by Deane Cox
Ernie Woodward is 101 years old and still plays golf almost every day — he cancelled a golf date for his interview.
“I’m still a good golfer,” he said, “I have a record of making three holes-in-one, the last of those was right here in Leisure World the day before I turned 100.”
With a grin he added, “But I had to get used to playing around the old people.”
Ernie was born on a farm in the Missouri Ozarks. He has a fond memory of milking the cow when he was 6 years old.
He grew up with seven sisters and brothers, and they all had their share of chores on the farm, so his childhood wasn’t particularly fun-filled.
In 1937, when he was 23, he moved to California where he has lived in one city or another ever since.
In 1939 Ernie married the love of his life, Pearl, and they were married for 67 happy years. “The marriage license cost just $2.50 in those days.”
They had twin daughters and one son. Just one daughter is still living.
A farmer and rancher most of his life, Ernie said he also worked at the shipyards during World War II, a time that he particularly enjoyed since the money was good.
At another point in his life he did some day-work at the canneries. Men who needed a job would stand in front of the building in the morning and hope to be chosen for that day’s work. Ernie noticed that all the regular employees wore striped coveralls to work in, so he and a couple of the other men decided to show up in striped coveralls the next day.
They were all chosen for the day’s work and from that time on wore their striped “uniforms” to the workplace.
He retired at 62. “I was afraid to retire, because many of my friends died when they retired.”
But he became so bored he went back to work until he retired a second time at 82, still driving a truck and operating a fork life.
Ernie attends church in Leisure World and on his 100th birthday he was honored with a dinner, and a write-up and picture in the paper.
He lost his wife a few years ago, but he lives alone except for a caretaker visiting a couple of times a day.
He does not feel that there were plans left over that he didn’t get to do and is content with his life that he “just let happen,” as he says. Ernie summed up his life by saying, “My life has been a series of accidents – I didn’t plan anything.”
All are welcome to join the Schmooze Club that meets the second Tuesday of each month.
This month, in honor of the Jewish month of Adar, the Jewish month of joy, the club will host Rabbi Shmuel Marcus of Chabad in Los Alamitos.
Rabbi Marcus, who lifts listeners’ spirits with his talks, is a regular speaker at the Schmooze Club .
The topic of the meeting will be “happiness” stories and tips from the Kabbalah.
The Kabbalah is the Jewish book of mystical teachings that inspires and explores the deeper meanings in life.
There are no dues to schmooze. But donations are appreciated.
Meetings are held in Clubhouse 3, Room 9. Schmoozing begins at 10 a.m., the program at 10:30. RSVP by calling Evelyn Glick, 598-2022.
The winter quarter of the Leisure World’s English Conversation Class starts today, Feb. 6. The session runs for 10 weeks, ending April 10. The class meets Thursdays at 7 p.m. in Clubhouse 3. The class is taught by Rolland Coburn, a California-credentialed teacher of English as a Second Language. There is a $5 materials fee for the quarter. Register at the first session.
Students interviewed told why they are attending the class. “To speak English better” one says immediately. “I would like to learn correct pronunciation and practice talking with others.”
“Yes,” adds her classmate, “We want to have a conversation in English.”
Asked further about their class, students shared some thoughts: “I like how the classmates and teacher and helpers all work very well together. We talk together and practice reading to each other.”
“I enjoy the speaking, the singing and the writing practice, and learning English grammar and spelling.”
“The class is warm and friendly.”
“It can help any of us who did not learn English as our first language and want to improve.”
For questions, contact Beverly Dezarraga, 795-1645.
The Yiddish Club of Leisure World will meet tonight, Thursday, Feb. 6, in Clubhouse 3, Room 2, at 7.
Excerpts from the works by Nobel Laureate for Literature 1978 Isaak Bashevis Singer will be presented.
After new words and proverbs in Yiddish are introduced the president of the club will review the life and creation of the remarkably talented writer I. B. Singer.
He is a master of the Yiddish language and his original works are enhanced by his stylistic and linguistic skill. The Nobel Prize he received is a personal triumph, and a triumph for the Yiddish language and Yiddish literature.
Refreshments will be served after the program.
Paws, Claws and Beaks
Paws, Claws and Beaks will meet Wednesday, Feb. 12, in Clubhouse 3, Room 3, at 3 p.m.
The club will be deciding where to make further donations.
As it is two days before Valentine’s Day, members may want to bring a picture of their pet to show the group.
For more information, call 799-3841.
The Feb. 13 Britannia Club meeting will be all about Valentines, red and chocolates. Members will bring “red food” from lasagne or spaghetti to velvet cupcakes to cherries to jello —whatever one’s heart tells them.
Marion Dodd reported Joan Steihl of the Women’s Shelter sent another thank-you; Jay’s Catering did a fine job on the Christmas dinner again; there was a Robbie Burns Torrance Toyota banquet Jan. 21 for $40. It rained on the Los Al luncheon, but British “chin up” carried the day. Beth’s “bling,” golden decorations for our New Year party, were again fabulous.
