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By Tom Blake
As the pandemic subsided, older people, whether single, divorced, widowed, married or in a relationship, asked, “What is the most important advice you can share with us on getting back to normal?” ?
For those isolated during the pandemic, the most important activity to pursue is social interaction. We need to be among friends and people. Lately, numerous medical studies have revealed that loneliness, often caused by a lack of social interaction, is unhealthy.
During the pandemic, social interactions were difficult for everyone. I’m not suggesting people engage in social interactions indoors or in crowded places; it remains risky. But I suggest people do their best to interact with others.
Which brings me to the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce Mixer held on Thursday evening August 19th. The town of Dana Point was the sponsor of the Doris Walker Overlook at Heritage Park from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Greta and I asked ourselves, “Should we go?” Or stay at home?
We decided to attend, knowing that the mixer was in the open.
What a great event. Food and drinks were provided by Brio Toscane Grille, Dana Point’s beautiful Italian restaurant. Oh, my God, so tasty and filling. And Enzo Scognamiglio, the owner of Brio, was there to make sure everyone got enough to eat.
I confess, shamelessly, that I took two copies of my newly published book, Tutor & Spunky’s Deli: A Dana Point Landmark, to show people how I spent my time during the pandemic.
A small section of the book is titled: “Sitting on a Bar Stool at Brio Toscane Grille”. It’s about becoming single in 1994 and trying to date him.
I showed Enzo this section. He said, “I want to buy this book right now.” Oh, my God, I signed it — my first sale at Dana Point.
Enzo later showed the book to Pro Mayor Tem Joe Muller. Joe said to me, “I want a book.”
I said, “This book was in the initial run. There are some typos. “
He said, “It makes it a collector’s item. I want it. ”My two books went like this.
Later, Joe and Enzo compared their respective books. I had written more in Enzo’s book than in Joe’s.
He said (smiling), “I want you to correct this injustice.” So, I added comments to his book – something about him being a Wisconsin Badger football fan and me being a Michigan Wolverine football fan. Big rivals. Small world.
Maryann Burke, representing Hennessey restaurants, introduced herself. I said, “Paul Hennessey, your founder, is an old friend. I hired him in San Francisco as a bus boy in 1970 for the Victoria Station restaurant chain. He wanted to be a bartender, but we had no opening for this position. He never forgave me for it, even though he owns 17 restaurants.
She took a picture of me with her phone and sent it to him.
Showing the book to Dana Point City Manager Mike Killebrew, he and I talked about stand-up paddleboarding in Dana Point Harbor. Then he said, “Where can the town of Dana Point get your books?” On Amazon.com? “
I said yes. But if you order 500 books from Amazon, let me get them for you. I can save you a few dollars per pound.
Killebrew laughed, “Five hundred? And 10? Maybe? “Too bad.
A group of us were together when a photo was taken by a Chamber of Commerce photographer. Mike Frost, Dana Point City Council member from District 4, was included. He and I swapped old war stories about Tutor and Spunky’s early days, where he and I had met years before. He is an asset to the city.
While Greta and I walked home, we were discussing the importance of social interaction. What a fun evening we had at the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce Mixer. It cheered us up.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to go out with friends and others. Why not attend your chamber mixers and other events in San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano! It’s time for all of us to get back into the social interaction game.
Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has written books on middle-aged dating. See his website at findloveafter50.com. To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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