Helen Ofield

A SCOURGE REVISITED: 1952 POLIO EPIDEMIC IN THE GROVE AND A GREAT ARTIST

The Way We Were: A look back at Lemon Grove 68 years ago. History is repeating itself as it often does.

 

By Helen Ofield (photo, left), Board member and Historian, Lemon Grove Historical Society

 

April 7, 2020 (Lemon Grove) –  First, a Couple of Songs

 

The hills are alive with the sound of spraying

the germs that will live for a thousand years;

The hills fill our lungs with corona virus and

We yearn to spray every germ that we fear(s).

 

Our hearts want to beat like the wings of a bat,

But we don’t want to eat every dog, pig or cat;

Our hearts beat and sigh like a virus that flies

And lands on a door handle and a door mat;

 

We go to the hills whenever we’re sneezing;

We know we will hear what we’ve heard before,

Folks trying to escape from the sound of spraying

As we promise ourselves we will sing once more!


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TODOS IGUALES (ALL EQUAL): LEMON GROVE RECALLS HISTORIC LATINX VICTORY-- FIRST U.S. COMMUNITY TO DESEGREGATE SCHOOLS

Treganza Heritage Park renaming also honors history of humanitarian Lemon Grove doctor
 
Photo: Roberto Alvarez at the far right in the third row
Courtesy: California State Library (1928)
 
By Kathleen Connell
 
February 10, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- A City Council discussion and unanimous resolution to rename City Center Park to Treganza Heritage Park opened an unexpected floodgate of memories about the diverse history of Lemon Grove, and a too-often-forgotten national Latinx farmworker landmark legal victory. 
 
Desegregation of US schools is usually attributed to the landmark 1954 legislation, Brown vs. The Board of Education.  In fact, the first successful desegregation challenge occurred at Lemon Grove in San Diego’s East County. Roberto Alvarez vs. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District, a legal challenge known as the Lemon Grove Incident, occurred in 1931, in the agricultural town of Lemon Grove.  Helen Ofield, past President of the Lemon Grove Historical Society, mentioned the historic win in passing to the City Council, in support of the park’s name change. 

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"DARE THE DEVIL" AUTHOR ROGER CONLEE AT LEMON GROVE LIBRARY SEPT. 23

 

WWII storyteller now stalks the mean streets of Los Angeles

September 12, 2015 (Lemon Grove) "– Not long ago, author Roger Conlee gave a gripping lecture on Fog and Darkness, his dramatic story of a journalist and a Marine navigating the final years of World War II. It was “vintage Conlee, the tale-spinner of 20th century history,” says Helen Ofield, president of the Lemon Grove Historical Society.


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THAT GREAT DAD: NO SOCKS, PLEASE, WE'RE ORIGINAL

 

By Lemon Grove Historical Society president Helen Ofield

June 4, 2015 (Lemon Grove) -- On Father's Day, nix the socks, ties, shirts and BBQ tools. Avoid T-shirts reading "Kiss Me, I'm Slovenian."  Like, really, how much of this stuff does any dad need?  Father's Day is just 35 days away.  Don't panic.  Remain upright.  Here's your list:


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LIVING LEGENDS ART & PHOTO EXHIBIT: MAY 29 AT LEMON GROVE LIBRARY

 

East County News Service

May 17, 2015 (Lemon Grove) -- San Diego Legends is an annual recognition of San Diego elders who lead by example. The Legends exhibit is comprised of paintings by local artist Mona Mills (famous for her realist style blending painting and photography to produce riveting, almost 3-D portraits), photography by San Diego County Library Director José Aponte, and an impact statement about each legend by Deputy Director Susan Moore.


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SAVE WATER IN YOUR GARDEN: FREE COMPOSTING CLASS MAY 2

 

By Helen Ofield

April 12, 2015 (Lemon Grove)--You planted green beans, snap peas, tomatoes, chard and zucchini, then stood back and waited for the good times to roll. After the funeral for the first four, you were left with baseball bat size zucchini. You left them on doorsteps at midnight only to be caught in the act by a dozen cell phones ("local weirdo leaves humungous zucchini for helpless neighbors"). The video went viral and you became the laughing stock of Lemon Grove.  But, wait...

