grifrcol.gif (3193 bytes)   GCCCD Grapevine

Volume 9, Number 1                                                                                            March, 1999

New GC President Looking Ahead, Not Backmartinez.jpg (6052 bytes)

Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr., was aware, when he sought the Grossmont College presidency, of last year’s district and campus turmoil, but he wasn’t fazed.

"I don’t look back at the past," Martinez, 51, told the Grapevine. "I focus on the future, and I love working with students working for a better quality of life. GCCCD board members decided they liked his outlook and his competence, as demonstrated in previous jobs in Texas and Illinois, and gave him the Grossmont job Jan. 7. He assumed his duties Feb. 15.

A native of Asherton, Texas, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business and economics at Sul Ross State University in Texas, then got a doctorate in educational administration at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

His last post was as president of Daley College, one of seven city colleges in Chicago. During his presidency, Daley’s enrollment reached 12,000, making it the third largest among Chicago colleges.

He became interested in Grossmont, he said, because he wanted a position farther south than Chicago, and he also had heard praise for the San Diego area and Grossmont. He said he’ll be out walking the campus frequently meeting people, and intends to meet all employees by groups and interests; eventually he’ll meet faculty and students in open sessions.

One short-term goal he listed after his first few days at Grossmont is to get the campus cleaned up. He said he’s seen several areas which need cleaning, and thinks perhaps a greater number of maintenance people should be assigned to day duty rather than night work. Noting that he has had four jobs involving multi-campus districts, he said he has no worries about relations between Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, and he looks forward to working with Cuyamaca President Sherrill Amador.

The new president’s wife, Lidia, and their two children, Melyna, 12, and Teddy, 5, remain in Chicago while their husband and father looks for a house here, preferably near the college.

Twenty-two Emeriti Attend Luncheon

Twenty-two emeriti attended the eighth annual Chancellor’s Emeritus Club Luncheon on January 21 at the Outback Steak House in La Mesa. Also attending were the district’s new chancellor, Omero Suarez, GCCCD board member Rick Alexander, acting Grossmont College president Jack Randall, vice-chancellor Charlene McMahan, ,chancellor’s secretary Mary Watkins, and Grossmont College photographer John Dixon. The luncheon is hosted by the chancellor’s office each year (except 1998, when there was only an acting chancellor), and provides an opportunity for emeriti and district and college administrators to meet and discuss issues of common interest in an environment that is also conducive to socializing and renewing friendships.

 emeri99.jpg (33876 bytes)

back row, l to r: Emeriti Bob Steinbach, Leon Hoffman, Dick Lantz, Muriel Owen, Sam Ciccati, Bill Hansen, Wayne Harmon, Emilie Duggan-Zouhar, Don Shannon, Bob Rump, Don Anderson, Don Scouller and Bill Givens. front row, l to r: Emeriti Bill Burns, Tom Scanlan, Marie Reynolds, Lee Engelhorn, Erv Metzgar, Joanne Prescott, Pat Higgins and Don Walker (not pictured, Bob Danielson).

Following an excellent luncheon (choice of four entrees, with rib-eye steak and salmon most popular), Chancellor Suarez gave a short talk on his goals for the district. He will be focusing on five issues: unity (e.g., between the two campuses, and between faculty and administration), standardization (e.g., course numbering and content), alignment (of curriculum between campuses), funding (emphasis on equability) and facilities (consistent with educational and district master plans). Acting Grossmont College president Jack Randall then spoke briefly of his tenure at Grossmont College (thanking faculty and staff for their cooperation), and his next assignment at College of the Desert. This was followed by less formal individual announcements and briefings from some of the other attendees.

Editor’s Comments:
tomedcol.jpg (9367 bytes)
      Tom Scanlan

Well, folks, it’s just me again. As he informed us in the last issue, Pat Higgins has officially ‘retired’ from editing or co-editing this publication. His swan song is the lead story in this issue on Grossmont College’s new president, Dr. Ted Martinez, whom Pat and I interviewed on February 19.

