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Past Special Events
 
What When Details
Fleet Week Cruise Oct 9
Fleet Week Cruise aboard USS Potomac
Approximately 120 members and guests enjoyed a wonderful day on the bay sailing the USS Potomac in the branch private charter during Fleet Week! Comments included the following:
"It was a wonderful afternoon...worth repeating!" - Peter Davey
"My wife and I had a wonderful time." - Peter Garcia
"Great day thanks for organizing" - Guy Greco 
 
Photos taken during the cruise!
 
Eugene O'Neill Theater Event Sep 19

 

EUGENE O'NEILL Play Night

Eugene O'Neill was America's first great playwright, and the only American playwright to be honored with the Nobel Prize for Literature. He lived at Tao House in the hills above Danville from 1937-1944. It was here that O'Neill wrote his greatest and final plays, including Long Days Journey into Night, The Iceman Cometh, and A Moon for the Misbegotten, among others.

Long Day’s Journey is a memory play about the playwright's family when he was growing up in New London, CT. His father, James O'Neill, was a prominent actor; his mother - a former convent girl addicted to morphine after childbirth; and his carousing brother Jamie. All have dreams, ambitions and secrets that impact younger brother Eugene (named 'Edmund' in the play). Long Day’s Journey into Night is considered one of America's greatest dramas.

A limited number of reduced price seats were reserved for SIR members and guests for this special event sponsored by the Eugene O'Neill Foundation. Branch 128 was well represented.

SF Victorian Home Tour Sep 3
A special private 2-hours walking tour of Victorian homes in San Francisco was organized for Wednesday, September 4. The cost was $25 per person. Our guide, Jay Gifford, took us on a tour of Pacific Heights with its colorful Victorian row houses, famous mansions, and beautiful gardens. Feedback from the tour was extremely positive. Lots of details and stories from our guide made the experience quite special.
 
 
Branch BBQ Aug 7
The SIR branch cooking activity group, led by John Noll, hosted 150+ members and guests to a fantastic cookout at the Central Park complex in San Ramon on Wednesday, August 7th from 4 - 7 pm.
The windy conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm and enjoyment of all that attended. The cooking activity teamwork was in full view as they grilled sausages and chicken to perfection.
 
Accompanying the succulent grilled meats, the group enjoyed pasta and potato salads and, drum roll please, Ann's Famous Beans (OMG - clearly the star of the show! Click HERE for the recipe!).  
 
Many thanks to the crew!
Front L-R: Joe Rivello, Bo Brummett, Bill Chang, Danny Basso, John Noll
Back L-R: Doug Beck, Mike Thelan, Fred Pourmirzaie, Truman Howard, Greg Grebe, Chuck Lipper, Randy Wong
San Francisco
Bay Model
Jul 24
SIRS interested in the geological and natural landscape of the San Francisco Bay area participated in a 90-minute docent-led tour of the SF Bay Model located in Sausalito.
 
Feedback from the tour....
 
"Very interesting and informative tour. Volunteer Docents explained many of the water issues very well, and the pace was relaxed!"
 
"The Bay Model is impressive. It is huge – two football fields in size. We learned that it was designed and built in the 1950s by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It was built to answer questions about water flows and “what if” scenarios for the SF Bay’s mix of fresh water and salt water. What is impressive is that this was all done manually (“with slide rules”) including extensive fathom and current measurements. It operated until the 1990s, being replaced by computer modeling now done in Vicksburg, Mississippi by the Corps of Engineers. 
The model is two football fields in size. That works out to a very large model area with water that’s maybe ¼ to 1” deep. Only a small part of the model is deeper. That’s lots of water in a pretty shallow Bay and delta. The Golden Gate itself is impressively deep and scoured down to bedrock. The model simulates a day’s four high and low tides in about 15 minutes. You can see the Golden Gate’s tidal water inflow and outflow change in less than 4 minutes.
 
Thanks to Randy Wong for arranging the tour."
Oakland Zoo
Jul 12
Oakland Zoo Tour 
 
Sirs and guests  participated in a docent-led walking tour of the Oakland Zoo on Friday, July 12th. During this 90 minute toor, they explored and learned about the animals and wildlife in the zoo’s main venue. After the tour, the group was free to roam the zoo grounds at their leisure. Some packed a lunch to take advantage of the numerous picnic tables available or dined in one of the restaurants in the park, including the Landing Cafe at the top of the zoo in the recently opened California Trail exhibit. Feedback from participants was very positive.
Amazon Fulfillment Center Tour
Jun
10 & 12
Our Group Tours of the Tracy Amazon Distribution Center
 
 
The events committee organized several docent-led tours of the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Tracy, CA.
 
