El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Facebook is many things. But Facebook ditched all the algorithms in this instance and provided the best use ever. A way for Back to the Garden member Jim Soldi to Facebook messenger an invitation to Grammy award winning guitar legend Albert Lee asking him to perform at El Cajon’s Dinner & A Concert series. Lee’s lucky fans, and fans of the band Back to the Garden who also performed with him, got to enjoy a concert on Aug. 26 at the Prescott Promenade.

Witty lines like “Don’t ask me about soccer or the metric system” flowed from painter Norm Daniels. That wit is embedded in his art as well. Daniels was among 200 artists who participated in Artwalk -Liberty Station, which ran August 13-14, and showcased artists, musicians, businesses and food suppliers at San Diego’s Liberty Station.

National Night Out, established in 1984, is held annually across the country with law enforcement organizing their own events in their respective communities. Locally the County of San Diego’s Sheriff’s Department hosted events in many communities they serve such as the city of Santee.

“Everybody deserves to have somebody find them,” said John Buzzard a member of the County of San Diego Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team at the 2016 National Night Out event held at Santee Plaza Shopping Center on Aug. 2.

Secret Hills Ranch in Alpine did indeed hold a secret, that “faith, family and friends can get you through everything,” said cancer survivor Vicki Halsey. A benefit barbecue and dance to help raise money for her medical costs was held at Secret Hills on Aug. 6.

Even park rangers are talking about the Pokémon Go phenomenon that has enthusiasts venturing into and hiking in parks, open areas, and trails. A very timely presentation on hiking safety by County of San Diego-Department of Parks and Recreation’s Park Ranger David Collins and veteran hiker, David Farrell, was held at the Lakeside Branch Library held on July 23.

“I love the fact that we are having Pokémon Go hunts happening in beautiful County parks,” said Collins.

Off-Road Madness vehicles at El Cajon’s Cajon Classic Cruise show on July 13 provided plenty of ideas for the perfect off road vehicle enthusiasts. Rock crawlers, desert buggies, and off road trucks looked ready for parades, the desert landscape or anywhere else they wanted to go.

Some theater companies put more thought into how they choreograph curtain call than the rest of the production. Such was not the case with the Spring Valley based Young Actors’ Theatre’s production of “Beauty and the Beast,” running through July 16, at the Joan B. Kroc Theatre in San Diego.

A park’s name is added to maps, to party invitations, and people’s vocabulary and that is just what will happen to fallen Sheriff Deputy Ken Collier’s name. Collier died in a tragic accident on duty February 28, 2010. The Santee community came together to honor him, a Santana High School graduate, by naming a new park after him.

“Chum the water” fishing secrets and more were over-heard from parents at the Santee Firefighters Fishing Derby held on June 25 at Santee Lakes. Chum is bait made up of chopped fish. That tip and a more common phrase, “You’ve got a bite” echoed from parents tipping off their kids to run to a pole.

“Those were the days my friend; we thought they’d never end,” Canadian singer Brian Roman sang for the first time in a public performance. But Mary Hopkin’s festive melody that has endured the test of time epitomized the diverse performances given to the East County community by Grossmont Community Concert Association over the past 70 years. And in its closing act on June 15, the GCCA showed, once again, the beauty of what this organization has provided its community for decades.