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Mardi Gras at Monterey

An energized crowd invaded the Monterey Yacht Club on February 16 to usher in the Lenten season with a charged up Mardi Gras celebration. Leis and masks were passed out to willing participants, and there was plenty of dancing to music provided by Night Rhythm.

And games! There were games of skill and games of chance. YMCA, of course! Then you got to enjoy Macho Man, with the Indian and soldier and construction worker all decked out. Battle of the Sexes pitted five men and five women against each other to see which sex was smartest and quicker to arrange themselves tallest to smallest. Everybody won. Wine for the men and delightful heart-box candy for the women.

The season called for a pinata, and this one required four hefty swings of the stick by the second blindfolded lady to smash it up. The waiting crowd wasted no time rushing out onto the floor to grab the candy. Music, singing, dancing, games, prizes – before you knew it, it was over, and everybody was exhausted! At the proper time next year, they’ll all be back.

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Vegas Night at MYCC

A bid goes out at auction for a hundred thousand dollars to claim a prize – a haircut at a local shop and a dinner at a local restaurant . A homemade cake goes for two hundred thousand dollars. You’re not dreaming. You’re at the concluding festivities for “Vegas Night” at the Monterey Yacht Club, and the money offered at this auction is play money. You’d never know it, though, from the behavior of the participants, intent as they are over each bet.

The evening’s entertainment is at the blackjack tables, the roulette wheel , and the craps table, where gamblers are at work making their bets and hauling in thousands. Convert some bills to plastic, and you’re on at roulette, where players place chips of many colors to cover numbers in red or black squares as the wheel spins. Stay with one table all evening or wander around with a handful of bills, you pick your fun. That pile of play money, worth five American dollars at the door, gets bigger and smaller as the evening wears on.

What’s left of it ends up back in the hands of the organizers through an auction for dozens of prizes donated by local merchants. A dependable format that’s been bringing cheer and excitement to Monterey’s gamblers for years.

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Second Time Around at Monterey

Living up to its reputation as the outstanding social event of the year, the Second Time Around Sale on the first Saturday in February, 2016 called forth wares from Monterey closets and cupboards and shelves to shine into new life and usefulness under new ownership. For two weeks the pool room lost its seclusion as it became the heart of collecting and sorting enough goods to fill solidly arranged tables inside and outside the clubhouse.

Where else can a single morning’s shopping turn up a big, red ceramic mixing bowl, a stunning necklace, a set of matching sofa cushions, a seriously useful hammer and wrench, a table lamp with shade, a handsome handbag, a set of golf clubs, a smashing gown, a pair of framed paintings, a tasteful arrangement of silk flowers, a swivel rocker, an electric coffee pot, and a plate of homemade cookies?

Now you see it, now you don’t. At twelve noon, all remaining unsold goods is packed into boxes for pickup by a worthy charity. Yet the unifying effort and fun of a fast-paced project bring rewards of new friendships and new awareness of the wholesome place we have chosen to call home.

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