February 2021
Connect. Travel. Serve

Have you noticed the days are getting a little longer? More light, less darkness: a sign of hope! We have made it to February, and it’s been almost a year since the pandemic shut us all down, but with the advent of vaccines it looks like the light is at the end of the tunnel. Judy and I got our first doses of vaccine and immediately began dreaming of hugging our grandkids once again.
If there’s one lesson this pandemic has taught us, it’s been patience, and the chaos of the vaccine rollout has called on all our resources of patience. For many of us, getting an appointment to be vaccinated has been like trying to get tickets to a rock concert or a campsite at the beach. But little by little, with two steps forward and one step back, we seem to be emerging from a dark, difficult time.
My brother-in-law served in the Special Forces during the Vietnam war, and later worked with veterans for many years. He recently made a wise observation, one worth passing along.

He said that during a soldier’s deployment, there are two periods of greatest danger. The first is when they’re newly arrived—they are inexperienced and apt to make fatal errors of judgement. The second is just before they are due to go home—already putting the war behind them, they become careless, feeling that they are finally “home free.”

We are entering that second stage of danger. The vaccines can make us believe that we are “home free,” and we are all too ready to drop our masks and our social distancing cautions. Let’s hang in there a little longer, exercising the lessons in patience that we’ve learned over the past year.

While buoyed up by hope, let’s continue to take good care of ourselves and each other. In our hearts, we know that eventually light will win out over darkness. I join you all in looking forward to that not-too-distant time.
Victor Botello, President
Y conference room named for Queen Bea
The YMCA of San Diego County honored Marston member Bea Halk by naming the conference room at the Y’s headquarters the Bea Halk Conference Room in honor of her legacy of service to the Y and distinguished induction in the YMCA Hall of Fame. Congratulations!

Checking in with Bea: "Like many of you, I miss not being able to visit friends, go on short trips, enjoy a concert or play etc. I find myself learning new ways of staying connected. During the last several months I’ve participated in various YMCA Alumni Zoom Chapter meetings. Lyon Chapter hosted a scavenger hunt, McCoy an informative Retirement update and Allen-Stone a look at 2020 with hope for 2021. It is such fun to interact with former colleagues and old friends on my computer screen."
Update: National Service Project
After a thorough evaluation of 38 projects, the YMCA Alumni National Task Force has voted and made a unanimous recommendation. The YMCA Alumni Board has given its approval to move ahead, also unanimously. Next step is negotiation with the project organization and development of implementation plans.The announcement of the project and full details will be made in the May printed issue of The CONNECTION. We don't want to divulge the identity yet because of these necessary steps. We had a YMCA professional, as well as a lay leader from the organization, make a presentation at our Zoom meeting. We look forward to the announcement and the involvement of the Marston Chapter membership.
--Steve Rowe, chapter representative to the national Task Force
We heard it on the grapevine...
Lorraine and Rick
New great-grandson
Helping out
Lorraine and Rick Riehman: The birth of our first great-grandson grabbed the heartstrings of our lives over the holidays. Another of our highlights was bringing Christmas cheer and God’s blessings to the residents of Boulder Creek Nursing home with a Christmas Party. May God bless and take good care of you and those you love in the coming year.
Pam and Dave Warfe: We are doing fine and got our first dose of Moderna. We're staying very close to home and waiting for the time to be safe to start travelling again. We are both in "cruise withdrawals". We celebrated our 50th anniversary Dec. 19. How did 50 years go by so fast? We are grateful for every day that we have to be together.
Jeanne Schmelzer: I've been enjoying my family, especially time with the grandchildren Sammy 23, Joey 21, Jaikob 22, and Dayton 19.
Gerry Martin: I completed testing for my tenth year of participation in the UCSD Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer Research Disease Study this year via telephone and Zoom. Still enjoying daily walks, which are now including the many hilly streets of my friendly Birdland neighborhood. I am now able to include upper body exercises in my daily routines at last.

Steve Mott and Karen Kohl: We had a quiet holiday season at home in Carlsbad. We brought in a 14-year-old rescue cat named MaryAnn, all the way from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Camping plans with our Meerkat trailer were cancelled by the State Park system for January. Be safe and stay healthy!
Anne Dee and Fred Pahl: We are busy planning. Here’s a snapshot of what is coming up:
March - Spring Training Baseball in Scottsdale, AZ, and a trip to Alamogordo, NM. Summer - hoping for motor trip to Dallas, Texas; North Carolina; Tennessee; Georgia and perhaps Ohio. November/December - three weeks in Hawaii (The Big Island, Maui and Oahu). The highlight will be to attend the 80th anniversary celebration of Pearl Harbor. December - We might even work in a family Christmas time in Cabo San Lucas. Remember, life is precious.
Chef Victor and Judy Botello: We look forward every week to a Saturday night Zoom Happy Hour with a group of local friends and FaceTime with the grandkids n New York. Our local grandkids came over to see what Santa had left at our house for them. For New Year’s Eve, I made a Mexican dish that’s traditional for the holidays. It’s bacalao -- salted “desalinated," cod that’s mixed with sweet peppers, tomatoes, olives, capers, and spices. It's all from an old family recipe.
Plan now to attend YMCA Alumni Reunion '22
All the planning is moving along for our YMCA Alumni Reunion in The Big Easy, Jan. 12-15, 2022.

Click the button to visit the Reunion page on our YMCA Alumni website for details as they develop.
Remembering a YMCA volunteer extraordinary
Fred and Anne Dee were fortunate in traveling to the London Bridge Timeshare at Lake Havasu. They spent a week with their friends Edgar and Renate Engert. It was one of those great weeks with friends we all have experienced. They had planned a cruise over Christmas - but cruises were cancelled.
Early in December, Renate and Edgar were admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. At the time, it appeared not that serious and they were sent home. Edgar experienced a "set back." His health worsened and, having asthma, it got so serious he was readmitted to the hospital. Edgar died of the virus.
Edgar was "Mr. Encinitas" and "Mr. YMCA." When Fred was the Executive Director in the 1970s at the North Coast YMCA, he was looking for someone to help him charter a new Y's Men's Club. Edgar was more than willing and excited in helping to form the club with 30 members.  
The Y's Men's Club in manpower and dollars has been responsible for approximately $1 million because of Edgar and his leadership.
Edgar and his long relationship with the YMCA and the Y's Men has been nothing but amazing. Later, when the Y's Men went co-ed, Edgar's wife Renate followed in his footsteps taking the role as president locally and became deeply involved with Edgar along his "quest." Today, his son Jim, and Jim's wife Anne along with their two teenagers lead the local Y's Men's Club. God is saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
--Fred Pahl
Marston Chapter Leaders

Thank you to the following YMCA Alumni members for volunteering to help our chapter and serve as board officers and members at large for 2020-2022:

President: Victor Botello
Vice President/Membership: Jeanne Schmelzer
Vice President/Progams: Steve Rowe
Secretary: Steve Totten
TreasurerJulie Rose
EAF Chair: Bill Parkhurst
World Service Chair: Rick Riehman
Newsletter Coordinator: Pattie Griffin
Friendship:  Barbara Parkhurst
Health and Fitness: Gary Wegener
Past President: Sam Wurtzbacher
Honorary Member: Bea Halk YMCA Hall of Fame

Click on name in blue to send email.

The mission of YMCA Alumni is "to enable members to promote a nurturing worldwide Christian Fellowship that provides educational, social, service and charitable opportunities."
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