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Durlynn Anema: Tea brings new friendships

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Posted: Saturday, June 3, 2017 3:00 pm

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the third annual Tea of the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Zinfandel Parlor No. 337. It was a full house of ladies enjoying delicious refreshments, zesty conversations and talented entertainment.

Chaired by Maria Elena Serna, the tea‘s proceeds went to the restoration project of the chapter — Mission San Jose. Many chapters throughout the state sponsor missions for restoration because although the missions are protected, with some in state parks, there always is work maintaining buildings and grounds. Each table represented a mission, with ours being Mission San Luis Rey near Oceanside.

The best part of the tea was the opportunity to meet the lovely women at my table. Hostess Corrine Terry had gathered a delightful group of eight including herself and we all had much to discuss. Each woman had a fascinating story. Five were native daughters — Corrine, myself, Carol Henderson, Norma Workman, Emily Taormina — and the remainder were guests — Biruta Sibole, Shirley Clark, Tina Carroll.

Biruta Sibole, a Latvian native, married John “Jack” Sibole whose family is fifth generation Californian. Biruta and her parents came to the United States in 1951 through the sponsorship of the Lutheran Church. They moved to the Pacific Northwest. She met Jack in Tacoma where she was working. After their marriage they came to Lodi where Jack established his veterinary business on Kettleman Lane. Biruta lives on East Brandt Road in the area known as “Peanut Hill,” named after its fascinating geographical feature.

What a surprise to find Carol Henderson sitting next to me. She said, “I’ve only been in Lodi 18 years.” The surprise came when I asked where she lived prior to Lodi. “Valley Springs,” she said. Then I realized she and husband Bill were active in that community when I moved there in 1993, including being Valley Springs citizens of the year. Their business was Lake Valley Properties and they were part of the group that opened La Contenta, where I lived for 19 years. Carol was born and raised in San Francisco. She and Bill raised their children in the city before moving to Valley Springs.

Emily Souze Taormina grew up on Roberts Island in San Joaquin County. Her father was owner of Souza and Costa Dairy Farm. She went to St. Agnes Elementary School and St. Mary’s High School in Stockton. Emily, who is Portuguese, moved to Lodi in 1956 and met her Italian husband at an Open Air Dance at Micke Grove Park.

They were married in 1956 and then moved to San Francisco. Now she is back in Lodi and enjoying her friends and the smaller town atmosphere.

Susanville was the birthplace of Norma Workman who has lived in Lodi since 1970. Soon after she was born, her parents moved to Sacramento and then to New Castle because her father had bought a fruit farm. She graduated from Auburn High School and then attended Chico State College for a year.

While at Chico State she met her husband who was with the police department there. She became a clerk in the justice court and they were married. When her husband became a California Highway Patrol officer they moved to Lancaster for his first assignment.

From Lancaster they “bounced around for a few years.” When he was transferred north, they ended up in Lodi. He was promoted to sergeant, then to lieutenant in Sacramento. When he was promoted to captain, and they needed to move again, Norma said she wouldn’t leave but instead would wait until he was transferred back to the Sacramento area (which he eventually was).

“I planted my feet here and wanted to stay.” She had a business hanging wall paper plus two children she wanted to stay in the Lodi schools. Son Brent is a contractor (Workman Construction) and daughter Carrie is a therapist at Lodi Memorial Hospital. Norma has been retired for 20 years.

Shirley Clark was originally from Wyoming, moving with her parents to San Joaquin County when she was 2. They lived in several places in Stockton. When she married her husband, who worked for the county, they “lived in and out of Stockton and Lodi,” said Shirley. They became permanent Lodi residents in the early 1990s and their children attended both Tokay and Lodi high schools.

Corrine Terry, another California native, was born and raised in San Francisco. Her husband Roland also was born and raised there. When they were first married they lived in Daly City off Skyline (I kidded her about the “look alike” houses there). Then they went to Newark and finally to Lodi in 1973 when Roland became executive director of the Boys and Girls Club.

Yes, every time you meet someone you might hear a story.

Email me: durlynnca@gmail.com

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