Morro Bay’s Bud Anderson: An Inspiration to All He Touched

Author Note: The following article was published in my Then & Now column and online at http://www.simplyclearmarketing.com on April 10. A correction to the original posted column had to be made to the actual month we lost Bud Anderson. It is corrected below.  Even with multiple readings it is so easy to miss the big mistakes as we self-edit to get all the words in their proper place to paint the desired picture we are trying to create for our readers. That’s why all writers need a good editor and all readers need to be reminded to fact-check when something looks out of place — especially in today’s world. Regardless of the number of apologies and corrections by the publication, in our digital world a published mistake or mis-quote or modification of the facts and yes, personal information you don’t really care the world to know lives on somewhere. My sincere apologies immediately went out to the family and friends who helped me compile this tribute to a wonderful man with a wonderful network of people who cherished him.

 

I hope my blog and Facebook readers will be equally as inspired by Bud Anderson. He touched many spreading his work ethic and personal respect for others not realizing he was a living example of how we each should value those we meet along the way.

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Bud Anderson, daughter Mollie, and friend, David Peter at an annual family Thanksgiving Dinner, the one day a year The Galley of Morro Bay is closed to the public.

Harold J. “Bud” Anderson of Morro Bay passed away at 93 in late March. Residents will miss joining him and wife Rita at Morro Bay Historical Society meetings or attending Estero Bay Community Foundation functions. More so are those many teen lives he inspired while employed at their first job at the original Galley Restaurant. During Morro Bay’s 50th anniversary the couple was recognized, thus, featured in my former column written for the SLO Tribune. Bud said, “Over the years we trained hundreds of Morro Bay High School students. We wanted good students who were good citizens.”

When the family decided to re-purpose their Embarcadero lease-site and focus on operating the Anderson Inn, it was typical of Bud’s legacy to ask former employee Dave Peter to partner in restaurant — now known as the Galley Seafood Grill and Bar — knowing he would carry forward with the Anderson legacy. Peter’s first hire and co-owner was Head Chef Henry Galvez, a fellow teen employee.

Peter loves to tell the story about Bud offered him his first job. After Little League his family would celebrate at “the Galley. “When I was about ten Bud asked if I wanted to join the Galley Farm Team. I bugged him till I was fourteen. It was a proud day when I started working as a busboy on my birthday.”  It was also an easy decision to give up a successful career and return from Germany in 2005. “Bud set the bar for customer service and how to treat the staff. We share multigenerational staff members some who have worked for him and us for up to 30 years.”

Janice and Stan House raised two of the “…countless teenagers who learned their work ethic at the Galley. Bud stressed the importance of getting an education. If your grades weren’t up, you were expected to get them up.”

Keith and Wendy George had two children who worked for Bud. Now living in Maryland, Meg Meador recalled, “In spring of my senior year, I confirmed I would work again during the coming summer at The Galley. But the promised employment came with a condition – that I would come by The Galley with my prom date in May.” Her date questioned such a request. She answered, “Because Bud and Mollie have to approve of you – and they want to see our outfits.” Meg confirmed “That’s what made being part of Bud Anderson’s circle so special. Whether you were an employee or a patron, you were treated like family.”

Tim Barkas worked for Bud from 1972 to 1989. “I started in high school. I didn’t intend to keep working there after college but it was a great place to work.” After marriage and kids, he took a state job forever admiring Bud’s work ethic. “He took few days off. Customers would be disappointed if he wasn’t there to greet them. He’d open at eleven, go home briefly at 4:30 to change and be back at 5:00 for the dinner shift mostly seven days a week.

“One fun memory was our streaker,” Barkas continued. “After eating a guy disappeared into the restroom then streaked past Bud’s busy counter. He didn’t see him naked until too late. Bud later said he’d wished he thought faster to give him a well-placed kick.”

Mollie Anderson said her father remarked recently how proud he was to celebrate his 70th Anniversary married to Rita. Years ago, in my column he also proudly celebrated the success of his children. “At age nine Jeff was fileting fish in the market for 10 cents a pound. Mollie was 13 and Rodger 15 when they started working in the restaurant. Mollie matured to play LPGA golf while Rodger ultimately served as mayor and treated all he met like family.”

Born in San Luis in 1925, the family owned the historic SLO Anderson Hotel. They moved to Morro Bay in 1958. Florence and Bill Wilson, a fisherman, had a fish market and restaurant they offered to Bud. Rita encouraged the purchase. They opened in 1966 and he recalled, “We specialized in fish Bill caught…he’d dock at the restaurant and amaze customers by pulling up the fresh-hooked cod right in front of our window. We were a funky restaurant, but understood customer relations and good food would keep us competitive.”

For several years, Stan House, Keith Taylor, and Jim Wood would regularly walk to Morro Rock. House recalled, “So many people would come up and either shake Bud’s hand or give him a hug. If one person can epitomize kindness, civility, family and community it is Bud Anderson

In fact, Bud’s advice to Morro Bay’s residents, “Whether we’ve lived here 54 years or 54 weeks, we all have the same rights and responsibilities – to be kind to each other and make decisions based on what is best for Morro Bay.”

 

 

 

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River Oaks Hot Spring SPA – Paso Robles

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Is Tuscany on your top-ten wish list? Do you dream of winding down the day-to-day hustle to be in the moment with a loved one or giggling with the girls — all the while gazing at the forever view of rolling hills rooted with grapevines, sipping a fine Chardonnay or Sparkling Cider and munching regional cheeses, olives and dried fruits? Would you believe you don’t need to travel to Italy to experience the flavors of Tuscany?

Closer to home, but comparable to any photo-view-stop in Tuscany is River Oaks Hot Springs Spa cloistered within the River Oaks neighborhoods of Paso Robles Wine Country. The open-air private soaking tubs are positioned to capture the beauty of the spa’s hilltop location, which also offers therapeutic massages, facials, and private indoor hot springs healing spas.

The restorative Artesian Mineral Hot Springs are at least as dated as Old Vines producing in Tuscany’s Chianti Vineyards. In the 1800s the Salinan Native Americans introduced the relaxing hot springs to the Franciscan padres pastoring at Mission San Miguel. Reports are that Outlaw Jesse James discovered that the healing baths could mend his gunshot wounds. And world-renowned pianist and former prime minister of Poland, Ignacy Paderewski swore his arthritic hands were soothed by soaking them in the artesian springs, thus was compelled to purchase property in the area. Pre-1960s’ Paso Robles’ healing bubbles from unimaginable depths below the topsoil became a magnet for ailing travelers worldwide searching for numerous benefits from the thermal pools, including arthritis and allergy relief and cures or enhancements for various skin conditions.

