Monday, January 10, 2011

Gathering Honoring John

Angela 'Romee' Romero was thinking about a way to honor John Olguin other than a formal event.

She created "San Pedro Stands Up For John Olguin" facebook page and then facilitated the creation for a gathering on January 9, 2011.

The idea Romee shared was to have folks come down to Point Fermin Park and have momement of silence while gathered around and near the plaque honoring John as the person of the 20th Century for San Pedro. Then after the silence, folks would stand in a line as an honor to John's memory as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.

While the intent might have been to have everyone standing along Paseo Del Mar to watch the sunset, we all seem to want to head towards the edge of the park, facing the sun and the Pacific, to watch the setting sun, marvel at the ocean and some marine life, and share whatever we wished to share, including the sunset.

Along the rocks below folks was one of our nesting falcons perched overlooking resting sea lions. Not far out from the rocks a dolphin was doing what a dolphin does, I suppose on 'porpoise'.

I found the gathering to be more of a celebration of life and fond memories as friends who hadn't seen other friends for some time greeted each other almost as if they just talked to them yesterday.

The sun set. We departed knowing we would probably see everyone again on June 22 at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium for the 'official' public memorial beginning at 1:00 PM. Fireworks at 5.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pondering On How To Honor John Olguin

How do we honor John Olguin?

This is a very simple question that will take great lengths of writing to ponder.

I don't want to ponder this alone and I want any and all comments on the very simple question that I will repeat throughout this post.

How do we honor John Olguin?

Some have been doing it for decades. All one needs to do is talk to Tom and Nancy Budar as just two examples of wonderful individuals who are both more like John than just about everyone else, including me.

Tom is just one of hundreds of men who could write an entire volume of incidents, activities, encounters, teachings, learning, and experiences with John.

Nancy has accumulated the most volunteer hours of anyone supporting both the Cabrillo Marine Museum and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

*Editor's Note: I've known Tom since high school, we carpooled together to and from C.S.U.L.B. he was best man at my sister's wedding to Phil, and he likes to blow things up while on a barge. I've known Nancy for almost 50 years with countless connections.

How do we honor John Olguin?

It sure looks like the love and interest in memories of John are flooding the local newspaper and on cards at the Aquarium. Reading facebook comments on any number of pages as well as reading Emails and hearing stories are other ways we are currently honoring John.

How do we honor John Olguin?

One way to to ask yourself: "How do I honor John?"

This is a personal question you need to answer for yourself by thinking withing yourself or communicating with others to find answers.

I am currently content to 'honor' John by keeping my memories of our times together held close in my vision and memory and not needing to reveal them to others. I feel I can best offer my honor of John not by posting my personal memories I have had with him, but by encouraging others to either share their memories or honor those memories with deeds and actions that will help others honor John in their own way.

Look, we all have so many personal and communal memories we can share about John and there should be places, perhaps like this comments-in-post to share.

I also keep mine close because I am someone that can easily call up both the visualization of those memories and also the emotions and thoughts I had when those memories were created and I don't need to share them to keep them close.

How do we honor John Olguin?

He was a humane human who lived a life that was shared by a few and by so many. Was he perfect? I don't remember him being perfect but then again I have never met a 'perfect' human except for the first moments of my sons' lives.

I also feel strongly that he was the very best gift any community could have and that I hope we all can learn to share him and his legacy with others who may not have been provided with the OUTSTANDING opportunity to have even a tiny association with John's personhood. We were and are so blessed to have lived during times when John was among us in body and activity.

He lived to be older than most of us will be and we know in our hearts that he didn't mind we called our elder, "John".

How do we honor John Olguin?

We need to cherish and protect those things he loved, cherished, and protected.

Growing up they were for me, not grunions, but John's grunions. All whales were John's whales. All sea life and other animal life were part of John's life and they must also be someplace within our lives, I feel.

We need to be better to ourselves and each other because John was so very good to and for all of us and none of us have the right demean that in any way. He taught us to be better and that is something we need to follow, every day.

He wasn't a saint and he never expected any of us to be, either. He was a people person and we are people who had chances to be among this wonderful person and we must honor that connection.

How do we honor John Olguin?

O.K., I'm taking the privilege of being the publisher of this post to make some personal history comments about my past and connections and where I hold John in my mind.

I worked for Pacific Telephone, Pacific Bell, SBC, and then AT&T for almost 28 years. From 1984 until about 2006 I was among a very small group of technicians that had access to places most people never get to see.

Yes, this part is blowing my horn but I hope you all finally realize that above everyone else, I am most proud and honored to have had experiences with John than for all the others I mention in this post.

As one of those few technicians, I was part of a group known as 'The Beverly Hills phonemen'. I also received specialized training and security clearances to have access to some of the most well known people in all types of industry, politics, government, and I got to go places and do things that, well.......

Of all the people, movie stars, Presidents, Vice Presidents, foreign leaders, clergy, corporate leaders, "V.I.P.s" entertainment industry people, and other people some claim to be 'important' NONE of them have impressed me and impacted my life more than John. Only my parents, wives, sons and their loves hold such high regard in me as John does.

Muriel is also very important in my life. She and my mother joined Terri and others in an investment club some years ago and both John and Muriel remembered my mother, Nancy, when John and Muriel attended "And To All A Good Night" just a few weeks ago.