Pat took over from me as editor in April 1995. Last year I joined him as co-editor when he informed me that 1998 was the last year he’d be editing the Grapevine. It was a pleasure and a privilege to work together with him this past year and I’m really going to miss his expertise and professionalism. I thank him for all of us for a job very well done. And I hope he’ll give us the pleasure in some future issues of a guest editorial or whatever other article he might wish to contribute.

I’ll continue as editor at least through the change in millennium. By that time I’m hoping that some other retiree might step forward and try their hand at editing and writing the Grapevine. I’ve always felt that this newsletter provides a connection between retirees and their colleagues and the district that is beneficial to all of us. I’m hoping that it will outlast its original editors and continue as a permanent district publication.

Because this is the final year of the millennium, and also because it is the tenth year of production for Grapevine, I plan to make the final issue this year a special one. If things work out well (meaning, if we can get the funds), there’ll be four issues instead of three, which is why this issue is coming out in March instead of April.

Even if a fourth issue isn’t funded, the final issue this year will be special. I plan to include a detailed demographic picture of GCCCD retirees with respect to age, gender, location, and the like. I’m also planning a ‘best of the best’ biblio-files column. I hope to include a tribute and complete listing of those district retirees who are no longer with us. And I’d very much appreciate hearing from you readers any suggestions you have which you believe would make that year-end ‘millennium’ issue special. Write, phone or e-mail.

            STRS 75 Percent ‘Floor’ signed into Law

The 1997 law known as the Ruth Q. Deprida Pension Protection Act authorized 75 percent level purchasing power payments to retirees only if there were sufficient funds in the Supplemental Benefit Maintenance Account. The law in the new 1998 benefits package now guarantees purchasing power supplements from the General Fund. The effect of this law is that quarterly payments will be made to all STRS retirees once their monthly benefits have been eroded to less than 75 percent of their purchasing power at the time the individual retired (see November, 1997 Grapevine for detailed article on this benefit with sample calculations).

by Tom Scanlan

When you reread a classic, you do not see more
in the book than you did before; you see more in you
than was there before.—Clifton Fadiman

A classic is a book that has never finished saying
what it has to say.—Italo Calvino

ladychat.gif (5486 bytes)  Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence (Grove Press, 1957, orig. 1928) ***

This was Lawrence’s last novel, and his most controversial. The unexpurgated version was not available in the United States until 1957, following a successful court battle. It had been labeled as obscene because of the explicit nature of some of the sex scenes (mild by today’s standards) and the use of several four-letter words (which are now in use all too commonly). The story and Lawrence’s writing make it a book well worth reading, however, even though some of his earlier novels (e.g., Sons and Lovers) are considered better by many critics.

The story focuses on the development of an adulterous affair between an upper-class Englishwoman, Constance Chatterley, and her estate’s gamekeeper, Oliver Mellers. Lady Chatterley’s aristocratic husband has been handicapped by a wartime wound and moves about in a motorized wheelchair. The injury has also left him impotent.

His wife seeks a sexual outlet with several of her husband’s acquaintances but is generally disappointed--until she begins an affair with Mellers. Mellers is from a much lower class and is reluctant at first to risk his job. He is also estranged from a wife who has turned him off women altogether. However, he is taken with Constance’s beauty and spirit and proceeds to show her how a man and woman can relate in a natural and more sensitive way than she has thus far experienced. She eventually becomes pregnant and complications abound, not only because they are both married but because of their class differences (and we all know how important that was in England, especially when the book was written).

An underlying theme in the story is Lawrence’s condemnation of the class system and labor relations in England, and because of this some critics have considered his novels too ‘preachy’-- but some of history’s most memorable novels have been written by authors who were criticizing society’s shortcomings.