 
Both tours started at 10 a.m. and were led by Amazon employee Shane Agrella and several of his associates. Shane walked us through the facility explaining every thing that was going on. 
 
 
The Tracy facility is nearly 1.3 million square feet and employs 2500 full time personnel.  All who participated expressed amazement and wonder at the scale and complexity of the operation - how “humans and robotics work in concert to process from 1 to over 2 million orders a day during the holiday season!” 
 
 
 
Wildflower Walk on Mt.Diablo
&
Lunch
May
22
 
Sir Phil Reed led a group of hikers along the Mary Bowerman trail to view wildflowers on Mount Diablo on this outing.
 
  
 
Following the hike, some of the group shared lunch together at Rocco's Pizzeria.
 
 
Rosie the Riveter – National Historic Park May 17

Rosie the Riveter – WWII Home Front

National Historic Park Visit

  

Friday, May 17

We had a tour on Friday May 17th  at 10:00 am . 
 
     
 
 
 
San Francisco Maritime Museum
Apr
24
2019
Our group had a docent-led tour of the sights, sounds,and textures of San Francisco's seafaring past with a visit to San Francisco Maritime Museum.  The open air tour which started at 11 am took them through many of the historic ships that sailed in and out of the Bay Area which included the coastal schooner, C.A. THAYER and walk on the wooden decks of the BALCLUTHA, a square-rigger sailing ship that rounded Cape Horn 17 times.
The group enjoyed the beautiful day!
Blackhawk Country Club
Danville
Apr
10
2019
Annual Ladies Day Luncheon
 
It was a lovely day at the SIRS 128 Annual Ladies Day Luncheon which was held at Blackhawk Country Club for the first time.
 
The Goodwill Bags, a volunteer auxiliary of Goodwill of the Greater East Bay, presented a unique fashion shows featuring an exquisite collection of high fashion couture gowns to humorous sporting attire, corsets, bustles, chamber pots, reticules, flappers, furs and more – all vintage fashions from the mid-1800s to 1960s.
 
The Goodwill Bags’ models presented an hour long show with a commentator who brought the fashions to life, incorporating history and humor. It was an extraordinary opportunity to learn a bit of “live” history to which we might otherwise not be exposed.
 
The narrative was both fun and full of interesting facts about the fashions and happenings in the era in which they were worn. Please turn up your speakers and click on the link below to see the wonderful slideshow that Sir Bob Basile's resourceful & creative spouse, Margie, produced....
 
CLICK HERE to view the slideshow!
 
A BIG round of applause for all of those who contributed to this delightful event to honor the ladies who are in the lives of our members. Kudos to organizer, Sir Joe Rivello for coming up with a new and unique event this year!
de Young Museum - San Francisco
Mar 26, 2019
Special Claude Monet "The Late Years" Exhibit
 
On Tuesday, March 26th, SIR 128 members and guests had the opportunity to tour the de Young Museum in San Francisco which featured a special guided tour of Claude Monet's "The Late Years" displaying 50 of his paintings from 1913 to 1926, the final phase of his long career.
 
The group was also able to take in the works of Paul Gauguin entitled "Spiritual Journey", an exceptional display of more than 50 of his paintings, wood carvings, and ceramics.  The exhibition featured artworks from all of the distinctive phases of his work.
 
 
They also shared lunch during their visit.
 
Many thanks to Bob Denison for organizing the tour!
 
 
Diablo Country Club Dec 5, 2018
Our 2018 Holiday Dinner/Dance Party was enjoyed by over 266 members and guests on December 5th thanks to the efforts of event organizer, former Big Sir Frank Wnuk, and his event team!
 
The food (164 beef filets, 97 salmon filets and 5 vegetarian pastas) was delicious! How do they serve that many perfectly cooked filets???
 
Our new band this year, Alison Sharino, entertained all during dinner, rocking out for dancing the rest of the evening. 
 
 
The event was an unqualified success as you can see from the many photos listed below!
 
SF Ferry Building Farmers' Market
Oct
13
Our Cooking Class Activity Group experienced a Foodie Field Trip to SF’s Ferry Building Farmers’ Market
 
Thirteen SIRs and spouses enjoyed a beautiful day at the SF Ferry Building Farmers Market.  Weather was perfect - 70° and brilliant sunshine.  There was a huge colorful array of peppers, heirloom tomatoes and fresh greens.  We all enjoyed unique, tasty luncheon treats:  porquette sandwiches, Arab street wraps with beef sausage, duck eggs, pulled pork – the choices were incredible.  And the boat ride was terrific – views of the city, all three bridges, the bay and the tents from the Market.  Check out these photos from the day....
Chabot Space & Science Center
Oct
10
It was a beautiful, sunny day as our group congregated in front of the Chabot Space & Science Center in the Oakland hills in advance of our 10:30 am docent-led tour of the facility. Because of our number, we were split into 2 groups. One group, led by docent Michael Steckel, headed up to the observatory deck to check out the telescopes.
 
