Our Town: Happenings
By Sonia Tatulian
Nothing usually happens in Sunland-Tujunga on a Saturday, right? Most residents leave town or stay home. On Saturday, September 20, I chose to stay in town and attend a few events—and what a day it turned out to be.
At 9 a.m., I visited the North Valley Nursing Center on Wyngate Street in Tujunga. Staff had arranged for a visit from the Early Rodders car club. It was a perfect day to bring the residents outside and into the parking lot to see the classic cars. Their expressions of joy and their smiles were priceless. It is these small things that make someone’s day brighter. Thank you to center staff for putting this together.
Michelle Van Duzen had announced a fundraiser on her Facebook page a while back, to honor long-time area resident Donovan De Laney, who has been battling cancer for several years. Saturday evening, I went to Tee’s on the Green at Verdugo Hills Golf Course and met most of Donovan’s friends and former classmates.
I met Donovan’s sister, Diana De Laney, and Donovan’s niece, Samantha Godfrey, who told me about the cancer that Donovan has been fighting since 2006. He was clear of the cancer until May of this year, when it lifted its ugly head again. Donovan has since been on chemo and radiation in his fight to beat the cancer. Samantha told me that she put everything on hold, including her schooling, to come here from Mexico and take care of her favorite uncle.
Donovan has a good outlook on life. He started the Tujunga Fest, held every year since 2010 at the former Steel Pit, as a Verdugo Hills High School alumnus. Saturday’s event raised $4,300.
Last year the Elks Lodge had a luau to raise funds for its Christmas baskets program. This year the lodge held a beach party with barbecued baby-back ribs and chicken. The menu also featured corn on the cob, salad, and upside-down pineapple cake. I arrived at the party at 6:30 p.m. and could see the smoke and smell the grill as I got out of my car.
The Sound Waves band was up on stage playing classic beach music from the Beach Boys and the Beatles. All was relatively quite as we were finishing up the dinner. Sally Hall then walked in with her arms full of hula hoops, and the fun was on.
Every year the Elks Lodge raises money for the less fortunate families in the community. Last year the lodge served 40 to 50 families with Christmas baskets, and they expect to help the same number of families this year. If you would like to donate, stop by the Elks Lodge at 10137 Commerce Avenue in Tujunga. Also, every third Sunday, the Elks Lodge prepares an omelet breakfast from 8–11 a.m. The breakfast is open to the community.
I saw an invitation on Facebook for my favorite local band, The Working Stiffz, who were set to play at the Crows Nest Sports Grille. I could not resist stopping by to hear them play. The place was packed, and everyone was watching football on the big screens, playing pool, or listening to the band. I was surprised to see 90-something-year-old Al Timins enjoying the music. If you want a real sports bar and grill, stop by the Crows Nest. The food is good, and the entertainment is even better.
For all of you out there who say there is nothing to do in this town, you are missing out on mingling with your neighbors. See my article next month for more on what is happening in our town.