El Cajon, CA
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Articles by BJ Coleman

Dr. Corey Marco has a new office, several paces down the street from his former medical practice facility. Framed degrees and awards hang on his office wall, but none of those relate to his 40 years as a physician in El Cajon.

Marco retired from medicine as December ended, and he is proud of a thick binder full of personal notes, cards and thank-you letters from patients who deeply regret his departure from being their doctor. He shared these remembrances during an interview on Jan. 9.

The Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Western Heritage Center in El Cajon kicked off this year’s shows with a special nod toward the namesake artist the gallery features. The first formal exhibit of the Wieghorst Museum’s schedule this year is titled “Salmagundians and Their Friends -- Southern California,” a showing of artworks by plein air artists. The term plein air refers to those painters who complete their works in open air so as to capture the actual effects of light and atmosphere on their subjects.

Whose heart isn’t warmed by a true love story with a happy ending? The tale East County author Amanda Matti has to tell of the cross-cultural romance with her now-husband, however, is fraught with unexpected obstacles and troubling difficulties.

Raymond L. Moody is a remarkable man, courageous and compassionate, accomplished and humble. He has been an El Cajon resident for three decades. He served in the U.S. Navy for 23 years, retiring in 1966 as a Chief Boatswain’s Mate. His active-duty career spanned the major conflicts of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Now 90 years of age, he is still a veteran serving other veterans, spending time each day at Miramar National Cemetery to assist grieving family members of military veterans.

Auxiliary sisters associated with Santee’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9327 proved they are adept at spreading holiday cheer for East County children in military families by bringing Santa Claus out for an early visit on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 10. 

East County is home to many unique institutions. Among these is Friends of Cats, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to the care and well-being of homeless felines. During Saturday evening Dec. 10, staffers and volunteers at the facility welcomed visitors to the third annual Whisker Wonderland, a Christmas celebration to benefit cats at the site.

Heidi Clark, assistant office manager with the facility, described this year’s Whisker Wonderland as the best yet, for the festivities and turnout.

American women’s entry into new and different workforce roles has produced much debate, analysis and art. On Dec. 1, Grossmont College’s Theatre Arts Department opening night presented a play based on the real history of women who began working during the 1920’s, remunerated at what was then considered very good female worker pay, for painting clock and watch dials with radium-based paint that glowed in the dark.

Holiday traditions can extend so far into the mists of memory that nobody remembers how these lovely, comforting practices originated. El Cajon’s Boy Scout Troop 363 opened the organization’s annual Christmas tree lot on the morning of Nov. 26, outside the local El Cajon Elks Lodge #1812.

Downtown El Cajon started celebrating the 2016 holiday season on Nov. 20, with the 70th annual staging of the East County city’s Mother Goose Parade. Unlike other formal parades, this one has no formally designated divisions or sections. Befitting a storybook parade, this assemblage of entries is organized into “Chapters.” The parade’s stated purpose from its origins has been to be a gift to the children of San Diego County.