El Cajon, CA
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Articles by B.J. Coleman

One hundred thirty-five years ago, El Cajon was considered a valley east of San Diego, possibly a good location for wheat fields, and not much more.

Residents of the El Cajon Valley who wished to attend Sunday church services had to undertake a three-hour horse and buggy ride into San Diego.

They say you can’t buy love...but you can adopt it! At least, that is what Friends of Cats, Inc. believes, so much so that they have made it their official motto.

“Kitten season came late this year,” said Terry Hogan, treasurer of Friends of Cats, Inc. “And that’s a good thing.”

Even in the twenty-first century, the Old West can be glimpsed in a corner of El Cajon.

The Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Western Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and extending appreciation of Western art and culture.

The museum and center celebrate the life and art of Wieghorst, a prominent local artist known during his lifetime and since as the “Dean of Western Painters.”

Artwork from other artists is featured among new rotating displays of Western paintings, sculptures and photographs.

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce hosted a festive business mixer and dinner party on the evening of Thursday, March 8. The occasion? The Chamber is celebrating the organization’s 10th anniversary with a series of events, and this dinner was their inaugural evening – the Chamber’s 10th Annual Salute to Local Heroes, honoring nine first responders who delivered standout performances in their public safety duties over the past year.

Robert Paul Guthrie has a lot to say about how perceptions have changed over time about developmentally disabled persons. He knows, as a 76-year-old East County resident who currently serves, and is served by, the East County Training Center of The Arc.

Looking into the unknown future can be daunting and difficult, but adventurers and builders forge on nonetheless. This is based on a vision of what may lay ahead.

The tribal council of the Sycuan band of the Kumeyaay Nation has a 2019 vision for transforming East County’s Sycuan Casino, to benefit the local community and enhance the experiences of casino visitors.

Whether 70 years is seen as a long or short time depends on perspective. For an organization or facility that has been sustaining on a shoestring, attaining seven decades can be a challenging milestone.

And so it is, with Lakeside’s Carter-Smith Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5867. The veterans’ service organization is looking toward celebrating its 70th anniversary early next year. Membership has experienced a recent turnaround and is gaining for the group that received its initial VFW charter on February 6, 1946. 

They served in the United States Army from 1866 through 1944. Their last official military service posting was in East County at Campo’s old Camp Lockett, on Buckman Springs Road. Formally titled soldiers of the Ninth and Tenth (Horse) Cavalry Regiments, they were renowned throughout the Old West—with an admiring nod acknowledging resemblance in courage, tenacity and dark, curly hair to the native American bison as the Buffalo Soldiers.

Economists and behaviorists agree that the past is the best predictor of future occurrences. What has happened before can, and likely will, happen again.

What could be more fun than playing on a children’s dream playground? For adults, that just might be building it. Broad, lasting smiles graced the faces of the more than 150 volunteers on hand at El Cajon’s Bostonia Park & Recreation Center on Saturday, Nov. 9, for Build Day, constructing an expanded play space designed by the community.