We now have one of Muriel's paintings in our home that used to hang at my mother's house.

How do we honor John Olguin?

I imagine that he would not want us to grieve but instead celebrate life and demonstrate what we learned from him and with him as we progress from today onward.

I think he would be smiling at Romee for her consideration that we stand up for San Pedro and John in some fashion that is still being planned.

I feel he would appreciate it if we honor him with a memorial that contains providing goods and services, like he did for so many years to so many people, so we can 'pay it forward' what he gave us and give it to to others who might need it now, more than ever before.

I don't know when the public memorial will take place or where it will be. I do hope there is space where I can put whatever I can collect so that I can provide those things to others for no better reason than it is what I feel John would appreciate me and others doing.

For those with lots, provide lots. For those with little, provide what can be provided. For those with nothing to give by your thoughts and memories, share them generously so that those who did not know John as well as they did, can learn.

How do we honor John Olguin?

Holding our own memories of his smile, his zest for teaching, his passion for just about everything, his love of the sea and everything in it, and using what he gave us to better ourselves and others, all without strings attached.

Boy, did I get lucky or just was fortunate enough to have a mom who decided I was to grow up attending the First Presbyterian Church in San Pedro.

All us 'kids' growing up attending that church during the 50's, 60's and even later got many more opportunities to have John in our lives than most others. Wow!

Be thankful and grateful that you got chances to take and experiences to have, with John.

Be good to yourself and to others. Go out soon and look for whales. Don't get upset at all the seagulls wanting food at the picnic tables. Teach something good to somebody. Smile. Watch a tiny finger touch something from the sea for the first time. Then watch the reaction. John is here in these last words.

A Long Dry Spell Must End For Me

This post is written for several of my blogs because I have taken an extended absence from writing on any of my blogs for quite some time.

So much has happened in our extended communities since I stopped writing on the blogs and I want to get back to pondering, questioning, commenting, arguing, and dealing with many issues common to the communities I live in and events and conditions in and around the communities most of my readers live in.

Nothing is more common in all of the communities we all deal with than John and Muriel Olguin. Right now, nothing is more important for all of us in those communities.

Most of us know that a great gentleman, very long into life and even longer in adventures would pass from us, far too soon.

We all knew the day would come that we would make us sad and drive our memories into overdrive.

We all knew none of us can and could measure up to the personhood we all now honor with the passing of John Olguin.

Muriel was and always will be the 'winner' of my writings about our community members who were closer to being "more like John Olguin" than the rest of us. She is in our hearts as she and the rest of us remember John.

Starting 2011 with the new adventure of working on ways to honor John's memory and try to be more like him in the acts of kindness and teachings he showed us, is a task we need to do. It is the first task of what is going to be one heck of a year for all of us.

As we move forward, please include in your visions and dreams the smiles your remember beaming from John's face as he taught you something you didn't know or how he was so happy when you understood how he regaled in your learning.

Let's work towards a public memorial that includes contributions of whatever you can provide to those in need and a clear demonstration that we all 'got' the fascination, wonder, and joy John offered, all supported by Muriel, a true inspiration, artist, and gift to all of us as she was to John.

One way to honor John and all those who volunteered for us is to volunteer to work on issues and projects that interest you in ways that promote those things that benefit 'community'

Not only are your acts, deeds, thoughts, comments, and wishes important, your means of demonstrating those things are also important on many issues you might want to concern yourself with.

Here is just a partial list of things that I am pondering about and I hope your list is at least as long as mine:

John's public memorial, the U.S.S. Iowa, Charter City status and vote in Rancho Palos Verdes, Ponte Vista, SRHS #15, downtown San Pedro, protecting our environment, Western Avenue, community goals, park lands, politics, arts in communities, good citizenship, the local economy, working for those less fortunate, San Ramon Canyon, Marymount's Expansion Project, educating everyone, recession recovery, working for peace, celebrating, family, neighbors and friends, contentious issues, common goals, fun, faith, play, and experiencing a full and productive life. Grandchildren, perhaps someday.

I hope to get back to writing on a much more regular basis on several of these blogs.

I know Ponte Vista is important and should see posts and comments from others throughout the year.

I live on the eastern side of Rancho Palos Verdes. San Pedro in heart, Rancho Palos Verdes in thought. I feel strongly that residents of Rancho Palos Verdes need to be better informed and more able to deal with and comment on their government and city.

There are "Issues to Ponder" regarding San Pedro. It may have a continuing set of problems in its downtown area but it has a growing vibrant aspect in its arts and entertainment and there will be new things popping up in the future throughout the community.

I know that "R Neighborhoods Are 1" and there is more to be considered in our community, for our community, and with our community.

As I am still a caveman, my 'dairy' needs to be updated with stories and learning this caveman has encountered over the last couple of years.

Whether I can manage to work harder to be more like John is something that I don't yet know, but I really need to try.

I hope readers will learn or argue or agree or disagree or ponder or rant or rave or just read. But with all blogs, it is truly more for the writer to write than the reader to read. If that was not the case, there would be no blogs and just look how many there are now compared to when I first wrote, in September, 2006.

Thank you and please return from time to time.

Mark Wells
aka M Richards