Sunday, September 21, 2008

Remembering Michele Burk

Our great friend and a most wonderful woman, Michele Burk, passed away over the weekend Summer turns into Fall.

Shock and grief have found its way into so many lives with the terrible news.

Michele was found in her bed by two of her closest friends (which she had so many of) early Saturday evening.

Telephone calls and Emails flooded communication lines as the sad news continued to spread.

As we move through the grieving processes for ourselves and others, it is hope that we will be able to someday celebrate such a remarkable person and the inspiration she provided to all who knew her.

The memorial service for Michele has been scheduled.

Saturday October 25, 2008


Forest Lawn Memorial Chapel

1500 E. San AntonioLong Beach, CA 90807

Phone: 1-800-204-3131

There are plans for a gathering of friends after the memorial service and I will post that event when it becomes confirmed.

To consider Michele as being remarkable is not even the tip of the top of the iceberg.

Her talents did not match her size, they overwhelmed it.

Her ability to give to others without needing honoring, thanks, or other considerations is something we all must try to continue to do in her place.

We all are better people for knowing, learning from, and loving Michele.

And we all have stories to tell.

Three incredible women, Barbara Dragich, Michele Burk, and Janice Hahn did something that could not be done.

They led the way to accomplish a feat that was impossible from the start, but that did not stop them.

When the time comes that the corner of 20th Street and Walker Avenue in San Pedro is complete with single-family homes on all four corners, you will view just one legacy of these three great women.

What you will not find is a multi-story apartment of condo structure and you have Michele, Barbara, and Janice to thank for spearheading the effort that was considered undoable.

The Story of the "Q" Condition is one of the latter stories in a life filled with volumes of items and tidbits that Michele was involved with.

Others will have story after story on Michele's tenure with the San Pedro High School's Lady Boosters' Organization.

Michele was a past President of that group, having served several terms but not having to serve a term as a parent.

Well, that last sentence is not quite true.

Chuy, her chow-chow could have a book written just about himself.

Pretty Boy, Michele's Siamese cat was a wonderful companion and 'kid' to Michele, too.

Michele was the reunion rock for "The Mystics" San Pedro High School Class of 1972.
Her organizational skills allowed her to accomplish so many successful reunions for the largest class ever to graduate from San Pedro High School. (1053-graduates)

Michele was also the "co-finder"/"disorganizer" every year of The Gathering of "The Crowd" and Friends Picnic. For the picnic held last August, she greeted alumni from a booth inside "Taste in San Pedro" and provided everyone who asked, answers to some of the most obscure questions about San Pedro High School and its alumni that could be asked.

Watching Michele laugh and enjoy something was a pure treat. She liked funny things and Terri and I loved here smile.

Michele was "aunt" to our Cookie and Cookie relished every moment she spent with Michele. (Cookie also enjoyed the treats Michele would bring with her.)

Tributes will be pouring in for Michele. I was glad that she felt good about her work with the Vista Del Oro Neighbors Against Condos.

Michele didn't do things for thank yous and gratitude, but when she felt she was appreciated by her works, she was very pleased.

Boy, she sure had quite a lot of works going on and completed.

Other sides of Michele were also appreciated by those who loved her.

Yes, she could be caustic at times, but that was Michele and she was very strong in her convictions and beliefs.....and she wasn't afraid to mention them.

We were never successful in swaying Michele away from being a Republican. It's not that we didn't try, but we were faced with a force in Michele that we know could not be changed.

I first met Michele during a shared Comparative Religion class at S.P.H.S.. Michele was a junior and I was a sophomore.

We were good acquaintances during the two years together at S.P.H.S. and I always remembered her from those days.

Michele was a facilitator without comparison. If something needed doing, she did it.

If Michele didn't know much about a task she was taking on, she dove into learning about being the best she could possibly be at dealing with the task.

I don't know if Michele volunteered or was volunteered so much of the time. Folks knew that if they needed some guidance, friendship, or help, going to Michele was a great first step.

Michele was recruited for several things (like Lady Boosters') because of her gifts of knowledge, administration, her helpfulness, and her very high intelligence.

It was not really amazing that the first phone call I answered on Sunday morning came from a classmate of Michele's who did not see eye to eye with Michele, much of the time.

For me, Michele was a buddy, pal, mentor, friend, and confidant. Terri and I thought of her as a great friend and someone who we felt very close to.

There is a whole group of true friends of Michele's who knew of her health issues and relished the time we had with her, which turned out to be too short of time.

A great lady, powerful woman, true friend, and incredibly giving person has entered into our memories, where she will stay forever.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bat Boy is Coming to The Relevant Stage and More!

