March Madness at Monterey

Bocce March Madness

On the last day of February, no less than sixty-four couples separated themselves out from the run-of-the-mill bocce enthusiasts of Monterey and committed to two weeks of pressure and suspense in search of the prized title as winners of the annual March Madness tournament. Each match assignment was all it took to stay in the race for one more round, or to face sudden elimination.

The enthusiasm of the crowd that assembled to watch the half-hour matches was equal to the dedication of the players. All the benches filled early, and the standing room behind the benches took care of the overflow. A newcomer kind of knew that the onlookers were bocce players too and truly appreciated the spectacle of skill on display. Watching bocce is fun!

Of the sixty-four couples who began the journey, one couple would be left standing. It took a combination of skill and luck, the right attitude, and a natural bent toward good sportsmanship to stand up under the pressure. In the end, after a hard-fought final game, Monterey’s bocce population was satisfied and smiling at the outcome.

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Entertainment and Dance Party


A veteran star in magic, comedy, and, yes, even ventriloquism, in the person of John Pizzi, extended his road trip by a day to please an old friend, playing to a capacity crowd at Monterey on a recent Sunday evening.

John is famous for his “one-two punch” style of humor, and, as a one-man show who is a regular at clubs in Vegas, Atlantic City, and New York, he works with the help of puppets, who pop off at members of the audience, some of whom happened to be Monterey’s manager, the resident photographer, and a character he tagged as Jurassic. His puppet characters Uncle Smiley, Smokey, Baby Princess, and Human Baby were well-received by the Monterey crowd, and, along with the Sophisicats for listening and dancing pleasure, provided a bang-up evening of entertainment with a bit of bite.

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Second Time Around Sale

Second Time Around 2018

Everybody has one: a household treasure from the “Second Time Around Sale.” Mine is a small statue of Benjamin Franklin complete with robe and wig, with a short phrase at the base,“Sue the bastards!” It makes me smile every time I look at it on my kitchen windowsill.

Who knows when the tradition started? It’s an annual event that has become a part of Monterey culture that provides excitement, camaraderie, mystery, discovery, and some appreciable income for Monterey activities. The first Saturday of February is a day you can count on.

First comes three weeks of collection. Everybody can contribute! It’s the stuff you no longer use or need that can take somebody else’s fancy. It all piles up and becomes merchandise! Appliances, furniture, kitchenware, clothing, lamps, books and games, and, of course, “White Elephant” and “Shabby Chic.”

Then it’s all over for another year, while Monterey is enriched in ways that cannot be calculated and will not be soon forgotten.

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Monterey Fashion Show 2018

Monterey Fashion Show 2018

A sold-out crowd on a Sunday in early March spoke for the popularity of the annual Mimosa lunch and style show. Accompanied by sandwiches, “wraps”, and cheeses, the Mimosas were scooped up from a bowl that was never empty.

And the style show! Monterey residents, untutored in the fine points of modeling, nevertheless paraded the chosen outfits in a charming and appealing manner. Part of the attraction was that among the models were three married couples, with both wives and husbands doing the modeling of outfits which fit them perfectly and fit the Monterey lifestyle. Dresses, dresses, and more dresses came down the aisle followed by a lively collection of shorts and tops, all at affordable prices.

The commentator, a professional representing the store from which the outfits were selected, chuckled and personalized the presentation, which took nothing away from her message of good looking sportswear at great prices - all at a store near you!

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Reverse raffle

Reverse Raffle 2018

Another sold-out party with every seat taken jammed the Yacht Club with fun-raisers on ( fill in the date.)  Music of all varieties – including Electric Slide and Rootin Tootin Boogie! - kept the dance floor filled. 

The evening began with the tricky gimmick of a “Reverse Raffle” during which each person had a ticket, and having your number called disqualified you from winning a prize. Later the good stuff came along and actual prizes, like certificates for free haircuts and dinners, were awarded. Everyone craved the grand prize of a month’s free maintenance!

The heart of the evening, though, was the music – all the pieces everyone loves and wants to dance to -  and just the pleasure of being with Monterey friends. 

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