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Gwin Mitchell Paden Hello to new blossoms and farewell to a Lodi physician

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Gwin Paden

Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011 6:31 am

There were so many items left over from the last column I felt that it would be well to keep on going instead of waiting; that would accumulate even more items, I’m afraid.

Opening garden note: the mock orange is in full bloom — at least the singles are. This year the long strands are falling over all the neighboring bushes’ green, for even more display. The doubles, which have a much stronger aroma, are about a week or so behind, so we will have them to enjoy after the others have left. There is a low bush with tight white flower clusters which is popularly named mock orange — but it isn’t.

I have never looked so closely before at the blossoms on my flowering maples (acer something or other) but they are really beautiful. New ones are a plum color, a purple, and a yellow; older friends are a brighter red, a pink, and two different kinds of orange. Several are quite tall. They bloom better when they get more sun but they don’t like sun in the hot afternoon.

My cats, Oliver and Toby, and their friends next door find my property a lovely kind of cat jungle in which to pounce on each other, various insects and plants moving in the wind. They don’t bother much any more with the four life-sized Canada geese under the oak tree; at one time, these critters were approached with much catly caution. However, Adm. Nelson and Lady Emma, Gen. Beauregard and Lady Jane do not let anything bother them much.


My doctor and good friend, Robert Kellar, has retired after 39 years of devotion to his patients. He has kept me going for most of those 39 years, as well as a lot of other people I know, and I am sure all of his patients join me in wishing him a joyous and relaxed life of his own. This will be shared with his wife, Rosemary, who retired some years ago after having served as his office nurse. Long may they wave!

Dr. K. has moved my husband and me on to another good doctor; we have met him and feel sure this medical relationship will be a good one, too.


I have been watching a change for the better on the northwest corner of California and Lockeford streets. What was a sort of small auto parts store surrounded by a lot of concrete is now a very nicely proportioned building with a graceful entrance, a side patio, and some palm trees in front. What makes the building really stand out are the beige and brown colors it is painted: not dull, but with a sort of blush to them that makes them alive without shoving themselves into one’s face, yelling, “I’m here — look at me!” I understand this is to be a restaurant? If so, I hope it does well.

I note this building because it is such a tasteful contrast to so many buildings and complexes around town that are painted that horrible pumpkin orange, many complete with cold red trim. These are not welcoming colors; they’re sort of fists in the face. And this is not just my opinion; I’ve heard it from others. But then, not everyone has the same taste.

I still wish someone would take away that spike next to the sidewalk at the Veterans Memorial. It blocks the view of the really great water wall, pool, and globe in the back, and doesn’t add a thing. I also noticed when walking to the Carnegie Forum the other night that the first poem-engraved walkway rock has a bad grammatical error — a form of “lay” where it should be “lie.” Another detraction from a great attraction.


Two things to look ahead to — extremely different from each other but both worthwhile and both occurring in July:

 On July 1, three children, siblings, will arrive in Lodi for a five-week visit. They are part of the group of orphans that Gary and Jaz Rouppet took from an orphanage in Colombia to spend two weeks in a camp resort in the Andes Mountains this past January. This is the seventh year the Rouppets have done this, but the first time that this group of campers were children completely orphaned — no parents, or close relatives of any kind.

The children, who will stay with the Rouppets, are being brought here though the auspices of Kidsave, an organization which seeks to give orphans hope and, better yet, adoption into loving families. This project is an expensive one and the Rouppets are hoping for some help from the Lodi community. Friends and organizations have helped with their trips to Colombia, and they are most grateful for that. More details in longer stories later.

Second thing: On July 9, Doug Riddle, former vocal music instructor at Lodi High, will be here to lead a reunion concert of his former Lodi students on July 9. Lynn Roche, now Lynne Cimorelli, was his student accompanist, and he has already sent her the music for the concert. Time and place still to be announced; again longer stories later.

Also, Lynne has written the music for “From Orphan to Queen,” the story of the Hebrew Queen Esther, which will be presented June 11-18 at Folsom Lake College. More details about this, sooner rather than later, in a separate story.


To end where I started — in the garden. Fred Hoffman, lifetime master gardener, has called attention to Lodi city’s website for gardeners wanting to use less water in home and yard. The Lodi Sustainable Water Use Guide can be found at Also, I’ve learned about Elizabeth and Candace, two ladies who create pet memorials and garden rocks. All products are handcrafted, custom work is encouraged, and each stone is individually designed. They are at Sunset Kennels on North Ray Road; phone 200-3285. Brochures are at Weigum’s Nursery, sharing counter space with a “Vern on the rocks” stone.

Kind of on the same subject: Maria Elena Serna, family service counselor at Lodi Memorial Cemetery, says that free bronze medallions are being offered to put on the headstones of service men and women whose deaths occurred on or after Nov. 1, 1990. They are for headstones purchased privately, which usually don’t indicate service in the military. Thus, these graves do not get marked with flags on Memorial Day.

The medallions are inscribed with “Veteran” across the top and the branch of service across the bottom. For further information, call 333-7171 or 327-4344. This is a recap of a previous story by Pam Bauserman.

Gwin Paden writes this column now and then, about this and that.

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