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The Julian News
Julian , California
December 2, 2009     The Julian News
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December 2, 2009

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Cuyama~ Sharer Valley, ~ Mt. Lagu~ R~ ~ Summit, Wa~r !i~ la. Volume 25 - Issue 16 Wednesday December 2, 2009 Julian, CA. ISSN 1937-8416 Julian News PO Box 639 Julian, CA. 92036 Change Service Requested ~(~-"~~] U.S. POSTA6E ill PAID III III Ihl,,h,h,.,li,.ih,lh,..Ih,hllh,,h,h.hhll,,,I,,ll Small Town Papers TFN 5026 California Ave SW Seattle WA 98136-1208 Toi The ea.son Officia Ity n A Cold, Wet. N ght - Our Tree Is by Michael Hart The ViCtorian Carolers once again lent their voices. and Audry Turner from Peacefild Orchards then gave the building crowd a moment to contemplate with two separate "Night Before Christmas" stories. Then it was 6 o'clock and the tree was ready as the now boisterous crown counted down and Harry Homer flipped the switch, which was the que for the Julian-Cuyamaca Volunters to bring in the guest of honor, Santa touched down at 6:03 and made his way to the stage. The Children lined up, moms and dads got in position and another holiday season was officially underway in our little mountain community. Thanks should be given to the Merchant's Association and Chamber of Commerce, all the volunteers who have been busy as elves decorating town. A special thanks to Toni and Mike Mepghini and Ed Glass for spearheading this annual smile. Jake's Mountain - Janice Bina-Smith and Blake Rogers sang holiday songs for the early arivals. Scott Kinney introduced Charlotte Mitchell to read a couple of holiday poems as the snow began to fall, again. On one hand the weather was ideal, snow that morning, damp all day ... a little to breezy for my taste, but it dropped off around 2. A typical cold blustery evening for the Christmas Tree lighting. On the other hand, it kept a lot of folks home. So, a small but enthusiastic crowd of maybe 500 attended the annual party at Pioneer Park, most arriving between 5:30 and the 6 o'clock flipping of the switch by "Merchant of the Year" Harry Horner of Wynola Pizza. This years production featured some of the favorites of past years an few new additions. Right off the bat (at 4 o'clock) Jake's Mountain took'the stage and for the next hour Janice Bina-Smith and Blake Rogers entertained those brave souls who decided to (]et the whole show and not an abbreviated version. Christmas classics and JM originals kept the forming crowd entertained and allowed some to scope out the best locations for viewing the activities yet to come. Starting off with Scott Kinney introducing Charlotte Mitchell and two holiday poems. Then the Julian High Theatre Arts class led the crowd in some favorite carols. Followed by the Julian Victorian Carolers. Les Our Stocking Runith Over With Talent Part 2 of Nancy Kramers Interviews and insights with the cast of this years production of a teacher (and stage morn) Misty Dornan suggested that he get involvedwith A Christmas Carol. "1 can't thank her enougH" he beams. "1 love working with all the actors. This is a great group and a 'must-see' performance. Everyone is so special. The big guys (actually gals) at the top have everything so well organized and the chorus is sounding fantastic. I'm like Ringo Starr was with the Beatles, hiding behind all the talent." Sure, Daniel. And when you're not acting or building something? "1 love to read, work out with the 6 A.M. set, and work on my 100-year-old vintage cedar cabin called Den Elske Hytte." Anyone who gets up to attend an exercise class at 6:00 every morning gets my respect! Mike Hartung is Technical Director Mike Hartung is one of those unsung heroes that never get enough kudos for all they do. He is such an important part of the crew but hardly ever in the limelight. He has helped in theatrical productions at the high school, junior high and Spencer Valley along with the Melodrama and A Christmas Carol. He does sound, lights and builds sets and will pitch in to act when needed, usually at the last minute. Last year he was co-producer of A Christmas Carol and played a part, too. He also played Humphrey Bogart's part in Kinney Productions Play ff Again, Sam at the Pine Hills Lodge Dinner Theater. Mike came to Julian 21 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga. He does remodeling projects by day and works part time at the Julian Grille nights and weekends. "And what got you interested in theater productions, Mike?," I asked. He beamed with fatherly