4th of July Parade and Festivities

For the past 43 years Scripps Ranch residents have shown their patriotism and love of country in our annual 4th of July Parade and Festivities. Many neighborhoods, such as Loire Valley where SRCA President Bob Ilko lives, enter a special handmade float using the theme of the parade. These neighborhood entries have always been special and, as we do not include commercial advertising or politics, it retains the essential flavor of an old-fashioned community parade. It’s followed by a picnic and Pledge of Allegiance to the flag in Hoyt Park.

By all means, if you have the inclination, make up your own float and be a part of what is called the finest old-fashioned community 4th of July parade in Southern California. The entry form is on page 7. Besides, it is great fun to join your friends and neighbors and say “God bless America and Scripps Ranch.” See you all there with your personal flag to wave!

Annual Community Fair

I hope you all had the chance to attend and enjoy the expanded Community Fair in May. Remember, it was started 14 years ago by Wes Danskin. His idea was to provide a family event to bring the two parts of the Ranch closer together by sharing a day of fun in the then-new Community Park. Thank you to all our sponsors, participants, and, of course, the committee that made it possible. Just another event sponsored by your SRCA.

Scripps Ranch Civic Association

Have you sent in your annual donation yet? If not, please do so, and we can plan the year ahead, which includes support for the many activities that together make Scripps the finest family community in San Diego. Visit the SRCA website at [www.scrippsranch.org/fundraising] and make your donation online. Thank you!

Thanks a Heap

One of the delights of my long life is that you all voted to name an elementary school after me, so I could enjoy it in my senior years. It has been even more special that Dingeman Elementary School has achieved such lofty educational accomplishments and awards.

In April we had a trio of wonderful events, all put on by the fabulous faculty and parents. First, we celebrated Earth Day and planted trees and shrubs on campus. Then, we enjoyed my favorite day of the year, Bob Dingeman Day, in which we also celebrated my 91st birthday a little early. Yes, I turn 91 on June 12! Wow! I’m a really old soldier of America! The final event was a wonderful fundraiser and celebration—the Spring Carnival.

At Bob Dingeman Day, we recognized and thanked the school’s current and past principals. We also welcomed our incoming superintendent, Cindy Marten, and introduced her to our “E 4 E” motto, which stands for “Enthusiasm for Excellence. It means always doing the best you can in school and being proud of it. Thanks for all the hard work put into the events and making it all possible.

Fire Safety A Priority

As our councilmember Mark Kersey reminded all of us, we collectively must help the firefighters responding to a wildfire by properly preparing our homes and yards. We can prevent major damages from the fires, which can be anticipated this time of year, by clearing out debris and trash around our fences and yards, especially those close to open space that has more vegetation. Cleaning out the debris also helps hold down the rat population.

Cleaning Up the Ranch

I want to pass along to you the compliments I received on the fine communitywide earth friendly recycling events we had. Those included Clean-Up Day and the Scripps Ranch High School electronic recycling event—and don’t forget our ongoing blue containers. In addition, we had the communitywide Garage Sale, sponsored by Coldwell Banker, to reuse many items. Keep up the good work, as our good earth needs the help.

GI Dog’s Life Improves

The role of the GI dog in combat has been well documented. In fact, I was in charge of supervising the training and operation of the hundreds of GI dogs in Vietnam, which were used for bomb sniffing, combat patrols, and guarding fixed installations. We rotated new handlers each year and, of course, the handlers wanted to stay with their dogs and occasionally snuck them aboard the evacuation aircraft in duffle bags. The people in the U.S. feared the dogs would bring back diseases, but, happy to report, many remained pets.

In my years of combat, my soldiers always just happened to find dogs no matter where we went. They cherished the dogs and shared their food and sleeping bags, especially in the brutal cold of Korea. Now more servicemen and women are returning with their adopted stray pets.

One of my favorite stores of GI dogs was in Long Binh, Vietnam, when the sergeant came over to brief the generals on dog handlers. They brought Rex, a “retired” combat patrol dog that had lost its nerve and would not climb into a helicopter, knowing what could happen.

Rex was not impressed with the events and General Mabry, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner in World War II, said, “Dingeman, that dog is (relieving himself) on my desk.” I said, “Sure is, general. We will clean it up after the briefing and sorry for his action. No disrespect, sir. He survived three years with three different handles and is a special dog for us, not a pet.”

As I went around the headquarters later, I would occasionally hear a quiet “bark” from a fellow officer, reminding me of my fleeting fame with Rex, who was never invited back to headquarters, by the way.

Nice Thoughts for the Day

Winston Churchill loved these twists:

  • War and politics do not determine who is right; only who is left.
  • I used to be indecisive, now I am unsure (a great senior thought!).
  • If I agreed with you, we would both be wrong.
  • Since light travels faster than sound, some politicians appear bright until you hear them speak.

Bob Dingeman