El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Mary York

I think I fell in love with pencil shopping first.

Back-to-school was always my favorite time of year growing up. I loved school. I loved the regime, the Lisa Frank rulers, the to-do lists.

I loved how brisk and cool September mornings were (as an adult, I am now aware that those precious three weeks in September are always followed by a month and a half of 90-degree Santa Anas because San Diego refuses to have normal autumnal weather like the rest of the country).

Tucked in a corner of downtown El Cajon is an art gallery and workshop. The colorful displays and lively activity that can be glimpsed through the large glass windows at the front of the store only tell part of the magnificent story that is the St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center.

The center provides programs and activities for nearly 400 adults with developmental disabilities from all around San Diego – everything from swim teams to art classes, like print making, mosaics and silk screening.

If societies are built upon ideals, those of the United States lay in confusing conflict with one another.

Take, for example, the Purple Heart, a medal that symbolizes sacrifice.

Unlike other medals, it is not given out for bravery or valor, rather, it is simply given in recognition of those whose lives will be forever changed by their wounds – or the lives of their families which are changed by their deaths.

During the interviewing process for the editor’s position for this newspaper, I was asked if I had any hobbies outside of journalistic writing.

I made the mistake of answering truthfully.

Thankfully, I got the job, despite admitting that, for the past nine months, I have been working on an interactive zombie blog.

Now, before the general populous condemns me for what may seem like ridiculous fictional pursuits, consider that most of us, at least once, has wondered, “What would I do in a zombie apocalypse?”

Lions Clubs International has done a lot of good in the world.

With a presence in 211 countries and more than 1.5 million members, it is not surprising that the Lions Club is one of the largest non-profit organizations in the world.

But the Lions of San Diego will tell you that they are only just awakening into their golden era. Change is running with the wind at its back, and the Lions are ready for it.

East County plays host to a number of delicious ice cream spots and, given the recent heat wave and the promise of a relentless summer, it might not be a bad idea to become familiar with the best places to go when the sidewalk reaches egg-frying degrees. 

For most dedicated student athletes, off-season play is a must. Anyone who wants to get ahead in the game -- or even just keep up with the top dogs in the league -- is probably slugging it out in their respective sport throughout the summer months.

But as August approaches and the new school year looms closer on the horizon, it may be time to let up on practices and skirmishes for a week or two.

There is also definitely a stigma around slacking-off on summer workouts. Taking a break for a week or several weeks, might appear to some like a lack of dedication.

My family only uses our air conditioner once a year.

AC is expensive, my mom points out every year as the summer falls upon us like an unwelcome house guest.

We do run it at least once, of course, just to make sure it still works. But we save it for that miserable night in the middle of October when the Indian Summer is in full swing and the rest of the continent (except for maybe Arizona) is enjoying the beginnings cozy, colorful autumn.

The rest of the summer, all five months of it, we jimmy-rig our house in a crazed attempt to beat the heat.

Awards banquets in the journalism community have always felt like high school reunions to me – the odds of running into people who have seen me crying on a college newsroom floor at 2 a.m. is high, conversation is steady and superfluous, and there are a lot of people there who are just more successful enough than me that it makes me nervous.

Perhaps you can relate.

Sometime or other, we all find ourselves facing check points. Our lives run into that great standard that delineates how we have measured up so far.

If anything has not changed in East County in the last 50 years, it is the weather.

But every Wednesday on Main Street for the entire summer, something else harkens back to the good ol’ days a half century ago: the Cajon Classic Cruise car show.

Hank Sandora, the proud owner of a 1934 Ford Roadster, said the car show is a way to bring the gang back together.