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The Julian News
Julian , California
December 1, 2010     The Julian News
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December 1, 2010

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December 1, 2010 Girl Scout Troop Gets A Special Treat Before The Show by Ann Reilly Junior Girl Scout troop 8928 is working on a "Women's Stories" badge. As part of the work to earn this badge the young girls had to interview a woman who inspired them. When I learned that Mary James who had recently won female vocalist of the year award for her inspirational music would be performing on the same stage for the Christmas tree lighting as the troop would be, I thought this would be a good opportunity for the girls to meet her in person and get to know something about her and her music and what it takes to be successful. At our last meeting, we looked at Mary's Web site to get to know a little bit about her and her music. Each of the girls then wrote a question or two to ask Mary when we met before the Christmas Tree lighting festivities. The girls wanted to know what inspired Mary and when she started singing and who her favorite singer is. After Mary talked with them about her music, her life and what it means to be a singer, the girls sang a friendship song for Mary. Before Mary left to get ready for her performance, she gave each of the girls one of her CD's. While waiting their turn to sing some Christmas Carols for the community, the troop had front row seats to listen to Mary perform her special brand of music. Music On The Mountain A Little Piano, Add Some Trumpet Plus Trombone ... You'll Be Swinging With Dean by Perry Savage On Tuesday, December 7th, the hardest working one-man band in show business is coming to the Julian Branch Library. Dean Ratzman is bringing his highly polished act - "Swingin' with Dean" - to the library for a free Music on the Mountain concert at 6:00 PM in the main library room. Dean will sing and play "Hits from the Great American Artists", including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Cole Porter, Ray Charles, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, The Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, The Temptations and Elvis Presley. Dean, a life-long professional musician attended Boston's ,prestigious Berklee School of Music, played trumpet in the "Mar Dels", an iconic San Diego's oldies band. Valli had a good job and a steady paycheck as an office manager in a local medical practice. Life was good - and as predictable as a musician's life can be. Audiences love Dean, but like a fickle lover, tomorrow he will be gone - off to the next of the 300- plus road shows he performs a year. For the last five years Dean, and his wife, Valli, have enjoyed the vagabond lifestyle, traveling the country in their 27- foot motor home. Dean averages 25 to 30 performances a month. Valli Ratzman manages the business side of the enterprise, booking Dean's shows up and down both coasts and everywhere in between. Their favorite venues are libraries, RV parks and retirement developments. Somehow, they manage to fit themselves and everything they need to live happily, Mom's Pie House Nominated For Women-Owned Business Of The Year JULIAN, CA - Mom's Pie House has been nominated for the U.S. Small Business Administration's 2011 Women-Owned Small Business of the Year in San Diego County. Rabobank, N.A. is sponsoring the nomination for Mom's owner Anita Nichols, president and owner of the 26-year-old pie shop. "Anita is a fantastic customer of ours and her recipe for business success is a proven one. Mom's Pie House has been a staple in Julian for more than 25 years an l Rabobank is honored to nominate her for this prestigious award," said Rabobank Regional President Dave Takata. "We have worked with Anita over the last several years to help her expand her business and look forward to assisting Mom's Pie House for many years to come." Nichols began Mom's Pie House in 1984 and remains at its original location, 2119 Main St. in Julian. In 1987 she expanded the bakery, offering more seating, a larger kitchen and more menu options, including cookies, cinnamon rolls and other homemade treats to complement her delicious fruit pies. In 2009, Nichols opened a second location and second commercial kitchen at 4510 Highway 78 in Wynola, essentially doubling the capacity of baking production. Even in times of Iconomic downturn; Nichols and her business have thrived, offering customers a welcome smile and comfort food that is treasured by Julian residents and tourists alike. "Julian has been a wonderful home to me and I am delighted to be able to maintain a business here that helps preserve a piece of our culinary and agricultural heritage," Nichols said. 'Tm honored Rabobank thought enough of me and the shop to nominate us for the award." Nichols is involved with many charitable groups and events in the Julian area, including the Julian 4-H, several clubs at Julian High School, the Sierra Club and the girls' softball programs. She also gives out scholarships to her employees so they can continue their education after high school. Rabobank, N.A. is a California community bank that provides personalized service and a full array of quality products to individuals, businesses, and agricultural clients. With 120 retail branches, we serve the needs of communities from Redding to the Imperial Valley through a regiqpal structure that promotes local decision making and active community involvement by our employees. including Dean's two keyboards, trumpets, trombones and sound equipment, into their RV. They take a c )uple of months off each summer in Port Angeles, Washington, to relax and work on fresh material in Dean's music studio. In the Spring and Fall, they visit San Diego, spending time with two grown children Behind The Scenes At A Christmas Carol Story by Sandra Sladkey, Director Photo by Brian Kramer under--way under--the weather, croaking out his lines, illustrating the dedication of our performers. When I feigned criticism for the lack of expression in his delivery, there was a startled silence; then the group burst into laughter. Such moments endear us to each other and melt the weariness of preparing for the production. We invite you to join us for the finished product! Evening performances of A Christmas Carol are Dec. 