A show of hands voted the club out of the Multi Cultural Council, but Belinda McLeod got up her Brit grit to represent the U.K. for the club — bravo.
Letty Rush gave an inspirational about bike riding with a “higher power” and to “keep on pedaling.” Jeanie Berro, Bob Dodson, Hyland Kennedy, Rose McGuire, Joe Preston, Shirley Ranaldi and Marge Wilson had birthdays.
Geoff Davies told some funny stories about his “Teddy Boys” fashion and the U.S. hot pants craze as a 13-year-old immigrant. Wes Moore won the 50/50, then President Eric Dodd adjourned the meeting to enjoy the generous finger-foods, drinks, chatter, and pub songs afterward. The members gave a good rendition of “Auld Lang Syne.”
Friendly Couples Club
The Friendly Couples Club is a group of couples who meet twice a month. Members love to eat and have fun.
On the second Wednesday of the month, they gather in Clubhouse 3, Room 2, for a potluck dinner and fun activities. Social time starts at 5 p.m. and dinner is at 5:30 and is over by 7:30.
On the fourth Wednesday, they go out to dinner at a local restaurant and everyone pays their own tab. Carpooling is available.
The next meeting is Feb. 12. Any couple who would like to join the group should call Lee and Sandy Esslinger, 430-2891. Participants are asked to bring a dish that serves 10 people.
The club looks forward to many more couples joining the group.
New York Club
The New York Club will sponsor a flea market on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 9 a.m-2 p.m. in Clubhouse 2. There will be 60 tables of such items as antiques, collectibles, handmade items, homemade bread, cakes, jellies, greeting cards, clothing and much more.
Everyone is invited to visit, look, buy and eat.
Outsiders must call Marge McDonald, coordinator, 234-3875, or email, email@example.com, before Feb. 6, for admittance.
Computer classes conducted by the Friendship Club in Clubhouse 3, Room 4, are open to all Leisure Worlders and their guests.
A repeatable introduction to the personal computer (most versions) with Jeff Sacks will be conducted Monday, Feb. 10, from 9-10 a.m., followed by open computer questions about PCs and/or Macs from 10-11 a.m.
Maxine Smith conducts a separate question and answer forum, Let’s Talk eBay, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Participants do not need to attend the computer class to attend the eBay class. Max suggests bringing questions and if possible, an item to sell, or tell her something to buy. These forums have been more helpful than just focusing on beginners’ eBay. Many people come to her class for advice, etc. who are not beginners. Wireless Internet is available in Clubhouse 3, so wireless laptops are welcome.
Light refreshments are served. The cost is $5 for one or both classes. For information, call Jeff Sacks, (714) 642-0122.
Anne Seifert and Bob Slater, members of the cafe sub-committee, will be the guest speakers at the Sunshine Club meeting on Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. in Clubhouse 3, Room 8, to talk about the new cafe that will be housed in Clubhouse 5.
On Jan. 28 the Golden Rain Foundation Board approved the “Downtown Cafe.” This small cafe will seat about 20 people indoors, with additional seating in an adjacent patio.
Mr. Slater and Ms. Seifert will be asking for suggestions as to what food and beverage items people would like. The food and beverages will be available from vending machines. Come hear about the different food choices and see the design and plans for the cafe.
The cafe will also serve as a social hub where shareholders can meet friends or just sit with a cup of coffee.
There are many choices for hot and cold food, soup, sandwiches, salads, etc. Shareholders who want to make sure that they have their favorite food available should attend this meeting.
The Sunshine Club frequently has guest speakers from the Golden Rain Administration to help familiarize shareholders/residents with the community system. The club also invites leaders from Leisure World clubs to introduce the purpose and activities of their clubs.
On Feb. 14, the speaker will be Eloy Gomez, Safety & Emergency Coordinator and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) instructor.
Other guest speakers for the month include Vanessa Morrison, supervisor of LW Library, Feb. 21; and Pastor Gil Moore of Redeemer Lutheran Church of LW, Feb. 28.
Sunshine Club meeting drew large crowd on Jan. 24, when Bob McCauley of Superwire was the guest speaker.
LWers came to voice their concerns and complains about prices and services. Bob answered many questions from members, and most of the residents got what they needed. A few were directed to resolve their issues over the price of Internet by visiting the Superwire office located to next to the Friends of Library building.
Questing Heirs Genealogical Society is holding its monthly meeting, Sunday, Feb. 16, at 1 p.m. at Resurrection Lutheran Church Parrish Hall, 1900 E. Carson St., Long Beach.
The presentation is Civil War Presentations, History & Research.
For more information, call Liz Myers, 598-3027, or visit the website, www.ghgs.info.