Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Fish--Really? ..........Joyce Oroz



Inspired by a large fish mosaic hanging on a wall in Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan, South Korea, we here in Aromas, California now have our own big fish. Constructed from 350 small wooden fish painted by residents and friends, the Aromas big fish is 31-feet-long and "swims" in our downtown park.


My most sincere thanks go to the Aromas Eagles, Aromas Hills Artisans, and the Aromas Community Grange for their support; to Leslie, Linda, John, Michael, Miles and Wallace, for their time, energy and faith in my project idea; and to all the talented members of our little community who joined in and painted a fish.



My question is, why do we need a big fish in our park? A park is a park is a park. We have lovely trees, a pretty stone wall and plenty of grass. Maybe we have the giant fish sculpture because we are big fish in a little pond, because we don’t mind swimming up-stream for a good cause, because we are a notch above having an ordinary park, because we are creative people who appreciate beauty and talent, because we love new ideas and grand inventions, because we love our town and want it to shine. Would that also account for the chicken-box?


I happened to observe the individual fish being painted by youngsters, oldsters and every age in between. The painters took their job seriously and completed some very original and beautiful fish. But the big fish in all of this is Tina Baine, who took her paint to every local activity, function, meeting, festival—you name it, until she had 350 painted fish. Putting them together to make the big fish was an incredible task, but being the “Maker Gal” that she is, we now have a stunningly beautiful fish swimming its way through our lovely park. Thank you, Tina!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Author Joyce Oroz: 2015 Woman of the Year........Gayle Sleznick

Author Joyce Oroz: 2015 Woman of the Year........Gayle Sleznick:   Today I want to introduce you to a friend of mine, a great lady, wonderful artist, Gayle Sleznick. Here are a few of the hundreds of ...

2015 Woman of the Year........Gayle Sleznick



 Today I want to introduce you to a friend of mine, a great lady, wonderful artist, Gayle Sleznick. Here are a few of the hundreds of paintings she has given the world so far. Not to mention the paintings produced by her students. Congratulations Gayle!


Gayle Sleznick named 
2015 Woman of the Year

By Gayle Sleznick
The San Benito County

Chamber of Commerce held its 94th Annual Awards Dinner at

San Juan Oaks Golf Club, Saturday evening, January 24. 
I have received many awards for my artwork over the years, but being named as the Woman of the Year 2015 
brought me to tears.
The fact, David Huboi was the Man of the Year was
even sweeter. Two artists, very different in

what they do, but in total agreement of what

they accomplish were recognized. 
When Anthony Botelho handed me the Certificate

of Recognition from the County Board of Supervisors,

hugged me and thanked me for representin San Juan Bautista, 
I realized, YES, I am thrilled San Juan Bautista gets recognition from this Award as well. 


I am receiving this honor BECAUSE of San Juan Bautista.

Along with history, Gerald and Mary McCullough and James and Gayle Sleznick are the only two married couples who have
received the honors. Not during the same years, but obviously worked together as a team within their communities. 
Jim was Man of the Year 2006. 
Just took me a bit longer to catch up. _


                                                                                        


Monday, March 16, 2015

Roku Wahoo!.........by Joyce Oroz





Oh the times we live in. As a mature oldster, I try to keep up with the times. Today hubby brought home a Roku. A purple blug-in.

“A what?” I say.

“A little purple plug-in for the TV,” he says, busily reading the box it came in.

“The TV needs this? What’s its name again?”

“Roku, that’s it, one name.” He’s reading the instruction pamphlet.

I guess I look puzzled. He tells me it will give us movies. He reads more instructions.

I leave the room, write two pages for my newest book, come back and find him reading instructions.



“What if we just plugged this in?” I say, holding up the little purple plug-in-box. 

I think about what Josephine would do in a case like this. Actually, she hasn’t come up against this little purple problem. She stays away from electronics, except when she dusts off the old computer to look at emails. Even her phone system is antiquated. No I-phone, I-pad, I-vac, I-car, I-plane….what next? I-vacation satellite?


Now he’s playing with the new remote that runs the Roku. Just what we need, nineteen remotes. Actually, I wouldn’t mind having one more remote if it cleaned house and cooked a good meal!



