Sunday, February 23, 2014

Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women's Club Hits the Jackpot With Casino Night Fundrai er

By Nita Keswick, staff writer.

Staff photo.
DATELINE: JORDAN AVENUE
A small, unassuming clubhouse became Monte Carlo, Las Vegas, and Pechanga all in one last night as the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club hosted their popular Casino Night Fundrai er.

Local residents were encouraged to try their luck at the Canoga Park
First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women's Club casino night fundrai er.
A portion of the proceeds from the festivities have been earmarked to
purchase much-needed new event banner software. Staff photo. 

“It was a hit,” smiled Mildred Smith, 77, Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club Vice-President In Charge of Tea Cozies, from her lovely Granada Hills home. “For a thirty-five dollar buy-in, you got a hundred dollars worth of chips. Gertie parlayed hers into nearly two hundred dollars and walked away with first prize - a coupon for two Arby-Q sandwiches down at the Arby’s on Topanga.”

First prize was a pair of these delicious Arby's sandwiches. Photo: Arby's.
Gertie, of course, is Gertrude Johnson, 79, of Porter Ranch, who acts as Director of the Task Force to Grow African Violets from Cuttings. She was thrilled with her prize but admitted “I don’t know when I’ll get back to Canoga Park to spend it. Oh, I’ll be there the first Wednesday of March for the club meeting but then a bunch of us gals usually head over to Stonefire Grill in West Hills for lunch afterward. Or to Coco's in Tarzana. Or sometimes Red Robin in Calabasas. Canoga Park Arby’s...? Well, maybe my grandson can use it.”


Other big winners included the chairperson on the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club’s Committee to Bring Back Antimacassars, Mabel Miller, 82, of Westlake Village. Her prowess at the craps table led to a big win of $150 - good enough for second place: A potted African Violet grown from a cutting donated by another member of the club; and Flossie Brown, 86, of Simi Valley, the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club Assistant to the President In Charge of Making Sure the Clubhouse Subscription to Dell Large Print Search-A-Word Digest Doesn’t Run Out, whose $75 in roulette winnings translated into third place: an adorable little hand-knitted tea cozy. “Oh, my, now I’ll have to start drinking tea,” Brown laughed.

Flossie Brown, a member in good standing of the Canoga
Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women's Club, relaxing
in her charming Simi Valley home. Brown was a big winner
at Casino Night, to the tune of one hand-knit tea cozy.
Photo courtesy Walter Brown.
Even those who didn’t go home as winners had a fine time. 

Ethel Jones, 91, of Agoura Hills, chuckled self-deprecatingly when mentioning that she lost her entire bankroll on one hand of blackjack. 

“I thought you were supposed to double-down on a hard nineteen, and I was betting fifty dollars a hand. Oh well, I’ve just never been good with finances,” sighs the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club Treasurer. “And maybe I shouldn’t have had that entire glass of Freixenet.”

While a lively, enjoyable time was had by all casino-goers, it was a bit confusing for rest of the neighborhood. 

“I don’t think any of us realized it was Saturday,” said Téodor Pasternak, who lives nearby. “We usually set our clocks by the four p.m. soundcheck, from whatever band is playing there that night. When that didn’t happen, no window-rattling bass from the dance music, no profanity-laced overloud conversations, no car stereos blaring, nor any unsupervised children screaming on the top of their lungs in the parking lot into the wee hours of the morning, I think we all of us here in the surrounding neighborhood just presumed it wasn’t Saturday. It was really quite unusual.”

Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club President In Charge of Neighborhood Cacophony, Doreen Farber, 85 of Winnetka, apologizes for the confusion and insists this weekend was a rare anomaly. 

Back door to the club: Open for business! Staff photo.

“You know, we try to strive for a level of consistency from week to week, so we did make sure to keep the door marked ‘This Door To Remain Closed’ wide open as usual, but we just weren’t making enough noise. But don’t worry - we’re booked solid from here to Christmas. Our normal class of reception hall renters will be back, oh, urinating outside on the walls at the edge of property, and all the rest, next Saturday. And you can take that to the bank!”

Sounds like a good bet to us!

Correction: An earlier version of this story mentioned that cockfighting was among the games available for gamblers to bet on. While cockfighting was among the activities enjoyed by some Canoga Park residents last night, according to the police blotter, it was at an address on Blythe, not at the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club. We regret the error.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Wyan-Blythe Community Excited Over Newest Neighbor

By Nita Keswick, Quilt staff


DATELINE: BLYTHE STREET

There’s an exciting new arrival on the 9200 block at Blythe - and it really is something to “crow” about!

