El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Ana Nita

“The purchase of the Lakeside property for the new Library passed on consent calendar, meaning no one pulled the item for public comment.” Migell Acosta, San Diego County Library director brought this good news, who confirmed that last week the San Diego Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of new land for the new Lakeside library. The two acres lot is part of a four-acre available parcel on Woodside Ave and Channel Road, next to Ottavio’s Italian restaurant, and it will also be accessible from Parkside Street.

More than a century ago, East County San Diego was one of the world premiere locations for movie making, starting with silent productions filmed in Lakeside by the American Film Manufacturing Company, also known as Flying “A” Studios, with famous Allan Dwan as a director. First ever movies to be completed in Lakeside are “A Daughter of Liberty” and “A Trooper’s Heart,” both released on May 25, 1911 under Flying “A” Studios tutelage.

Dressed like a schoolmaster, but maybe hiding a ruffian, the man’s glittery blue eyes are staring from behind his spectacles and a black felt Stetson brim with a sparkling silver band. He’s pulling a card from the “shoe,” used by “Faro” bankers to keep their hopefully square deck of cards. Grey vest, long wool black coat, teal blue printed tie, long piano player fingers dancing between the abacus look-alike “case keep” and the loosing lady’s copper on the table; so who is this fast “Faro” gambler?

Last Saturday, there was no better way to tear the kids away from their electronics, other than by promising they could get dirty head to toes in a vat full of grapes. Stomping the grapes is a traditional way of smashing the fruits to make wine, although the wineries now days use modern technologies to separate the skin from the grape. Many of us still remember the famous scene performed by Lucy Ball in “Bitter Grapes” where she ends up in a wrestling match with another woman inside the vat.

The friends and family are quiet and comforting, listening to Rusty Faulk’s band, King Cottonwood performing people’s favorites, country and rock. Outside on the patio of Flinn Springs Inn on old Highway 80, numerous pictures were spread around for folks to reminisce, “Oh, I remember that time when Rusty and I….”

“This is not just a job for me. It feels like family in here. We offer loyalty, commitment, respect and love to our members and we make them feel very welcomed,” said Marcie Banegas the member services representative for Crunch Fitness, the first gym to ever open in Lakeside. Although Crunch has been functioning for few months already, they held its ribbon cutting ceremony on July 27, with fun stuff to do for all ages: food, cool vendors, raffle prizes and membership deals for grown-ups and bouncy house, face painting and games for the little ones.

Lakeside got his groove back, now that the historic district sign is freshly renovated and reinstalled in Cactus Park, right when you enter the town off State Route 67 on Mapleview on your way to the Rodeo Grounds on the left. The whole process took a year and a half, but the actual story on how Lakeside got his sign is few decades old and quite fascinating.

With all six San Diego County Planning Commissioners voting “yes” for the new sand mining project on Moreno Ave. in Lakeside, owner Bob Turner and his project engineer Kenneth J. Discenza are finally ready to celebrate. “It’s about time,” said Turner, pointing out that it took 20 years to reach this resolution.  Discenza is hoping to start digging on Sept. 15, but that still depends on a long list of conditions included in the Major Use Permit and Reclamation Plan.

There is a lot of strength, love, enchantment and feistiness behind the soft hands clenching on mine, when our hands are forcefully and painfully pulled apart and she doesn’t want to let go, as if the story should have no definitive endings other than the temporary breaks to inhale, dream, search for the memory, exhale, smile, in absolute freedom, until the caretaker and another woman shatter the silence and abruptly drag her away “to rest”. But she doesn’t want that. She gets angry. She barely came in to do her volunteering work.

“Her name was Champ and I was five years old at my grandfather’s farm in Wisconsin when I first rode her. She was a dairy farm horse,” says Cheryl Erpelding, the newest board member on the East County Equestrian Foundation (ECCF) created to build the first equestrian park in Lakeside. Erpelding came on board last month and she already made a difference. The project has now a new website, a logo and this go-getter horse lover is set on helping fundraise no less than $143,000 – that’s how much is needed to get this project off the ground.