El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Cynthia Robertson

When Dan Haslam leaves from his house at the north end of Santee, he looks around at the mountain views before he heads out for a ride on the trolley or a walk. A retired lawyer, he made it his hobby to learn as much as he can about where he lives and then show and tell others about it on a walk.

Since 1993, La Mesa Pet Therapy has been delivering warm fuzzy feelings for people as well as pets. More than 100 dogs and four cats have been approved for the life-changing assignment of visiting people in homes and hospitals around the county.

Lu Zemlick, coordinator of the program, said that a happy, responsive attitude in the senior population is as rewarding for the volunteer as it is for the patient.

Once herself a shut-in, Debra Childers now cooks up meals for people who are stuck at home due to illness or injury. Childers, a La Mesa resident, heads up Feeding the Flock, a project of the Kitchen Ministry at Rock Church East County.

When Childers walks into a room, she brightens up the place with her big blue eyes and warm laughter. She is always offering up something delicious like Cookie Gooey Bar, one of her newest creations.

When a client walks into the Pret-a-Porter, which is French for “ready to wear,” she is greeted by a light fragrance similar to herbs growing in the garden. 

“That’s the fragrance of Aveda’s line of products,” said Arlette Leggitt, manager of the salon.

Another fragrance also emanates from the sanded and polished wood of the salon’s newly refaced furniture. Yet the furniture is not of mahogany or other expensive wood. 

Boxes of books, photos and keepsakes nearly submerged Lynnette Wilson in her office at the Grossmont College Graphics Department.  She was packing up on her last day of 43 years of work at the college. When her co-worker, Jamie Gassert, stepped into the office, Wilson peered at her from around the stacks of books. 

“It’s time, Lynnette,” said Gassert. “Come with me.”

Noise reverberating from the La Mesa Fire Station on Dallas Street was not the clangs and bangs of fire engines racing to an emergency. Neighbors heard instead the heavy beat of drums. Community Drum Circle, which formerly met at Nancy Couts Cottage, had its monthly meeting at the new venue.

Led by Susan Hall, proprietor of RhythmWorx, the Drum Circle is a traditional Thursday night activity for people who cannot resist the beck and call of pounding drums.

All hands were on deck, dozens of boats bobbing on the sparkling San Diego Bay last weekend. Boating enthusiasts and health care professionals came together for the eleventh annual Sharp HospiceCare Benefit Regatta hosted by Sharp HospiceCare, Coronado Yacht Club and Cortez Racing Association. 

With all of life stretched before her, La Mesa native Lauren Cannon is like many other 21-year-olds. She wants to make a difference in the world, maybe one day live near the beach. She also admires her father, cherishing his attention and advice.

But Cannon stands out from other young ladies by already heading up her own business, Growcery Bags. According to the description on Cannon’s website, the cloth-made bags are “a sustainable alternative to plastic while keeping form, function, and style in mind. “

The Lemon Grove Library held the first of its series of Art Talks last week, featuring  Kentucky-based artist Ellen Glasgow. Her exhibit of abstract-quality monotypes and oil paintings depicts the nuances of light and color in the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska’s Inside Passage.

Glasgow, 77, began her work when she was stationed with her Coast Guard husband on Annette Island, a tiny remote island off the western shore of Alaska. The remote location is where Glasgow began her lifelong love of painting.

Santee was a hot spot for families at the First Annual “Summer for Kids” event sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) Aerie 3973 held July 26-28. The Santee-El Cajon FOE has a long tradition of community support through fundraisers and events. Summer for Kids was a first for the FOE, and organizer Billie Lail promises that it will continue in the coming years.