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Friday, February 25, 2011

Man About Town

John Pohlman, also known as HeWhoHasRetired, doesn’t spend a whole lot of time in his rocking chair.

Long ago, he tootled on a trumpet as part of The South Frisco Jazz Band playing at the Rouge et Noir coffee house in Seal Beach, California. The SFJB was an eight piece traditional jazz band featuring the sound of King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band of 1923 and Lu Watters' Yerba Buena Jazz Band of the 40's. Then known as Britt, his middle name, he retained his interest in music but found it necessary to go into the more traditional work force to earn a living as he married a sweet young thing and proceeded to raise a family.

Always a great singer, as well as a trumpet player, he became a member of the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club of Escondido and proceeded to teach those rascals how to sing. When he left, due to having to work in Orange County, the HV Kiwanis Club lost all sense of direction and hasn’t been able to sing one single song in tune ever since. Pohlman has been sought after as a new member of the Club ever since. So far, he has cleverly come up with many different excuses as to why he can’t possibly rejoin the club. (It might be that he doesn’t want to be associated with a group that sings so badly.)

Well, now that ol’ John has retired, he found himself with a whole lot of time, a bunch of fancy cameras, and since he had been an outstanding creative force with cameras, danged if he didn’t become a freelance photographer. Even formed a company ... called it Brittan, Inc. If that doesn’t sound like downtown, I don’t know what does.

John had better spend his time wisely for the next few months as come August he’ll likely have to ‘look busy.’ You see, that’s when his child bride also retires and there will be two Pohlmans in a retiring mood. One hopes they don’t get under one another’s feet and, somehow, they find fun things to do together.

Oh, yes. His retiring wife? You may have heard of her. She’s Suzanne Stewart Pohlman, the sweet gal who has so successfully headed up the Interfaith Community Services, Inc., for the last 28 years, which is a large non-profit organization dedicated to "helping people help themselves" in North San Diego County. Together, they have five wonderful children and eight talented and fun grandchildren.

If you happen to see ol’ John wandering around with either a trumpet or a camera in his hand, take pity on the old retired fella and either hire his band or commission him to go out and take some pictures for you. Either action on your part will keep this handsome gent occupied and out of trouble.

Speaking of handsome gents, another young man who has caught the attention of the community is that dashing young chiropractor, Dr. Stephen Heilman.

Dr. Steve, as I call him, is very active with his Escondido Kiwanis Club, being one of its past presidents. He is the Advisor for the Escondido High School Key Club (a high school training club for Kiwanis); he has accompanied its Key Club members to the Fall Rally at Magic Mountain for four years in a row and attended the District Convention in Sacramento last year.

A generous sort, he has also donated 10 1/2 gallons of blood at the San Diego Blood Bank. As a younger man, he used to do volunteer work for both 4H and FFA.

Keep an eye on this young man. Not only is he a brilliant young chiropractor, but he is a tremendous asset for the community.

Some other mighty nice folks we’ve run into while traipsing about town is members of the Hidden Valley Obedience Club, located out on East Valley Parkway, near the Humane Society and right next door to the dog park. While there, we met Diane MyLymuk, President and Trainer.

With the warm weather we’ve been experiencing, rattlesnakes have begun to come out. We’ve just acquired a new puppy within the past year and we want to get her trained to avoid rattlers, for her sake as well as ours.

Diane informed us they are having a rattlesnake avoidance clinic on Sat & Sun, April 9 & 10. The training teaches your dog to recognize and stay away from the scent, sound and sight of rattlesnakes. In Southern California rattlesnake bites are quite common, dangerous and often very expensive to treat. You may wish to protect yourself and your dog by registering for the clinic at or call (760) 670-3700.

Regular readers of The Paper will recall our recent stories, and even a feature within the ads, of Victor, the Talking Dog, who could always be found at The Escondido Mattress Factory.

Well, sad news.

We send our warmest hugs and deepest condolences to Ms. Laurie, Laurie Hippert, who had the sad duty of giving the green light to her veterinarian to put Victor down.

The poor Dachshund, it turns out, was loaded with cancer, had been ill for some time, and was having difficulty having any kind of life.

Those of us who have been owned and loved by puppies and dogs know what Laurie is going through right now, with the loss of her beloved companion, Victor. The two were inseperable and loved each other as only a dog and her lifetime pal can.

The hard part for those of us who know and love Laurie is that we recognize there’s very little we can do to ease her pain and sense of loss. We’re there to give her hugs, we’re there to let her weep on our shoulder, and we’re there to remember, with great affection, a mighty lucky and mighty happy dog who enjoyed the care, comfort and love of a beautiful lady.

Will Rogers probably summed it up best when he said, "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."

That’s how much we love the dogs who own our hearts.

Folks who don’t have, or have never had a dog, simply don’t know the love and deep devotion bestowed upon us by these affectionate creatures. Our puppies and dogs can say more with their eyes than the most eloquent human being.

That Laurie and Victor had so many happy years together should give her both some comfort now, and many memories to savor.

I wish I could say more to ease Laurie’s hurt . . . but words fail me.

Some other words of comfort, however:

“Sometimes he sits at your feet looking into your face with an expression so gentle and caressing that the depth of his gaze startles you. Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!"
Theophile Gautier

And finally, Your Man About Town would like to throw a bouquet or two in the direction of Hizzoner, Mayor Sam Abed of Escondido.

He has moved out rather smartly after taking the helm as Escondido’s new Mayor. At his recent State of the City Speech he outlined his eight goals he hopes to accomplish during his term of office. (See story in Local News). All of his goals are laudable, and, hopefully, attainable. That he has a conservative council majority should aid him, and the residents of Escondido, in meeting those goals. Go Mayor Sam!

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