The Relevant Stage Theatre Company is proud to be presenting a musical from the London Stage.
Here are the dates and other particulars for "Bat Boy":
Thursday, October 9th 2008 - 8PM Gala Opening Night
Friday, October 10th, 2008 - 1PM Private Performance for Students
Friday, October 10th, 2008 - 8PM Evening Public Performance
Saturday, October 11th, 2008 - 8PM Evening Public Performance
Sunday, October 12th, 2008 - 2:30PM Matinee Public Performance
Thursday, October 16th, 2008 - 8PM Evening Public Performance
Friday, October 17th, 2008 - 8PM Evening Public Performance
Saturday, October 18th, 2008 - 8PM Evening Public Performance
Sunday, October 19th, 2008 - 2:30PM Closing Performance
$25 Wine Lover's Package (Not available Sundays)
Includes Wine Tasting 1/2 hour before show at Off The Vine
$20 General Adult Admission
$15 Senior Adults and College Students
$5 Youth 18 and under
Performances are held at the historic Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro.
You can find more information about "Bat Boy" by visiting the Web site for The Relevant Stage at:
As wonderful as "Bat Boy" will be, I am also extremely excited to be able to reveal the 2009 season that Ray had asked me to keep under wraps for some time.
Here is the lineup for 2009:
I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE- An off-Broadway hit and great comedy.
SINGING JAILBIRDS- by Upton Sinclair
LES MISERABLES-This is the smash musical
ROCKY HORROR SHOW-Not the movie, but a live action musical everyone will enjoy.
THE CHRISTMAS CAROL-This is the stage adaptation of Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol"
The first season of The Relevant Stage is winding down with "Bat Boy" and "The Christmas Carol" in December, 2008.
The second season of The Relevant Stage will bring to San Pedro even more great productions, along with our Little Fish Theater Company.
I do believe there is more than enough support in OUR community and other communities to allow for two great Companies to perform in this town.
Little Fish has a good tradition of bringing great works to a small stage and audience. It's charm lies in its closeness to the audience and the plays that can be more intimate than on a larger stage.
"Victoria's Room" is a play that is best viewed in a small space where audiences get more than close to the play, they seem to become part of it.
That play is just one of so many works performed by Little Fish and are better performed in a small venue.
The Relevant Stage is going to bring to the larger stage works that need the space, the grandeur, and the facilities that can house a revolution, if necessary ("LES MISÉRABLES").
"The Rocky Horror Show" will allow all of us who have 'acted' during the showing of a movie, the chance to 'act' along with the folks on the stage, while being just about anywhere in the theater.
Bringing an Upton Sinclair piece to the big stage will be wonderful to view.
"I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" is a comedy that I have heard about for several years and will be in attendance at the Warner Grand.
Maybe the continued successes of Little Fish and the increases in the successes of The Relevant Stage may allow the downtown area to keep moving towards being an area of growing creativity as older businesses move out and the downtown redevelopment attempts to move forward.
I think the more performances held at the Warner Grand and its annex, along with our great Little Fish Theater Company, will mean more business for downtown San Pedro and more excitement concerning what could happen to that area.
Creating a tasty dining experience with a great performance can be a marriage that everyone can enjoy and we certainly have some mighty fine restaurants to compliment two great theater companies, I feel.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pondering Periodically

Not very many folks visit this blog, but that is fine.

I was completely blown away during the September 4, 2008 meeting conducted by LAUSD concerning South Region High School No. 15 (SRHS15), and the comments from so many attending the meeting.

Two issues were commented on by the vast majority of speakers.

"Fix Pedro High First" resounded like thunder all evening long.

Do not build SRHS 15 on the Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur came in slightly second, surprisingly.

Many comments suggested that before LAUSD spends 102 Million Dollars on a campus that will serve up to only 810-students, spending far less to make repairs and change things at San Pedro High School is better for everyone.

The Martin sisters, one 11th grader and two 8th graders made the best comments of the evening, so many folks feel.

The current LAUSD students strongly stated that since none of them would be attending a 'Magnet' program, they would be excluded from attending SRHS 15 if it is built.

The young women shared that SRHS 15 would be a school for "the haves" and SPHS would be the campus for "the have nots."

This same claim was raised by adults, but coming especially from the two younger sisters brought the point home with an out of the ballpark hit, I feel.

I don't want to deal with National politics any longer on this blog, after this post.

Suffice it to write that one V.P. candidate attempted to fire her town's Librarian for not banning books she found offensive and,

That particular candidate claims to want to change Washington politics even though she has a record of hiring lobbyists to seek pork barrel funds and earmarks for her state and,

That a particular candidate supported, even though she is running on a Republican ticket, that it is alright to seek a vote to allow Alaska to secede from the Union and,

A Presidential candidate may have truly been a maverick two decades ago, but is not in lock-step with the current Administration and,

The feebleness and exhaustion viewed during one Presidential candidate's acceptance face,

demonstrated that we cannot have another four more years of the last eight years.