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18 at 7 P.M. Matinees are Dec. 11, 18, and 19 at 1:30 P.M. Adults, $10; children 12 and under, $5. Seating is reserved. Good seats are still available the first weekend. For information and' reservations, call 760-765= 3789. by our octet, represents hours of practicing to perfection. (Our talented musical director, Jeremy Croman, has lightened my load tremendously for two years running.) The audience never sees the quirky mishaps that inevitably happen during a production. In the course of last year's play, one of the actors, at work before the performance, had driven to a local ranch. When he tried to exit, he found the gate locked. He had to cut the fence and four-wheel it back to the main road, barely making it in time for his entrance onto the stage. Last week our "Fezziwig," Gary Heinlein, showed up to rehearse a scene which includes a vigorous dance. Gary draggedin, looking "And now, we present to you Charles Dickens' classic tale, A Christmas Carol." The curtain swooshes open, and for the next hundred minutes you are projected back to not- always-so-merry Olde England, from two young girls finding their fun in a hand-clapping game, to final bows by the cast of forty. Until opening night, a play is an ever-evolving work. It is impossible to produce such a thing effectively without a commitment to detail. There are hundreds--even thousands-- of things that need to occur in perfect order, for a production to succeed. The audience sees a piece of the set positioned exactly as it should be, each time the curtain opens. They don't see the three- hour round trip to the specialty shop to pick up the glo tape used to ensure the perfect positioning of that set piece. They don't see the many hundreds of e-mails and phone calls between cast members, advertisers, venue providers, and patrons. They don't see five trips to five different stores in search of fabric to match Scrooge's bed skirt, or the hours of driving all around the county to find the right thank-you gift for a cast member. Each time the stage lighting shifts from warmly golden to radiantly brilliant, it is the result of a thoughtful decision to produce just the right tug at the audience's heart. Each note played by our live band, each harmony sung living here. The rest of the year, they have no fixed address - just anywhere and everywhere. The light-hearted couple enjoys their unique lifestyle, knowing it wouldn't be for everyone. After her initial concerns of leaving a full-time job for a life on the road, Valli warmed up to the idea. A suitable RV was found and purchased, sight unseen. Fortunately, they soon discovered that life on the road suited them both. Dean loved performing in the ever-changing venues. Meanwhile, the business side - too often the weak link in a musician's career - flourished. Valli routinely booked twice the number of shows Dean originally thought they could. Dean has a phenomenal ability to entertain audiences with his sizeable musical talents. His one-man show is a non- stop energy romp, with Dean accompanying his Sinatra-like voice on keyboard, trumpet and trombone. The recorded background tracts are all his own playing, recorded in Dean's Port Angeles music studio during their summer stops. His website,, includes a host of positive reviews of Dean's past performances. Don't miss Dean Ratzman and "Swingin' with Dean" - Tuesday December 7th, 2010 at the Julian Branch Library at 6:00 PM. Refreshments will be served, along with a free drawing for a Dean Ratzman CD. For more information, call 760-765-0370. The average American spends two years of his or her life waiting for meals to be served. J The Julian News 3 Acce ited Here Monday -- Saturday 9 am - 6 Inn Sunday 9 am- 5 Inn All Your Tree Service Needs Commercial Hanukkah In America, Now a Festival of Fun Comedian Adam Sandier sings about it. Dreidel competitions celebrate it. And there are even blue-blazoned cards and T-shirts and menorah hats. Hanukkah isn't a major holiday on the Jewish calendar, but in the past few decades, it has become decisively more hip ... and fun, according to Rowan University Professor Dianne Ashton, an expert on Hanukkah. "Hanukkah has become tremendously commercialized -- just like Christmas," says Ashton. "Among Jews, it was categorized as a minor festival and was considered to be fairly insignificant. But, in the United States, Jews began to make Hanukkah more significant after the Civil War." Hanukkah's rise in popularity in the U.S. grew out of the efforts of two rabbis from Cincinnati. The rabbis, both leaders of influential national Jewish newspapers, led a movement to Americanize Judaism. The movement coincided with the growth and popularity of home-based Christmas customs among German Christian immigrants in the U.S., Ashton says. Interest grew when one of the rabbis began writing serialized accounts of the Maccabean War, romanticized, cliff-hanging accounts of heroism and bravery-- two qualities that were extremely important to Jewish immigrants, says Ashton. Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight- day commemorati'on of the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the successful Maccabean Revolt. The other rabbi sought to promote the idea of a fun holiday festival for Jewish children, according to Ashton, who is writing "The American Hanukkah" for New York University Press, which examines Hanukkah from 1860-2000. "The rabbi said Jewish children shall have a grand and glorious Hanukkah, a festival as nice as any Christmas, with songs, dramatics, candle lighting, ice cream and candy," Ashton says. "This really Shifted Hanukkah from primarily an observance of Jewish adults to a festival seen as particularly important for Jewish children, a way to keep them interested in Judaism," says Ashton. Growing up in Buffalo, N.Y., Ashton, herself, remembers her family's own Hanukkah celebrations, which included her dressing up to light the candles in the living room -- and eight days of gifts. "1 got a lot of sweaters. It was Buffalo," she laughs. "My parents dressed me up to in a black and blue skirt. It was just go to the living room, but it was a big event." "In America, there was a shi t that Hanukkah was something for kids to do, something to do to have fun being Jewish." Hanukkah's "hipness" has grown even in the past two decades, says Ashton. "In the past 20 years, as religion has become more dominant in the U.S., it has become more acceptable to talk about people's many religious practices," she says. "Yetl ironically, the different December holidays tend to help us see how much we have in common." (c) 2010 King Features Synd,, Inc.