Archive for July, 2015

Mondays with Melitas – July 27, 2015

A message from Tammy L. Coia:

Saturday, July 25 was a very special day for Melitas Forster.  Nearly 100 of her family members and friends came to Heritage Palms Country Club to honor her.  Her book “What a Life!” had it’s unveiling!  We listened as several of her fellow writing students said a few words about what an inspiration she has been to so many of us.  Enjoy the pictures of her special day!  She will be back next week with her blog!  If you weren’t able to attend you can find her book on and also at

The big arrival!

The big arrival!

book signing 2

Melitas was thrilled to have Shirley Spork in attendance, she was instrumental in the start of the LPGA

book signing 1b

I am so proud to have met Melitas and get that book ready to go!

books signing 1

A few words from our Melitas!

Her nephew Michael wanted to say a few words honoring his Aunt Melitas

Her nephew Michael wanted to say a few words honoring his Aunt Melitas

standing ovation and a special hug from Joshua!

standing ovation and a special hug from Joshua!

Melitas with another one of my published authors Pat Erickson

Melitas with another one of my published authors Pat Erickson

Read more

Mondays with Melitas – July 20, 2015

Mr. Fed Ex with the first box of books

Mr. Fed Ex with the first box of books










COMING OF THE BOOK                                            JULY 20, 2015


A knock on the door, and I notice only a small FedEx at the curb — maybe only part of books have arrived. It’s the 15th on time. Mr. FedEx went back to the truck, and I watch him try to stack about 8 boxes on the dolly, but they keep sliding and falling off, he keeps trying to keep them on. He finally was disturbed enough to put all of them on the bed of the truck, except for just one left on the dolly. He brought it up to door all by its lonesome where the Warden and I were anxiously awaiting. He explained that he cannot unload them inside the house – Company rules, insurance liability, etc., etc. He could only unload them on the outside. The Warden said she could handle it. He did break rules and kind of put them in over the threshold.

There were 18 boxes, by no means lightweight, that the Warden had to wrestle with, but she stacked them by the front door, even in front of the left half of the front double door. About all I did was direct the flow, and maybe a little shoving into place if one was on the tile. (I remembered how slick the tile can be when “I TOOK A TRIP ON THE NILE TILE” a few years ago. That’s a story a couple of years ago in this book which we are now hassling with today.)

This is not the end of the wrestling with those buggers. I have to autograph them before Saturday, the 25th, in readiness for their “coming out party.” I did not use a pen in hand that first day. I could barely, in fact, I am not even strong enough to get them open. The Warden came to the rescue and opened every box for me.

I took pen in hand and started with a few books on Thursday, then sped up a bit on Friday, signing, signing, signing, and by                                       Saturday, the 18th, fingers, hand, and right arm felt like they had been run over by the usual Mack Truck. I thought of going around the corner onto Miles, lay down on the curb, and wait for a Mack Truck to thunder by. I would quickly stick my arm out to get the hand under a wheel. I have never been hit by a Mack Truck, and here was my chance to see how it feels.

Back to the books – only about half are done, so I had better get out of this slow-moving mode and change gears from 3rd, or 4th, to drive. So, by Saturday evening I only had 40 left. (The hand and fingers feel like they are in shreds.)

Today, being Sunday, I have to get this off over Mexican skies to Tammy, along with my oh so professional photographs for all of you to see tomorrow morning.





MELITAS FORSTER                               MONDAYS WITH MELITAS

Alba starting to stack the boxes of books

Alba starting to stack the boxes of books

Not even half of them!

Not even half of them!

mine all mine!!

mine all mine!!

Read more

Mondays with Melitas – July 13, 2015

blog 7-13aWHEN THE SWALLOWS COME BACK                           JULY 13, 2015




The whirl and bustle of the past several weeks is now building to a crescendo with the Parade day dawning bright and shiny, a picture perfect day if I ever saw one. There was quite a group who had stayed at the Best Western, and all were beginning to gather early to go next door to Denny’s for a “substantial” breakfast to carry us through the day. Some of my family was there, like my niece, Sisty and a friend over from Phoenix, then there was Carole, another niece, with husband Phil, from Simi Valley. Others there, but have slipped through the cracks of the old brain, and I don’t have time to sit around and wait for the light to go on. And now, a flash just came out of nowhere, and someone else staying there was Bertha, my friend, the famous softball pitcher, with daughter Janice and granddaughter Jennifer. I know there were others, but I’ll let it go.

The Motel is on the Ortega Hwy (S74) across the Freeway 5 from the Mission Basilica. (Incidentally, I must Interject right here and now that it is a huge honor for a Catholic Church to be designated as a “Basilica.” That puts it in the class of St. Peter’s in Rome.)

The area north east is where the staging areas are for the parade entries. I was picked up on a golf cart and scooted over the Freeway with a turn to the right on Camino Real to a nice shady parking lot across from Mission. This parking lot was for the VIP’s, i.e. the Grand Marshal, with my Niece-in-law Anita Forster and daughter Roberta Forster. Then other luminaries such as the President Rita, the City’s Matriarch, Mayor, were joined by the antique Fire Engine drawn by 2 mammoth white horses. I don’t know where all the staging areas were — all I know is that The Marching Bands had one, the Horse Back Riders had one, participants in wagons in another, walkers on their own hoofs had one. Remember, NO motorized entries. I would love to have had that little Model A pictured in Part II for my float instead of an old wagon.