Chabot houses three telescopes on its observatory deck. Nellie, Chabot‘s most powerful telescope, is a 36 inch reflector telescope, housed in a rolling roof observatory that allows access to 180 degrees of sky. This modern, research-quality telescope offers breathtaking views of the cosmos. Everyone enjoyed the briefing provided by the docents explaining the history of the telescopes and how they operated. We learned that the 2 of the telescopes (Leah & Rachel), could not be exposed until the humidity level dropped to 85 degrees or less. That did happen later in our visit so a number of the group went back up to catch a glimpse of Venus!
 
LEAH RACHEL NELLIE
8" Refractor 20" Refractor 36" Reflector
The impressive 20 inch telescope, named Rachel, is the largest refractor in the western United States regularly open to the public. Its companion, the 8 inch Alvan Clark refractor, named Leah, is the original 1883 instrument donated by founder Anthony Chabot.
 
Our group also enjoyed the newly opened deck area that included a fascinating  exhibit of a HEAT CAMERA. The stationary Heat Camera provided a window into a sliver of the light spectrum that is otherwise unavailable to the human eye – infrared. A camera sensitive to infrared light picked up the heat emitted by our group on the deck and displayed it as a color image on a large screen. Warmer objects emit more infrared light than cooler ones, and different parts of the body are often different temperatures, as revealed by the camera. Many of us looked like quite comical through this camera!
 
After a quick lunch, we enjoyed a movie in the Planetarium theater. It was a highly enjoyable experience!
 
\
Rachel Dunn Chocolates
Sep
13

On Thursday, Sept 13th, 35 branch members and guests experienced a hands-on chocolate workshop making delicious American and French chocolates with acclaimed Chocolatier Michael Dunn. The 90 minute workshop began at 1:15 pm and many attendees expressed that "they and spouses had a wonderful time." Check out the newly trained chocolatiers of SIR Branch 128!

L to R: Greg Grebe, Dan & Sylvia Mahoney, Maureen & Herb Schreiber

L to R: Ron & Eileen Weston, Vernon Olson, Chris Whelan, Judy Holmes

L to R: Danny Basso, Bill Corbett, Frank O'Neill

Randy & Lorna Wong

 

Niles Canyon Wine Train
Aug 18
SIR 128 Wine Train Special Event
Our group enjoyed an afternoon of Livermore wines while cruising through Niles Canyon, riding on history!
 
We experienced the bygone era of travel through scenic Niles Canyon on a vintage train from Sunol to Niles and back thanks to Danny and Denise Basso, our organizers. En route, we were served specially-selected wines from the Livermore Valley, accompanied by a small taste of cheese and grapes.
 
We learned that as one of the Golden State's oldest wine regions, Livermore Valley played a pivotal role in shaping California's wine industry. Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes in the Livermore Valley in the 1760s. In the 1840s, California pioneers looking for outstanding vineyard sites began planting grapes in the region. Robert Livermore planted the first commercial vines in the 1840s. Pioneer winemakers C. H. Wente, James Concannon, and Charles Wetmore recognized the area's winegrowing potential and founded their wineries in the early 1880s.
 
Wine Educator Steve Ferree talked us through tasting a flight of Livermore wines. Each wine will be paired with an hors d’oeuvre selected especially for that wine. A Certified Wine Professional with the Society of Wine Educators, Ferree has earned certificates in wine from the Culinary Institute of America and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. He writes about wine for the online newspaper Examiner.com and in his wine blog at WineProGuy.com.
 
 
Marine Mammal Ctr Tour
Jul 20
Docent-led tour of Marine Mammal Center
Gabriella provided an excellent overview/tour of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito  attended by 25 SIR members and guests. All were impressed with her knowledge of the subject matter. Lot's of questions posed and answered. The facility is quite extensive and seems to play a leadership role in the field of Marine Mammal science. Unfortunately, our timing did not coincide with feeding time but everyone seemed to enjoy the visit.
 
Lunch happened at FISH in Sausalito
Everyone seemed to enjoy it!
SF Giants
AT&T Park
Jun 6
SIR 128 Day At The Giants
40 SIR members and guests enjoyed a thrilling extra-inning day game at AT&T Park as our Giants took on and defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4.
 
