HOBNOBBING IN HELENDALE by Shirley Hummtisch, April 12, 2009
April 12, 2019
We attended the recent Open House that Jim Nichols hosted from 1 to 8 p.m. at the new Command Center for the combined Neighborhood Watch/Emergency Preparedness Committee, the two of which also now fall under the SLA Security Committee umbrella.
The small building is located across from the RV Park office and takes on a life of its own in full operation.
The fact that Jim Nichols has been praised in this column before, for all that he does, is a drum that deserves to keep on beating - loud and clear.
In his new center, he has a conference table and chairs in the middle of the one room facility, bordered by lines of communication such as a DSL driven computer, printer, a ham radio, and telephone.
He offered information about our camera systems, emphasizing that 100 cameras have been placed throughout our community. He also has a data base of information being developed for emergency purposes.
He’s got maps on the walls that show where over 500 Neighborhood watch families live and a banner that projects he is hoping to have 1000 families before this year is over.
On one table were pamphlets of information on such things as Home Security, Vacation Security, Crime Prevention Tips for Seniors, Fire Prevention, and more.
If you missed the Open House you can find Nichols at the Command Center every Monday morning. He is looking for volunteers to help with computer input, clerical tasks, plus to assist in running the facility.
He puts out a fantastic Neighborhood Watch Newsletter that offers a host of security tips, emergency phone numbers, notes of warnings (such as it being a violation of SLA rules to be walking around on the golf course taking short cuts, taking a leisurely stroll, walking your dog, etc.) and in depth reports on crime when it does happen, followed by the perpetrators more often than not being caught.
In Jim’s words: “Our goal is to maintain a crime free status within the community, keeping it the great place to live that we all know it is and to put those people who are up to no good, on notice that we are serious. They will be caught and prosecuted!”
To join Neighborhood Watch, volunteer to help out at the Command Center or just to get more information, you may call Jim at 760 951-1014.
* * * * * * * *
The Silver Lakes Association’s Restaurant seems to be doing really well lately thanks to Robert Seymour, Restaurant Manager.
On a recent Friday night, we made a spontaneous decision to go to the restaurant at 6 p.m. for their featured Fish Fry Special and figured we didn’t have to make reservations because every time we did in the past, there seems to always be plenty of room or else we went with a group who made reservations for us.
However, it was Robert himself who shook his head when we answered his query at the door, “Do you have reservations?” And we had to say we did not. “Sorry,” he advised, “There will be a 15-20 minute wait.”
First time in my life I think I was happy about having to wait at a restaurant That meant business was good and while it may not mean that the restaurant would actually start to make money, if the surge continuous it might mean that people are doing their share to keep it open.
In fact, at our house, we don’t say, “Let’s go eat at the inn,” we say, “let’s go do our share.”
When we lived up in the San Joaquin Valley, there was a Country Club nearby that sold separate memberships. There was a golf membership, a tennis membership and a restaurant membership.
In all three cases, you had to belong to use their facilities. We had friends who didn’t golf or play tennis but for $40 a month they could join their buddies who were active in those sports, when they dined there.
The $40 they paid also went toward the food and drink they ordered. If their bill was more or they went often in a month’s time, they would pay for it. If they didn’t go at all in a month, the money went into the Country Club coffers.
Seemed like a good idea.
I also want to say how great the Easter Brunch was at the restaurant. It was pricey but well worth the cost. All three rooms were used for the occasion, including the Terrace Room, the lounge and the traditional restaurant. It started at 10 a.m. and by the time we got around to making reservations, about a week prior to the occasion, nothing was available until 1 p.m. Another good sign.
It was nice to see entire families at big tables, taking advantage of the classy buffet. The set up was very impressive and the food was not only excellent but diversified.
Now we have that Top Of The Lakes special dinner coming up this Sunday, April 18th at 6 p.m., also presented by the SLA Restaurant. That is such a nice room up there with a great view of the golf course, homes and the foothills that border our community. What better place to enjoy a four course meal, featuring a choice of Filet Mignon, Jidori Chicken or Lobster Thermidor, finished off with Sherry-soaked pound cake topped with Spring Fruits in Crème Anglaise over Belgian Chocolate Sauce.
Sound good? There is limited seating so you better hurry up to make reservations by calling 760 245-7700.
* * * * * * * *
Those of us who went to the Helendale Chamber of Commerce Wine Tasting Mixer a few weeks ago, had a really good time. It was hosted by the chamber board and held at Jesse and Sharon Kreinop’s lovely home, just outside of Silver Lakes on River Rock Road. Sharon, is an individual member of the chamber but has also been selected to be its first ever Executive Administrator.
Jesse and Sharon Kreinop
The Kreinop’s formal dining room table was laden with attractive appetizers, including platters of assorted cheese and crackers but the focal point of the mixer was in their spacious kitchen.
Jim and Julie Garland Tony and Margo Soza
The point of the event was to mingle, plus that popular word that the chamber uses a lot, to “network”. Networking , according to Encarta’s World English Dictionary, “is the process or practice of building up or maintaining informal relationships, especially with people whose friendship could bring advantages, such as job or business opportunities.”
Exactly so. That’s what we did, with an emphasis on informal.
The common denominator here was the wine tasting part. Guests were asked to pay $5 per person to help defray the cost of the food and drink, or share a bottle of their favorite wine. In fact, the invitation read that we should wrap each bottle in a brown paper bag with our business name or card attached to it. Before long there were 12 such “packages” lined up on a center island in the kitchen and the tasting was on.
