From the desk of: Free things to do in the summer

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July. It was a beautiful day with lots of good food, good company and amazing fireworks. Every time I get to be in San Diego I appreciate the many free things to enjoy outside in the summer.

Sunday afternoons my son Steve and I often go to Fiesta Island to walk around the dog park. We get to enjoy the many breeds frolicking in the water, and enjoying yappy hour with their buddies. They all seem to get along well. I like most of the breeds, but give chows and pit bulls a wide berth.

It is a special treat to see people bring horses to the island. On a recent Sunday we met two women taking their horses to the seashore. Paula and Erika are both from Ramona.
Paula is the owner of Voodoo, a beautiful Tennessee Walker with pinto coloring. Voodoo is especially fond of the water. Tennessee Walkers are popular for trail riding because of their smooth gaits, stamina and easy temper. Erika had her horse Korinda with her. Korinda is a Friesan. The breed originated in Friesland, Netherlands. In medieval times they were used to carry knights to battle. Though heavy-boned, the horses are very agile and flexible. These horses come in one color, black.

While walking with Jean along the boardwalk at Mission Beach near the amusement park we wondered how people working at these parks can stand the terrible noise. For your information it now costs $4 to ride the Tilt-A-Whirl, and $6 for the roller coaster.

We are hoping the water temperature at the beach keeps going up so we can indulge in some boogie boarding with friends from the "Y." There were loads of people in the water over the Fourth.. The water temperature got up to 70 degrees.

One evening I joined Jean for a talent show at her church, the Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church. The talent show was held to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the founding of the church. Performers included a magician, a tumbler, guitar and piano selections, and a humorous rendition of a song from the "Sound of Music" by the senior choir.

My favorite performance was a skit about a man waiting in a doctor's office. He took on all the symptoms of the various patients in the waiting room. The other patients fled the waiting room when these things took hold of him.

After the show a delicious meal was served. We had nice tablemates including a woman in her 80s who had just returned from the Senior Olympics in Texas. The former physical education teacher competed in basketball, and track and field. She came home with an impressive number of prizes.
Jean and I recently started attending the annual free concerts held at Balboa Park each summer. We already got to hear The Coolrays, a California rock group, the 300th U.S. Army Band and The Legends, San Diego’s original oldies show band. It is such a delight. There are three performances each week from mid-June to the end of August. We just take our chairs and a light supper.

The best part of all is that program times are always 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Most people my age appreciate it when concerts start and end early.

There are often some unusual characters at the concerts in addition to the tourists and local residents. Last week a woman had a small stand at the concert advertising So. Calif. Psych. Services for Animals. As a joke I turned to an acquaintance sitting next to me and asked if she might want to take her cat to this woman, and she replied: "My pet psychic is in L.A." I'm not making this up.

The 300th U.S. Army Band had many people standing up when they played Lee Greenwood's "Proud To Be An American." Here's a small part of it:
"If tomorrow all the things were gone, I'd worked for all my life,
"And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife.
"I'd thank my lucky stars, to be livin' here today,
"'Cause the flag still stands for freedom, and they can't take that away.
"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free, And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
"And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today, 'cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA."





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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