Our Anniversary Events (Part 2)

by Art Mattson, OCM Historian

Insofar as I know, Orange County Mensa is the only local group among the 130 in American Mensa to celebrate its anniversary every year. We’ve just taken care of our 34th.

We celebrated our tenth anniversary [1990] at Primavera Ristorante Italiano in Fountain Valley. Chair Bill Koelzer arranged for PeeWee Herman (all right, an imposter) to entertain us. Despite a wait of more than an hour to enter the restaurant, we had a memorable experience. Maybe the wait helped. The dinner was excellent and “PeeWee” was fun.

Cookie Bakke coordinated an all day picnic and lawn party at P. K. Khemka’s in Orange to celebrate our twentieth [2000]. It was unseasonably warm and shade was at a premium. Despite the heat, everyone had a good time.

Kit Hope rounded up a dozen past Presidents to say a few words each at our 25th in 2005. We were at the Hacienda in Santa Ana with the Seaside Strings providing entertainment.

John Olsen took us to the Back Bay Bistro in Newport Beach to celebrate our thirtieth. We oversold our indoor accommodations and were relocated outdoors. If it was warm at PK’s in 2000, some thought it was a bit cool here in 2010. Most of us thought it was delightful. OC Supervisor John Moorlach was a much appreciated speaker. Olsen created a special gift just for him: a framed montage featuring historical sites throughout California. One of Moorlach’s abiding interests is California history.

Just a year ago [2013], actor Alan Rachins read stories to us that he had written. His finale brought down the house. Alan is one of those few who have starred in two hits on TV, L. A. Law and Dharma and Greg. Over 70 attended this brunch at the Costa Mesa Country Club.

I’ll conclude by repeating what I’ve heard about this year’s event [2014]. “It was special, it was thoroughly entertaining, it was so much fun.” The animals from Wild Wonders were the hit: the kinkajou, the coatimundi, the alligator, the wallaby, the boa constrictor, and the macaw who announced his presence loud and clear upon arrival, and set the tone for the next hour. Kudos to my wife Angie whose dream it was to bring these wild animals to us.

Reprinted from the May, 2014, Oracle

 

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