El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

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.

“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.