Gotta go. My I-hoot alarm went off.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Annie Houdini Oroz........Joyce Oroz



Facts of life, the east coast has hurricanes, west coast has earthquakes. East coast has snow, west coast has parched earth. East coast has tradition, west coast has Annie and she lives at my house as of yesterday. Yesterday started out like any other quiet day, contemplating a day in the basement tapping out dialogue for my next mystery novel. Hubby says he found the perfect dog for us. We need to drive a hundred miles by 11:00 am or someone else will adopt the dog. 


I rub the sleep out of my eyes, shower and trade pajamas for street clothes. We skip breakfast and skid to a stop in front of the Dog Rescue Building at 11:05. Turns out there are no other prospective dog lovers to compete with. We are in a small town a million miles from anything—not even a McDonalds in this town. Patti leads us to the kennels where our hearts break for all the dogs we did not adopt. We spot Annie and she starts to bounce. She loves us—we can tell by the number of bounces per minute. We begin to bounce as we take turns walking her around the grounds. Nine months old. Can we handle a young lab? We have already decided we can’t live without her. 


Patti gives us the paperwork, we give her money.

Annie rides quietly in the back seat. We stop for a fast food lunch. She doesn’t say a word. No begging, just loving eyes. We talk about doggy incidentals such as a bed, a crate, food and toys. We have been dogless for seven months and we are starting over from scratch—less than scratch. Luckily Patti gave us a sample sack of kibble to tide us over. Tomi comes to the rescue with a collapsible wire crate. Annie sleeps in it like a baby all night. We are thrilled.


Today is another day—another universe. Annie Houdini Oroz can find her way out of any fence, even the superior chain-link fence in out back yard. She practiced escaping while we practiced fence mending and patience. Stay tuned to see who wins this game.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Boardwalk Buddies............by Joyce Oroz



Last week it was burn pile--this week I upgraded to Boardwalk--the stars are the limit!
My nephew, Kelly, arrived for a visit, and like ants to a picnic, we headed to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. We had fun remembering when we were young, when our kids were young and when my grand kids were young. Every summer we made a couple trips to the boardwalk. 


The bumper cars are still there, but with more style and color, and the laughs and screams are the same. 
The Big Dipper is in fine shape for its age--built by very clever dinosaurs. Even though it was a sprinkely day in winter, friendly crowds were everywhere. 

I probably gained ten pounds just smelling the saltwater taffy, pretzels and ice cream. But it's the sweet smells that bring back happy childhood memories. 


Another way, way-back memory was stirred when I heard music from the merry-go-round. Not only are the horses beautiful, but there are three antique organs supplying the music. The Boardwalk’s original Ruth & Sohn band organ has played alongside the carousel since 1911. The fully-restored antique received a beautiful new facade in 2009. In addition to the original Ruth organ, a rare Wurlitzer 165 band organ from the former Playland-at-the Beach amusement park in San Francisco now shares playing time with the Ruth. A smaller Wurlitzer 146 was added to the collection in 2011.


Moving along, I couldn't wait to see if the penny arcade was still there. Yep! But a penny won't help. Actually, we really got our money's worth of giggles from air hokey and ski ball. We even came home with made-in-China plastic prizes. Of course I immediately tucked them away, keeping them nice for future Christmas and birthday presents.What I want to know is, who stepped on my new green plastic pencil bank?


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Working the Burn Pile...........Joyce Oroz



I went on a bender today and no liquids were involved except water from the hose. I bent to the ground over a million times—picking up stuff for the annual burn pile. Once or twice a year my husband and I gather logs, brush, weeds, sticks, dead snails and letters from the IRS and create a pile of stuff in the back yard a wee bit taller than our house. Add gasoline to the recipe and poof, we have lift-off. Not really, but my face looks well-done and my hair is still smoking. 


So I’m guarding the fire all day, adding stuff to it, moving it around and blinking smoke out of my eyes while Art is driving his tractor-mower in circles all over the property like a kid learning to drive--learning to drive over the top of my daffodils, through the fence, into a lamp post, back up to the garden and through the tulips. 

All that while I bend like a wooden puppet, picking up branches and weeds until all fluids have drained into the top of my brain cavity and standing up straight makes me dizzy. Could be worse—could live on the east coast and dig snow all day.