Spindrift March 4, 2021

ZOOM/LIVE MEETING! Beginning at about 12:10, President George Lesley opened with a thoughtful prayer of appreciation for the blessings we have been given, followed by the salute to the flag led by Ed Romeo. George’s weekly quiz posed solar system questions on the number of craft we have sent to Mars (5), how far is it to the Moon (238,000 miles) and how far did we travel to Mars (33 million miles). Now you know. George, some of us like your kick-off quizzes!


We had a couple of Honored Guests, namely Roger Summers’ son Kurt visiting for the third time, and Roy Shlemon’s and Bob Wood’s guest Bernie Rubio. Dave Schapiro has agreed to give the program next week on vaccinations. Ken DuFour encouraged us to remember less agile member Deane Bottorf in many ways since his daughter Cinda is nicely caring for him. It was announced that even though Honorary Member John Moorlach has caught COVID, many of us will vote for him because we think he’s the right person to be the Orange County Supervisor.

We were thrilled to be blessed with the enthusiasm of our gifted speaker, Celeste Dennerline, who graduated from USC in 1977 and came to Newport Beach in 1978 and fell in love with our City, volunteering at the Environmental Nature Center for 25 years. Since 2014, she has been the Chairman of Visitor Experience at the Balboa Island Museum, conducting private tours and sharing her historical stories with the community, service clubs, and organizations. She loves to tell a good story, and she told us about the myriad of aspects of the Balboa Island Museum. A couple of photos at the bottom of the pages illustrate the nature of activities.

Celeste Dennerline
Teaching Third Grade Students
Teaching Third Grade Students

The Museum is a treasure for Newport Beach, with adjectives like, “pretty great”, “smile,” “free.” You can enjoy it in as little as five minutes, or you can spend three hours learning our touching history.

History starts with the first 10,000 years here and comes to the present with the Beek family. Hear the history of the yacht clubs and fishing stories. The museum is organized into multiple “pods”. There is a children’s pod with games, a Boy Scout Jamboree pod, a lifeguard pod, and a John Wayne pod of course.

The Chamber of Commerce helped them open the museum about 20 years ago, and two years ago they moved to their present location, a great spot on the left on Marine Avenue as you enter. They are having about 40,000 visitors a year even with Covid. They are starting a new focus on events recognizing support for veterans, with 30 to 40 vet recognition ceremonies this year, such as picnics and dinners.

Scouts Visiting the Museum
Scouts Visiting the Museum

They are also starting a new program to teach local history to 3rd graders in the Newport Mesa Unified School District, create a multimedia presentation and booklet, and reduce the burden on teachers by supplying the program materials and content. This program will answer four questions: why did people settle in California, who were the first people in my community, why did people move to my community, and how has my community changed over time? They plan to design and distribute up to 10,000 booklets to all the third-grade classes and are hoping to raise about $10,000 to do this.

Celeste Dennerline and President George

Thank you, Celeste, for sharing with us your great plans for your exciting presentation and superior insight to the Balboa Island Museum.

The program will be about vaccination status and options as presented by our retired pharmacist Dave Schapiro. We hope to have an agenda to permit the Zoomers to know ahead of time when it’s break time for eating lunch.


The BCYC has announced that we will be inside, starting March 11. Reservations still required, please, to determine the number of meals, “Chef’s choice” as we have been doing.