After purchasing Paso Robles Hot Springs in 2005 from the owners of Avila’s Sycamore Springs Mineral Resort, Estella Associates Inc. completed an extensive renovation and re-branding, including re-positioning the soaking tubs from the Salinas River area to their current location to take advantage of the incredible views and elevate the facilities to a contemporary, luxury spa. The therapy suites and open-air tub rooms underwent dramatic makeovers allowing guests to enjoy the hot artesian thermal waters under the moonlit sky.

The staff at River Oaks Hot Springs Spa promises indulgent services intended to turn a daydream about Tuscany into a reality day-trip without the hassle of crowded airports and long Trans-Atlantic flights. Once a guest enters the cozy fireside lobby of the intimate Tuscan-style retreat, he or she should be preparing to be pampered and soothed.

Getting Spoiled: Sandee Archibald, Supervisor, and Assistant Supervisor Melanie Strouss plus the contracted nine certified massage therapists and two aestheticians are ready to serve. Kiyoko Ujii Humes has served River Oaks for 15 years while Michael Alexander Lavez rounds out their newest therapy team. Spa packages or individual therapies are available by appointment at www.RiverOaksHotSprings.com from Tuesdays through Sundays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Whether Swedish, Hot Stone, Deep Tissue or Prenatal, all 60-minute massages include a 30-minute indoor artisan mineral spa prior to treatment as does all face and skin therapies, wraps, glows and waxing for women and men.

 

Strouss said the Winemaker’s Couples Package was one of the most popular, which offers a 60-minute indoor spa sipping a bottle of Le Vigne wine and a mini-Charcuteries tray provided by Chef Nicola Allegretta of Mistura Restaurant. This is followed by 60-minute Swedish massages in the same room. Alternative beverages may be requested.

 

Equally as popular for individuals is the “Day at the Spa” offering champagne and scenic views in one of the five open-air spas followed by a 90-minute Swedish massage topped off by a Grand European Facial.

 

Several other packages are just a lavish. For appointments contact ComeRelax@RiverOaksHotSprings.com.

 

“We have a frequent soaker program,” said Strouss. “After nine spas guests get one free. During the winter guests don’t always think about getting into our open-air private spas, but when I’m chilled I crave the heat of our artesian mineral springs with the beautiful farmland hills, willow trees and vineyards to look at. I have active young children at home. Here it is so peaceful and quiet even with the easy access to the Paso Robles highways.”

 

Getting More: Strouss also manages the private party weddings and special events. “The Pavilion can accommodate 200 guests at a catered event with a 6-hour minimum. We have rounds and banquet tables and chairs available and enjoy working with Chef Nicola for catering.” She explained the Gazebo will accommodate 200-seated guests and has a 2-hour minimum usage fee. Including the amphitheater by the lake the three areas can handle 1,200 guests with onsite parking for 700.

 

Getting there: Motor off CA 101 to Hwy. 46 then turn left onto Buena Vista Drive. Another left and immediately the bustle slows to the calming residential living of Traditions and The Cottages, single-family and senior-living homes in the burgeoning 200-acre master planned communities developed by Estella Associates.

 

GPS 800 Clubhouse Drive. It will amble past River Oaks Golf Course, the nation’s one-of-a-kind six-hole “player development” course by Rudy Duran and Gary Wishon. Golfing level of play becomes a choice, as will the numerous Peruvian cuisine menu items offered by Chef Nicola Allegretta at Mistura Restaurant served onsite at the clubhouse.

 

Glance to the right and view the special event areas, including the Pavilion and Gazebo available for special events. A walking tour of the grounds between the golf course and River Oaks Hot Springs Spa will reveal a lake and adjacent amphitheater for private bookings.

 

For questions and bookings contact her at Melanie@riveroakshotsprings.com or call at (805) 238-4600.

 

Is Tuscany on your top-ten wish list? Do you dream of winding down the day-to-day hustle to be in the moment with a loved one or giggling with the girls — all the while gazing at the forever view of rolling hills rooted with grapevines, sipping a fine Chardonnay or Sparkling Cider and munching regional cheeses, olives and dried fruits? Would you believe you don’t need to travel to Italy to experience the flavors of Tuscany?

 

Closer to home, but comparable to any photo-view-stop in Tuscany is River Oaks Hot Springs Spa cloistered within the River Oaks neighborhoods of Paso Robles Wine Country. The open-air private soaking tubs are positioned to capture the beauty of the spa’s hilltop location, which also offers therapeutic massages, facials, and private indoor hot springs healing spas.

 

The restorative Artesian Mineral Hot Springs are at least as dated as Old Vines producing in Tuscany’s Chianti Vineyards. In the 1800s the Salinan Native Americans introduced the relaxing hot springs to the Franciscan padres pastoring at Mission San Miguel. Reports are that Outlaw Jesse James discovered that the healing baths could mend his gunshot wounds. And world-renowned pianist and former prime minister of Poland, Ignacy Paderewski swore his arthritic hands were soothed by soaking them in the artesian springs, thus was compelled to purchase property in the area. Pre-1960s’ Paso Robles’ healing bubbles from unimaginable depths below the topsoil became a magnet for ailing travelers worldwide searching for numerous benefits from the thermal pools, including arthritis and allergy relief and cures or enhancements for various skin conditions.

 

After purchasing Paso Robles Hot Springs in 2005 from the owners of Avila’s Sycamore Springs Mineral Resort, Estella Associates Inc. completed an extensive renovation and re-branding, including re-positioning the soaking tubs from the Salinas River area to their current location to take advantage of the incredible views and elevate the facilities to a contemporary, luxury spa. The therapy suites and open-air tub rooms underwent dramatic makeovers allowing guests to enjoy the hot artesian thermal waters under the moonlit sky.

 

The staff at River Oaks Hot Springs Spa promises indulgent services intended to turn a daydream about Tuscany into a reality day-trip without the hassle of crowded airports and long Trans-Atlantic flights. Once a guest enters the cozy fireside lobby of the intimate Tuscan-style retreat, he or she should be preparing to be pampered and soothed.

 

Getting Spoiled: Sandee Archibald, Supervisor, and Assistant Supervisor Melanie Strouss plus the contracted nine certified massage therapists and two aestheticians are ready to serve. Kiyoko Ujii Humes has served River Oaks for 15 years while Michael Alexander Lavez rounds out their newest therapy team. Spa packages or individual therapies are available by appointment at www.RiverOaksHotSprings.com from Tuesdays through Sundays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Whether Swedish, Hot Stone, Deep Tissue or Prenatal, all 60-minute massages include a 30-minute indoor artisan mineral spa prior to treatment as does all face and skin therapies, wraps, glows and waxing for women and men.

