El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Cynthia Robertson

La Mesa resident John Fanestil, an ordained pastor of the United Methodist Church, is a living testament of what friendship extending across the international border can look like. Each Sunday afternoon at the big wall separating the U.S. from Mexico in Friendship Park within Border Field State Park, Fanestil holds a binational communion service of the El Faro: The Border Church in English and Spanish.

On the evening of Sept. 14, hundreds of people from Temple Emanu el, Tifereth Israel Synagogue and Tree of Life gathered in a circle at Lake Murray. They sang songs in Hebrew and English to celebrate the traditional Tashlich service.

Singing together has a way of bringing people closer, as the California Note Catchers well know. The women’s barbershop chorus unites in precise harmony, even as they practice every Monday evening in the Social Hall of La Mesa United Methodist Church.

Anita Reith, a member of the chorus for 14 years, keeps coming back to sing in the chorus because it’s a healthy thing for her to do. “It’s good for my whole body to sing,” she said.

Brilliant blue skies and a sparkling ocean greeted the participants on the water for the 13th two-day Annual Sharp HospiceCare Benefit Regatta on Aug. 28 - 29. The event netted more than $360,000, even more than last year’s Regatta. 

The secret is out: coloring for adults is a big craze these days. All you have to do is walk around someplace like Michaels and see the overabundance of “adult’ coloring books featuring designs of mandalas, paisley patterns and everything and anything in nature. A few weeks ago, Parade Magazine featured an article called “50 Shades of Happy: the New Joy of Coloring.” 

When people see the homeless standing on a street corner with a sign that asks for help, many feel at a loss. They could give them money or a sandwich, but some often wonder how often that is simply a handout and not a hand up to help themselves into a better life.

To people who are not fast with their feet, tap-dancing presents something of a mystery. It hardly seems humanly possible the way the tap dancers cut the rug all the while with a big smile on their faces as if they were born with a beat in their feet.

The California Rhythm Project, an East County-based dance company, dazzles non-dancers in this way. Headed up by dance instructor Nancy Boskin-Mullen, the company’s newest production Beat without Borders, also garnered a Spirit of the Fringe award at the recent Fringe Festival.

Line dancing is a dynamic way to stay in shape, both in body and mind. Though what comes to mind for most people is a group of thirty or so individuals forming three or four rows to do Electric Slide, line dancing is a way to open new doors to health and happiness in life.

Estelle Gibson Lauer had no intentions of writing a book, much less publishing one just a few years ago. But when the alumni department of the University of the Pacific (formerly College of the Pacific) issued an invitation for its graduates to send them printed records of their memories there, Lauer got an idea.

Lauer spoke about her experiences at the Lemon Grove Library’s author talk on Aug. 8.

Unforgettable memories are made at camp, and the grand opening of Camp McGrath at the McGrath Family YMCA in Rancho San Diego made for more great ones. Hamburgers and hot dogs were the menu of the day under colorful canopies of the Center for Oral and Facial Surgery Picnic Area.