  *Fugitive Pieces, Anne Michaels (Vintage Books, 1998, orig. 1996)****     

     fugitive.gif (5754 bytes)                                                                                      karenrev.jpg (3153 bytes)
                                                                                                           Karen Frazier, reviewer

This extraordinary first novel by Canadian poet and professor Anne Michaels pierces the soul of what it means to learn from our language and from our past. It is the story of Jakob Beer, a Polish Jew , forced into hiding after watching the murder of his family by the Nazis. He is found by a Greek geologist and scholar, Athos Roussos, who takes the boy to his homeland, the island of Zakynthos, and continues to hide him, caring for him as if he were his own. After the war, Athos and Jakob travel to Canada where Athos takes a teaching position at the University of Toronto. His death plunges Jakob, now a young man, into the world of language as a means of unearthing truths and forces him to reconcile his life with the past as he realizes that ". . .to remain with the dead is to abandon them." Finally, the story introduces another Holocaust survivor who finds solace in Jakob’s diaries following his death.

It is appropriate that a novel about longing and language would come from a poet. Michael’s writing mimics a radiant canvas of her art. Passages overflowing with rich imagery hover over the pages--dropping chunks of wisdom at their conclusion. One need not appreciate poetry, however, to be swept up in this story’s themes: love and loss as seen through the eyes of a child; the uncontrollable effect of our past on our future; connections drawn and then blurred between science and morality; and love’s ability to bind us to what is significant. The story is sometimes somber. The magic of language, friendship, even love won’t entirely erase the pain the characters suffer. This heartbreaking epiphany materializes in the final section of the novel and won’t please every reader. But it is essential to Michael’s story, emphasizing one of her most compelling messages: Love can heal, but we are often responsible for the direction it will take. As Athos remarks to Jakob to describe their fate: "It’s a mistake to think it’s the small things we control and not the large, it’s the other way around. . . We can assert the largest order, the large human values daily, the only order large enough to see." Michaels illuminates the dark recesses of human folly while shining hope on our miracles. Fugitive Pieces will keep you breathless with its force and haunted by its engagement of the tragedies we face when we stifle love’s power to ennoble the human condition.

*Editor’s Note: This review was written by my daughter, Karen Frazier, because she first suggested the book to me and because she was particularly impressed by it. I am particularly impressed by her review! 

howirish.gif (6139 bytes)  How the Irish Saved Civilization, Cahill (Doubleday, 1995)****

I did not read this very popular non-fiction when it was on the best seller list and was receiving rave reviews because I was somewhat turned off by the title (even though I’m of Irish extraction). But I did read it recently and found that it was quite enjoyable and surprisingly informative, and I’d recommend highly to anyone who enjoys books.

For history, it’s remarkably light reading, and I discovered that there was less hyperbole in the book’s title than I’d originally supposed. Although much of the focus is on Ireland’s history, there are some powerful connections with the history of the rest of Europe. Cahill also discusses events which span an amazing period of time, some dating back thousands of years BC.

I cannot summarize the book better than a review by, which said (in part):

"In this delightful and illuminating look into a crucial but little-known "hinge" of history, Thomas Cahill takes us to the "island of saints and scholars," the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells. Here, far from the barbarian despoliation of the continent, monks and scribes laboriously, lovingly, even playfully preserved the West's written treasury. When stability returned in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning, becoming not only the conservators of civilization, but also the shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on Western culture."

It’s such a treasure when you find a book that entertains while it informs. If you have even a remote interest in the historical development and propagation of our culture, don’t miss this one.

Two Hundred Birds Down Under       harmon.gif (11097 bytes)
                                                                           Wayne Harmon

Wayne and Peggy Harmon visited Australia last year in order to pursue one of their favorite activities, birding. Their Australian friend and guide, Bob Shanks, was a longtime member of the Bird Observer’s Club of Australia. Wayne published an article on their trip in the October, 1998 issue of San Diego Audubon SKETCHES. Following are a few excerpts from the article:

...The first night in Melbourne, Bob asked us how many new birds we’d like to see. I answered "Perhaps 150 to 200"--not realizing he was determined to find 200 birds for us. We were focusing on the states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

...(at Grampians National Park northwest of Melbourne) At dawn the next morning, I walked out into a garden beside the house and surprised a male gray kangaroo who stood up quickly and stared me in the eye. I’m 6’3", and he was my height. He hopped in place for a bit and then bounded away. As it got lighter I counted 212 more "roos" in the pastures around the place.