Meet “Heisenberg” - the lively pet rooster of Canoga Park resident Radek Murta. 

Radek Murta's pet "Heisenberg." The rambunctious rooster's
already a local celebrity in the tight-knit Wyan-Blythe neigh-
borhood, with residents near and far recognizing his signature
"kukarekú" each morning announcing the last few hours before
dawn.                                                                             Staff photo.
“F_ckeeng...my cousin?  He in County til November...? So he give him to me before he had to go, an’ sh_t. He call him ‘Spongebob.’ F_ckeeng stupid name. I changed it to ‘Heisenberg’ because this rooster, he’s f_ckeeng bad-ass, you know?”

It certainly seems Heisenberg knows - and agrees, as the spritely bird begins squawking and fluttering aggressively towards the Canoga Park Quilt photographer who wandered too close to an upcycled car tire laying in the middle of the dirt yard. 

“You got to stay back, bro. F_ckeeng he has his food in that tire and sh_t,” Murta explains before adding that perhaps it was the photog’s proximity to the rooster’s “bitches” - as the young man calls the six hens that share the dirt yard in front of the cozy two-bedroom, mid-century home - that caused the brief uproar.

“Heisenberg, calm the f_ck down!” the 19-year old father of three admonishes his feathered friend as he gulps the last of a Monster energy drink and wings the empty can at him - which the pugnacious poult leaps to avoid but then surprisingly settles into a murmur of low clucking. Radek erupts in a staccato of laughter.

“Ha ha ha ha! F_ckeeng...he already knows his name and sh_t, yo! My little brother, Janko - f_ckeeng was playing with a tennis ball and it bounced behind the water pail over there...? He goes to get it and Heisenberg f_cked him up bad. Both legs and one arm all f_ckeeng tore up an' sh_t.  Ha ha ha ha!  F_ckeeng, he had to go to Urgent Care and shit. Dumbass! I told him to stay away an’ sh_t, you know? Heisenberg, he’s bad-ass. F_ckeeng, look at those spurs, bro. That sh_t is f_cked-up!”

A neighbor negotiating the sidewalk with a walker ambles by and calls out to Murta.

Unidentified Blythe Street resident
credits the rooster for its consistence,
precision and punctuality.  Staff photo.
“Hey, young man, this has to stop! That rooster wakes up the entire neighborhood at quarter to four every morning!”

“Ha ha ha ha!  I know, he’s f_ckeeng like a alarm clock an’ sh_t! Heisenberg, he’s f_ckeeng bad-ass!”

“No one around here can sleep anymore. Every morning, not even four a.m. and it starts," continues the elderly gent  who then turns and addresses me, looking for a sympathetic ear. "I’ve talked to ten people in the neighborhood - we’re going crazy! And even someone from as far away Runnymede was by here yesterday asking where the noise is coming from. We don’t know what to do. It’s every morning! I’m retired but a lot of these people have to get up to go to work. This shouldn’t be allowed!”

Having said his piece, however, he doesn’t press the issue and continues on his way, seemingly defeated. Murta, glowering darkly, watches him go.

“F_ckeeng old man. Heisenberg’s a f_ckeeng rooster an’ sh_t. That’s what he does, yo. F_ck the neighbors!”

It certainly seems that here on Blythe, newest resident Heisenberg is already cock-of-the-walk!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

We're Here! The Hometown Online Newspaper Tailor-Made For The Well-Read Canoga Parkian!

DATELINE: CANOGA PARK, CALIFORNIA

November 1665: England's first newspaper, the London Gazette, hits the stands and the world of journalism is changed forever.

1767: Benjamin Franklin helped found the important Pennsylvania Chronicle–which political historians agree was elemental in his later ascension to the office of the presidency.

September 18, 1851: The vaunted "Great Gray Lady," the New York Times, prints her first issue - one of what would end up being, and continues to be, many.

Summer, 1982: Enticing readers with color photos and fascinating infographics, USA Today pops up on the scene and propels an America recovering from the horrors of the Tylenol scare headlong into the 1980s!

February 2014: A brand new century, a new newspaper in an exciting new format - the online news"paper" is born with the launch of The Canoga Park Quilt - your cozy, community-based down-home clearinghouse for all things Canoga Park. From hard-hitting stories to light-hearted fare, we'll be covering it all.

Stay tuned!

Posted by Owen Smouth, your humble editor-in-chief.