Another Great Pete Shaw “Classic”

In 1985 I started The Alpenhorn newspaper and I was the owner for many  years. I have a lot of my old newspapers and I enjoy going through them and when I find stories that I think people will be like I put them on my blog. Without a doubt my friend Pete Shaw,who was principle of (then) Running Springs Elementary (now Hoffman Elementary School), sold more papers with his wit than anything else during those years. Fortunately I have several of my newspapers so here is one of his wonderful stories.

“I’ve always admired people who can tune-up cars, fix plumbing and understand electrical wiring. anyone who can remodel or build their own home possesses a gift of genius in my opinion: the miracle of cutting two 4x4s and have them fit neatly together to make a corner borders on the supernatural.

I would love to be able to throw on a carpenter’s apron ,draw my forearm across my mouth (John Wayne style) and stagger away exclaiming, “I think I’ll just add a room or two; see yuh in a couple of days.”

Instead, when I pick up a hammer or saw, the dog immediately puts his tail between his legs and slinks away; the cat takes refuge on the top of the bookcase to watch the show, and my children walk the neighborhood to see if they can find a place to spend the night.

I lack just two qualities to be a genuine handyman; skill and patience. The problem is that I refuse to accept the fact that I’m inept.

My friends in construction always say “Just tear out a wall  and you’ll have to learn, there’s nothing to it.”

That advice is tanamount to handing a seven-year-old kid the keys to a Peterbilt and saying,” Just start the engine and put it in gear; everything will work out.”

I tried to hang paneling once. My real disappointment was that molding didn’t come in 2 1/2 ft. widths to cover my multitude of errors. Actually if I could have used the molding on the top and bottom of the wall there would only 3 feet of exposed paneling and 3 feet of molding.

If I ever attempted a remodel it would end up resembling the Winchester House of Mystery.

This past week was a tough one for my ego. The light fixture above the kitchen table expired with a rather spectacular pop and flash one morning as I emerged from the shower. Ignoring caution, I attempted to replace the fried socket by just turning it off at the wall. For reasons I still don’t understand, I became a human conductor; during those brief moments I had great empathy for every insect that ever flew into an electric “bug zapper.” I felt a great sense of relief that I survived; it could have been really ‘tacky’ to be found prone n the kitchen table in my old threadbare terrycloth robe.

A day later I decided to set” a new toilet. Notice how I use the jargon? I had watched a plumber install one in our other bathroom a few months earlier and it just didn’t seem that difficult. I journeyed to one of those Astrodome type home supply places and returned with a feeling of misplaced optimism. Thing went swimmingly. I “set” the stool and secured the tank, turned on the water, pulled the handle and “wonder of wonders,” it worked! I was euphoric. The only small flaw was that the top of the tank wasn’t exactly level. Armed with a wrench I squirmed myself on my back into a contorted position beneath the tank and looking up, gave the nut one last half-turn. there was a sickening pop (that’s what porcelin sounds like when it cracks) and immediately drops of water began bouncing off my forehead; soon the drops turned into a steady stream and I  realized I had exercised poor judgment once again.

I tried to apply the experience to living in general.When things are fairly flush accept the idea that life just doesn’t function entirely on the level. Most of the time if you try to crank out too much pleasure the fragile existence will crack, leaving a flood of sorrow. Go ahead call it corny; I know it’s not profound but I need to believe I salvaged something from the experience; excuse me, I’ve got to towel off my head.


“Another Trashy Day in Paradise!” From May 27, 1993 Issue of the Alpenhorn

As I peruse so many of my old newspapers, The Alpenhorn, I am enjoying going through so many of my old newspapers. I was the original owner and spent thousands of hours writing through the years. As I look through so many of them it’s fascinating history and the headline for this community clean-up day was and the headline for the issue was “Another Trashy Day in Paradise.

We should keep that event going so our local communities get at least a one-a-year sweeping and thanks to the chamber of commerce and a couple of other local  groups we seem to be doing that.

Are You Ready for a “Flash Dance on April 17?”

