Around Town

July 8, 2011 

AROUND TOWN WITH DIANA INGRAM

Gentle eyes

Going to Mass almost everyday at New Bethany will not be the same for me with the passing of Carmina Oliviera. This petite woman of 93 is someone I have learned to be very fond of over the years, first because she was the Aunt of my dear friend Lou Vierra, Maria Vierra and Connie Szuwalski, and secondly because we became friends. It must be said that Carmina's nieces for many years have been devoted to her care, and their devotion was inspiring to all of us. We should all be so lucky in our later years to have such patient and loving concern. When regretfully, Carmina could no longer be cared for at home and she moved to New Bethany, they were still constant visitors. I enjoyed my brief chats each day with Carmina of the gentle eyes, her smile so warm when she recognized me and her hands so soft. She would always say, "I can't complain", when I asked how she was, and that the "food was good. I ate a big breakfast." Carmina was a strong woman of faith, and I know that comforted her and her family, still, we will all miss this sweet woman of the gentle eyes. In honor they walked For any town to lose both a fireman and a policeman in such a short time would be heartbreaking, for a community with a soul like ours, it is devastating. Two young men of such promise, of such character to be ripped from us, is painful indeed. The entire community shares in the family and friends loss. How can one ponder the reality of such a loss? It came to me the other day as I passed the black wreath at the intersection of Pioneer and Mercey Springs Road for Andrew Maloney, just this one thought. That these two young men who pledged to put their lives on the line to protect others, would have thought, better them than another, take me, not someone else. Forever young, their spirit will always walk among us. My sympathy To all the family and many, many friends of `Snooky' Joe Areias.

Anniversary bells

Happy wedding anniversary to Bob and Mary Ann Edminster.

Birthday balloons

Belated but very special birthday wishes to Cheerio Contreras with loads of love from his devoted wife Nancy. Lona Cramer celebrated her 78th birthday in style with a party given for her by her daughter Janelle Cone and Granddaughter, Becky. Happy July Birthdays to Kenneth Layson, David Simmons, Jim Willos, Cliff Eagleton, Richard Woo, Mykala Curtis, Carley Van Someren, Michael Curtos Jr., Karen Bonillas, Fay Davis, Don Van Someren, Katie Younce, and Erik Martin. July 12th would have been my Ron's 65th birthday, which I will honor with a mass at New Bethany. Sigh. Hawaiian festival approaching The Circle of Love always is doing something special for the community. This time it is a Hawaiian Festival on July 15 from 8 am until 3 pm. There are spaces available for you to rent to show your wares for $15, and the donation of a raffle gift. For more info call 752- 0186. For those attending there will be a meal offered from 11 am until 1 pm of a hamburger, chips and drink all for just $5.

Texas hold 'em

Susie Toscano asked me to remind you, so don't forget about the Texas Hold 'Em being put on by the Mercey Springs Foundation to benefit Jamie Brown. It will be held on Thursday, July 28 at the DES Hall. The `Buy In' is $75 and first place will be paid $1000. For more info call Tracey Rosin at 752-0779 or Susie at 617-1501. FOR THOSE WHO LOVE ANIMALS For my readers that keep up with my love of pets, I lost another one of my beloved kitties last week, little Anna. Ron had gotten Anna for me from Jolene Pereira about 17 years ago. She was a beautiful dark calico Manx with a very vocal personality, and is very missed. Elks to hold annual event Los Banos Lodge No. 2510 out does itself every year with their Black Hat Social Dinner Dance. This years, their 13th will be held on Saturday, September 17 at the Delta Farms Party Barn located at 13816 Bisignani. The menu, and the food is always terrific, is BBQ Ribs, chicken, beans, and salad for $30 per person. The saloon opens at 6 with the chuck wagon a servin up at 7. Music will be performed by Second Wind. Talk about a fun night! For tickets call Richard & DJ Barcellos 587-1605, Ray & Pauline Gomes 827-4196 or Tom Hill 692-2955.

As it should be.......

When the Vandervene's moved from the Bay Area to Los Banos they wanted to be an active part of the community. Boy have they succeeded. One of their ways is having an old-fashioned block/neighborhood party that made me wax nostalgic. July 3 they decorated their garage and drive way on Sixth Street for a Fourth of July party, that left quests free on the fourth to celebrate with families. A huge potluck, there was plenty to eat and even live music. Many guest stood up to share in the fun including the host with his magic guitar with shades of Willie Nelson, Steve Weaver (of Hot City BBQ with his lovely wife, Joy) reciting Shakespeare, Timmy Mason leading us gracefully in numerous songs with great zest, my singing Ron's famous tooth brush song, and a beautiful young girl who knocked a homerun out of the Star Spangled Banner (and that is a hard song to sing). I got to sit with my new pal Angelica and her family, sister Sandra and husband John, and reconnect with brilliant and fun Karla Scott. While meeting new friends. I also had a chance to see old ones like Don Germino, Mary Lamolia, and Joel Whitehurst. I drove home smiling. Ok, it wasn't far to go, but I brought food and it was hot! The evening reminded me of what is best about living in a small town, and how simple gestures can provide so much pleasure. Stella Vandervene is definitely a hostess with the mostess. I believe in these harder days with so much going on in the world, so much worry, these simple pleasures take on an even greater importance. We need to slow down, enjoy each other, laugh, treasure the moment. No elegant affair, no posh setting, could have equaled the friendly, warm atmosphere that evening provided. Bravo to the Vandervene's. And to Angelica, thanks for being such an angel to me, and until next time, may all your news be good news.

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