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OUR LAGUNA: All she missed while under the weather

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the Patriots Day Parade.

Well, at least it started out funny.

Dressed for the parade, including my signature red pill box hat, I gaily tripped off to the parade — literally.

I caught my heel walking down my front stairs. Realizing I was going to hit face first, I tucked my shoulder in, landed on my left side and rolled onto my back in the strawberry patch below the porch. Didn’t even have the breath knocked out of me. Lying there, I took inventory and decided no bones were broken. In fact my hat was still on my head.


OK. I was prepared to get up and be on my way.

Until I sat up and got a gander at my shredded pantyhose and shredded leg and knees, scraped by the bricks.

Not so OK.

My nephew, Jeff Hadlich, who was going to drive me to the parade, hoisted me to my feet and into the house. He cleaned the scrapes and opined that I probably wouldn’t be going to the parade. It was only the second Patriots Day Parade I have missed since 1989.


Jeff said I wasn’t going to like it, but he was calling his mother to come and give a second opinion.

What’s not to like? In an emergency, I always call Patsy.

By the time the wound was cleaned and peroxide poured over it — that was fun and more about that later — the bleeding had stopped.

So we — that would be the editorial we — applied Neosporin and bandaged it.

And that appeared to do the trick. I was in good enough shape that I was able to write a column and a couple of stories for the paper that week.

And I didn’t call my children because the wound seemed to be healing and there wasn’t anything they needed to do. My daughter-in-law, Chris, still isn’t speaking to me and my sons Ken and Paul have indicated their displeasure with my decision.

However, on Friday the 13th, my luck changed. The skin around the wound was looking a little — not a lot — inflamed. Not good.

My eldest son, Kevin, and daughter-in-law, Tracy, arrived that weekend, seriously miffed, and insisted that I go to the doctor.


Nor was Dr. Gabor Kovacs — who has been my doctor since Susie McCalla gave me his name about 28 years ago — thrilled with me. I had a staph infection. He took a culture, cleaned the wound, prescribed some powerful meds, and sent me home gently, but effectively chastised for not coming in sooner.

I wasn’t feeling up to doing any writing — or much of anything else for that matter, except to indulge in a major pity party — so apologies to Mayor Kelly Boyd, Anne Johnson, Martha Lydick and Martha Anderson and others whose phone calls I didn’t return until I was fit for human company.

Thank God for Jeff, who cooked for me, drove me to the doctor’s appointments, changed bandages, fed my Westie, Scooter, and cat, Wink, and put up with my megrims. He also added handrails for the front steps for the first time since the house was built in 1906 — at least according to early photographs.

When the infection was on the wane, Kovacs sent me to the South Coast Medical Center Wound Clinic — which I didn’t even know existed, although I have been writing about the hospital for more than 20 years.

It was there that I met my new best friend, Lucia Berman, wound specialist “first class,” who had the task of debriding the wound that had scraped off the top skin from my shin.

Bonnie Hano is one of the few people who know what debriding is. I strongly urge everyone to avoid situations that call for it.

Basically, the “debrider” removes dead, damaged or infected skin from the wound. Unfortunately the bad stuff is attached to healthy skin. It can be done surgically, manually or by maggots. Yuck.

Berman’s a pro. To take my mind off of what she was doing, she kept me talking about mutual acquaintances, such as former neighbors, Paul and Cindy Prewitt, and Kate Tschudin, who worked at the hospital. Then, she bandaged the wound and covered it with plastic wrap to keep it moist.


She also told me she that peroxide had not been the best idea. She recommended soap and water, Neosporin and a bandage for minor scratches — but advised calling the doctor for more serous punctures.

Each visit to Berman got easier and last Friday, she released me.

I was sidelined for four weeks and lo! the world did not stop turning.

Kling’s golden deeds

The Exchange Club of Laguna Beach presented Tom Klingenmeier with the Book of Golden Deeds March 12 at Tivoli Too, even though I was absent.

About 90 people attended the presentation. The award has been bestowed since 1919, but it isn’t just an annual event — some years no one is honored, as happened in 2008. Skipper Carrillo was the recipient in 2007.

“We are pretty picky about the honoree,” said club member Sande St. John.

“Kling,” as he is affectionately known, qualified by virtue of his years of service to the city — primarily to the kids. He served as athletic director, baseball coach and campus supervisor at Laguna Beach High School. He also taught journalism and auto shop.

In the summers, he worked security for the Sawdust Festival and in 2008 was named the art festival’s general manager.

Klingenmeier earned the rank of sergeant in the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam.

He and his wife, Patti, a Sawdust exhibitor, moved to Laguna with their two sons in the late 1970s.

Patrick Freeman chaired the Book of Golden Deeds luncheon. Speakers included the mayor, Festival of Arts spokeswoman Sharbie Higuchi and the Rev. Jay Grant. Guitarist Jason Feddy and violinist Doug Miller entertained.

Women Authors

The Literary Luncheon hosted by the Laguna Beach Foundation of the American Assn. of University Women proceeded March 14 at the Surf & Sand without me — although event Chairwoman Kimberly Salter did call to find out when the funeral would be held.

“Everybody thought if you weren’t here, you must be dead,” Salter said.

I was first invited probably 10 years ago to the luncheon by Carol Reynolds, who founded the AAUW chapter’s Women of Distinction Dinners, and I usually sit with her at the authors’ table.

The luncheon features talks by women authors — this year it was Merrill Joan Gerber, Kate Jacobs, Marisa Silver and Jeri Westerson.

Proceeds support California Tech Trek Summer Science Camp trips for two Thurston Middle School girls, fellowships for women in research or studying selected professions, and grants to women for public service projects and career-related study. Grants are also awarded to local nonprofit organizations that address needs related to AAUW and the foundation’s mission of educational and gender equity for girls and women. Among the recipients: La Playa’s English as a Second Language program, Laguna Beach Live!, Even Start and the Community Clinic’s women’s program.

Applications are required. For more information,

Barbers’ Shop

John and Rebecca Barber host Inside Studio Art at their gallery at the Old Pottery Place at 4 p.m. the last Sunday of specified months. The format is based on the television show, “Inside the Actors Studio.” Bill Harris, who has appeared on “Entertainment Tonight” and as narrator of “Lagunatics,” interviews the featured artist.

“The audience gets to know the artist on personal level and then their work,” Rebecca Barber said.

And yes, even their favorite swear word.

Inside Studio Art was nominated for Arts Star Award — another event I missed, but Coastline Pilot City Editor Cindy Frazier had it covered, as she did the March 24 City Council meeting. Not only did she do my work, she sent me flowers. How good is that?

The most recent interview was March 29, while I was still hors d’ combat, but I wasn’t missed in the audience, which came to hear Aaron P. Thomas grilled.

“He does intensely-colored acrylic sculptures, but he always pushes the boundaries,” Barber said.