Cry on the shoulder of the Lemon Grove Organic Garden Club and the Lemon Grove Historical Society. They're holding a free composting class on May 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. outdoors in Civic Center Park (between Main and Olive Streets) next to the historic H. Lee House, 3205 Olive.  Parking is free, too.


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ANNUAL CHILI COOK-OFF TO HEAT UP LEMON GROVE NOV. 1

 

September 26, 2014 (Lemon Grove)--“Let the insanity begin,” says Helen Ofield.”  Soroptimist International of Lemon Grove will hold its 10th Annual Western Roundup and Chili Cook-off on Nov. 1 from 6 - 9 p.m. in the parish hall of St. John of the Cross Church, 8086 Broadway, Lemon Grove. Tickets are $20 in advance or at the door.


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HELP LEMON GROVE PLAN A PARTY FOR THE COMMUNITY

 

June 17, 2014 (Lemon Grove) – Soon, Lemon Grove’s Main Street will be transformed in a concept that will be unveiled n the new future.  The public is invited to a planning party on June 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lemon Grove Community Center, 3146 School Lane.


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LEMON GROVE RESIDENTS HONORED

 

By Helen Ofield

Photos by Audrey Hamm

March 10, 2014 (Lemon Grove)--On Mar. 6, the 50th anniversary of its annual conference on regional history, the Congress of History of San Diego and Imperial Counties (www.congressofhistory.org) gave important awards to five present and former Lemon Grove residents for enriching and advancing the history of the region.  The Congress's vice president Louise Torio (chair, Friends of the Villa Montezuma, Inc.) presented the awards.


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NEXT EPISODE OF "JOHN ADAMS" FEB. 12 IN LEMON GROVE

 

February 10, 2014 (Lemon Grove)--  Episode Six "Unnecessary War" continues the film saga of the life and times of U.S. President John Adams on Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Lemon Grove Library, 3001 School Lane.   Sponsored by the Lemon Grove Historical Society in cooperation with the library, the stirring HBO series stars Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney as John and Abigail Adams, together with a stellar cast.


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COMMUNITY SEEKS HELP TO SEND LEMON GROVE STUDENTS TO WASHINGTON D.C.

October 29, 2011 (Lemon Grove) -- “Please help us send 8th grade students at Palm Middle School, Lemon Grove, to Washington, DC in March, 2012,” says Helen Ofield, president of the Lemon Grove Historical Society. “The trip--a first for most of the students--will cap two years of history courses in U.S. and world history and give them that in-person experience with the institutions and people who represent our government in action.  These 13 and 14-year-olds will greatly benefit from seeing our nation's capital just as they are preparing to move on to high school.”


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A FRUITFUL VISION: DEMOLITION STARTS SEPT. 22 IN DOWNTOWN LEMON GROVE FOR CREATION OF NEW MAIN STREET PROMENADE


September 18,2011 (Lemon Grove) – The public is invited to witness history on Thursday, Sesptember 22 at 12:30 p.m. City, county and state officials will be on hand to announce details of the Main Street Promenade Redevelopment Project—and watch demolition of vacant buildings near the trolley station.

 


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READER’S EDITORIAL: DEFEND OUR COMMUNITY SERVICES AND REC DEPT. FROM DESTRUCTON MAY 3

A community leader and historian contends that the City's proposal to eliminate its recreation department is a lemon--and that residents will be squeezed.

 

By Helen Ofield, president, Lemon Grove Historical Society

 

April 26, 2011 (Lemon Grove) – [Councilman] Tom Clabby has given permission to release to you his response to Howard Cook's bizarre email. Please see below. Cook, who ran as a budget wizard, is evidently unable to fathom the same budget figures you and I have been reading.

 

Poison pen letters like the one to Tom, wild statements to media (Channel 10 a couple of days ago, Union-Trib, etc.) to spread inaccurate statements, skewering long-time, skilled, city employees, attempting to divide the council on trumped-up fiscal issues -- all of this is a throwback to the bad old days when we suffered with a rogue councilman, who also touted himself as a financial wizard. The said rogue has long since been discredited, but not before nearly destroying the Senior Center with his budget mismanagement. In other words, history is repeating itself.


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