 

Strouss said the Winemaker’s Couples Package was one of the most popular, which offers a 60-minute indoor spa sipping a bottle of Le Vigne wine and a mini-Charcuteries tray provided by Chef Nicola Allegretta of Mistura Restaurant. This is followed by 60-minute Swedish massages in the same room. Alternative beverages may be requested.

 

Equally as popular for individuals is the “Day at the Spa” offering champagne and scenic views in one of the five open-air spas followed by a 90-minute Swedish massage topped off by a Grand European Facial.

 

Several other packages are just a lavish. For appointments contact ComeRelax@RiverOaksHotSprings.com.

 

“We have a frequent soaker program,” said Strouss. “After nine spas guests get one free. During the winter guests don’t always think about getting into our open-air private spas, but when I’m chilled I crave the heat of our artesian mineral springs with the beautiful farmland hills, willow trees and vineyards to look at. I have active young children at home. Here it is so peaceful and quiet even with the easy access to the Paso Robles highways.”

 

Getting More: Strouss also manages the private party weddings and special events. “The Pavilion can accommodate 200 guests at a catered event with a 6-hour minimum. We have rounds and banquet tables and chairs available and enjoy working with Chef Nicola for catering.” She explained the Gazebo will accommodate 200-seated guests and has a 2-hour minimum usage fee. Including the amphitheater by the lake the three areas can handle 1,200 guests with onsite parking for 700.

 

Getting there: Motor off CA 101 to Hwy. 46 then turn left onto Buena Vista Drive. Another left and immediately the bustle slows to the calming residential living of Traditions and The Cottages, single-family and senior-living homes in the burgeoning 200-acre master planned communities developed by Estella Associates.

 

GPS 800 Clubhouse Drive. It will amble past River Oaks Golf Course, the nation’s one-of-a-kind six-hole “player development” course by Rudy Duran and Gary Wishon. Golfing level of play becomes a choice, as will the numerous Peruvian cuisine menu items offered by Chef Nicola Allegretta at Mistura Restaurant served onsite at the clubhouse.

 

Glance to the right and view the special event areas, including the Pavilion and Gazebo available for special events. A walking tour of the grounds between the golf course and River Oaks Hot Springs Spa will reveal a lake and adjacent amphitheater for private bookings.

 

For questions and bookings contact her at Melanie@riveroakshotsprings.com or call at (805) 238-4600.

 

 

Morro Bay Shell Shop: Looking Back

 

Earlier 2018 The Shell Shop: Looking Back was published as my Then & Now Column for Simply Clear Marketing & Media http://www.simplyclearmarketing.com The Bay News, Coast News and SLO City News.

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Somewhere in the world someone is planning their vacation to the Pacific Coast. If they collect shells, Google’s top recommendation is The Shell Shop at 590 Embarcadero in Morro Bay.

“We are told we are the largest shell shop on the West Coast,” said owner David Thomas. With a storefront full of displays, multiple shelves of shells in the back of the shop and warehouse down the block, he guesstimated their inventory includes over 1,000 species of shells – tens of thousands of shells from tiny to huge. Indeed, one of Morro Bay’s tourism magnets owned and operated by the Thomas family in the same location for 67 years. “All of our shells are first caught for food. The shells are simply the by-product. Our family made an early decision to stock a wide variety of quality shells – many collectables.”

Customers travel here from all over the world, explained Thomas. Many say they bought shells at The Shell Shop when they were kids. Their children have saved their pennies to buy a vacation souvenir. Since 1955 the Thomas family has developed relationships with fishermen, shell traders and collectors worldwide while exchanging treasured shells and sharing family stories. And yet, the most asked questions are ‘Where’s the restroom?’  ‘What’s your favorite restaurant?’ and ‘How do you put a hole in a shell?’

It all started because David loved shells. At age ten instead of selling lemonade on the corner of Morro and Marina, he sold abalone shells. He made a $100 that day, a bonanza back then. His parents, Lawrence and Louise Thomas, supported their son’s budding entrepreneurial business by building him a stand that he’d work weekends and summers.

“Dad was a fisherman and during World War II he contracted with the Navy to fish the Pacific Coast. At one point the northwest winds at sea were horrendous and he stopped over at Morro Bay. It was sunny and beautiful.” In 1947 Lawrence Thomas moved his young family from Northern California. David was three. His sister, Beryl, was six. “Dad purchased a narrow lot that extended from Morro to somewhere in the middle of the channel. I remember an ugly green log cabin and nasturtiums all around.” They built the shop in 1955.

David was in the first graduating class of Morro Bay High School before serving in the Navy off shore near Vietnam. He then attended Cuesta College focusing on business administration. However, he said the family learned the shell business the hard way – day-by-day, one customer and wholesaler at a time. They learned to treasure their customers while building a worldwide network of shell collectors. Buying direct was better than working with wholesalers. They quickly learned to check product offerings closely. “In the early days shells came in sacks. One wholesaler came in and the shells looked great. When we emptied the sack we found rocks and other junk below the top layer of shells.”

The Thomas’ started taking buying vacations. “In the 60s Morro Bay was dead during the week so Dad and I would take fishing trips and buy shells in Mexico,” said David. They loved the people and products of Manzanillo, Mexico. David married the love of his life, Justine, who traded her life in Hollywood at the William Morris Talent Agency to travel the world and sell shells in Morro Bay. The couple preferred the tropics. David loved the Philippines. His parents, Lawrence and Louise, preferred South America and South Africa. “The rarest of shells came from the tip of South Africa where the warm waters of the Indian Ocean merged with the cold waters of the Atlantic and Great Whites discouraged shell diving”

Most of the time, however, “We did what we needed to do. Dad and I worked in the back processing the shells. Shells came shipped in large containers — often with smelly creature remains still left in.” David recalls one large delivery came to the SLO train station and the station master called and demanded immediate pick-up. He didn’t have room to store or the stomach for the smells. When abalone shells were abundant in the 1960s, they had to sandblast them. Normally, shells required cleaning with soap and water.

Lawrence fished and worked the shop with the family. He and Dean Tyler, owner of the Morro Bay Aquarium across the street, were good friends and often business partners. David recalls they secured the permits to selvage artifacts from the 1923 Hondo Point Disaster, when seven destroyers ran aground in the fog off Point Arguello – still the largest peacetime loss of Navy ships. Both men came home with large anchors and other

Another piece of history is their 1960s Retro sign. “We were down in no-man’s-land to attract customers on the Embarcadero,” said David. “We lucked into a sign shop that had a Shell Gas station sign taking up space. Eventually the lighting went out. I was afraid to fix it or the city would consider it a new sign and I’d lose it. One day Mayor Yates asked why it didn’t work. He offered to grandfather our then oversized sign so it met code. Nice folks at City Neon retrofitted it for a good price for us.”

