San Clemente Welcomer Offers Friendship, Tours

Eight new residents move into San Clemente every day and the first person they most likely get friendly with is Jan Peverill, who makes a dandy living greeting them.

She likes to think that her work is a public service, considering that most of the new San Clemente citizens are suffering the trials and tribulations of tearing up old roots and putting down new ones.

Peverill, vice president of the National Assn. of Independent Welcoming Services, has operated her business for 13 years and probably is as well known as anyone in San Clemente and surrounding towns.

"When people move from one place to another," she said during a walking tour of quaint downtown San Clemente and its small shops, "it's a dreadful time for them. They leave behind all their friends, doctor, their hairdresser and favorite eating places."

And when they do move, "Those people become the new kids on the block, trying to make friends with people who already have friends," she pointed out, adding that most people move because of changes in employment.

But no matter the reason, Peverill and her Introductions Unlimited welcoming service--which local businesses support financially--has the know-how to help new residents get settled in south county cities. Those who have made changes before know what to do, she said, "But for those who haven't, there's loneliness."

Peverill said she once got this call from a lonely new resident: "Help, I'm talking to the parakeet."

Not to worry, she answered, and invited the woman and other newcomers to lunch and a shopping tour of San Clemente and nearby points of interest. "That's the innovative part of the greeting here," said Peverill, who takes between five and 10 new residents for a daylong outing that not only familiarizes them with the city but also introduces them to each other.

She contends that she and a greeter in Texas are the only services conducting shopping tours. "Many new friendships are created this way," she said, noting that since the many women moving these days are in the 40-and-up age bracket, "their children are grown and the mothers no longer belong to such groups as the PTA. These women have to go out and find new friends on their own."

To spread her reputation, Peverill belongs to seven chambers of commerce and, besides the greeting service, specializes in advising newcomers on the best brunches and bed-and-breakfast stops in Southern California.

Some people have their ups and downs, and in this case both ups and downs were winners.

For two days, 27 Marina High School students took two-hour teeter-totter rides and raised about $1,000 for the Huntington Beach Teen Safe-Ride Program.

Safe-Ride President Ed Juline, 17, of Huntington Beach, said he stopped by at 4 a.m. on one day. "The seesaw was barely moving," he said, "sort of like slow motion. But it was moving."

If you're looking for entertainment--rather than riches--gambling can be a fun outlet, says David A. Horowitz, Golden State College mathematics instructor, but he believes the odds are against the gambler.

And that includes supermarket bingo, the state lottery and casino gambling.

Writing in "Mathematics at the Craps Table" for the American Mathematical Assn. of two-year colleges, Horowitz noted that besides lotteries and other games of chance, gamblers lose an estimated $5 billion in casinos every year.

It's a given, said Horowitz, who plays blackjack and craps in Las Vegas, that even gamblers who discover a system "are going to lose in the long run." But he added that if those gamblers had knowledge of mathematical probability, at least they could lose a lot slower.

Donald Chou, 34, of Mission Viejo, spent half of a Saturday during a seminar at Golden West College telling 10 senior citizens about retirement planning. "I typically get a lot of younger people looking at retirement," said Chou, a certified financial planner, "because they have seen what happened to their parents and grandparents and don't want that to happen to them."

Regardless of their age, he said the one word for retirement is "plan."

At his age, is he planning ahead?

Said Chou: "I practice what I preach."

Acknowledgments--Sean Connery, 17, of Costa Mesa, named Cadet Group Commander of the Year by the United States Air Force Auxiliary (formerly the Civil Air Patrol) for his advancements in rank, contributions to his squadron and for assisting on search and rescue operations. He is a sophomore at Estancia High School.

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