers at the make-believe restaurant, decorated with tables, chairs, lamps and complete with curtains on the windows and decorations on the walls.
Sarah and Ashley, in dress up attire, served the make believe food, while Coleen and I chatted.
Hope you had a nice three-day weekend celebrated in your own style.