Leo & Karen’s California View – October 2011

THE BRITISH Home in Sierra Madre this month celebrated 80 years of continued service to the British Community and re-opened Jameson Cottage, after extensive alternations. Mayor John Buchanan and his wife Teri gave a speech to 70 area representatives of the Daughters of the British Empire, residents, and friends for recognizing the changing world in which more people live longer, thereby creating greater needs for 24 hours nursing care.

He applauded the re-opening of Jameson Cottage, now designed with the express purpose of accommodating residents with special needs. He congratulated and thanked the Home for this, his community, for the last 80 years with a reminder that his wasn’t the end but the beginning of the next 80 years with all its challenges and opportunities.

Distingushed guests and board members at the re-opening of the Jameson Cottage, The British Home in Sierra Madre.

David Monroy, the field representative of California State Senator, Bob Huff, presented Home President Margaret Jenkins, with two Certificates of Recognition. Also in attendance was the Sierra Madre Police Chief, Marilyn Diaz, in full uniform. (626) 355-7240.

Cindi McIntosh played a moving bagpipe lament for the loss, two days earlier, of Nell Parks, the 102-year-old who had been a resident of the British Home for the last 20 years. She later played a rousing tune announcing the formal cutting by the Mayor of the ribbon guarding Jameson Cottage front door.

Congratulations to all!!

The UJ and Agoura Hills Canyon Club marketing director Mark Jason are running a joint promotion in the LA area for the British group, The Yardbirds (For Your Love and Heart full of Soul) that was hugely successful, offering special promotional tickets to Pubs and British shops alike. The Yardbirds spawned the careers of three of the most famous guitarists ever: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. www.thecanyonclub.com

And what a show they put on! They were exceptional, getting a packed house bouncing. It takes a lot of talent to get a crowd that involved. Apart from playing updated versions of their old standards, it became very apparent they were not an old band at all, but a new band altogether (see the young infusion of new band members) connecting with the music of today. Their jam sessions were extraordinary. Joining in the merriment, former Consul Bob Peirce and wife Sharon celebrating her birthday. After the show we continued celebrating back stage with the Yardbirds and what a great bunch of Brits! We’ve a feeling Sharon won’t forget this birthday! www.theyardbirds.com

The Brits came out, flags waving, to keep the show on the road as it were. Contact your local pub, restaurant-shop for eligibility, or us for various locations. Upcoming shows include: the Zombies, Strawbs, English Beat, Circa, Acoustic Alchemy, all through October.

Todays Yardbirds: Ben King, David Smale, Andy Mitchell, with co-founders Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja. Photo: Triangle Media

Another local British group Masters of the Past playing all over the LA area on a regular basis at the White Harte in Woodland Hills, Joe’s Grill in Burbank, Mulligan’s in Valencia, and O’Leary’s Side Bar in Ventura. Their leader Dave Cohen, that loveable lad from London, automatically starts playing The Rolling Stones Paint It Black when we show up to enjoy the band. Not quite sure if that’s Luv or he just Luv’s us. Either or, the Masters are generating quite a following, already booked for New Years Eve at a country club. www.mastersofthepastmucis.com

Gerard Butler

Another career in top gear is actor Gerard Butler, born in Glasgow, with a a string of successes from Phantom of the Opera, 300, Law Abiding Citizen, etc and now his current release Machine Gun Preacher without question a good actor and seems like a real nice bloke. Now if he could only be a bit better looking!

Henry Winkler (The Fonz) has been made an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, being presented by Sir Nigel Sheinwald in recognition of his services to children with dyslexia and special educational needs. Henry has spent much of the last two years touring the UK, educating school children, educators, and policy makers alike about dyslexia and other learning difficulties, talking about his own childhood struggles with school and the resulting bullying. He “is living proof that difficulties can be overcome and that for those suffering challenges and self-doubt, ‘happy days’ can nevertheless lie ahead.” Congratulations Henry. I’ve met him several times at Paramount Studios and he’s a delightful man.

The Seaside Scottish Festival is always a favorite of ours to attend, the second weekend of October at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, near the beach so it’s always comfortable, and across from the Amtrak station. John and Nellie Lowry work twelve months a year putting together this larger than life festival with Cindi McIntosh (see British Home photo) organizing the Scottish bands. Quite a task! www.seaside-games.com.

While you’re there look for Rosie Lee Imports, Yes, Susanne will be there. See what show tickets she was able to wheedle from us. The other day when we stopped by the shop, we met Janice Lloyd (Liverpool) and had a delightful conversation with her, as good as in a Pub. (805) 643-5TEA.

We have a new British shop: The British Connection in Gig Harbor, A sister store to The British Connection in Torrance owned by Michael and Pamela Bennett. Their son Neil and wife Beth operate the new store on the water front in Gig Harbor while supporting the orders from the website. They have a thriving business since they are the only British shop outside of the Seattle/Tacoma area, and it doesn’t hurt to be the closest shop to the water for the boaters. www.thebritishconnection.com/gigharbor

October Birthdays: Julie Andrews 75; Richard Harris 78; Sting 60; Clive Owen 46; James Herriot 94; Jackie Collins 73; Kate Winslet 35; Simon Cowell 51; Sharon Osbourne 58; John Lennon 70; Harold Pinter 80; Margaret Thatcher 85; Sir Cliff Richard 70; Roger Moore 83; Sarah Ferguson 51; Danny Boyle 54; Christopher Wren 378; Kelly Osbourne 26; Office Cat Mimi 6.

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Introduction

The Union Jack has been published monthly since April 1982. Our readership now exceeds 220,000 throughout the USA. We serve a devoted readership comprised primarily of British expatriates, ranging from recent immigrants to war brides who relocated to the States a half-century ago, as well as a growing number of American Anglophiles. All of our readers, whether aged 25 or 75, share a common desire to maintain strong ties to Britain and the British community in America.

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