...(in South Australia) We knew we were in raptor country and began looking for hawks and eagles in the isolated trees and in the sky. Peggy noticed a huge mass of sticks high in a tree about 100 meters from the coast. When we approached it, we found a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles guarding the nest. There was much open field between us and them and they both flew as we got nearer. We could clearly see that the female with a 2.8 meter wingspan was much larger than the male.

...(on Phillip Island) Just as many other tourists do, we went to Phillip Island in the bay south of Melbourne to see the Fairy (little) Penguins come ashore at sunset. They appear confused as they follow their Napoleonic leaders up the beach and go under the hundreds of tourists in the bleachers to find their burrows and babies. Homing in on the unique call of their babies, they miraculously find their own.

...(at the Murray River) While we were eating our sandwiches, a five-foot-long goana (an Australian monitor lizard) slowly crept under our picnic table. Peggy and I quickly raised our legs, but Bob Shanks didn’t. The ranger was in the area and told him not to move because goanas have a nasty septic bite. No one moved as the goana lapped its foot-long forked tongue around Bob’s bare leg.

...(the last day) All 25 in the group were on the lookout for the Powerful Owl and the Tawny Frogmouth, but any new bird would do. A Varied Sitella scooting down a tree trunk made 199, and on the way back to the cars someone shouted, "Have you seen a Crested Shrike yet? Here are several over here." With their black crests, white striped heads and yellow bodies, the shrike-tits were noisily feeding along the south bank of the Yarra River. When I said, "That makes 200." the whole group broke into spontaneous applause--a truly unforgettable experience.

Editor’s Note: The entire text of Wayne’s Audubon article may be read on the web version of Grapevine.

               GCCCD Board Election Favors Incumbents

The November election returned all three incumbents to the GCCCD Board. Rebecca Clark was re-elected by a landslide 61 percent. Rick Alexander (36 percent) and Gary Kendrick (54 percent) were also re-elected (in 1997 Kendrick was appointed to fill the uncompleted term of Carolyn Griffin, who had resigned). At their annual organizational meeting following the election, all GCCCD board members agreed to focus on unity and excellence.

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           l to r: Trustees Rick Alexander, Ron Kraft, Rebecca Clark, Gary Kendrick,
                     Chancellor Omero Suarez and Trustee Timothy Caruthers.

Grossmont College Schedules Variety of Drama and Music

Spring Drama Productions at Grossmont College: Working, a musical based on Studs Terkel’s interview with American workers, is playing at the Stagehouse Theater on March 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 at 8pm and March 13 and 20 at 2:00pm.

I Am A Man, a play about power, leadership and the rough and tumble process of social change, with the Black Ensemble Theatre joining Grossmont students is playing at the Stagehouse Theater on May 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 at 8pm and on May 15, 16 and 22 at 2pm. Tickets are $9.00. Call 644-7234 for more information.

Grossmont College Music Department Spring Performances: There is an extensive program of musical offerings (over 30) including chamber music, guitar, piano, vocal, choral, string quartet, concert band, symphony and jazz being offered. They’ll be performed at various local facilities, including Grossmont College, mostly on weekends. A number of the performances are free and for many the admission is only $3 to $5. If you’d like a detailed schedule of these events, call 644-7255. It’s an amazing line-up of performances. Lori Carver (Benefits office) is going to encourage the Drama and Music Departments to mail their schedules, in the future, to all GCCCD retirees in SD Count


From retiree Keith Richardson

Dear Retiree,

My name is Keith Richardson and just like you I have retired from teaching. I really enjoyed my years of coaching at Grossmont and teaching at Cuyamaca. I hope that you have found many things to do and see. I have moved to Mexico and love it. The only problem is that I am doing more now than ever. I have done work with the Little League, fire department, police department and Red Cross of Rosarito. I am also doing some personal training. I am doing some marketing for Las Rocas Resort and Spa. It is just 29 miles south of the border and 6 miles south of Rosarito Beach on the free road. I have talked to the management and they would like to extend a friendly welcome to Baja Mexico and the Las Rocas Resort and Spa.
The following discounts will be allowed through June 1, 1999.
25% discount on any suite or room at Las Rocas
10% discount on any spa package
There are two cliff-side pools and four jacuzzis. There is a championship tennis court and a regulation sand volley ball court, a fitness center, a game room, and an outstanding and world-class spa. Just 20 minutes north and south of Las Rocas are two excellent golf courses.
If there is anything that I can arrange for you, please call me.
When calling from USA, 011-526-614-1779.
Check us out on the internet at
When calling for reservations, your code name is ‘red dog’.