Be sure to mark your calendar for a fabulously fun event on April 17 at 9 a.m. in Lake Arrowhead Village. Not only will you enjoy every second but you’ll be a part of the fun that ultimately may help get a community teen center for our local kids in the Rim communities. Never been to a flash dance?????? Don’t worry, just show up and have a great time.  Everyone who participates will talk about this idea and how much fun they had helping this great Rotary-backed project see the light. Everyone who shows up will be dancing to “Good to Be Alive” on You tube. Don’t worry if you can’t dance because there will be a dance get-together

Tell your friends and get their friends to participate in this fun event. It’s one of those events that people will remember for a long time but if you’re not there you’ll miss out on the fun. Not only will this “dance” be fun it will be a big hit!

Pile Burning Continues in Local Mountains

Pile burning continues in the Big Bear area as well as other areas of the San Bernardino mountains. According to information from the U.S. Forest Service the burning sites are throughout the mountains.

* The current sites include Big Bear Lake, south of the lake between along roads 2N10 and 2N84.

  • Heaps Peak Helibase and the Heaps Peak Arboretum (along Hwy. 18 between Running Springs and Lake Arrowhead.
  • * Skyforest Fire Station-along Hwy. 18 through Lake Arrowhead.
  • * Rock Camp Fire Station-south of and along Hwy. 173
  • Cottonwood Fire station north of Lake Silverwood along Hwy. 38.
  • Interstate 15 (continuing) 13 acres of piles are set to be burned at the Mormon Rocks fire Station, just west of I-15 in the Cajon Pass.
  • For updates on this work call the Forest Service Prescribed Burn Hotline at (909) 382-2711 or follow the forest service on Twitter at: https: llgo.usa-gov/tnf23.

Are you Single? Looking for friends? Get to Know Mountain Singles!

If you’re single and living in the San Bernardino mountain communities that encompass Running Springs, Lake Arrowhead, Crestline you may want to know there’s a group for singles. Mountain Singles is a free local nonprofit organization for people who love where they live and are single. According to the club more than 400 registered members are a huge part of the club. According to information from Mountain Singles there are 4,300 single householders living in and around Lake Arrowhead, Crestline and Running Springs. According to the information in these communities alone there are more than 4,300 single householders living in and around these local communities.

Many of the members have come by referral from friends  and it is structured as a simple friendship club. Members just socialize, without any attempt at matchmaking. Some of the popular events are “Movie Night”, field trips hikes and many other events. That said, several couple have met mates through meetings. The organization supports the local chambers of commerce so this sounds like a great local group of great people. The members have a dinner every Wednesday of the month at  p.m. and members vote on the selection of local restaurants which is a great idea. On the first and third Fridays there is a Game night which is also a potluck.  A whole slew of restaurants and events, are involved throughout the year.

The group and the organization are great fun so if you’re looking for a good time and to meet new people this may be just the right organization for you. Currently there are about 400 registered membership and that membership has basically “held it own or close to it”  for the past several years.

Interested? New members are always welcome if they’re interested. Visit or call (909) 744-561. Give it a try!.


“From the Principal’s Pen”

As the original owner/publisher of The Alpenhorn newspaper I was so fortunate to have so many people who wanted to help. Without a doubt my friend Pete Shaw, who was principal of Charles Hoffman Elementary School, wrote wonderful columns for me. His columns were called “From the Principal’s Pen” because he was the principal of the elementary school. I never knew whether he would send a wonderfully sentimental column or one that was screamingly funny….or sometimes both. I have been going through a lot of my old newspapers and I plan to post some of them here on my blog. Some of them are quite long but all of them were wonderful and as I go through them I’ll post. I am so lucky to have several of his masterpieces.

            “From the Principal’s Pen: October 16, 1986……..”The “Burrito”

Burrito Day strikes terror in the hearts of our cafeteria people and me. Beth, Pat, Delores, Sharon and Lyn all toss and turn throughout the night in anticipation of the approaching day. Sweaty palms, they don their green berets and begin their drive to school, feeling, I’m sure, much he same as our troops who filed into the trenches of Verdin or boarded ships to cross the Channel on D-Day; except that their “experience” is repeated weekly.

Hundreds of students read their menues and plot their strategies of how to find a way to place themselves in forward positions in the lines.They know the first 50 burritos are probably the most generously stuffed. A feigned headache at 11:10 a.m. could put one in the nurse’s office by 11:15, a perfect spot to slip into line. Bathroom visits worked earlier on but the teachers are becoming wise.Even a defiant act, serious enough to be sent to the principals office, is considered because occasionally,if he is not there, some naive adult will order one of to the lunch line with orders to return after eating.

