Opportunities lost, then found

Second chances ... if you look for them

Opportunities lost, then found

ktanner@thetribunenews.comMay 3, 2012 

Imagine that you’re all ready to go to a long-anticipated special event … and then real life interferes. You can’t go. Bummer, dude. But if you don’t give up, sometimes you can find a second chance. No, it’s not as good as the real thing, but it can be better than being shut out entirely.

I enjoyed two second chances within three days recently.

First, we missed out on the memorable memorial performance honoring our late jazz great and Cambria resident Red Holloway. As hundreds of people gathered to celebrate Red’s life, talent and accomplishments, Husband Richard and I were stuck at home, waiting for a vastly delayed cable guy. By the time the repairman left, having apparently screwed up our system, Red’s memorial was over and my mood was so foul, I wouldn’t have inflicted it on anybody else anyway.

Our second chance?

A YouTube search proved that kind camera folks had posted video clips from the jammin’ jazz session. So, we enjoyed some of the performances after all, and got all misty-eyed when Red’s daughter Denice Holloway-Rivers sang “At Last,” the song she never got to sing with her dad.

In case you missed the memorial, too, try these links:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gujlcqJS3jQ

www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2aD9THNIzY and

www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2aD9THNIzY&feature=related.

Two days later, we missed the festive premiere of “California Forever” at the Hearst Castle Theater. *(&*&^%^$#$+#

We support the Central Coast State Parks Association’s cause and love watching films on the theater’s supersized screen. But as the festivities began, I was still working on deadline.

The second chance? Wednesday, I asked my friend Lee Putnam, the theater manager, if they’d screen the film there again. He said no, not in the foreseeable future … but that a DVD is available!

I was at his doorstep that same day.

Of course, the film’s images are splendidly majestic. These are state parks, after all, crown jewels in an ultra-scenic state with mountains, deserts, legendary forests, seaside shorelines, big lakes, remote burgs and mega-cities.

For producers, the hardest part wasn’t finding enough wonderful sights to include in the documentary. It was making the gut-wrenching decisions about which ones to leave out.

The film is billed as “a celebration of the California State Parks legacy,” and indeed it is, from Yosemite and the redwoods to the Sierra Nevada and our castle, our rock, our elephant seals, our very own stretch of ocean and shore.

The documentary reminds us why the areas were set aside in the first place and of the sacrifices people made to create the parks. California’s state parks are under severe financial duress now, and some are due to close July 1. All of us must do whatever we can to help now, to preserve these gems and keep them available forever for everybody.

This fall, PBS is to nationally broadcast the two one-hour “California Forever” episodes on KQED, San Francisco. But the impatient (like me) can buy the video now at Hearst Castle Theater and Aramark’s gift shop ($14.98 plus tax; some proceeds go to the Friends of Hearst Castle nonprofit).

Looking ahead, I wonder what will happen the next time the Tanners plan to go somewhere fun?

Let’s see. Friends of the Elephant Seal’s fundraiser is at the castle theater at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Marine biologist, diver and field producer Holly Lohuis of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society is to share her stories and stunning ocean footage will be shown on the big screen. Go to www.elephantseal.org for details. Tickets, $10, are at the Cambria Chamber, the Friends’ San Simeon office and online.

Then the annual Polenta Dinner fundraiser for Old Santa Rosa Chapel is Sunday, May 6 … the Cambria Chamber’s business mixer is May 9 … the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary “Discover Your Central Coast” lecture series continues on Friday nights … Cambria Education Foundation’s “Celebration of Education” is May 11 and their Garden Tour is May 19 … the latter is also when Greenspace’s grand opening of the renovated, historic Red Temple’s interior is … “Outward Bound” is at the Pewter Plough Playhouse. There are concerts, breakfasts, dinners and plays and so much more.

Gee, I hope I’ll actually get there this time … somewhere …

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