SF Botanical Gardens May 8, 2018
Special Docent-led Tour
 
  
San Francisco
Tuesday, May 8
 
Approximately 20 Sir members and guests traveled to San Francisco to experience a guided tour of the magnificent 78 year old Botanical Gardens park!
The hour tour covered how the park came to be and evolved over the years to establish a collection of trees, shrubs and flowers from around the globe. It seems our SF location, found along the 37th parallel, provides a similar climate to that of many Mediterranean countries, as well as, countries such as Japan! Along the southern 37th parallel, Santiago, Chile is very much like our San Francisco climate, only in reverse. 
 
  
 
 
   
 
 
Mt. Diablo Wildflower Walk Apr 28, 2018
Special Wildflower Walk
  
Mt. Diablo
Saturday, April 28
 
18 Sir members and guests enjoyed a wildflower walk on Mitchell Canyon Road in the north side of Mount Diablo State Park. The group met at the Mitchell Canyon parking lot at the end of the Mitchell Canyon paved road. The weather was mostly cool and cloudy which worked well.
 
 
The 3-hour, 2 - 3 mile stroll along a dirt fire road and adjoining trail was led by our very own 128 member Phil Reed, a long-time docent and hike leader for the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. Phil did an outstanding job pointing out all of the flowers, bushes and trees encountered along the way.  He even provided a detailed listing documenting the various flowers, trees and shrubs the group might encounter on our little expedition. 
 
Following the experience, a majority of the group enjoyed lunch at Rocco's Pizzeria & Ristorante close by. Fortunately, Phil forgot to carry through with the threatened quiz of the flora viewed that day.
 
SIR Day
At The Races
Apr 20, 2018
A small SIR 128 contingent enjoyed the  Golden Gate Fields “Salute to SIR” day at the races on Friday April 20, 2018 at a special discounted Turf Club group rate of $41 pp for SIR groups. Their Turf Club package included valet parking (or parking for a bus), admission and reserved seating, a welcome glass of champagne, daily racing program, Turf Club buffet, tax/tip for the food servers.
 
 
Ladies
Day
Luncheon
Apr 18, 2018
Date: Wed April 18, 2018
Place: Diablo Country Club
269 Registered Guests!
 
 
 
was very entertaining!
 
 
USS Hornet Tour
 
Apr 4, 2018
20 SIR 128 members and guests participated in a 2+ hour docent-led tour of the USS Hornet on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. A Registered Historical Landmark, the aircraft carrier Hornet participated in two of history's most significant events: World War II and the recovery of the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 manned lunar missions.
 
During this docent led tour, the group experienced the following:
  • Climb to the Navigation Bridge and stand at the helm where captains bravely commanded this 900 foot long, 41,600 ton ship & visit the Combat Information Center (CIC)
  • Stand on the flight deck and sense the thrill of aircraft being launched and recovered
  • Take a close look at vintage aircraft and an authentic
  • Apollo test Capsule and Mobile Quarantine Trailer

  • Walk through Officer's quarters, crew's deck, medical spaces and other areas imagining what life was like on a floating city
 
Following the tour, a number of the group gathered for  lunch at  a local restaurant, Scolari's At The Point, located at the nearby Rockwall Winery.
 
Blackhawk Museum Mar 7, 2018
  
 
24 members & guests experienced a docent-led tour of several exhibits featured at the museum on Wednesday, March 7th! The tour included a look at the Classic Autos followed by the Spirit of the Old West exhibit. Our very own Truman Howard was one of our docents.
 
 
 
 
 
Elephant seals-Ano Nuevo Feb 7, 2018
Ano Nuevo State Park
 1 New Years Creek Rd.
Pescadero, CA 94060

 

The group enjoyed a docent lead tour of the Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo State Park.  Ano Nuevo State Park is between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz  and is home to a large colony of Northern Elephant Seals.  Seal activities, birthing and population counts vary widely from December through March, but are at their peak in early February. The walk is 3 miles,lasting 2.5 hours, and is considered moderate with varied terrain including sand dunes

Diablo Country Club Dec 6, 2017
Our 2017 Holiday Dinner/Dance Party was enjoyed by over 230+ members and guests on December 6th thanks to the efforts of event organizer, former Big Sir Frank Wnuk, and his event team!
 
The food (150 beef filets, 80 salmon filets and 4 vegetarian lasagnas) was delicious! How do they serve that many perfectly cooked filets???
 
Our band, Larry and the Mob, rocked out following dinner to the delight of all attendees.
 
