El Cajon, CA
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Articles by BJ Coleman

Members of the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce and esteemed guests turned out on July 13, for a festive and fun evening at the Barona Resort and Casino Golf Events Center. The event was the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce Awards Night, acknowledging honorees for last year and installing new Chamber officers for 2017-2018.

Alert observers of craft brewing enterprises in East County are already aware that three and a half-year-old local brewery Groundswell Brewing Company expanded into Santee in February. Not that Groundswell has been a stranger to the eastern portions of San Diego County. Founded in November 2013, the then-new brewery Groundswell’s original tasting room bar was set up in Grantville, not far off Mission Gorge Road.

Half a century of mastery of any skill is a stunning accomplishment. Family members, friends and fellow congregants came together at the United Church of Christ of La Mesa on Sunday, June 25, for a special morning worship service honoring the “Golden Jubilee” of Valerie Victor for 50 years serving as the church’s organist-pianist.

Mixing business with pleasure? That is an excellent way to describe the ninth annual Taste of La Mesa, staged by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce to highlight the wide and delicious variety of businesses among local eateries and catering enterprises. The event was held during three lively hours of feasting and socializing at the La Mesa Community Center during the evening of June 12.

Volunteer organizations that are dedicated to preservation of historical information and artifacts plainly honor events in retrospect. But times change.

So, how to rectify that tension between respecting the past while acknowledging current perspectives and practices? The La Mesa Historical Society is striving to be up-to-date on how to be preservationists who keep accurate records of the history of La Mesa and enlist support in those efforts, by using modern methods of social interaction and media communication.

Human athletes may speak in troubling terms over how retirement from professional sports has been accompanied by multiple difficulties and subsequent health problems. But what about our fellow creatures on this planet, who themselves have similarly been sporting competitors but have no voices of their own to describe their predicament?

They call it American music. They should.

Bluegrass music may trace its provenance to influences from British Isles folk songs. And the banjo, a distinctive musical instrument in bluegrass bands, may have been developed based on a similar design imported into the country from Africa. But both the music and the instrument were born here, in the southeastern regions of the U.S.

Santee’s Kiwanis Club has a longstanding dedication to honoring excellence in local law enforcement officers who protect and serve East County. This special recognition has continued annually for 20 years.

Downtown El Cajon turned into a happy, sunny gathering spot on Saturday, May 20, despite blistering temperatures. The occasion that drew residents and visitors out into the heat was the fourth annual America on Main Street event, featuring over eight hours of free fun, music and other entertainment on three performance stages, and family-oriented activities and attractions for children. 

The Old West of 150 or so years ago really never seems that far distant in East County. And members of the El Cajon Valley Host Lions Club and the Winchester Widows brought some of those thrilling Western days of yesteryear back to life, by re-creating a cowpokes and saloon gals gambling hall on May 19. The event, alias Gunsmoke VII, featured games of chance, Western background music, and some light appetizers. The Shirthouse Bluegrass Band set the background atmosphere with lively songs and tunes. The festive party was designed to raise money for local charitable endeavors.