Guns, gin and golden anniversaries

From left, Brant Ruggles, Mitch and Sandy Hanes and Cliff Dawson

No fowl weather for the evening of the Gilroy Chapter’s Ducks
Unlimited dinner Tuesday June 7.
The fund-raiser for habitat conservation (remember, habitat =
ducks) brought the hunters out of their blinds and into the dining
room of the Eagle Ridge Club House, many still wearing their
camouflage.
No fowl weather for the evening of the Gilroy Chapter’s Ducks Unlimited dinner Tuesday June 7.

The fund-raiser for habitat conservation (remember, habitat = ducks) brought the hunters out of their blinds and into the dining room of the Eagle Ridge Club House, many still wearing their camouflage.

With a green light from committee chairman, Pat Knowles, I attended my first DU Banquet.

Not that I hadn’t tried to attend before, but my husband and sons always labeled it a “Guy’s Night Out.” On my way out the door, my husband, who hates to be mentioned in my column but doesn’t read it anyway, sheepishly mentioned I might see some scantily clad women selling raffle tickets.

All I can say is DU knows how to market to their target audience!

Cottage Floor owner Leon Grider and Tom Ruiz, founding Gilroy DU committee members, reminisced by the bar about the first years of DU in the area.

Mike Mantelli joined in waiting for the action to start with the live auction. Among the baseball caps and Carhart jackets, employees of the Santa Clara Valley Water District mingled and met up at the Texas Hold ’em table trying to win the hand that gave the most raffle tickets (a Royal Flush yielded $1,000 in raffle tickets).

It was a veritable Cabela’s fashion show mixing camo and steel-toed boots. I’ve never felt so safe or assured my dinner would include meat.

Regional biologist for Ducks Unlimited, Jeff McCreary, manned an informational table that outlined DU’s past and present projects in wetlands conservation.

All kidding aside, DU has a very distinguished reputation and Jeff assured me there was a purpose to the evening’s festivities.

After learning DU spends 84 percent of its revenue directly on conservation and employs six fulltime biologists dedicated to working with landowners in restoration, I had to admit the evening was serving its purpose of raising worthy funds. In my zeal, I volunteered to sell raffle tickets but I found out I don’t have the, ahem, assets to fill the raffle ticket selling costume. Maybe I can pull some ice plants in some bog or something?

Volunteering to stay married for 50 years, Harold and Ilse Bass celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary at a large gathering of friends, family and fellow musicians in the Fellowship Hall of the Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church.

Saturday’s party had the crowd laughing and crying over the stories the Bass’ told of 50 years making a go of it and not giving into the “let’s forget it” mentality of the modern divorce society.

Master of Ceremonies, Roger Bell and his wife, Penny, entertained the guests with calculations of 50 years of laundry, meals and kisses.

The totals included: 54,750 meals or 127,750 lbs. of food (64 tons), 148,607 lbs. of wash (74 tons) and 35,500 kisses, assuming at least two smooches a day.

Hal’s former stand partner in the South Valley Symphony, Beverley Olivier-Blount, played “Amazing Grace” on the violin for the couple then sang a few verses in her beautiful, soulful voice.

Olivier-Blount ended with best wishes to the Bass’ and a shout of “I know I’m gonna see you in heaven!” Beverley’s revival tent will be set up soon, and we’ll meet you all at the river!

Fearing she couldn’t keep the crowd as riled up, Sandy Haines shook her head and commented, “Did I have to follow Beverley?” Haines sang a smoky “When I Fall in Love” accompanied by Marilyn Markham on the keyboard followed by the Bass’ grandson Tim Duffy’s band Local Traffic.

Clearing the tables to make way for dancing, the band had the crowd swingin’ with “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue” with the lead vocal (a very talented tike) playing a ukulele. While Hal was out shakin’ a leg, Ilse clucked her tongue and smiled saying, “He’s going to be sore in the morning.”

Ciao for now.

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