While waiting for the Parade to begin, all the people in our assembly area visited around to chew the fat, get acquainted telling raunchy old jokes, stuff like that. I bumped into a few people I hadn’t seen in years. It was a good way for everyone to loosen up for the long ride ahead.

In the meantime, the people who “love a Parade” were gathering along the parade route, and we would soon see how many had come to witness this unique Parade.

It was time to get into the wagons, our place number was #8 in the parade, so we were directed into line following the 7 groups who started (flag carriers, marching band, baton twirlers, etc.) then #9 could be from some other area following us. I don’t know how many entry numbers there were. I do know there were around 600 horses, about 1,000 people involved in this display that takes a couple of hours to get through from start to finish. The farthest away entry came from Capistrano, ITALY, San Juan’s sister city. (Personally, I

would rather have Cathedral City’s sister city, which is City of Tequila, State of Jalisco, MEXICO.)

We were off and running plodding along, the crowds who were gathered along the parade route were cheering. It was exciting, and we were waving our arms off. I was amazed at the enthusiasm of the audience. What a trip! It took us forever to reach the finish line, and when we did, Anita, Roberta, and I were whisked into a golf cart through alleys and back streets to deliver us to a VIP seating area across from El Adobe where we could watch the rest of the parade which went on for another hour.

When the Parade was finally over, the people took a long time to get out of the area. Our little gang ended up down the block at the Swallows Inn, where you had to wait for someone to leave for one from outside to get in. So I went around to the back, and the cook let me sneak in — he no doubt figured they needed another bartender.

I’m getting terribly tired about now. The Parade is gone till next year and I will call it a day.

>      I have a CD of the entire parade. Cox TV gave it to me. If you would like to borrow it, let me know.

>      I also have a 15-min video, a real keeper. My nephew, Marshall, produced, did the photography, dubbed in the music, the whole enchilada. If you want to borrow and copy this, let me know.


I don’t think I will be doing any more IV-part stories. It’s too close to buying green bananas.



MELITAS FORSTER                                     MONDAYS WITH MELITAS

aboard our "float"

aboard our “float”

With Rita the President

With Rita the President

Little  Miss Fiesta 2009

Little Miss Fiesta 2009

I must be lost!

I must be lost!

old fire engine

old fire engine


Read more

Mondays with Melitas – July 6, 2015

mel blog 7-6bWHEN THE SWALLOWS COME BACK                       JULY 6, 2015




The Parade will be coming up on Saturday, March 21, 2009, but before I go into all that, I have to report about the event taking place on Friday evening just before the Parade.

Two of my Brother Buddy’s Grandkids, Roberta and Michael love to throw a big bash evidently. For my 90th birthday, the 2 of them came out here to La Quinta to host a birthday dinner party. They even asked me where I wanted to go. I chose Arnie Palmer’s. Other family members came along, also friends from San Juan. At the time, Arnie’s had a circular private dining room in the center of the Restaurant with open roof. It became one of my unforgettable birthdays. Muchas Gracias, once again Berta and Mike. That was April 23, 2008. (I keep mentioning the date so no one can forget.)

Now we get to the very next year 2009, and what do these two kids do? The Parade is coming up in March, and they put their little heads (crowded with the brain part) together and dream up a nice dinner party at the El Adobe Restaurant in San Juan to HONOR THE GRAND MARSHAL with 40 or 50 guests — mostly Family. They asked me if there was anyone I would like to invite. I asked Bertha Petinak Ragan Tickey. Great Softball Pitcher of all time, Orange County’s Female Athlete of the past Century. She owns so many records (“stats”) that probably will never be broken. Well, well, and to think I was her very first Catcher when she joined the Orange Lionettes – the Big Leagues. 16 years old. She had been playing in little league around Dinuba, CA. Then, there she was seated next to my Uncle Frank’s grandson, Pat Forster, who was just ga-ga being there because he followed her through her career — he knows her stats backwards. I had no idea that Pat knew all about Bertha. It warmed my heart.

Of course, since I was the Honoree, I was there at the head of the table where I could see everybody, and then I had to get up and mosey around the table to beat my gums a little. The head table part was on the south side of the room, then along on east side a long, long table with at least 20 guests seated facing the opposite side of the room with empty space of several feet between. The west side was like the east side with at least 20. Way down at the end, opposite me more people were seated which closed the seating in a big rectangle. A good crowd.

I gave a speech.

Then Mariachis entertained us with their beloved music, and before too long, we had some of the guests join in, and the party was now in full swing.

We left El Adobe, and a gang of us walked down the street to the Swallows Inn, where Steve, the owner, grabbed me and herded me through the kitchen, then into the back bar where he handed me a bottle of Tequila and put me to work. All my friends were getting free drinks, but I did get $$ out of those customers I didn’t know. We didn’t dare “close” the bar, since the big day would have us rising early, so we left at a reasonable time to get the beauty sleep.

Remember, THE PARADE!


This is as far as I can churn out for now. No getting around it. You will have to wait for — What?   A Part IV.   Sorry about that.

But that way, you will end up seeing more pictures.


MELITAS FORSTER                                   MONDAYS WITH MELITAS


blog 7-6a

Read more

"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

Read More: Writing Teacher Reviews

Amherst Writers & Artists

Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

writing retreats for women

International Directory of Writing Workshops