“Paws and Claws” Mixer

December 27th, 2014

     The LGBT Center’s “Paws and Claws” Annual Member Mixer was held Wednesday evening, December 17th on the rear patio of the Twin Palms Bistro & Lounge in Palm Springs.

     An obligatory photo with Santa during The Center’s annual holiday gathering was part of the evening’s festivities. It was a nice event and members were encouraged to bring their four-legged friends where, according to the invitation, “Santa & Mrs. Claus will be available to take pictures with your canine companions” (cats, rabbits, turtles,

     I’m in the photo along with Fred Taylor, Santa and elf. Neither of us brought four-legged companions to join us in the photo and Mrs. Claus wasn’t available for our “close up”, but lent us the Elf as her substitution.

     Fred, of Vancouver Canada, and I are Tuesday-Friday duplicate bridge partners. In our photo the image over Fred’s head is definitely Not a halo. His husband, also named Fred, joined us later in the evening.

Bond -December 2014

More photos available on The Center’s website and its Facebook page.

Bond Shands
December 27, 2014
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Happy Holidays

December 24th, 2014

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Snoopy Merry Christmas


Happy Hanukkah




And Best Wishes


To All!


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Gamble House Excursion

December 20th, 2014

     The Gamble House in Pasadena, California was the destination of a recent motor coach excursion I took with members of the Palm Springs Frontrunners & Walkers club. The Gamble House, also known as David B. Gamble House, was designated a National Historic Landmark (in 1978), a California Historical Landmark, and museum in Pasadena, California, USA. It was donated to the City of Pasadena by the Gamble family and currently operated for the City by the University of Southern California.

     The house is known worldwide for of its wood and joinery as an example of American style arts and crafts architecture. It’s also “a glass-lovers paradise containing exquisite glass windows, light fixtures, wall sconces, cabinets, and doors”. The house and furnishings were designed by architects Charles and Henry Greene after being commissioned in 1908 by David and Mary Gamble of the Proctor & Gamble Company. “It was built using multiple kinds of wood; the teak, maple,oak, Port Orford cedar, and mahogany surfaces are placed in sequences to bring out contrasts of color, tone and grain. Inlay in the custom furniture designed by the architects matches inlay in the tile mantle surrounds, and the interlocking joinery on the main staircase was left exposed”.

     Entrance to the house requires paid admission for docent-led tours. There are five types of tours and events available including the following titles: One-Hour Guided Tour, Behind The Velvet Ropes, Details & Joinery, Fire & Light, Arroyo Terrace, and Brown Bag Tuesdays.

The Gamble HouseThe Gamble House and Living Room Furniture

      Sources for this report, including quotations and the photos, are from the the Gamble House website and Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

     The day in Pasadena was structured to allow additional time to individually explore, shop or visit other attractions. My time was spent in the Pacific Asia Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The museums are located within a block of each and both are administered by USC. Paid admission to one permits reduced admission price to the other.

     The Pacific Asia Museum includes a permanent collection of art from Korea, China, and the South Pacific Islands. It also features changing exhibits and the ones on display during my visit included Insight: The Path of Bodhidharma; The Rent Collection Courtyard: Fifty Years; and The First Wave: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Paintings in the USC Pacific Asia Museum Collection. I particularly enjoyed the Silk Road exhibit and Museum’s collection of Asian and Pacific Islander artworks that reportedly span 5,000 years.

     The Pasadena Museum of California Art does not house a permanent collection and instead features changing exhibits. The exhibits on display during my visit included artwork titled An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle; Burning Down the House: Ellen Brooks, Jo Ann Callis, Eileen Cowin; and Stas Orlovski: Chimera. I found Jess and Robert Duncan’s “An Opening of the Field” interesting. They were part of the mid-1950s artists residents in San Francisco.

     I enjoyed the eleven hour excursion and appreciated the opportunity to view and learn more about a few of the visual attractions available here in Southern California.

     The Palm Springs Frontrunners & Walkers club motor coach tours are always rewarding activities. It’s a treasured benefit I’ve used many times during my twelve years of club membership. I’m very appreciative of the volunteer club members who plan, coordinate and lead these trips.

Bond Shands
December 11, 2014
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Accidents. They just happen!

December 20th, 2014

Was hit by an automobile yesterday morning while riding my bicycle.

I was exiting the bike path that ends at Cathedral Canyon Drive south of the Whitewater wash. The path exit leads to a signed crosswalk across the four-lane roadway. Next to this intersection is a vehicle exit from Cathedral Canyon Country Club West.

A car was stopped in CCCCW exit so I proceeded onto the street crossing walkway. The next thing I knew I was laying on the pavement after having been hit by the car from the Country Club. Apparently the driver had started his car, turning right and failed to look at the crossing before doing so. Otherwise he couldn’t have missed me in my red jacket on a bicycle. The driver backed his car to his starting point, leaving me stranded in the open roadway. He then came over and asked if I was hurt. When I reported nothing apparent other bruises, he said he was sorry and then left.

I thought about phoning the police but noticed the small size and age of his vehicle along with the handicapped license plates and realized that was not a battle I wished to fight. Just considered myself lucky my top-to-bottom wearing apparel protected me from scraping skin while padding the bones

Later I found that the rear wheel of my bicycle was slightly bent from the encounter but, as for me, not much worse that when I started.

Accidents – they just happen.

Bond Shands
December 19, 2014
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New Home for The LGBT Center of the Desert

December 16th, 2014

          The Ocotillo Club is a group of LGBT Center of the Desert members (The Center) who pledge at least $1,200 annually (or $100 monthly) to support the financial operating needs of the organization. The Club has quarterly brunch gatherings in the homes of club members. Last Sunday’s annual Ocotillo Club holiday gathering was held again in the beautiful home of Mssrs David Hood & George Sellers. I attended along with my friend Andrea who accompanied me as my guest.

           The tasty brunch was catered by LuLu California Bistro and it was very good. Creative beverages were continuously available. I’m primarily a vegetarian so the olive, lemon and celery in my Bloody Mary(s) satisfied my brunch needs until the real thing was ready for consumption. Despite pleas from the staff that we return to the brunch line for “seconds”, most had fully satisfied appetites and were unable to honor the request.

          The news report about The Center was delivered by Executive Director Mike Thompson who sprang the event’s biggest surprise. Last year it appeared The Center would be moving to a new building on South Calle Encilia. The surprise was that an entirely different location had been selected and purchase has been made possible through the generous support of two Ocotillo Club members. The new location’s address remains secret to protect the privacy of existing tenants, however, a move to the new building is planned for 2015. The location reportedly is a 10,000 sq ft building which more than triples the approximately 3,500 sq ft in the present facility. Since the need for more space is one of the most significant deterrents to The Center’s growth, the future for a larger organization now seems assured.

The Ocotillo Club Membership List 2014-12-15

The Ocotillo Club Membership List (Click for larger view)

          The Ocotillo Club, now in its second year, it’s approaching 100 members and still growing.

          In my opinion, and one shared by many others, the success of The Center, where similar efforts in the past have faltered, belongs to board chairman Randolph Lowe. He’s the one with the vision, drive and determination to make the organization truly representative and a service of and to the entire Coachella Valley LGBT community. A current focus is an expanded outreach to the LGBT women’s community so that The Center fulfills its mission as an inclusive full-service organization. As for the future, Randy’s selections of board members reflects his approach to management and outreach. Although his role is not secretive, he’s not one seeking limelight so his guiding role is often unnoticed. Nevertheless, with Randy at the helm the continued growth and success of The Center appears assured.

Bond Shands
December 14, 2014


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