El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Betty McMillen

Some women in Lakeside had a different twist on Mother’s Day, that’s the day they helped their 4-H and Future Farmers of America kids haul their animals to the East County Jr. Fair held at the Rodeo Grounds.  Trucks and trailers with hogs, cattle, goats and sheep lined up to be weighed and checked in for the week long Jr. Fair. Student from El Capitan High School, Lakeside and Mountain Empire School Districts competed.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it is time to be thinking about what you will be giving your Mom.
Nita Anderson’s Son, Steve, came up with a novel gift 14 years ago, a baby Emu chick. Not all Moms would appreciate such a unique gift but Anderson’s great sense of humor made a good laugh out of it. She created a mini farm with various animals in her yard.

Reading, writing and arithmetic used to be what kids learned in school, but times are a changin’. Lakeside Middle School students recently got a good dose of animal science and agriculture.

Teacher Trish Dignan watched proudly as students rushed anxiously to see what they would learn from 4-H, Future Farmers of America (FFA), Rodeo Association, Jr. Fair members and business owners who taught about their professions and hobbies in farming.

Jeff Foxworthy, the comedian, always starts out his jokes with the phrase “You might be a redneck if,” and then goes on to list various reasons why one would qualify as a redneck.

There were plenty of participants proud to be called rednecks attending the East County Jr. Fair BBQ and Auction on March 17 at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds.
Instead of the traditional green attire, cowboy boots, hats, tight jeans, bib overalls and John Deere T-shirts were the dress of the day.

Arbor Day is just around the corner, in mid-March. Most folks don’t know what that means, but in East County the Mile of Trees- Lakeside is trying to bring it back by planting more trees in the community, and they hope to create an urban forest in this hot, dry climate.

Lakeside residents were busy during Valentine’s week. For example, Terry Burke-Eiserling, one of the founders of Lakeside’s future skate park, hosted a Banner Day event, which took place on Feb. 11 for the new youth-oriented skate park which is expected to be built at Lindo Lake County Park (no completion date scheduled to date).

Lakeside’s Veterans of Foreign War Post #5867, next to Lindo Park, got a jump-start on Valentine’s Day by hosting its inaugural Valentine’s Day dinner dance on Feb. 8.

Paul Boston, commander of the post, said that funds generated at the party were two-fold. Some money will go toward VMM165 White Knights Squadron, a Marine Osprey unit, with a portion going to HSL 123, a Navy helicopter unit.

The Maine Avenue Revitalization Association (MARA) considers itself to be the guardians of Lakeside’s Historic Business District.

Their mission is to clean up, restore and beautify the Maine Avenue buildings and the surrounding blocks that make up the Old Town area of Lakeside.

The Christmas spirit is alive and well around Lakeside and it is starting earlier than usual this year. On Saturday, Dec. 1, the Lakeside Historical Society will be hosting its 24th annual Holiday Home Tour. Four unique homes and the new Fire District Administration Office building will be on the self-guided tour.

Everyone knows that Lakesiders are a hardy bunch but what some folks don’t realize is how much they work for the benefit of their community.

Recently the Lakeside River Park Conservancy held their annual Volunteer Awards event to honor all the volunteers who have donated a whopping 15,000 man hours for the River Park improvement in just one year!

More than 94 volunteers gathered at the Boll Weevil restaurant in Lakeside to enjoy a delicious special order breakfast and buffet as a thank you offering.