Grapevine Needs Letters from Readers

LET US HEAR FROM YOU!! Please send letters or e-mail to the Grapevine (see addresses in box on page 2) on anything which you believe your fellow retirees might be interested in reading. Readers I have talked with enjoy contributions from fellow retirees as much as any feature in this newsletter.

Chris Bona Convalescing     bona.jpg (4863 bytes)

If you’d like to send her a card or letter, you can mail them to:
Ms Chris Bona
c/o 1234 Silverado Rd
San Jose CA 95120

Charline Lamons in Hospital

Charlene Lamons is undergoing a lengthy recuperation in a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma.    She'd appreciate calls at  1-918-744-2345, ask for 9th floor, west wing.    Charlene was one of the original faculty when the college first opened in 1961.   She retired from the English Department at Grossmont College more than a decade ago.

In Memory of Teddy Ferguson          ferguson.jpg (4681 bytes)

Teddy E. Ferguson died on Wednesday, February 19. She worked in the Steno Services Department at Grossmont College from 1971 until her retirement in 1983. She was 79. Survivors include her husband, Jack, and two daughters, Karen Beeson of San Diego and Tanya Morales of Sacramento.

On the Brighter Side
Lori Carver, our Risk Management/Benefits secretary, who works very closely with district retirees, forwarded the following with a note that it might elicit a chuckle or two from our retirees. I agree, even though the orientation is clearly East Coast.

(From A Child's View)

After Christmas break, a teacher asked her pupils how they spent their holidays. One small boy wrote the following:
We always used to spend Christmas with Grandpa and Grandma.
They used to live here in a big brick home, but Grandpa got retarded
and they moved to Florida. Now they live in a place with a lot of
other retarded people. They all live in little tin boxes.
They ride on big three-wheeled tricycles and they all wear name tags
because they don't know who they are.
They go to a big building called a wrecked hall, but if it was wrecked
they got it fixed, because it's all right now. They play games and do
exercises there, but they don't do them very good.
There is a swimming pool there. They go into it and just stand there
with their hats on. I guess they don't know how to swim.
As you go into their park there is a doll house with a little man
sitting in it. He watches all day so they can't get out without him seeing them.
When they sneak out they go to the beach and pick up shells.
My Grandma used to bake cookies and stuff,
but I guess she forgot how. Nobody cooks, they just eat out.
They eat the same thing every night, early birds.
Some of the people are so retarded that they don't
know how to cook at all, so my Grandma and Grandpa
bring food into the wrecked hall and they call it pot luck.
My Grandma says Grandpa worked all his life and earned
his retardment. I wish they would move back up here,
but guess the little man in the doll house won't let them out.



Volunteers still needed to serve on ad hoc committee on retiree benefits and concerns. Contact Lori Carver in Risk Management/Benefits at 465-7710. The committee will meet infrequently and only as needed to address issues of concern to district retirees.

Grapevine’s Web Page Greatly Expanded

Grapevine’s website is located on the campus server at
The website provides an opportunity to view the current issue weeks before the hardcopy issue reaches you. The pictures are in color and there are links to other material from articles within each issue. There is an archives section which contains every Grapevine published since its inception in 1990 with the exception of a few remaining issues from 1990 and 1991 (which Sirkka Huovila and I are still working on).

There is also a search function on the homepage which enables you to type in a key word or words (e.g., a person’s name) to locate instantly which issue/s that word is found in, and hyperlinks directly to that issue. You can determine when someone retired, if they’ve been mentioned in any previous article, if they are deceased, etc.. There is also a guest book where you can leave comments and read the comments of other readers. And all of the text and pictures are downloadable and editable. This is the place on the web to find out about your fellow retirees. Check it out.