Of course, the tasting was only sipping as we poured modest amounts into our wine glasses but it was fun to try to answer such questions as, “Can you tell the difference between a 2004 vintage and one pressed in 2009?” and “Do you think this wine is California domestic, French or Australian?”
We were given a rather complex, 20-point wine rating form that asked for the taster to rate the wine as to clarity, color, aroma, et al but the best part of the evening was the “Two Buck Chuck” debate. You know - that bottle of wine that we get at Trader Joe’s markets for only $1.99.
It became a sip and swap session………..
One person called them “urban legends” on why Charles Shaw chose to sell his wine so cheap.
“I heard it was because he was in the middle of a divorce so he dropped the price of his wine so his wife wouldn’t get a lot of money,” said one guest.
“I thought it was just the leftovers, like the bottom of the barrel,” said another.
“I heard that Charles Shaw was selling wine to American Airlines and when security said no more corkscrews, he had to dump it somewhere else,” offered still another guest.
“ I heard that Two-Buck Chuck is made from left over grapes that he bought cheap so he sells cheap.” said someone else.
And then there is the rumor that the Joe in Trader Joe, won the Charles Shaw label in a poker game.
Most of us had never wondered “why” before but since there were so many variations, I thought I would go home and ask Ms. Google.
This is what “she” told me:
Charles Shaw wines are made by the Bronco Wine Company located in Ceres, California, on Hwy 99, south of Modesto. In 1990, Charles F. Shaw sold his small winery to Bronco.
Shaw is a Chicago business man who bought 50 acres in Napa Valley in the late 1970’s but declared bankruptcy in 1992. Bronco purchased the brand name because that is what they do, counting ForestVille, Estrella, Fox Hollow, Napa Ridge and more, among its brands.
Bronco put the Charles Shaw label on a back shelf until a few years ago when they wanted an ultra-low tier wine. There were just too many wine grapes being produced in California so Bronco was able to buy grapes at cut-rate prices, mass produce the wine exclusively for Trader Joes, who in turn gave their consumers a great deal.
The “Two Buck Chuck” name was inevitable, probably tagged by a yuppie who told a teller, “And I’ll have a case of that two buck Chuck Chardonnay,” or any of the other Charles Shaw wines that are available.
The true story may not be as colorful as the urban myths that were talked about at the Chamber Mixer but Two Buck Chuck gave a whole new meaning to Networking at the Kreinop‘s!
* * * * * * * *
Now, if you read last week’s column, there was a photo of a mystery lady as seen below:
I had asked if anyone knew who she was and I held off on the answer until this week. I said it was a very high profile woman in our community.
Well, that biker turns out to be Julie Garland with her grandson. She is the President of the Helendale Chamber of Commerce (see her photo in previous story) and just loves to go out riding on the trails in the desert with their family off-road toys.
You go girl!
* * * * * * * *
The Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored by SLA’s Recreation Department was a big hit with anywhere from 300-400 people attending at Hartford Park on April 3rd.
You have to give Activities Director, Marta Kraemer credit for keeping things under control in a very organized manner. She had her staff and volunteers helping of course and representatives from our COP unit were there in their orange uniforms, but it took a lot of planning to “hide” over 2000 plastic eggs on the grass, divide the park into three sections with temporary fencing, and give out prizes to those who found, gold, silver and “bronze” eggs.
The youngest group, including ages four and under, was “let go” first at 10 a.m. and they were so cute rushing with their little baskets to pick up as many eggs as possible. Of course, the tradition of, hiding eggs is somewhat of a stretch here since they were simply placed in the grass and the little munchkins were helped along by mom, dad or grandparents but it was really fun to see.
Of course the Easter Bunny also came and posed for pictures with children and grown-ups alike.
Each egg had candy in it which was worth the pursuit to all age categories, including the next wave of kids from 5 to 9 at 10:15 a.m. and then the third group from 10-14 at 10:15 a.m.
Prize Winners With Bronze (blue) Gold and Silver Eggs
It was a wonderful morning and a great family-way to use Hartford Park.
* * * * * * * *
Eye Sore Of The Week Eye Candy Of The Week
* * * * * * * *
Many thanks to those who have commented after some of my columns. I appreciate Sandy Bush’s letting us know that she likes reading about the BOD meetings here. She’s always been very supportive and I’m very grateful for that.
I was happy to hear from Alan Welch too, after having seen he and Janella having lunch at Margarita’s. They were visiting from the Las Vegas area where they had moved several years ago. Always nice to see them come back, even if it is temporary.
I also want to thank Duretta Lorang for allowing me to use that blossoming tree overlooking the golf course as Eye Candy two columns ago. It’s in her back yard where she said it is the prettiest it’s ever been. Then again this week, that is her picture above of the lake with the snow capped mountains in the background. She has some great Silver Lakes pictures on Facebook’s Life In Helendale/Silver Lakes. Check it out.
Thanks to Connie Born as well. She has some striking photos on the same site and I couldn’t resist using one last week as Eye Candy because they really are.
Next week I want to tell you about several Silver Lakes people who ran in the L.A. Marathon this year. You will see pictures taken by them in the actual race, as well as pictures of them after the race.
Meanwhile, have a great week everyone!