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Gwin Mitchell Paden Setting the record straight on some Lodi landmarks

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Gwin Paden

Posted: Saturday, July 9, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:40 am, Sat Jul 9, 2011.

I know, I know. There were mistakes in my remembrance of things past in the last column, and, thanks to a good friend, they are herewith corrected. First, it was Okazaki's store with the memorable snow cones, not Sasaki's. And the palm reader on Cherokee Lane is still there. The toy store on the south end of Newfield's main floor was Fuller's, not Gilbeau's, but a Gilbeau was in some business at the time. And I forgot to mention King Yin, that great Chinese restaurant up a loooong flight of stairs on a corner of Main Street.

So, apologies all around for sins of omission and commission. I should leave Lodi history to Christi Kennedy and Ralph Lea. They do so well, and I am always glad to see one of their articles in the LNS. (Note from editor Rich Hanner: Gwin, we should have helped you by double-checking some of these facts. A mea culpa from us, too.)

***

My garden is safer territory! This hot weather is very hard on things, but breezes now and then, and shade here and there, all help — plus water, of course. Planting and tending pots of plants is easiest for me now, but they do require more frequent watering. The hummingbird still will not go near the feeder in the dogwood tree. May have to relocate it. But three grosbeaks have found the seed feeder just outside the kitchen window, although they take care to eat from the side farthest away from whatever it is that Moves Without Noise Behind That Hard Thing We Can See Through! They are really gorgeous — a sort of intershading of orange and deep pink.

The mockingbirds are again around the garage area, making annoying chirking sounds instead of singing. Another nesting pair? A blue jay or two cruises the yard, snatching peanuts out of the squirrel feeder, and the squirrels are either feeding teenagers or starting their storage-for-winter digging. They eat a LOT!

***

Had the nicest lunch the other day with my friend, Moe Gritsch; her granddaughter, Madison, who won the Elvera Melby Award for girls sports at Lodi High School this year; and Elvera herself. Also present were Madison's parents, Ron and Kara Gritsch, and Kara's mother, Marilla Pontius. Madison had wanted to meet the lady for whom the award is named, and they had a nice chat. It was the first time Elvera had actually seen the plaque that the student receives; she had only seen the big one at Lodi High that has names added each year. It is a very impressive award. Also, Marilla brought some old yearbooks from Lodi High. One showed Elvera in her second year (out of 40) there; she was the coach of the tennis team. Another showed Moe's mother in the class of 1914. I told Elvera she was finally getting some more public appreciation for her devotion to the school and the community because Melby Street is now opposite the entrance to the new Costco parking lot, and nobody can miss it!

***

Went to the Chamber of Commerce's first Leadership Forum last week. It was well done, and is an event which should become annual. The patriotic opening was spectacular; it put everyone in the right mood. Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" is an inspiring piece of music. Add to that introductions of local veterans from World War II on and the Pledge of Allegiance led by a young Marine in full dress uniform, and then the National Anthem sung very well by a young man whose name I didn't catch (it wasn't printed in the program) — and you have a very inspiring beginning to a successful day. Kudos to Pat Patrick and the Chamber staff for their hard work.

***

By now you have read about the reunion concert with Doug Riddle, former Lodi High vocal music teacher. The six singing Cimorellis mentioned are the daughters of Lynne Roche Cimorelli, Doug's student accompanist and the accompanist for this concert. She is bringing her whole family back to Lodi from Los Angeles for the event, including five boys and her husband, Michael. Lynne has been making a name for herself writing music for Biblical musicals, working with Ingrid Laurentiis-Wilson, director and playwright under the name of One Way Productions. There's a lot more to Lynne's story; read the next column.

***

One to end on, author unknown: Keep me from the pain of nothingness.

Gwin Paden writes a column or two each month. Since 1999, these columns have segued from miniature English lessons through personal reminiscences to the present mostly local happenings. Sometimes the first two types raise their heads!

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