Customers tell me they like to come to Morro Bay for our quiet, quirkiness and unique harbor. “I have a great crew today. Katie Fortman is our manager, Tony, Connie and Vicki. They’ve been with us 12 to 30-some years. Like our customers who’ve come for generations, they are family to us.”

 

 

 

Visit the Old West in Paso Robles: Harris Stage Lines

First published in REVEAL The Central Coast of CA Magazine   http://www.simplyclearmarketing.com

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“Come to Paso Robles to enjoy the wine and shopping then experience Paso as it used to be.”

 Tom and Debby Harris find themselves extending this invitation often as they travel the USA. Harris Stage Lines is invited to special events and parades to haul grand marshals in their replica 1860s Concord Stage Coach built originally for Wells Fargo. Appropriately the Carmel Valley Centennial Committee invited them to “haul” the U.S. Postmaster General Anthony M. Frank in their celebration parade. Wells Fargo had the contract to deliver mail throughout the Old West. In 2014 during Paso Robles’ 125th Celebration year, the 1862 Coastal Route between Salinas and Los Angeles was relived hauling the mail from San Miguel to Paso Robles by horse-drawn coach. Monty Montana invited them to Texas for his wild west show with Jack Palance (City Slickers), Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger), and James Drury, (The Virginian) the guest passengers. Tom and Debby drove their team of horses hitched to the #20 Concord Stagecoach built for them by famed Texas specialty vehicle builder J. Brown in the 2016 Rose Parade. By appointment the public is invited to experience over 26 one-of-a-kind horse drawn vehicles at the Harris’ working horse ranch four miles from the heart of Paso Robles.

“We’re in the entertainment business – your horse riding, driving, party and event headquarters,” said Tom. Not only will they take their “nostalgia for the Old West” on the road, but Debby, Tom and their son Cactus spent 22 years creating the hospitality venue. “We purchased acreage with an 80-year-old house and built the rest. Every piece of farm equipment we display is operational. Our party facility is perfect for western themed special occasions, weddings or group barbecues.”

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to drive a buckboard with a single horse or a stagecoach with multiple horses? How is it possible to control a team of four or more horses?  Debby and Tom were raised on ranches. They spent years participating in rodeos and won multiple awards for their showmanship, including Outstanding Display of Western Heritage and The Chairman’s Award for the Ft Worth, Texas Stock Show & Rodeo All Western Parade. They are respected worldwide for their horsemanship – and now love to share their expertise giving riding or driving lessons. “We also train farming with the horses,” said Tom. “We grow forage mix (oats, buckwheat & barley) and use a grain binder for haystacks that look like teepees.”

Tom explained tour buses driving through Paso Robles on Hwy. 101 will book an evening barbecue or locals have been known to surprise visitors with a picnic and tour after a day of wine tasting. Harris Stage Lines details their many visitor options for groups up to 200 guests at www.harrisstagelines.com. Check out the unforgettable birthday parties for children or adults hankering for an experience the way it was when horse power wasn’t under the hood.

Party headquarters includes amazing sounds from a 1922 Wurlitzer of the West 1000 Pipe Theater Organ in the Music Hall. A Pole Barn accommodates indoor and outdoor catered barbecues. Ride a horse or atop a stagecoach or book a throw-back surrey ride with the fringe on top. The “Real Horse Power Show” includes Belgium Draft horses either hitched or hitch-ready to unique vehicles that helped populate the American West.

The Harris family and Stephen Robertson Yergers partnered to create SRY Coaches, a unique horse-drawn vehicle collection and driving school. Each vehicle was chosen for the role it played in the American West. Used for filming commercials, special promotions, weddings, funerals and parades, Tom will also train entrepreneurs to operate an Amish Road Buggy, Ben Hur Racing Chariot, authentic BBQ Chuck Wagon, hay wagon — even a 1906 Hearse built by Johnson & Sons in NY, NY.

But there’s more! “I’ve learned the church organ and the theater organ are completely different,” said Tom describing the mammoth set-up that operates the Wurlitzer organ. Besides musical reviews, the theater organ was the sound depicting the action in silent movies. At age 90 Dr. Ruth Dresser saw Cactus Harris in concert and invited him to her home in San Francisco to play her 1922 Wurlitzer with 1000 pipes knowing he would treasure its value and unique sound. He purchased it, disassembled it, and reassembled it at the ranch. The sound is breathtaking, but seeing the garage-size room full of the equipment in action creates a heart-pounding appreciation for the music from days gone by. And if you are lucky Cactus will be home to create ivory magic, otherwise, Tom, with a gleam in his eye, will set the computerized music on play and recount stories about his son, the world-touring professional organist.

Call Harris Stage Lines at (805) 237-1860 and book a visit with Debby. She’ll be the first to tell you, “We love to create fun, western environment events!”

 

 

PAWS for A Cause Thriving with New Name Pawsabilities for Veterans

PFV Journey TM-01Author of A Dog’s Journey, W. Bruce Cameron wrote, “You can usually tell that a man is good if he has a dog that loves him.” Dogs have predicted earthquakes, detected cancer – signaled the early stages of labor.  Thus, Rotarian Gil Igleheart became an instant advocate when U.S. Marine Captain Jason Haag spoke at a Rotary District 5240 meeting about a Florida group’s success rate training “man’s best friend” to help America’s War Veterans cope with combat-induced demons known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

It is far from fake news that 22 veterans commit suicide daily; 11-20% of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffer PTSD annually, and nightly over 50,000 homeless in America are Veterans. Igleheart decided if it worked in Florida, then it would certainly work in dog-friendly San Luis Obispo County. He enlisted fellow Cayucos Seaside Rotarian Dick Mellinger to help him gather the necessary pieces and players.

Critical to the success of the program was a certified dog training partner. Jack Gould’s nonprofit New Life K9s had graduated and placed support dogs with Veterans based on training taught at Bergin University of Canine Studies. Igleheart and Mellinger partnered with New Life K9s to seek more awareness and funding to train more dogs. Recently, their nonprofit foundation Paws for a Cause was renamed as Pawsabilities for Veterans.

In 2014 five support dogs were graduated. By 2016 eighteen more dogs were in training with the development of an inmate training program. Now in 2017 six dogs are due to graduate and at least seventeen are training.

A recent video of New Life K9s innovative program at San Luis Obispo’s California Men’s Colony (CMC) was created with footage shot by Dan Hartzell’s Coast Union High School students and can be previewed at www.NEWLIFEK9S.org.  Moving testimony demonstrates the concept is functioning as it was hoped. Training recently began at the Correctional Training Facility at Salinas Valley Prison near Soledad, CA.

