Sunday, October 4, 2009

Clarion memories, county fair fun

Dear Blog, friends, family, anyone who chances upon this entry:

There are so many things to write about this morning. Fall is finally here with much lower temperatures, now in the low 60s, but we’ll probably have a week of Indian summer, one last burst of heat before we finally “fall.”

Item #1: Staff mates of mine from the Citrus College Clarion started weighing in through e-mails on the slide of photojournalism into paparazzi-ism this week, and the vault of memory opened up for all of us. Adding to this walk down memory lane were photos scanned and posted by Ken (W. Holme) and Barbie (Slough), staff photogs who chronicled all that happened in the newsroom.
So many surprises came through these e-mails, too many to detail here, but the most brilliant was Chuck Nigash signing on as the late brilliant RN Owen, who weighed in our chatter with his usual cynical, cigarette-fueled, uber-dry wit. Chuck captured all of the Owen-ness perfectly, and brought back so many memories of those crazy times when just us kids got to put out a newspaper.

One other surprise came in those photos. As I looked at myself in some of them, a couple of which are posted this morning, I’m surprised how slim I was. Now understand that at that time, I thought I was fat, always conscious of my weight. But ya know, I looked all right! And my hair was seriously long, curling into ringlets at the ends. Surely that self-consciousness about my supposed “weight” kept me back and injured my self-esteem. I like to think I’ve pretty strong in the esteem department, but that’s the one area that just doesn’t get put away in a box. Just think what could’ve been without that albatross around my neck. Oh well. The past is past, use it as a reminder and then move on, dammit!

Item #2: Went to the LA County Fair with my fair-going friend Frank Clark, the late summer ritual I thought had passed me by because of my arthritic knees. We arrived about 2:45 and my knees started hurting about 6 p.m. and that probably wouldn't have been an issue if I had remembered to take my anti-inflammatory meds at 4;30 like I should've. But walking was pretty pain free, slow, a bit stiff, but OK. I sat down when I needed to and that gave Frank and me a chance to gab about the Clarion staff emails from the week. As he and I talked, we filled in blanks for each other. That was really nice.

It's just so much fun people-watching at the Fair -- the lady who NEVER stopped smiling as she demonstrated a purse "system" where you can slap on an exterior "shell" to complement your outfit, the constant patter of food chopper and mop salesmen, and those guys who proffer that skin softener that is probably renamed and repackaged from last year's formula.

And the food is stuff you just don't normally eat -- deep-fried zucchini sticks with ranch dressing, soft-serve chocolate-vanilla cones for dessert ... that was enough for me. The weird Fair food du jour this year was chocolate covered bacon strips -- bacon fried up nice and crisp, frozen, then dipped in chocolate -- all I can say is "eeeeuwwww" -- just couldn't try that one.

The Fair excursion has put my mind at ease about going to see U2 at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 25. There will be a lot of walking to get to my seats, almost a third of the circumference of the stadium from the gate where I’ll be dropped off from the parking shuttle. But I think I’ll make it just fine...come hell or high water. And now I’m at peace about it all, and really looking forward to it all.

Enough for now. Got some chores that need my attention before I can really relax into this cool, crisp, gorgeous Sunday day.

Thanks for checking in on me – Cathie Lou

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