The line winds its way out of the cafeteria, up the stairs, past the office and and down the hallway past the third grade classrooms. Tension fills the area as students jostle for position. Bribery, threats and subtle intimidation for line advancement are constant as wafts of spicy aromas from the kitchen drives outside, unreasonable persons.

Earlier, I had reviewed  these soft, plump rectangle bombs oozing beans and cheese sitting row to row on the steam stable. they are the perfect terrorist weapon tossed into a crowded hallway or classroom, they can cause havoc confusion and some panic without an explosion.

Teachers lead their charges down the halls and avoid the contact with us as they drop their students into line. They turn, heads slightly bent in guilt, and flee to the staff room bunker where they huddle, stripped of personal to consume their h,knowing full well a pitched life hand-to-hand combat (sometimes we must physically try to flank us and cries of “Take no prisoners,” fill the hallways as Beth announces they have run out of burritos and the last 25 students will be served back-up frozen pizza wedges..

After last burrito day, I called Cafeteria Pentagon where the highest level men decisions are made and pleaded for a week of liver and onions, cream of broccoli soup, tuna casserole, eggplant souffle and cardboard Salisbury steaks.

My cries fall on deaf ears. Pompous nutritionists strutting about in starched smocks and gleaming name badges are too far removed from life in the trenches to understand.

From 2002: R.S. Golden Oaks Celebrate 20 Years Back Then

I have been having a love-affair (so to speak) with so many of my old newspapers. As the original owner of The Alpenhorn I have many issues and I am slowly going through them and enjoying every moment. For the 2002 issue the Golden Oaks seniors celebrated their 20th year and that was the headline for that issue . Here is the story I wrote back then to celebrate  the fabulous people who were involved.

“Formed in 1982 with 29 members, the current members of the Running Springs Golden Oaks celebrated their 20th birthday in a big way last Wednesday when they were joined by members of other senior citizens groups from Crestline and Twin Peaks as well as Crest Forest Seniors President Bob Holding and his wife Grace.

Current President Jodie Collins gave a brief presentation about how Golden Oaks was formed. Approximately 35 seniors gathered at the Boys and Girls Club of Hollywood Camp in 1992 to form the club adopt a constitution and by-laws and to elect temporary officers. During that meeting, the president of the Running Springs Lions Club and a representative fro the Arrowbear Lake Lions Club promised to support the club, both physically and financially.

Meetings were to be held at a  camp with the seniors doing some minor repairs and tutoring children in need, in lieu of paying rent for the use of the site. Some additional project members completed completed including the women members who were sewing tablecloths,and napkins. One member  made 50 wild bird feeders and the interim president, Harry Shedd (who was an outstanding photographer,) took photos of the grounds.  During that meeting, chaired by the driving force of the group, (Robert Hootman), it was decided the group would e called the Golden Oaks in deference to the “golden” age” of its members and the oak trees that abound over the mountains.

Shedd took over the reigns as the temporary president but he turned over the duties to charter member Winifred Brown when she was selected as the group’s first president. Both she and Estelle Stephens, who served as the first treasurer, were present during the special 20th  celebration on May 8. In addition, many of the original members attended the great event. A special thank you was given to Ron Brown, Winifred Bron, Cleo Lisle, Riley Waller, Joe and Adele Glasson, Herb Stephens and John Collins were all thanked for their years of dedication to the club.

Many former presidents were also honored for their services to the club and those who attended happily posed for photos. A special thank you was given to: Ron Brown, Winifred Brown, Cleo Lisle, Riley waller, Joe and Adele Glasson, Herb Stephens and John Collins for their years of dedication to the club. Prior to a chicken cordon bleu luncheon election of officers was held and Kathleen Griegson will lead the group through the next year.

The Robert Hootman Senior Community Center has been home to the Golden Oaks for many years. Tragically just two days before the ground breaking ceremony for the site Bob Hootman died of a heart attack and at that point it seemed appropriate that it would be named in  his honor. The building sits on property owned by the Rim of the World Unified School District and the Rim of the World Recreation and Park District owns the building. Once it was constructed, the seniors were designated as the managers of the site through an agreement with the recreation district.

Hootman Center is “home” to many different programs, groups and events, including weddings, parties, luncheons,  the monthly meeting of the Running Springs Area chamber of commerce and many more events. For information on what events are held or how to have an event contact the Rim of the World Recreation and Park District at (909) 337-7275.