Gould said, “Our mission is saving lives through human-canine relationships. We are the professional trainers, but credit must also go to Warden Josie Gastelo, Sheriff Lt. Nolan and our contributors for their support. The bonus for the inmate trainer has been a new sense of purpose.”

Nolen, a San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Search & Rescue senior member, led the effort to approve the inmate education program at CMC. He said, “I’m a Vet and all over this program. Some inmates haven’t petted a dog in twenty years. This has the potential to help the inmates as much as the veterans.”

New Life K9s Director of Training Nicole Hern explained, “A dog helps decrease levels of anxiety by supporting numerous specific needs for their Veteran owner/handler. Dogs can wake him up from a nightmare — even turn on lights, remind him to take medications on time — bring the medication to him and bark on command to warn off a potentially threatening stranger.”

With the addition of the California Corrections Department’s Training program Hern reported, “The success rate for graduation of more dogs has proven much higher.” The inmates volunteer. There are two fulltime trainers with the dogs 24-hours a day. A separate dormitory houses the trainers with their dogs. “This is their job and they have the time.” Weekends additional volunteer trainers take the dogs home for socialization they cannot get in prison.

Several inmate trainers testified the impact it has made in their lives. Wesley Bird states, “I don’t want being a murderer to define my life…Having Rusty is great…gives me some self-worth…” Frankie Castillo believes he is “…not so selfish…” and he wants to “…help other people…” Rufus Williams admits his “best teacher” has been “…a little dog named Nicole…” The New Life K9s training has been “…instrumental to help me become a better human being…” and he’s developing skills so “I can go back out in society and get a job in an animal shelter.”

Hern confirmed, “I wanted to work in the prison program because I believed the dog could save more than one life.”

DSC06156Army Veteran Bruce Hulin received his dog Nichols at a Los Osos Rotary Club presentation after Igleheart had presented at a previous club meeting and Past-President Shirley Hulin realized help for her husband’s PTSD symptoms. Through a grant from the Nichols Foundation, wheel-chair bound Bruce thanked all who helped. “Nichols will nudge me when I feel anxious. He picks things up that I can’t reach and opens and closes doors with an attached rope. If I’m rolling around with bad dreams I’ll feel Nichols’ wet nose waking me up.”

“We have more plans in the works,” said Mellinger. For more information contact www.NEWLIFEK9S.org or Pawsabilities for Veterans at PO Box 955, San Luis Obispo, CA. For questions or presentation contact Dick Mellinger at (574) 532-1291or dick.mellinger@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along Comes Home

First Published in Inspired Health Magazine – Volume 1 – http://www.simplyclearmarketing.com 

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Picture: CEO Founder Jenny Mulks Wieneke with Hope the Bear modeled by her son, Gabriel Wieneke.    

A staggering 15,000-plus American children will be diagnosed with cancer in 2016. Each child and family will be emotionally and financially overwhelmed. At 30-something, Jenny Mulks Wieneke was devastated by her cancer diagnosis experiencing comparable pain, fear and depression that simple pleasures would soon be taken away. But maybe most difficult — separation anxiety while away from her son, Gabriel. 

“Children should be playing games and going to school. They shouldn’t have to face a life and death diagnosis or sign medical papers for doctors to amputate a limb,” she said. “I was in-shape and financially secure with good insurance. Co-workers and family were my strength. Many children don’t have these resources.” 

Her personal journey inspired her to create ALONG COMES HOPE, a nonprofit that would support children with cancer. Seeds were planted when her son was three months old. “We spent several months taking Gabriel to Stanford Medical to stabilize the ventricles in his head,” said Jenny. “While there, I’d see other children by themselves and realized not all parents could take leave from their jobs or duties at home to stay at the hospital.”  

Jenny was a top pharmaceutical sales representative and valued manager. “My co-workers were my other family,” she said. The company allowed her flexibility throughout her son’s earlier health issues, her divorce, her mother’s cancer and then her own battle with cancer. At the top of her sales productivity Jenny was regularly experiencing stomach pain. Testing unfounded, the diagnosis was stress. “I could push through my pain,” she said. At a sales meeting in Monterey Jenny’s competitive nature became a blessing in disguise. She strained her neck winning a hula hoop contest and was forced to call a friend and chiropractor, Dr. Peter Reese. Never having treated her, he was bound to take full body x-rays.  “He showed me the big egg on my right lower abdomen.”

More tests and an ultra sound discovered one liver lobe wasn’t working and the other was barely functioning. She and her Mom were joking when the doctor came in to confirm a massive cancerous tumor and recommended she put her life in order. She might live a year. “I was stunned as much by the diagnosis as the doctor’s attitude. I had never experienced the patient side of my business. I realized how a child might feel with a sudden death sentence. I had to become my own advocate.” 

The battle for survival began locally with diagnostic radiologist, Dr. Stephen Holtzman, and oncologist, Dr. Thomas J. Spillane. “They were wonderful, but advised if I wanted a chance to win the fight I needed treatment outside the county. I didn’t want to leave Gabriel. He was only four, but for Gabriel’s sake I had to.” 

She chose M.D. Cancer Center in Houston. “Immediately I felt I had made the right decision. A lot of miracles come out of that place.”

Surgeries were done in Houston while chemotherapy treatments happened in San Luis Obispo until she was too weak to travel. While recovering in Houston she was encouraged to walk the 7-acre campus. She’d wander the two children’s hospitals and realized how scary it was for the them to be away from home battling cancer.  She also realized she needed to involve Gabriel in her survival quest. “Children are born with intuition,” she explained. “If children are not encouraged to follow their hunches they grow up not trusting their instincts. My bedtime story was ‘Mommy has a poisonous bubble and needs liquid gold and holy water in her stomach.’ One night Gabriel said he could tell the bubble was getting smaller and it was.” 

Meanwhile, another lesson Jenny learned was to accept help from friends. Co-worker Jill Whitebook rallied friends to donate $17,000, which Jenny didn’t think she needed, but discovered several incidentals are not covered by insurance. And although the company welcomed her back once recovered, in 2013 she was compelled to resign and dedicate her time and resources to create and operate ALONG COMES HOPE. “God left me here for some reason,” she decided.  

 ALONG COMES HOPE provides financial and emotional support for pediatric cancer patients. “No child should have to face cancer alone, and no family should be away from their child’s side.” The nonprofit has helped more than 223 children and their families and over 25,000 more have been exposed Jenny’s educational programs. Financial assistance for travel and accommodations have been provided if treatment is away from home. Music and art therapy programs are offered while the child is in the hospital. And Jenny conducts advocacy presentations in Washington, DC and whenever invited.

