El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Cynthia Robertson

Three women in La Mesa have tapped into the power of playing music together. The three of them strum their ukuleles in retirement homes and sing-along concerts to bring joy to others. They call themselves the Ukulele Babes.

Lorraine Whaley and Sara Megling started their group in 2010, playing together at the Kroc Center just for fun. Anastasia Berkheimer joined them in 2012. For three years, the women have played and sung at a senior living facility and a nursing home and, sometimes, at the Joan Kroc Center.

A light blanket of clouds covered the sky over the Creation and Earth History Museum in Santee. The full moon, peeking through a hazy ring, perched high in the sky. The night was not a good one to peer through the telescope, but stars and planets were still the highlight of the Christmas under the Stars event.

In front of the museum under falling flakes of artificial snow, amateur astronomer Stephen Grill dazzled the minds of children and adults as he talked about moon dust.

Grill picked up a miniature model of a lunar module.

At 10:30 on a Friday morning, the song “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias filled the community room in the Lemon Grove Library. Margarita Fregoso led a dozen people in a series of salsa steps across the room.

A regular Zumba instructor at Academy of Performing Arts in La Mesa, Fregoso turned what could have been a sleepy Friday morning at the library into a vigorous dance experience.

Wherever he goes, Santee resident Walt Thomas is looking around him, noting the subtleties of light and color in nature. The natural world enchants him so much that sometimes he creates his own worlds—in mixed media pieces.

Having grown up on a Nebraska farm gave Thomas a deep appreciation of nature and the wide-open spaces. His imagination colored the world around him. 

As a professional travel writer, La Mesa resident Maggie Espinosa has had the time of her life visiting all sorts of places on five different continents. She has also written a book called “The Privileged Pooch” which features hotels in Southern California that cater to people who want to travel with their dogs.            

The Walker family in Santee has played an integral role in the city since the 1920s, when they operated a dairy and farm alongside the San Diego River. Though the dairy and farm of Fred and Marie Walker are long gone, the family’s legacy reaches into today and well into the future, with the Walker Preserve Trail having just broken ground a month and a half ago. Sam Walker is the only grandchild living in the immediate area. He was at the groundbreaking along with Don Walker, a first cousin and Denis Walker, his second cousin with his wife Sherrie.

You know the holiday season is approaching when Marshall and Sheryl Lozier, owners of Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs, have their annual Holiday Open House. It’s a time for wassailing and munching on cookies while shopping and strolling through the pretty twinkle-lit barns filled with crafts and all things Christmas.
Last Thursday evening, a hundred friends and neighbors gathered on the pavilion as Jim Earp played soft music on acoustic guitar. Children tugged at their parents’ hands asking for more Hershey Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies. 
Military veterans are very important to the people and City Council of El Cajon. On Wednesday, the day after Veterans’ Day, a special ceremony was held at the Civic Center Plaza honoring U.S. veterans.
An event made possible by the El Cajon Veterans’ Commission and the City of El Cajon, Public Information Officer Monica Zech began the event with the POW/MIA Empty Chair ceremony.

RCP Block & Brick, a family-owned business that began in 1947 by Marvin Finch has helped create the very foundation of much of East County. Merging in 1966 with the Chubb family of La Mesa Block Company to become RCP Company, and later RCP Block & Brick, the Santee-based company has continued through three generations the vision of a better future for East County.

Volunteers came with their canine friends dressed up as a bride, a groom, a security guard and an assortment of other characters at Sharp Grossmont Hospital last Thursday. The 2nd annual Halloween Parade of therapy dogs with their owners scared up lots of smiles for everyone.

The volunteers all gathered with their dogs from Love on a Leash or Therapy Dogs International in the lobby before setting out on the parade.