Saturday, January 30, 2010

Adventures in Southern California

On the way in, we stopped by Gary Dahle's house. His wife Judy will not be able to make the dinner tonight and we wanted to see her while we were down here. They had never met Carmen. We chatted, Judy played the mandolin, we traded some jam for some plum sauce and they gave us an extra pressure caner that they had. Thank you Judy and Gary. The time passed so quickly and before you knew it, it was time to leave.

We stayed at the house of Melinda Race. She is a dear sweet woman, who embraces the meaning of hospitality. Her generosity knows no bounds. I have known since grammar school. This time we got to met her other daughter. Melinda has a beautiful family.

Saturday morning, we got up way to early. We headed over to Yoyo's. Yoyo is a friend from Peru. She made us a delicious breakfast and we enjoyed chatting with her.

Carmen and I both got off early so that we could drive down to southern California. We left at 11:15 and got in just after 7:00pm. We made really good time until we were on the I210 East and got to the tunnels in Pasadena, then we crawled the rest of the way. If is funny how the diamond lane is often not as fast as the regular lanes.

(This picture was stolen from Grant Jones)

Next we headed over to Lee and Judy Fisher's house. Waiting there was another friend Cecil Brower. The Fishers and Browers are families that we were very close to. I went to school with their kids, we were in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts together. Our families spent a lot of time together. Both Lee and Cecil were very active in Scouts and attribute many good lessons that I learned to their efforts. There should be more people in this world like them.

We chatted about old times and where everyone was now and how they are doing. Next time I visit, I need to bring my dad. One of Lee Fisher's favorite quotes by my dad is "It isn't easy being a Webelo”..

While Mr. Brower still lives in his house in Glendora with is wife, Lee and Judy no longer live in their 5 bedroom house in Glendora. They now live in a beautiful 3 bedroom house in Rancho Cucamunga near one of their sons.

Next we visited COBOS (Diana Campbell), her daughter Zoe and her grandson Logan. What a cutie. He is a babe magnet and we took some short videos which are posted on Facebook. Can we say Facebook here?

That evening Melinda, Cobos, Carmen and I headed over to Honolulu Harry's for a mini reunion. The reunion was planned by Grant Jones of 1979 and open to all years, which has become the tradition. I think it was the best one so far. There was live music, yet everyone could hear. The prices were very reasonable, the food was pretty good and the seating worked very well.

(This picture was stolen from Pearl Sittrop)

I thought I was going to a COHS mini reunion and I was. I saw many friends that I always enjoy seeing such as Melinda Race, Judy Zeiter, Bill Hicks, Sonya Conn, Gary Dahle, Craig Schaeffer and many others, but my family was very active in Boy Scouts (BSA). Earlier this morning I spent time with some wonderful people from Boy Scouts, but imagine my sheer delight when two Eagle Scouts, Tom Sargent and Albert Funfstuck where there. Tom's dad was another one of those parents that were very involved. Until that day, I had not seen anyone from Boy Scouts in 30 years these two made for a total of five in one day. WOW.

(This picture was also stolen from Pearl Sittrop)

There were quite a number of people that showed up that have not made other reunions and so again it had been over 30 years since I had seen them. One such person was Jim Vanessa. Jim and I had played Little League Baseball together. Our very first team was the Delephane Truckers. Worst team ever! The following year we did quite a bit better as Savage Mazda. Naturally we had no idea what a Mazda was at the time or how to pronounce it. Jim's dad was our coach. He was one of those great parents that really make a difference. It was so good to see Jim after so many years. In case you don't know Jim, Jim was funny. He still is! We had a riot!

Carmen and I are very grateful for Melinda putting us up at her place and I am grateful to Grant Jones for putting this mini-reunion together. It was First Class!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Today Carmen, Lila, Kike and myself went to see Avatar. Normally I wouldn't write about seeing a movie in our blog, but there were some special circumstances that made this memorable. We had just laid to rest Uncle Don only the day before yesterday and it was good for us to do something to take our minds off of this loss and start to get back to normal.