Hope the Bear, a soft, cuddly plush toy with a button in its paw to record messages by family and friends, is her most effective comforter for both children and families. It’s also popular among donors. Colors of Hope is an 80-page coloring book and journal allowing the child time for whimsy and creativity that inspires their journey to recovery and becomes a keepsake. Personal gifting and company advertising is available.

Jenny’s major funding has been her personal savings, however, now she is expanding her network to reach more donors to join her cause, including NASCAR drivers Joe Nemechek and his son John Hunter Nemechek. The website www.alongcomeshope.com and social media sources like Facebook have details and updates about opportunities and purchasing HOPE merchandise.  

“God drops angels into my path every day,” says Jenny. “Just when you think it’s no longer possible…ALONG COMES HOPE.”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Tan Not Your BFF…

Published in Inspired Health Magazine Volume 2…(www.simplyclearmarketing.com)

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Dr. Charles Fishman checks Tamara Ferdon for Skin Cancer.

 

In the 45 years Dr. Charles B. Fishman has practiced dermatology, he has witnessed major improvements in treatments developed for patients with skin diseases. And although he believes people are more aware and even diligent about regular check-ups, he is not surprised by the increased incidences of Melanoma Skin Cancer.

Dr. Fishman identified the obvious culprits were sun burning at an early age, our quest for a golden tan, and the invention of the tanning booth. “The main changes I see are a lot of skin cancers — more and more diagnosed with malignant melanoma,” he said. “Five years ago it was an automatic death sentence. Now with early detection there are new drugs to block the cancer and keep it under control for months – even years, but patients are still dying from it.”

Dr. Fishman is well known among colleagues and patients for his quick wit and positive attitude. All the same he’s no-nonsense when he advises basic skin protection and regular check-ups for skin disease prevention. “As early as the late teen years, the best protection is to catch it early. Fair skinned (people) need to be checked every three to six months especially if a mole looks like it is growing. With darker skin three to five year checks unless there is history of skin cancer in

Meanwhile, Dr. Fishman is adamant we avoid exposure to ultraviolet rays all the time – even on a cloudy day. “The best sun protection is clothing. Wear a hat,” he said. And he’d most likely want it repeated. WEAR A HAT! “I’m seeing more incidence of women over 50 with thinning hair having issues with scalp melanoma.” He recalled one patient he’d seen for years while providing cosmetic botox treatments. One day she asked him to check a growth on top of her head. Luckily the huge melanoma was caught in time and treatments have extended her

Applying sun screen should be part of our daily routine. Dr. Fishman advises that the longer we plan to be out in the sun the higher the SPF rating should be. “When sun screen trials are done they lather them on thick,” he explained. “Since we don’t, make sure you have 30-SPF to 50-SPF if only running out for errands. If you’re hiking or on the golf course all day, use 85-SPF to 100-plus-SPF.” He suggests women apply sun screen before their make-

Dr. Fishman admitted San Luis Obispo has a doctor shortage, but advised, “If a mole is growing or something doesn’t look right call and tell the receptionist. I hope any office would fit you in. I know our office

If new to the area or need to establish with an office, but the wait seems too long? Dr. Fishman suggests scheduling with a licensed physician assistant. “Today they are well trained and often have many years of experience.  For example, “Gary (Westbrock) has been with me for eleven years. He’s very good.”

Forty-two years ago, Dr. Fishman opened his private practice in San Luis Obispo. He is the owner of Skin Enhancement Center of SLO, which offers a full spectrum of services for the skin, including mole checks, treatment of rashes, skin cancer surgery, treatment of veins of the legs and  face, VBeam laser for broken blood vessels, facial fillers, and Botox/

With multiple certificates and industry recognitions, Dr. Fishman remains active in numerous dermatology educational societies. He founded the California Central Coast Dermatological Society in 1976 and continues as its president.

An 1968 graduate from Indiana University School of Medicine, Dr. Fishman interned at Wadsworth-VA-UCLA in 1968-70. Originally, he thought he wanted to go into Internal Medicine but once he discovered Dermatology he knew it was his preferred specialty. He liked that he could examine, diagnose, treat, even perform surgery, and the reporting was clear-cut as he continued to monitor his patients. After two years as a doctor in the U.S. Army, he completed his residency training in Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver in 1975.

Dr. Fishman strives to be a good example for his patients maintaining an active lifestyle to stay healthy. He intends to keep working. At this stage in his life, he plays more golf than tennis. If he plays all eighteen holes, you can be sure he’s applying 100+SPF several times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Morro Bay Has Best Dog Friendly Dog Park at Del Mar Park

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Meet CJ and Sasha basking on the front porch in Morro Bay waiting to go to the Dog Park. Sasha is our “day dog” belonging to our daughter Jody & son-in-law Mike.

Welcome to my world today. Today’s blog comes from my Then & Now column published in area print products and online by http://www.simplyclearmarketing.com in February 2018. Raising CJ, our 7 month old LabraDane, we have rediscovered Cayucos’ Dog-friendly beach, enjoyed puppy socialization and CHARM school at Woods Human Society, but by far CJ is happiest when at Morro Bay’s park park playing with they guys and gals — canine and human.

This submission was a personal flashback to a story I wrote in 2006 soon after Neil Farrell, Managing Editor for THE BAY NEWS, jumpstarted my Central Coast writing career. I was invited to cover a neighborhood meeting of a group of dog-lovers trying to establish an enclosed, permanent dog park. Just recently our family experienced the fruits of their 10-year quest, The Jody Giannini Family Dog Park, which opened in January, 2010. A well-earned high-five goes to the neighbors, who created the nonprofit, Morro Bay Pups. Many thanks for developing and maintaining an amazing facility at Del Mar Park in Morro Bay.

My husband, Bob, and I now have relief from puppy-zoomies, those harrowing minutes of running in circles and bouncing off furniture. Our LabraDane rescue puppy, CJ, is six months old and 55-pounds. He loved Woods Humane Society’s Saturday puppy socialization classes and romping at the beach with his classmate, Luna, until her parents had to go back to work after the holidays. He’d take us on wonderful walks downtown and along the Embarcadero, but come home crazed. He needed fast-break running, tackling, and slobbery dog-play with dog-friends. And yes, we’re signed up for Woods CHARM School – the acronym for basic training.

