Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Busy First Week Back in SoCal

July 2-9, 2016:

WOW, what a week I had!

After two days of battling jet lag, I was ready to roll on the Fourth of July with the grandkids.

Mary and Jacob took part in the
Ventura Independence Day Parade

And Mary was in full fun mode
at our home later that day

We played a little more Kubb in the afternoon and, of course, had delicious BBQ'd hamburgers for dinner.

It was a good day.

 The grill at The Hat in
Simi Valley

The Hat is much more renowned for their French dip pastrami sandwiches than for their burgers. This was the site of the first of many meetings this week.

At The Hat I thoroughly enjoyed a four hour lunch with Robert Richards who is currently the outstanding Offensive Line coach at powerhouse Oaks Christian H.S.

When I first started coaching American football in 1970 at Thousand Oaks H.S., Robert was the Head J.V. coach and I was his one and only assistant. We worked together for two seasons, forging a 16-2 record along the way and winning the 1971 Marmonte League J.V. title.

I cannot begin to tell you how indebted I am to Robert for all of the things that he taught me back in those formative days of a young coach's career.

Later in the week, Laurie and I met with Paul and Joanne Sabolic for dinner at Cronies Sports Grill in Camarillo. Paul is a long-time friend from our University of Washington days. We had a great time seeing them over what turned out to be four hour dinner at this fine dining establishment.

It is amazing how time flies when getting together with good friends.

I then had an interesting meeting with former Newbury Park H.S. football player Jacob Wuesthoff (DB/WR) about playing in Europe after he finishes his Senior season playing for the University of Puget Sound this coming Fall. I think that he will be a great addition to any EuroBall team's roster in 2017.

The next meeting of this hectic week was with the Murphy Clan at their ancestral home. So much fun yet again.

The final meeting of the week came at a 1st birthday party for little L.J. Law. Lots of fun seeing many familiar faces from our Rio Mesa H.S. days and talking EuroBall with Charles Smith who coaches in Rome, Georgia and was full of great stories from his days as a player at the University of Georgia.

On Thursday, July 7th of this week I turned 69 years old. It was decided that we should celebrate my day at Dodger Stadium while the Los Angeles Dodgers hosted the San Diego Padres.

It would also be young Jacob's first ever Dodger game.

We were excited and ready!

Vanessa, Mike and Jacob were a bit confused as they all sported Los Angeles Rams t-shirts.

 Jacob was ready in case of a
home run ball hit our direction

Jacob and Poppo

 The Boys

Love Dodger Stadium

Jacob's Peek-A-Boo game

Closing in on our seats

Jacob enters his first game

I tried to warn him about becoming a Dodger fan and the heartache that goes with it.

His response?

"GO BLUE!!!"

Mike was born in 1976


We had tickets in the Right Field Pavillion which offered an all-you-can-eat perk consisting of hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn and soda pops.

At $42 a seat, it is a good value when you consider that Dodger Dogs alone sell for $6 a piece.

I had $24 worth of these wonderful tube steaks during the night.

 GREAT season featuring
Wally Moon's "Moon Shots"

Mike found him a batting
practice home run ball

The hat has growing room
for Jacob

 Our view from the Right Field Pavilion

Baseball can keep you
young at heart

Cotton Candy Mania

Jacob described it as ". . . eating a bubble bath."

The sugar kicked in quickly.

 With Hall-of-Fame Dodger
Manager Tommy Lasorda

Post cotton candy, I ran him around the stadium for an inning to get a bit of the sugar out of his system.

Seventh Inning
Padres 6 - Dodgers 0

We opted to mosey on home early as the game was out of hand and Jacob was showing a few faint signs of wearing out.

Souvenir Time

The Lights of
Blue Heaven on Earth 

On Saturday, I needed a football fix so I drove over to Rio Mesa H.S. to watch a bit of their 7-on-7 and Linemen's Tournaments.

 11 schools met with five
games being played at a time

Passing Offenses everywhere
you looked

BOMB to the corner

End Zone Ballet

Another BOMB to the right corner

Swing passes are OK too

Linemen's Tournament Action
Power Cleaning

The Rock Toss

Too High

It was fun to again see several old friends today at these tournaments.

Reading Is FUNdamental

This is the ninth installment in Walker's Bruno the Detective series set in southwest France.

Just like his first eight books in this series, I found it a fun read with equal doses of mystery and French cuisine.

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