New SRHS Principal

It was my privilege to pay a visit to Nicole DeWitt, our new Scripps Ranch High School principal. I found her to be a dedicated educator, who will help all students achieve their academic goals.

I found that she is well aware of the fantastic academic record of SRHS in terms of student achievement and will work to keep, and enhance, that accomplishment. Nicole is charming, with a wonderful and welcoming attitude, as well as the skills to reach new goals for our outstanding school. She is a splendid addition to SRHS.

Holiday Tree Lighting

It does not seem possible that one of the best family events we have held for 35 years in Scripps Ranch is now expanding! It is now joined by the beloved Symphony in the Park for an even better community tradition. And, best of all, we still collect toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.

I remember the first event in Jerabek Park when Steve Vaus, now Poway mayor, played his guitar as our only music for the Christmas carols led by the Girl Scouts. Not well known is the fact that I was threatened with a lawsuit for holding a religious event in a public park. We reported we had Hanukkah songs along with the carols and the threat vanished.

In all the years it has always been chilly and jackets are needed. But we have never canceled it for snow or rain!

The new tree just planted by the Scripps Ranch Civic Association is the seventh one to grace this spot over the years. One was felled by wind and another was destroyed by vandals. The tree is fenced now for its protection, and it is the only fenced spot in Scripps Ranch.

A fun time was had by all, even the Marines! They count on the generosity of our community as they collect toys for children in need. Thank you!

Remember Pearl Harbor

I remember the day well despite the fact that it happened 76 years ago. I was living with my parents in Fort Kamehameha, which was next to Hickam Air Force Base and was the main channel for entrance to Pearl Harbor. At 8 am we were awakened by the sound of low flying planes over our house strafing us, and there was a staccato noise as machine guns were fired.

My father and I rushed out of the house, and my father shouted that we were being attacked. He reported to his duty station at Pearl Harbor. I helped round up the families and took them to a protective bunker. Then I went to a small observation tower and fired at the planes continuing to pass over in strafing runs. I probably missed but it felt good to do something.

Then I went to the harbor and helped in the clean-up and rescue efforts. I reported to the Hawaii Territorial Guard as a first sergeant, and I was designated as the personal bodyguard for Governor Joseph Poindexter and a guard at Iolani Palace. You may know it from the television show Hawaii Five-0.

Admiral Chester Nimitz recommended me for appointment to West Point, and Senator Clyde Herring of Iowa appointed me. It started my 34-year tour of duty in our armed forces. I consider it a rare privilege for me, as American soldiers are the finest to command and lead.

The events of that day are burned into my memory, and I can’t forget those who lost their lives. The cleanup and salvage was ghastly work. The reaction of Americans to this sneak attack was the stimulus for our major war effort and brought out the finest reaction. God bless America and God bless all of our active duty military and our veterans.

Bob Dingeman