When it comes to helping students, athletes, readers, North Coast citizens and causes she believes in, retired educator Teri Lord — grand marshal of the 2013 Pinedorado Parade — is at the top of her class.
All that fits in quite neatly with the Lions Club of Cambria’s Pinedorado theme this year: “Roar into Tomorrow: Volunteer, Make it Happen!” and makes Lord a suitable honoree for the parade on Saturday morning, Aug. 31.
The list of Lord’s Cambria accomplishments and involvements is wide ranging. The retired coach, physical education and English teacher:
• Is the dedicated scorekeeper for Cambria Youth Athletic Association basketball and a variety of sports at Coast Union High School, including basketball (home and away) and baseball, and is scoreboard runner for the volleyball and football teams.
• Is third vice-president of Friends of the Library. She does the book drop every Wednesday, magazines on Thursday, publicity, collects donated estate books and works nonstop during the book sales and other fundraising events.
• Joined the Lions Club of Cambria in 2005, as the club’s second female member. She was Pinedorado co-chairwoman last year, in charge of the event’s barbecue the past three years and coordinates the club’s Project Lifesaver, which puts tracking equipment on patients with memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. She also maintains the equipment. Lord also is scholarship chairwoman for the club, which gives four-year grants to grads.
• Drives the Cambria Community bus, including for at least three annual trips a year for symphony fans to attend rehearsal performances.
• Drives for Cambria’s Anonymous Neighbors, taking elderly and infirm people to medical and other appointments.
• Is a self-appointed clean-up/beautification volunteer at the brown “Windsor Wall” near the “Spaghetti Bowl” intersection (the cluster of nearby intersections of Windsor Boulevard, Moonstone Beach Drive, Highway 1, Charing Lane, Main Street and Kent Street), pulling staples and nails and disposing of forgotten signs, neglected announcements and random junk that accumulates there.
How she got here
As is the case with many North Coast residents, Lord wound up here on a vacation fluke. Longtime friends of Jim and Joan Wilson, Lord and her mother, Geri Lord, used to housesit in Cambria for the couple when they took long summertime vacations.
“Teri and I taught together and lived in the same neighborhood in Newhall,” Joan Wilson recalled.
The Lords were traveling to Oregon in 1986 to find retirement property when they stopped here to visit their pals.
Cambria and the Wilsons worked their magic, and the Lords bought Cambria property instead.
Teri Lord, who never married, continued teaching at Saugus High School. She was athletic director and coached tennis and softball while also teaching English.
Construction was delayed four years by the water shortage and the moratorium, Geri Lord died on the very 1992 weekend on which the house was finished. “She never got to live there,” Teri Lord recalled.
Lord continued teaching, but found ways to be in Cambria whenever she could. She worked in day security at Hearst Castle for 10 summers, and for veterinarian Ennis Ogorsolka for two.
She retired in 2004 after 25 years, having wearied of having up to 67 students per PE class. After a battle with thyroid cancer, she worked for Cookie Crock for more than three years and Morro Bay Parks and Recreation for two.
Then “I started volunteering.”
That’s an understatement.
The lady of many passions found more than enough to do, and in doing so, has made a huge difference, according to those who work side-by-side with her.
“Cambria benefits from having retirees” like Lord, said Wilson, who’s also active in the library group. “She’s involved in the things that make Cambria the caring community that it is.”
Lord said, “This community has embraced me big time,” adding that when she was notified of her grand marshal selection, “I was shocked to get the letter, flattered and humbled. There are so many more people who are more worthy.”
“I love Cambria,” she said. “Living here is still a vacation to me.”