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Lots of ways to mark Memorial Day

M

ay 31 was the day dedicated to the memory of those to whom we all owe so much. In Laguna, Memorial Day includes breakfast in an idyllic setting, solemn rites at Monument Point and the joyful patriotic program presented by the

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Laguna Beach

Concert Band.

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The day starts early.

Dan Moy

and

Ken Kenworthy

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were at the Veteran's Memorial Building at 5 a.m. to help load up food and supplies for the annual Exchange Club Pancake Breakfast at Heisler Park.

City workers

Reggie Christian

and

John O'Hara

were manicuring the park for the breakfast by the time club member

Patrick Freeman

arrived at 6:30 a.m. to help set up equipment.

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Not much later, veterans were out installing flags to remind everyone of the obligation we owe those who gave their lives so that we might celebrate the start of summer in whatever fashion we choose.

Volunteer firefighters were flipping flapjacks by 7 p.m. for the 600 folks who lined up until 10:30 a.m. — not to mention the 50 volunteers who responded to the marching orders of Generalissimo

Sande St. John

.

Volunteers included former Mayor

Cheryl Kinsman, Anne Wood, Kathryn Delp Dew, Christina Vickers, Connie Burlin

and probable City Council candidate

Emanuel Patrascu

.

The White House

and Las Brisas provided the vittles cooked by Firefighters

Kurt Bladergroen, Jeff LaTendresse, Joe Maxon, Frank Buckner, Mike Daignault, Sean Ilich, Steve Rening, Danny Kalscheuer, Adam Schulenburg

and Chief — who used to go by

Kris

Head

. LaTendresse's son,

Cody

, and Maxon's son,

Garret

, and volunteer

Marion Rice

assisted.

John Bodrero

, owner of the Orange Inn since 1971, provided the coffee, poured by the Police Department's

Robin Levinson

.

Police Officers

Spring Sendale, Chris Dovias, Paul Bixby

, and Police Assn. President

Larry Bammer

were on patrol.

"Laguna Tots" performers

Vanessa, Ethan, Ryan

and

Danielle Gee, Faith Ackley, Annamarie McIntosh, Jade Hansen, Charlotte Rubino, Samia El Erian, Camryn

and

Katelyn Ostander, Annika McGraw, Sabrina Von Bogenberry, Dean Hodes, Jack Patillo, Zachary Levine, Aria Horowitz, Megan Cavanaugh

and

Conner McCombs

entertained with excerpts from the show, supervised by

Linda Haylett

.

The firefighters closed up shop with nothing much left but crumbs of sausage and dregs of coffee.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG

The 83rd Memorial Day ceremonies conducted by the Laguna Beach posts of the

American Legion

and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Heisler Park began 10:30 a.m. with a musical prelude.

The crowd was greeted by Legion Post 222 Adjutant

Richard Moore

, outgoing Post 222 Commander

David Connell

and VFW Post 5868 Cmdr.

Bill Kremer

, Legion Auxiliary President

Diane Connell

, VFW Auxiliary President

Dorothy Toomey

and Councilman

Kelly Boyd

.

"We need to remember not only those who gave their lives, but the families who lost their loved ones so that we could have a better place to live," Boyd said.

California

Assemblywoman

Diane Harkey

was the guest speaker. She arrived wearing a leg cast and late, due to traffic, noting that Laguna is justifiably a very popular place.

She said Americans are lucky: They have the freedom to meet, access to education, freedom from bias and peaceful elections, not bloody coups. Many have died so that Americans can debate issues, she said.

"It is good to pause and remember there are greater issues than daily stresses," Harkey said. "America is a beacon of freedom. We have so much to loose, we cannot sit idly by."

Harkey was followed by the presentation of floral arrangements by 44 local organizations and individuals to honor the heroic dead.

Veteran

Ron May

had the dolorous duty to intone No Answer when the bell tolled for post members who had died in the previous year:

Jerry R. Alsobrook, Edward L. Armstrong, Benjamin F. Blount III, Benjamin F. Caffey, Jesse W. Davidson, Francis T. Eddy, Edgar Hatfield, Marion N. Jay, Arthur J. Kelly, Albert W. Lilienthal, James E. Perry, Harvey A. Shaw, Ronald G. Strauss

and

William H. Waterson

.

No Square Theatre singers sang the "Star Spangled Banner" and led the audience in a rendition of "God Bless America." Local Boy Scouts led the "Pledge of Allegiance

." Noah Rosen

played Taps to conclude the day.

AND THE BAND PLAYED

Laguna's Concert Band gets better every year and the audience for the Memorial Cay Concert at Main Beach gets bigger every year, including many visitors.

Laguna Woods resident

Clark Marshall

said he always comes to Laguna for Memorial Day.

Locals in the audience included former Mayor

Phyllis Sweeney, Niko Theris, Helene

and

Shelley Feingold, Storm

and

Shirley Case

and toe-tapping

Glori Fickling

.

The band's extensive repertoire included John Phillips Sousa marches, jazz by the group's brass quintet, and a solo by

Steve Calhoun

on a refurbished 1952 vibraphone, the same vintage played by musical great

Lionel Hampton,

and a sing-along and whistle-along to "On the Wall."

IT'S A DOG'S LIFE AND A DOGGONE GOOD ONE

Animal Crackers owner and pet rescue activist

Gina Kantzabedian

hosted a birthday recently at Lang Park for the pups born a year ago to

Sugar

, who was rescued while on the verge of motherhood.

Sugar, who may be a white schnauzer — or not — but not a big dog whatever the breed, had eight pups: seven of them coal black and one grayish one.

Guests included all the friends of the pups, including their humans and other

dogs

that have found homes through the efforts of Kantzabedian's nonprofit foundation.

"I am in heaven, " Kantzabedian said, surrounded by more than 25 frolicking dogs for whom she had found happy homes.

She could name every one of the dogs — and most of the humans at the party. Six of Sugar's pups —

Pepper

died from a bee sting and

Sasha

couldn't make it — romped with the other dogs while their human companions, with one hand on a leash and the other holding a fork, partook of a spread catered by

Michael Karfaridis

, owner of the Thasos Greek Island Grille at the Sawdust Festival.

Refreshments were also provided for the dogs, including a birthday cake for Sugar babies

Pluto

and

Ajax, Austin

and

Sidney, Maggie

, and

Sweet Pea

.

The pups were accompanied by their human companions:

Susan

and

Dr. Michael Sandys; Linda Yost, Lynette Beers-McCormich, Rachel

and

Lori Burgi

respectively.

Guests also included

Roxy

and

Mr. Pickles

with

Madeline Natale, Boo

and

Tony

with

Mike Badstubner, Cooper

and

Termite

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with

Marilyn Dillow, Hobie

with

Ying Clark, Clyde

and

Lola

with

Wynne Tapley, Zuma

with

Mike Nelson, Kenny

with

Tamara Oswald

and

Schotzie

with

Yoshi OConner

. and

Sweetie

with

Judy Miles

, who also has a parrot and two cats at home adopted from Kantzabedian's never-ending list of rescues..

Also:

Pip

with

Sweet Per

and Burgi;

Daisy Duke, Rickey

and

Lulubelle

with

Carol Stevens; Billie, Charlie

and

Laci

with

Catherine Reade; Lana

and

Abby

with Costa Mesa Animal Control Officer

Yolanda Macias

and Animal Crackers Pet Rescue Vice President

Helen Evers

and animal holistic consultant

Marlene Dantzer

.

Party favors were balls and pull toys.

Most of the animal guests at the party were rescues. That costs money. Donations are appreciated and tax deductible.

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