From the desk of: Staying cool and renewing friendship

While in San Diego for a little R&R, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying myself staying cool and renewing friendships.

My friends Jean and Marilyn and I had a long-awaited lunch date at the charming Rancho Bernardo Inn. Our friend Ellen who lives nearby had recently recuperated from hip surgery. We were happy to celebrate her coming-out party. Not only has she done marvelously, she is thriving. She is a regular Susie Homemaker. She cans or makes jam of everything her husband grows in his garden and orchard. She sent us all off with jars of blackberry jam.

The next evening Jean, Debby and I had dinner at Tender Greens, a Liberty Station diner. After dinner we attended an “All Broadway Concert” presented by the Peninsula Singers of Point Loma. Our friend Becky Greene is a longtime member of the group.

Selections included songs from “Oliver,” “My Fair Lady,” “Les Miserables,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and others.

All were wonderful. A brief group sing-a-long was held at the end.

*****

My daughter Mary, son-in-law Dave and their son Johnny were in town for the recent San Diego DanceSport Championships at The Westin Hotel. Twelve-year-old Johnny was one of the participants along with his partner Peyton.

This is first time I saw them dance in competition. I was bowled over when the two danced a Viennese waltz. It was so graceful. In the pre-teen category the girls all wear plain, solid-colored dresses, but they get to wear frilly socks. When they get into the teen category there is lots of glitz. I was reminded of “Dancing With the Stars.” The poise of the dancers was amazing. Fortunately Johnny and Peyton did very well.

I told Johnny that someday his wife will really appreciate it that he knows how to dance. He replied, “I won’t do too badly at parties either.”

*****

Three friends and I had a lovely day at the San Diego County Fair. As always Ruth, Bette, Fidela and I first headed for the Paul Ecke Jr. Flower and Garden Show, which was wonderful. The participants showed such ingenuity as they incorporated the “Race to the Fair” theme. O’Brien Hall was next on our agenda. We saw hundreds of long-stemmed roses there. A judge in the rose category said the center of the rose is very important, “the most points are given for roses with tight centers.”

At noon we made a point of being at the Design in Wood exhibit for the docent tour. We had an excellent guide for the 30th anniversary of the wood-working exhibit. A beautiful dressing table at the entrance caught my eye. This first-place entry was made by a dentist for his bride, and dental assistant. Materials used included classic woods as well as ivory, pewter, and the skin of a stingray.

A 12-inch tall basket, titled “Basket Illusion,” was made from black walnut, ash and cherry wood. Asking price was $6,000. The price seems in line with the time it must have taken the artist to assemble the 4,400 tiny pieces.

Being creatures of habit we all decided to have delicious chicken kebobs again this year. We didn’t try any of the new delicacies, which included “Cornucopia,” deep-fried corn on the cob, or “Hash Dog,” crispy golden hash brown corn dog. Other new treats were deep-fried brownies, deep-fried Girl Scout Cookies and deep-fried Baby Ruth-filled jalapeños.

The fine arts display was most attractive, and the entries were amazing. The art was featured on colorful backdrops, and the area was further enhanced with plants and fresh flowers. Besides all the beautiful paintings and works of art, an innovative young woman made a prom dress out of white plastic bags. From several feet away the dress looked like it was made of feathers. The fine arts building also had the Doo-Wop Diner, where we could rest our weary bones.

Our leader, Ruth, took to heart the “Race to the Fair” theme. We raced around the whole day trying to keep up with her. Thankfully she had on a colorful top, and we could keep track of her as she weaved through the crowds. She was a regular Energizer Bunny, and could have stayed hours longer. I think she was disappointed that we didn’t stay for the Randy Travis concert at 7:30 pm.
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