World Traveler Wants to Do Wonderful Things for Herself--and for Others

For most people, a vacation to Jamaica would be a year's dream.

Well, look at this 1987 itinerary belonging to retired schoolteacher and principal Lin Tallman of Balboa Island:

January--A month in Nicaragua.

March--10 days in Pennsylvania's Valley Forge.

April--A week on the Rappahannock River in Virginia.

May--A week in Jamaica.

June--A week in Denver attending a wedding.

September--Three weeks as a volunteer in the Israeli army tank corps.

Oct.15 to Nov. 15--Hiking in the Himalayas.

"I just wanted to get out and see what's there," said Tallman, who plans to spend this year helping others closer to home. "Last year, I didn't do anything for anyone but myself. Now I want to give it back."

Tallman--who said she is "over 60," though she hardly looks it--recalled that she "had a lot more energy than a lot of the other young hikers" at 14,000 feet on her trek through the Himalayas.

Why did she do it? "It was there," she replied.

Keeping up with 28 younger volunteers in Israel was even easier than her mountain climb. "They kept us busy with manual labor," she said, such as cleaning brake drums on the tanks and sorting nuts and bolts." Tallman and one other volunteer were the only non-Jews among the group. All lived on the third floor of an army barracks.

Nicaragua "was a learning trip," Tallman said. "But I came back as confused as before I went there. The people in the street give one version of what is happening and the government gives another version."

At the wedding of a relative in Denver, she saw an eagle swoop down on command and deposit the wedding ring in the hand of the female minister. "That was exciting," she said.

And Tallman got a charge out of fishing the Rappahannock River in Virginia. "I caught my first catfish there."

Her Jamaica trip? "Strictly a vacation," she said. And Valley Forge? "I escorted some bright young people to a leadership conference. I learned a lot."

Her travels came a year after her husband of 41 years died.

"Instead of sitting at home and crying," she said, "I wanted to do wonderful things for myself and for others. I feel my husband would have wanted me to do this."

But helping others doesn't mean she plans to stop her travels.

She has already competed in Masters swimming competition in China and Russia and plans to get in shape for the upcoming Brisbane, Australia, Masters swim competition.

That's if it doesn't interfere with a chance to visit Machu Picchu, site of Incan ruins in Peru.

"That's my real need," Tallman said.

Lisa Marcus is a waitress and bookkeeper for Marie Callender's in San Juan Capistrano, where she lives and knows a lot of the local folks. So it wasn't at all unusual to her when she decided to make some pies for a customer.

However, the customer needed the pies "first thing in the morning," and since the pie makers didn't start until 9 a.m., she made them herself.

Then she waited for the customer in the parking lot.

But wait. The president of the company heard of her zeal to accommodate a customer and came to the restaurant, where he gave Marcus, 35, a check for $1,500, the reward for winning the company's highest honor, which is the Chairman's Performance Award.

Marcus was happy, but said all she did was make some pies.

The winner of the recent Anaheim City School District's annual spelling bee outlasted spellers from 19 schools by spelling the word possession correctly in the final round.

It might have been easier had her name been one of the words.

She is Juarez Elementary School sixth-grader May Phongsasavithes.

Acknowledgments--George Neidhardt, who grew up through the Fullerton Boys Club system during the 1950s, was installled into the club's Hall of Fame. Neidhardt, who is now chief financial officer for Northrop Corp., remains active with the club and serves as a member of the board of directors.

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