Thursday, August 7, 2014

West Side Story

I write this column/blog as I arrive from Southern California on a trip down memory lane. 

First, I went to Huntington Beach to join the celebrations of my high school graduating Class ’64 commemorating its 50th Anniversary.  Remembering stories that happened ”two score and ten years ago” was really a feat for one who has been a proud member of AARP for a while, and who has already acquired rights to Medicare. Indeed, I enjoyed the exchanges with classmates both during the Dinner on July 26, 2014 and the Picnic the next day. Much has transpired in the lives of my fellow alums between 1964 and 2014. I wrote about the late HAROLD KESTER, who was the Student Body President, Class Salutatorian and my foster brother who hosted me during the school year as an AFS (American Field Service) scholar. I suggested to my class to make a collection of life stories to publish first in eBook format, to be followed by a print edition later. Many liked the idea and several committed to do it. In fact, the first one to do so, while I was traveling, was Loretta Hood the Class Valedictorian.

Second, I also had a chance to see and meet old friends. My Compadre (I am Godfather to his only son, EJ) Ernie Delfin and his beautiful and forever young wife Benita, hosted me to a nice dinner.  In fact, EJ who is a school teacher actually taught at my Alma Mater, My Facebook updated status described my visit with them:
“Yesterday, a welcome dinner for me was hosted by one of my closest friends, Ernie Delfin. The food was great but it was not what amazed me.

He brought me to his house for 36 years in Fountain Valley – only about 10-15 minutes from Huntington Beach. It was also the house where the late Editor-Publisher Max Soliven and I used to stay every time we came for a visit.

He showed the guest room which was renovated, for me to know that next time, I should stay with them as I used to. But again that was not what amazed me.

His front and backyards are only as small as mine in McLean, Va. This was what amazed me:

He was able to convert both into a combination of a Little FARMYARD and Floral garden. He planted and is producing the following:

A. VEGETABLES: Eggplant, Ampalaya, Kalabaza, Pipino, Leek, Kamatis, Kamote, Basil, different Mints and Herbs, Alugati, Malunggay, and a few more American salad vegetables that I cannot name.

B. FRUITS: Avocado, Guava, Banana (Saba), Persimmon, Papaya, Apple, Tangerines, Oranges, Grapes, Mango, and Palm trees.

C. FLORAL: Roses, Orchids, Arias, Annuals and Perennials, and hundreds of succulents.

Doesn’t that make you jealous? My friend, who has proven himself as a good CPA, an Innovative Entrepreneur, a Pioneer of E-Rotary, and a Patriotic Community Leader, is also an excellent Small Urban Farmer.

I ate some of the fruits we picked in the small farmyard for breakfast.”

Another old friend, Bobby Reyes who publishes and edits the Mabuhay Radio.Com, hosted me for lunch.  Known as Lolo Bobby, he is a fearless, prolific writer, witty and creative. Hard to be his enemy, I preferred to be his friend since our student days in San Beda College. Recognized for his leadership qualities, even former Senator Nene Pimentel wanted Bobby to be in his Senatorial ticket. His desire to be Governor of Sorsogon is still there.

I went to San Diego to fulfill some responsibilities that were suddenly and unexpectedly entrusted to me due to the death of my youngest sister, Mila Maynigo Denton Goldberg. I also got the chance to visit with the children of my sisters and brother: Euleen and Dean – Manang Perla’s kids; Joey – Manong Pepe’s only son; Homer – Manang Nellie’s youngest son; and Eugene – Mila’s only son who hosted me during my visit.

Bonding with them on separate occasions, not only did they display that Gal-lang-Maynigo wit and intellectual sharpness, but also that high achievement motivation.  The latter produced relatively high educational attainment that incidentally resulted in the accumulation of some wealth. 

I could not be any prouder. My siblings with their respective spouses certainly raised them well. My late brother Pepe must have participated spiritually because Joey was a posthumous baby.

By the way, Eugene and Joey are still bachelors. Both are scientists – Eugene, an Operations Scientist who works for Hologic while Joey is a Medical Scientist who is employed by Scripps.  Both good-looking and very smart, interested female parties should get in touch with me for proper introductions.

Before I get into trouble, I better stop.


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