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Sweet Sounds Just for the Fun of It

It’s gotta be one of the most incredible musical entertainment shows in town, and it’s free.

This Thursday, and every third Thursday of the month, a “Frustrated Musicians Party” is held at the Stone Ridge Country Club in Poway, featuring some of the most famous swing and Dixieland musicians this area has to offer.

These are fellows who’ve got it in their blood to play music with one another, just for the love of it. They’ve got to play, the same way they’ve got to eat and sleep. And in that order.

This Thursday, for instance, performers will include clarinet kings Benny LaGasse and Bobby Gordon, John Best (trumpet), Paul Sims (piano), Don Loeffler (drums and vibes), Stan Booth (bass), Bob Simeral (trumpet), Al Gabbs (trombone)--and whoever else shows up at 6:15 p.m. to jam.

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The show will also feature “Second Time Around,” a trio of ladies who could pass as the Andrews Sisters.

The monthly jam sessions began in 1974, when retired drummer Boyd Gibbons and guitarist-whistler Dr. Thomas F. Neblett decided to loosely organize retired musicians in the spirit of the Maestros, a group of musicians who have been meeting monthly since 1938 at the University Club in Pasadena.

The local group first started meeting at Whispering Palms Country Club in Rancho Santa Fe; 2 1/2 years ago the party moved to Stone Ridge.

The idea is simple: Musicians who aren’t working that particular night show up at the country club at 6:15, sign in and jam--by feel and from memory--with one another ‘til 8. Then, based on some arrangements made the previous month, a more structured two- or three-set show is performed until 11, Gibbons said.

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“You never know what great musicians are going to be there,” he said. “We still remember the time that Benny LaGasse and Bobby Gordon first showed up on the same night. They were harmonizing so good they had us all standing on our chairs!”

The public is invited to sit in, and there is no admission or cover charge. The 150-seat room usually fills for the 8 p.m. show.

“We’re not there to entertain anyone except ourselves,” Gibbons said. “It’s the best therapy a musician can have, to play with others and jam for our own amazement.

“Still, we’re hams enough to enjoy a good audience.”

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All Sizes Fit

There’ll be a cattle call Wednesday for a movie called “Sour Grapes,” to be shot in San Diego.

And it sounds like casting director Sam Warren (Four Square Productions Inc. in National City) will take just about anybody 18 or over.

Who, in particular, is sought? “Young women in bathing suits as well as young men in bathing suits,” the press release said. “Also looking for ugly character types and gorgeous San Diego types. Sam is also interested in fat or skinny San Diegans.”

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Well, that sort of covers the field.

Keeping Shipshape

Every Monday morning, 8 or 10 women who might otherwise be enjoying breakfast at the San Diego Yacht Club or boating around the bay show up at the Star of India to dust, vacuum and polish.

They call themselves The Dustbusters. They’re members of the Star of India Auxiliary, and among their contributions is keeping the historic old merchant ship all spiffed up as a tourist attraction.

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They polish the brass and blacken the stoves and wash the drapes and generally work themselves into a sweat for three hours.

“And we giggle a lot,” confided Lois Dahl, the head Dustbuster. “Instead of going to a health spa to work out, we get all the bending and stretching we need on Monday mornings. It’s marvelous.

“It’s kind of funny, we think: We get maids to do our work at home so we can come down here and clean a ship.”

Into the Fast Lane

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Lisa Pacheco, the Fairest of the Fair, will get her first real test of endurance Wednesday.

She will graduate from Oceanside’s El Camino High School on Wednesday night after first giving a speech as the outgoing student body vice president.

The graduation ceremony begins at 6 p.m.--the same hour that a $50-a-plate dinner will begin at the Del Mar Fairgrounds to kick off the Don Diego Memorial Trust Fund, in memory of the late Tommy Hernandez.

The fair folks want Lisa to unveil the new, 17-foot-high statue of Don Diego at 7:15, so as soon as she gets her diploma, she’ll be whisked by car to Oceanside Airport and helicoptered by Flight Trails to the helipad at the fairgrounds, where she’ll change from her graduating gown into her Fairest gown and crown.

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As soon as she pulls the cord and poses for pictures, she’ll be helicoptered back to Oceanside to catch a bus (how boring) for an overnight graduation party at Disneyland.

Then at 10 the next morning ( zzzzz ), she’s due back at the fairground for another formal Fairest of the Fair appearance.

Ah, to have the energy of an 18-year-old.

Just Following Orders

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There was a little confusion the other day during the pre-enrollment testing of kindergarten youngsters who hope to be first-graders next fall at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Escondido.

The young boy who was next in line for the coordination test was told, “Please skip across the room.”

The boy was sure he misunderstood the instruction. He looked bewildered, and he hesitated.

“Please, do as I say,” he was admonished.

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So he did. Working nervously on what saliva he could muster, he let out a healthy spit across the room.


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