memories, "About 12 years ago, my 19 year old daughter, Courtney, wanted to be an actress and had a part in A Christmas Carol." It appeared that they badly needed help to build the sets so I volunteered. We were still building them as the guests were eating their dinner! Now my 14 year old son, Dillan, is following in my footsteps and was the stage hand in the Melodrama this year, and designed and built the wagon and the cannon. "1 love working with the Sladkeys so I jumped at the opportunity to work with Sandra and Jerry on this production." comtinued on page 3 Julian High Schools Theatre Arts students helped to build the excitement and keep the crowd warm with sing-a-long carols. Chef Charles at Candy Apple Miss Julian(in the back) Pastry having fun raising served as Santa's helpers once money for charity with Hot the honored on arrived an had Cider, Coffee and cookies, been handing out candy canes. Christmas Carol Daniel Jennings plays "Bob Cratchit" Daniel looks like a rather unlikely "Bob Cratchit," but director Sandra Sladkey loves the irony that he towers over Scrooge yet still kowtows to him. I know Daniel from the 6 A.M. daily exercise class, but I had no idea until this interview that he is an actor with some serious acting experience and current roles! In his youth he did some commercials, including one for Coke. In his 20s-40s he was a model and dancer. His movies and credits include Sand Farm, From the South, The Almost Famous Film Festival 2007 Best Actor award, and he currently has a starring role in the comedy series Vigilantes. "So what brings a good-looking hunk actor like you to Julian, Daniel?" I ask. Looking a bit flattered, he answers that he is also a carpenter/FEMA inspector, and that he came up to Julian with his crew to build his parents' house- -and never left. Our exercise Eagles Athletics Boys Basketball - Wed. Dec. 2 away. 7pro @Calipatria Monday- Dec. 7 away @Hamilton HS Girls Basketball- Thurs-Sat. Dec. 3-5 away @North Tahoe HS Boys Soccer- Thurs Dec. 3 HOME (scrimage) Calvary Christian Vista Tues. Dec. 8 HOME Guajome Park Academy Girls Soccer- Thurs Dec. 3 away (scrimage) @Calvary Christian Vista Tues. Dec. 8 away 3:30 @Guajome Park Academy Remembering Rees Skinner by David Lewis There's a crack in my armor. I check it regularly, for safety's sake. You just never know when you will need it. I have spent a lifetime building my armor. At first it was fragile, like the child that I was, but it grew with me and I have depended upon it for decades now. My armor is my friends and family. My armor is hard and sometimes it is uncomfortable because like all apparel, it doesn't always change when I do. Or, maybe it is my armor that changes in ways that I cannot. Like legions of those who have gone before me, my armor sometimes fails, leaving a terrible wound where it was piemed. I... we, lost a friend last week, and it is with a terrible sense of loss that I sit here at my desk and write these words. Rees Skinner was a part of my armor. He was not at the heart of my defenses, but he was certainly a part of them for a very long time. It was hard to limit the size of this story. There are too many stories to share. I know that as I try to speak for the many people who shared their Rees stories with me, I will not always get it right. As I write I can't help but think how easy it would be to simply call Rees and have him fill in the blanks. He'is still so close, just barely out of reach. He would probably remind me that my memory would be better if I was not so damn old. Humor was as much a part of Rees as was his being bare legged in the dead of winter. Rees is the son of William (Bill) and Barbee Skinner. They moved to their home on Apache Drive in 1968. Rees began working at a youh~age. He worked at the restaurant at Cuyamaca Lake and his transportation was a mini bike, which of course was not licensed for the road. Only Stan Cornette, local sheriff at the time, can tell you about the game of cat and mouse that was had, trying to catch that Skinner boy on his way home. That is how Stan met a lot of us in those days. Rees attended Julian High School. Rees, and I am not making this stuff up, held about every student post available at JUHS. He is listed on the honor roll every year and made CSF in 1974, his senior year. His commitment to education did not end with his graduation from high school. "Rees was the only reason I 3assed algebra," Jennifer Lewis told me. Teaching is primary to parenting, and Rees was a teacher. The most valuable and credible lessons I have ever continued on page 7