Traditions and Celebrations*
My grandson, Blake, decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy following high school graduation. He was sworn in on March 31, 2015, with a delayed active service date of November 23.
Escrow on the sale of my condominium in the Barcelona of Pasadena closed May 7, 2015. After 16 years, the experience of letting go was bitter sweet. The young couple who bought the unit sent a video with their purchase offer telling me how much they love the place and assuring me they would continue to give it the loving care it deserves.
Saturday, May 16, 2015, I served as master of ceremonies at the annual Writers of Kern (WOK) Honors dinner where we celebrated the successes of 12 junior high/middle school student winners of the Young Writers of Kern Essay Competition. WOK raises money to fund its Peggy Connelly Scholarship that helps support the competition.
We celebrated several graduations in May. My friend, Tommy Purcell, graduated from Solano Community College. Leighton and Blake graduated from high school and Chloë and Peyton were eighth grade graduates. Della, the family’s confectionery artiste, created the perfect cake to honor the graduates.
Susan and Marcelo were married on Saturday, June 27, 2015, in an early evening family celebration at the home of Mary and Dick. Marcelo’s family—mom and dad, brother and sister-in-law , sister and brother-in-law, niece, and nephews—came from Atlanta to share the festivities. It was a beautiful day for a lovely occasion. I was pleased Susan and Marcelo asked me to officiate.
In July, I was nominated by Writers of Kern, a branch of the California Writers Club, to receive the Jack London Service Award. Award nominees from each of the CWC chapters are honored at a luncheon at the July CWC board meeting in Oakland. The award is given biennially.
My grandson, Travis, played wide receiver and corner for Freedom. The team won the Golden Empire Youth Football Junior Varsity League and Conference championship. The title is a tribute to the team’s hard work and excellent coaching. Congratulations, Trav!
Saturday before Thanksgiving, the family gathered for a traditional turkey dinner. Menu aside, the family’s purpose was to give Blake a proper send off that Marcelo dubbed “Blake’s-Giving.”
“Papa Dennis,” Blake said, “Are you going to come down to the Navy Recruiter’s office Monday morning?”
“What time? ” I asked.
“I’ll be there.”
Monday, November 23, 2015, 9:00 a.m., Blake’s long-time friend, Taari, and two other friends were there. And several others. All came to wish Blake “anchors aweigh” as he headed off to Great Lakes Naval Training Center for nine weeks of Boot Camp. Letters we’ve received indicate he’s having a positive experience and doing well.
We’re proud of you, Blake!
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