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Articles by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

“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.

“Volunteer” is what Aide Isabel Williams speculated her boss, Lakeside Union School District-LEAPP  (Lakeside Early Advantage Preschool Program) teacher, Mary Witztum, would do when she retires. Witztum’s retirement luncheon was held in her own classroom on June 20 after 23 years with the District. Yet, Witztum’s enormous personal warmth will continue and nurture those she knows for a long time.

If body language experts were reading the cast of “Nunsense: The Mega-Musical” they would confess to facial expressions that demand smiles back, humor-inspired dance moves, and comic presence that defies seriousness. Pickwick Players’ cast fulfilled this body language skill set in a new version of Nunsense on June 10 at the Off Broadway Live theater in Santee.

A moment of silence for the people killed in the Orlando, Florida mass shooting was held by La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis before the performance of the San Diego Concert Band’s “Sundays at Six” concert series on June 12 at Harry Griffen Park. Then the band played on.

No polygraph was necessary, unlike some adult fishing derbies to prove no cheating happened, for the 15 and under crowd at the 13th Annual Lakeside Optimist Fishing Derby & Family Fun Day at Lindo Lake Park on June 4.

Big time money, like in some fishing contests, was substituted for what kids love better. Bikes, new fishing poles, scooters, games, tickets to the Bulls Only Rodeo on July 15 & 16, plus more fun inspiring raffle prizes and awards.

Mexican gourmet hot dogs, booths, dancing, entertainment and more food selections; such were the offerings at the 8th annual Santee Street Fair & Craft Beer Festival held on May 28. The main theme was honoring heroes for this Memorial Day tinged event held on the first day of many Americans’ three day holiday.

Opening remarks were handled by master of ceremonies and KGB Radio 101.5 on-air talent Clint August with the pledge of allegiance, and the national anthem sung by 13-year old Emily Gardiner.

Flags, flagpoles, and what is on them are making headlines nearly every day. But the dedication of a new flagpole by the Santee Historical Society in Santee marked the special dedication to a long-time Santee resident.

Any musical that has the word rock attached to it should have one remember rock’s roots—rebellious, provocative, and sometimes sophisticated. Spring Valley based Young Actors’ Theatre’s production of “Spring Awakening,” a rock musical, has those elements with a parental warning to audience members before it even starts. The musical has teeth that bite.

Real heroes love dogs. A sentiment that jumps right off the chest of t-shirt clad Rich Setzer, San Diego Chapter Coordinator of Dogs on Deployment. Setzer was wearing the t-shirt as he worked the Dogs on Deployment tent at the Santee Summer Concert Series in Santee on Aug. 6.

The only “say cheese” heard at the grand opening of Sweet Snap Photography in La Mesa was for appetizers. Owner and photographer, Hillary Lachman, prefers her own methods for coaxing a smile out of a reticent baby or child during a photo shoot.

Lachman, whose quality of work is visible on the studio walls, uses many techniques honed over years to pull that sunny face out and snap a sweet shot of children, maternity, couples and families. Additionally she does professional profile pictures for businessmen and women.