I had a lot of doubts about this movie. I had heard mixed reviews from friends. I am not an incredible fan of James Cameron. I have found his movies, such as Titanic, to go on way too long. One friend compared it to Lord of the Rings, which I found totally boring despite many attempts to like this series of films.

I had decided that if we were going to see Avatar, we would see it on the Imax in 3D. I looked up the times on Fandango, but did not book the tickets. That was a mistake. The theater is in Dublin, California, which is a good 45 minutes from our house. Once we got there, we found out that they were sold out for the 3D Imax until 10pm, so we decided to watch the movie in 3D, but not on Imax. Next time I want to see something in Imax, I'm going to book my tickets in advance.

We had some time, so we decided to get something to eat at Fuddruckers. Besides beff, they have hamburgers made out of Bison, Ostrich and now Venison. I had to have it. I can now say that I have eaten Bambi.

The theater is the Regal Hacienda Crossings 21 & Imax. The theater was fantastic, the screen was very big, but the most impressive part was that the men's room has waterless urinals. Win one for the Green side!

3D can be annoying, this wasn't. Seems 3D technology has come a long way. There were none of the gimmicks in this movie of having things fly right at the audience. This was just a movie that happened to be in 3D and it enhanced the viewing experience. I was worried that Carmen who wears glasses would have difficulties, but that was not the case. How soon before 3D TV's hit the market.

This movie was amazing. I not only enjoyed the visuals, but thought it was a great story. The only movie I have ever enjoyed more was Star Wars when it first came out back in 1977. We all enjoyed this movie, so four thumbs up from the Bears.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Donald Robert Bear Laid to Rest

Today started at 11:30 with a viewing of my Uncle Don. He passed away earlier in the week at home at the age of 80. Today was a day filled with sorrow and pain, but also joy and unity.

There were bouquets and wreaths of flowers everywhere. The Bear Family is a very large and close family. Bears poured in from all over the west coast; but it wasn't just family. Friends were everywhere. Don was loved by all that knew him. He lived his life the way most of us wish they could. He did not drink, smoke, curse or brag and he was the most honest person I have ever known.

By the time the service started, the chapel was filled and there were people standing long the wall. His son Don, gave the eulogy. He did a wonderful job and there was not a dry eye anywhere. It was time for members of the family to speak, both his older bother Charles, nicknamed Puzz and his younger brother Jim spoke eloquently. I spoke for our family. There was no shortage of family members to wanting to express their love for our dearly departed Uncle Don. There were stories about fishing, cars, and wonderful woman named Marion, his wife. One theme that continued throughout was Don's amazing selflessness.

The service ran long because of all the people who wanted to speak in praise of Uncle Don. We proceeded from the memorial service to the funeral. My brothers and I were privileged with being pallbearers. After the body was lowered, the funeral portion was over.

We all headed to First Church of the Nazarene, were Don had been an active member for almost 50 years. There we looked at pictures of Don during his life, we ate, we told storied. We promised to stay in touch and we said our goodbyes. I am lucky to be part of such a large and wonderful family. I really got to know Don's wife, Kathy for the first time. I had not seen his children since they were both in strollers and now they are young adults. I had not seen Ralph in almost 35 years. We lost one of the strongest links in our family, but we pulled together and supported each other. We are stronger than ever.

It was a beautiful celebration of the life of a dear man.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Donald Robert Bear

Click on Images to Enlarge

Donald Robert Bear passed away, Sunday January 3, 2010 around 4:00pm at home. The cause of death is Leukemia. He is survived by his wife, 2 daughters, 1 son and three grandchildren.

On Friday, January 8, 2010 there will be a viewing starting at 11:00am and a memorial service at 1:30pm at the Chapel of the Chimes located at 32992 Mission Blvd, Hayward, CA 94544-8257
(510) 538-3131

Don and Grandma Grimm

Puzz, Grandma Bear and Don

The Bear Family is Complete

Family on Vacation

Don and Marion

His Own Family

The Kids Start their Families

Don, Marion, Louise and Ted

Puzz, Don, Mary and Jim

Family Reunion 2009 at Nancy and Mark's House/Winery