Target appearently has a pre-opening on October 8, with its Grand Opening on October 12.

A strong support of Bob Bisno's current plans for Ponte Vista stated "shame on you" if you shop at the new store.

I thought it was only the Eastview Little League management that doesn't want you to shop there?

How about a non-prize contest?

Wouldn't it be great to post a photo of someone in the management of Eastview Little League walking into or out of Target?

If you remember, some Eastview Little League folks claimed they would set up picket lines at Target to try get folks to not shop there.

It would not be right to take a photo of the folks supporting Bob's plans for Ponte Vista going into or out of Target.

The one "shame on you" supporter is in a Union that has a strong interest in getting ironworkers onto the Ponte Vista site.

Tuesday September 9, 2008 is the date of the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council's election for five seats on their board.

This election should clean out some of the troublesome individuals who have kept the Council from becoming greater than it has been.

Perhaps Mr. Gatlin, Donato, and several other current officers will add their names as write-in candidates. If they do, please skip them.

Please repeat after me, "Supervisor Hahn". Thank you.

Please attend this coming weekend's Tri Art Festival in downtown San Pedro.

You get good walking points, a shared experience with many other folks, a classic car show, at least one Mario Lanza movie to catch, food to eat, and more coming together of OUR community and the ability to meet folks from other areas.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pondering More Political Craziness

"Country First!" A certain potential V.P. nominee belonged to the Alaskan Independence Party that sought, for over 30 years, the right of Alaskans to be able to vote on whether to secede from the United States.

"527" A certain potential V.P. nominee headed a group that sought and collected donations for Sen Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. Sen Stevens is the first sitting U.S. Senator to be indicted on Federal charges in over 15 years.

Why might a woman return to work just three days after giving birth when her husband has a job, too and the woman had a lieutenant that should have been able to do the work of the woman in her absence?

Why would a mother put her first born daughter through the national spotlight when that daughter is facing the most challenging part of her entire life? What is more important, a mother's love and assistance, or climbing the political ladder?

Why didn't John McCain seek to learn all he should have learned before deciding on Sarah?

What does this say about John's ability to make good clear decisions on a moment's notice when a whole lot more is riding on the state of the planet than whether he made the correct choice for a running mate?

I am surprised that Ms. Palin is still on the ticket. I had thought she would have 'taken herself out of the process' to deal with her newborn and the State of Alaska.

I didn't know about Bristol's 'condition' before the press revealed it.

I also didn't know how strong Sarah is against 'pork-barrel' spending outside her state.

Of course she has requested 197 Million Dollars in earmarks for her state, but I guess she doesn't believe in earmarks for about 49 other states, does she?

I cannot escape thinking about the word 'hypocrisy' when I think about all those conservatives who are rallying around Sarah.

How many of those self-righteous individuals made foul comments about Lynn Spears when they learned that Jamie Lynn Spears was "with child" while still an unmarried teenager?

For all of those Repubics who condemned Lynn Spears to now claim that "it is a family matter" and not something anyone should question the judgement of anyone, is astounding.

If John McCain did now about Bristol before he announced Sarah, why didn't he suggest to Sarah that her best place would be back in Alaska leading that State AND being the mother she needs to be to her family, especially at this time.

I guess John thinks it is better to get himself elected than help assure the best possible outcome for one very challenged family.

What does this also say about Sarah's reasoning abilities? Perhaps it is quite alright to have you younger children raised by a nanny or two while you are attempting to get your running mate elected.

Sarah may think that the V.P. job would allow her more time to be with her family than she currently has now.

But if John McCain were to become POTUS, Sarah would be in a position that no other Vice President has even been in; the V.P. of the oldest sitting POTUS, one who has four bouts of Cancer, and one who has been acknowledged by thousands of individuals as suffering the early stages of dementia.

Sarah, you should have thought more about your family and your State, I feel.

John, you should have thought more about the Country than just your ambition and legacy.

To the Republics', you all should have considered how hypocritical you all appear to be now and how you really do not really care about middle America and bettering the lots of every American.

To the independents and Democrats, it is obvious that the Republics don't care about anything other than January 20, and not one day later.

It is time to allow the Republics the chance to receive a 'hail and hearty' good-bye to being the administrators and executive party in America.

When Sarah's first grandchild is about eight years old, then she can run for national office, if Trig is the beautiful, happy, and adored child that I am certain he will be.