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