Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 20
Hobnobbing with Helen
BY HELEN ANN THOMAS
It turned out to be a great day for a cold beer or a glass of Central Coast wine.
Descendants of the area’s earliest settlers congregated on Saturday, July 14, at Pioneer Park on Foster Road for the Santa Maria Valley Pioneer Association’s 88th annual picnic.
We are talking gobs and gobs of history here.
The morning started out gray and gloomy, but at 11, the sun popped out of the clouds, like a jack-in-the-box, and from then on, the weather was glorious.
The barbecued top sirloin, beans, salad, and garlic bread were prepared by—you guessed it—the Elks, many of whom are surely honorary pioneers, if not the real thing.
Ike Simas, an old hand at these yearly outings, estimated attendance at about 600. (His son, Gary Simas, was responsible for the super salad, proclaimed by many as “the best ever.”)
City councilperson Alice Patino, along with county supervisor candidate Peter Adam and a crew from Santa Maria High’s Future Farmers of America, dished out the hearty grub.
Before lunch, picnickers, with roots dating back to the 1860s, enjoyed reminiscing. When these folks travel down memory lane, it takes a while!
You couldn’t miss the 1947 class reunion of Santa Maria High. Early in the a.m., class leaders laid claim to about 10 tables and loaded them up with signs, cakes, ice buckets, and snacks.
Their sheet cake said “Over the Hill” and was decorated with—you got it—a hill! Is that too cute or what?
Three generations of Donatis were there. Jane Donati Rouse, current president of the association, was very pleased with the turnout. Her daughter, Allison Smith, sold luncheon tickets ($11), while her dad, Clarence Donati, who had, according to Jane, worked hard days before to get the park picnic-ready, touched base with friends.
Former county supervisor Joe Centeno never had a moment alone. A steady stream of passersby stopped to chat. County supervisor Joni Gray held court at her table, overflowing with food.
Rodger and Patti Brown, the irrepressible Audrey Mussell, and Wayne Allen were out and about, as were the Openshaw sisters: Deby Flynn, Sandy Hayes, and raffle chairperson extraordinaire Karen Cordary, who’s also vice-president of the association, a job she may have for life.
Surround on Sound provided lively entertainment, as well as song and dance games for kids. Roy Allen had the fun job: announcing the delighted raffle prize winners.
Legally Blonde is cute and contemporary
Legally Blonde, now playing at PCPA, is great mid-summer entertainment.
I found myself smiling more often than usual, or—as in the case of Andrew Philpot’s appearance as a UPS guy—cracking up with laughter.
I wish this show had run during the school year, when some schools bus students to PCPA. This is the perfect show for introducing high school students to the magic of the theater.
We want to ensure that we have audiences in the future!
Teens can identify with the dance moves and the costumes that are “very now.” They would surely be captivated by some of the quirky, engaging characters and polished performances.
If you—no matter your age—want to experience some surefire belly laughs, many amusing moments, and fabulous choreography, call for tickets: 922-8313.
If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.