 

An excerpt from that BAY NEWS article follows: “Since the Morro Bay City Council approved a permanent off-leash dog facility at Del Mar Park, members of Morro Bay Pups have worked non-stop to prove to each council member their vote, indeed, has widespread community support…to proceed to the next step in the development process for a future Del Mar Dog Park…As of Sunday, April 2 more than 800 signatures have been gathered in support of the Dog Park…As reported by member Gina Gaughn, appropriate paperwork will soon be filed to establish non-profit status in the name of Morro Bay Pups so the group can begin to raise the necessary funds to prove to city leadership that development and maintenance of the Dog Park would not be a financial burden to the city…In an effort to be good neighbors Morro Bay Pups notified and invited all the adjacent neighbors, particularly on Island Street, to an exploratory meeting hosted by Anita and Sam Ayoob to discuss and resolve issues impacting their neighborhoods…Karen Robert said, “We’ve had a dog park for six years at Del Mar Park allowing dog owners to exercise their dogs off-leash at Del Mar Park.” There were 1,527 registered dogs in 2004 and the recreation department allowed by permit the use of the park. “Our dogs need a place to go and our group believes a permanent location dedicated for our dogs’ enjoyment will offset the current problems and issues neighbors usually bring up. We intend to police ourselves and dog park users, beautify the area selected, and develop and maintain the dog park with funds we’ll raise from supportive dog owners in the area wanting such a facility.”

Indeed, Morro Bay Pups endured. What the City of Morro Bay and Morro Bay Pups built together must be the envy of the county. The romping room is a dog’s paradise plus an owner’s secured meeting place while watching their furry children play. Fenced enclosures separate the smaller dogs from the larger dogs. Playtime is on the grassy mounds and level stretches. Large water bowls with hoses near for replenishment are provided along with sponsored poop-bag containers sponsored by individuals or community groups managed by Mutts for the Bay, a Morro Bay National Estuary Program. Used tennis balls from the adjacent tennis courts are often available to throw and retrieve. It’s well maintained by docents checking morning and evening if owners have left the park as clean as they found it. Nice people who love their dogs have one rule – control your dog if he/she is not playing nice and pick up messes.

Check out their website www.morrobaypups.org for their history, board, and how to get involved. It states that in 1995 Virginia Hanigan and Jane Von Koehe took their dogs to play together in the mornings at Del Mar Park. More joined so they called themselves “The Del Mar Doggies Social Club” (DMDSC). They found the area west of the basketball/rink area was out of the way, and most suitable for off leash dog play. Karen Robert, a member of the Morro Bay Recreation and Parks Commission, obtained a yearly permit to use this area.

When city officials questioned liability issues they withdrew the permit, but the group pressed on. In 2006, Morro Bay Pups formed as a non-profit organization. A retired attorney, Steve Eckis, joined the board and guided efforts and permitting process to establish the dog park. The City of Morro Bay donated a large area that was under-utilized at Del Mar Park. The group fund raised with garage sales and bake sales before a major capital campaign in 2008. Board member, Naida Simpson, produced a widely distributed brochure. Coast Veterinary Clinic was an honorary co-chair and Elaine Giannini and family made the significant donation to earn naming rights in honor of Elaine’s brother, Jody. Other major donors were: Nancy Mellen, Jack E. Robinson, Morro Bay Beautiful, Virginia Hanigan and Bob Ransom, Duane and Seta Stephens, Carla Borchard, Jean Code, Sally & Bob Young and Cynthia Chavez.

 

Gary Kramer: Living Large Yesterday & Today

An Article Published in Living Lavishly Magazine, February 2018 – http://www.simplyclearmarketing.com

The Kramers Discover California’s Central Coast Wine Country

Overlooking valleys of vineyards and olive groves The Gables at the Rockin’ K majestically rests — pondering the bountiful agricultural regions of Paso Robles and San Miguel in San Luis Obispo County. In 2009 Gary and Laura Kramer traded a hectic lifestyle in Southern California for new beginnings—repurposing their priorities in the heart of California’s Central Coast Wine Country.

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They would spend a year living onsite in a motorhome remodeling their 5,500 sq.ft. homestead primed with “good bones” waiting for for a loving touch. One of Gary’s first projects was intended as decorative landscaping.

Leading up to a welcoming circular drive and southern-style veranda porch complete with Amish-styled rocking chairs, he planted Syrah grape vines in the shape of a heart for Laura, his wife, sweetheart and business partner. He would later admit he stumbled into selecting the perfect acreage with optimum sunlight to ultimately produce exquisite Syrah wine that would become the first vintage and catalyst for establishing the Gary Kramer Guitar Cellars Tasting Room and Guitar Museum at 825 Riverside Avenue in Paso Robles. www.garykramerguitarcellars.com.

 

But in the Beginning….

First one needs to understand the Gary Kramer backstory—the twists and turns of his amazing entrepreneurial career. In the 1970s he was making good money selling cars when he recognized the company’s lead mechanic had engineered an all-aluminum guitar neck that could be revolutionary in the rock ‘n roll music industry. Kramer bankrolled a start-up guitar manufacturing company, Travis Bean Guitars. Groups like the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead ordered instantly, but production could not keep up. One frustrated dealer awaiting shipment was Bernie Gracin, owner of New York City’s Gracin’s & Towne Music. Ultimately, Kramer would leave the Bean company and collaborate with Gracin to develop a new guitar and partnership. It too struggled at first. Then a break-through — an endorsement from Eddie Van Halen launched Kramer Guitars popularity internationally.

 

Before Kramer Guitar’s popularity, Kramer was already seeking his next career. He moved to Marina del Rey in 1977 and got his real estate license just in time to cash in on the Southern California housing boom.

“The real estate lifestyle found me smoking too many cigarettes, drinking too many cups of coffee, and doing other things that you shouldn’t do. I just got burned out.”

Kramer walked away from the business that made him rich. He spent two months reconnecting with himself in Italy, his birthplace, and visiting with his mother in Naples. When he returned, “I had no game plan for what I wanted to do next. I had money and time, but I had no game plan.”

It wasn’t long before he discovered his next big idea: Marina Packing, which ships oversees large items like furniture and fine art. Today the company generates more than $3.5 million annually.

“Not bad for a guy whose friends said I was nuts for going into the packing and shipping business!” Kramer said.

As both companies expanded in the 1980s, mismanagement sent the guitar company into bankruptcy. It would sell to Gibson and Kramer’s royalties stopped.

But he stayed in touch with friends in the industry by attending Kramer Conventions where Kramer guitar enthusiasts would gather once a year and share music, stories, and guitars. “As I walked around looking at all the old Kramer guitars, I realized that there hadn’t been any real change in guitars in 30 years. And I thought everything else changes so why not guitars?”

Itching to create another guitar company, he met an over-the-top Kramer Guitar fan, Leo Scala, a Russian immigrant and “…the most creative luther — that’s one who repairs string instruments — I have ever met.” They partnered to manufacture Scala’s ergonomically correct and futuristic-looking Delta Wing guitar and called the company Gary Kramer Guitars. But after four years, Kramer was done and ready to live a new life in San Luis Obispo County. He sold the company to Scala in 2009 for a mere dollar.

“I had achieved everything I envisioned in the world of guitar building and decided to retire.”

The Road to Living Lavishly in San Miguel 

What Gary and Laura Kramer have created on their hilltop oasis in San Miguel is dazzling—and like his serendipitous career path, it comes with its own metamorphic story. Once committed to leaving the hustle of SoCal they found their dream property in San Miguel. For a year, they lived in a motor home they purchased to travel the USA while remodeling their dream home. At the same time they have ultimately planted more than 4,000 decorative, fruit and olive trees and untold acres of vines producing Syrah, Cabernet, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Laura’s latest tasting room favorite, Alicante Bouschet.

Then the property adjacent to them was placed on the market. Protective of their privacy and view-shed, they purchased it and decided to convert the original home-site to an in-demand vacation rental, The Gables at the Rockin’ K (www.PasoRoblesVacationRentals.com). The rental sleeps 10 with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths, offers an infinity pool and outdoor barbecue area, gourmand’s kitchen, and party-hearty game room with a pool table, wet-bar and it is all accented with classic Kramer guitars. An attached “bunkhouse“ overlooking the pool offers more living space for guests.

 

Kramer Gives Up Some Toys for Laura’s Next Big Idea. 

Gary has always loved to collect unique vehicles. His favorites were housed in a Paso Robles warehouse until the garage in San Miguel offered space that vacationers didn’t need. He downsized to five: his favorite Bentley, his prized ‘69 Camaro with leather interior, his 606HP Corvette Calloway with twin turbos, his 1915 Ford Hack, and his all-terrain customized Bronco-mobile, the one he uses most to check the readiness of vines and brix and Castelvetrano Olives.

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It was Laura’s turn for a big idea. With a leased up empty warehouse in Paso Robles, she knew there was a marketplace need for a commercial kitchen that Farmer’s market vendors and cottage industry foodies would love to use. The space was converted to industry standards and instantly booked up 24/7.

 

Meanwhile, the original Syrah vines produced 75 cases of full-body grapes. With sage advice, the couple tested their luck at winemaking, which was an instant hit. Additionally, Gary Kramer Guitars’ success had created a need to display three evolutions of an iconic guitar produced featuring Gary Kramer’s name and financial backing.

In 2016 they converted the commercial kitchen space into Gary Kramer Guitar Cellars. Laura manages the tasting room sales and food offerings. www.garykramerguitarcellars.com She’s also been known to sell a Gary Kramer collectible guitar. Someday they plan to schedule wine club pick-up parties at the Gables at Rockin’ K and invite musicians they’ve met over the years to come jam for a weekend. What a bonus that will be for their new wine club friends.

 

Indeed, Gary and Laura Kramer have found their sweet-spot – loving what they do each day while snuggling into another lifetime.  When asked how did you and Laura meet? With a faraway gaze and a smile, Gary will answer, “She found me.”

 

Thus, the story continues…

 

 

Morro Bay’s John Weiss Governs California’s Rotary District 5240

Early in June 40,000 Rotarians converged on Atlanta, Georgia for the annual Rotary International (RI) Convention to celebrate and introduce the new leadership for RI zones, regions and districts worldwide. Onsite and digital networking introduced over 1.2 million members to current hot topics: world peace, the scourge of human trafficking, and a celebration noting polio impending eradication.

Encompassing China Lake to Westlake to Cambria, District 5240 has 74 clubs with 3,285 members. Approximately 170 members explored the Atlanta Zoo welcoming its newest District Governor (DG), Morro Bay’s John Weiss. San Luis Obispo County Rotary Clubs have produced at least seven DGs: Brenda Cressey, Paso Robles (2001-02), Frank Ortiz, Santa Maria (2012-13), Loretta Butts, Atascadero (2014-15) and from Morro Bay: Mac Little (1978-79), Walt Milburn (1983-84), who proudly promoted voting to bring women into Rotary his year, and Chungsam Doh (1998-99), a transferred member to Morro Bay from Bakersfield by way of South Korea.

Professionally, Weiss has owned and operated Coast Electronics, a consumer electronics retailer focused on customer service in Morro Bay for 39 years expanding recently to San Luis Obispo and Buellton. “I joined Morro Bay Rotary in 2001, which led me to serve on the Chamber of Commerce board in 2003.” Weiss was Chamber board president 2006-7-8 and 2011. “When you give back to your community your business, family and community will benefit.”

A three-year training program prepares DG’s to provide leadership, motivation, and guidance to Rotary clubs under the general supervision of the RI Board of Directors, but first they’re trained to serve as club presidents before consideration to serve at the district level. Weiss was club president in Morro Bay 2009-10. A few highlights of his year were creating the ongoing Public Heroes program recognizing non-Rotarians serving Morro Bay, reinvigorating a golf tournament to include high school golfers, establishing Eco Rotary Clubs in Morro Bay and Pismo, and chartering a college Rotaract and a high school Interact club. His focus on youth and membership services was noticed by District Governor Deepa Wellingham, who invited him to serve on her team in 2010-11.

Based on a record of service, a district governor candidate must be invited. Campaigning will disqualify a nominee. After serving at the club level, then four years at the district level, Weiss was nominated by Morro Bay Rotarian Jeff Jones. He was interviewed by a panel of twelve, RI’s parliamentarian and two past DGs. Once selected training intensified. Weiss explained 535 global DG nominees convened at an International Assembly in San Diego. “It was five days nine to five and they take roll daily.” He has also participated in district training sessions for the 74 club president nominees for the past two years. His team plans the training meetings for 2017-18.

By the end of his DG year he will have presented at all 74 district clubs, chaired an October celebratory District Conference and inaugurated an Interact Conference as well as attend numerous club socials and fund raising events logging untold miles and time away from business and home. “Most DGs have completed their club visits by November,” said Weiss. “With an active business I’m a working district governor so I’m scheduling them out through the year. Luckily I have a scheduler, Deb Linden, to get me where I need to be, who I’ll see and what to wear.”

The good news is a DG selects a staff of 50 to help plan, executive and support district activities. Weiss’ SLO team members include Deb Linden, Michael Boyer, Connie Henley, Jeanne Potter, Mike Pond, and Melinda Thomas. “Assessing the president nominees, it was huge that 75% wanted to focus our year on Youth Services, which has been my passion for two years.” The better news is “My staff is amazing.” Their goals include networking millennials and baby-boomers to refine ideas and future action plans.

The best news is the support Weiss has from his wife Christine McDonald Weiss, “You need the support of your partner before going down this road. Christine has been at my side during all the training while running her successful realty company. She’s picked up so much, which is a testament to Rotary’s training for leaders and their partners.”

Now ready to serve, Weiss advocates, “The business of Rotary is to bring smiles in our community – our world — and that’s all the payment we need.”