The event was an unqualified success as you can see from the many photos listed below (thanks Margie Basile)!
 
Calm before the Storm - Getting Ready!
 
 
 
 
Pre-Dinner in the Lounge!
 
 
 
Dinner is Served!
 
Welcome, Thank-You, and Drawing Time!
 
 
Can you say "Prom King & Queen"?
Bob & Karen Turner
 
Dance, Dance, Dance!
 
 
 
  
 
 
Some Happy Couples Enjoying the Event!
  
Judy & Bill Buhl                               Dick & Carole Gilpin
 
  
Dan & Chris Poulin                             Marilyn & Tan Matosian
 
  
Judy & Jim Powers                             Angela & Joe Rivello
 
  
Maureen & Herb Schreiber                        Marianne & Bob Lyons
 
  
John & Virginia Arezone                   Margie & Bob Basile
 
 
 
Christ the Light Cathedral
Oakland
Nov 9, 2017
Former Big Sir Frank Wnuk led a tour of the Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland.  The cathedral was dedicated on Sept 25, 2008. It was designed by Craig Hartman of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Sa Francisco. The design uses the natural elements of Wood and Light and the ancient construction elements of Glass (sand and fire) and concrete, a Roman invention. The design has won over 32 architectural awards for its utterly unique design fusing Catholic tradition and 21st Century technology.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore July 18, 2017
Tour of Lawrence Livermore Labs with the SIR128 group
 
The tour started and concluded at the Laboratory's Discovery Center off Greenville Road in Livermore at 8:30 a.m. and last 3-1/2 hours. The group was very impressed. 
 
The tour stopped at the National Ignition Facility, the world's largest and most energetic laser; the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, the national center for mapping and predicting potential spread of hazardous materials in the atmosphere; and the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, a world-class research facility used for environmental and biomedical research, nuclear physics, materials characterization and national security applications.
 
Filoli Gardens
Woodside
May 10, 2017
We had 25 participants for our visit to the Filoli Estate and Gardens. The docents did a wonderful job - nearly 2.5 hour tour of the Filoli mansion and gardens. Everyone seemed to have a good time. Some had lunch on premises at Filoli Cafe while others dispersed to other local restaurants or went directly home.
 
 
Diablo Country Club
Danville
Apr 19, 2017
LADIES’ DAY LUNCHEON
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017
Diablo Country Club
 

232 members and guests attended this annual event favorite!
 
All enjoyed the tasty lunch that started with a spinach salad, followed by an entree of either grilled salmon, grilled chicken or ravioli.
Dessert consisted of vanilla ice cream with a butterscotch sauce
 
An Outstanding Comedian
Performed Following Lunch
 
The ladies present were included in a raffle of great prizes this year which included restaurant certificates, chocolate & wine, spa visits, tickets to the annual Holiday Dinner/Dance in Dec and a night at the Marines Memorial hotel in downtown San Francisco!
 
 
Special thanks to event organizer Joe Rivello (and Angela) for continuing the tradition of making this a very special SIR 128 event!
 
 
Oakland Museum of California Feb 1, 2017
      
OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA
2/1/2017
 
18 members and guests attended this outing on Wednesday, February 1st for a 45 minute guided tour of the Museum. Did you know that according to the popular travel web site Trip Advisor, the Oakland Museum of California is the #1 thing to do of 115 in Oakland? OMCA is an interdisciplinary museum dedicated to the art, history, and natural science of California, and contains more than 1.8 million objects dedicated to "telling the extraordinary story of California." The museum entrance fee was discounted to $13 per person and well worth the visit. 
 
The Presidio Trust
 
San Francisco
Oct 6, 2016

Our docent-led tour on Oct 6!

HERITAGE GALLERY I Telling the Presidio Story

Experience the Presidio story from 10,000 years ago to the present through multi-media displays - including films, images, and artifacts. A first-person film gives deeper meaning to the Presidio's legacy and its new national park chapter. Seasonal changing exhibits are hosted within the Presidio Heritage Gallery.
 

PASSAGE WAY  I   Beyond the  Gates

Explore the impact the  Presidio  had on the  history of the American  West and on events  around the globe,  and  learn about the generations of  soldiers who  passed through  the post.
 

MESA  ROOM  I  Within these Walls

See layers of history literally revealed, from the exposed colonial adobe walls of the  1810s to the  Post Headquarters of the 1880s and the Officers' Club of the 1930s and  1970s.
 

MORAGA  HALL  I The  Life of the  Post

The social life of the Officers' Club, past and present, is illustrated here. A scrapbook highlights the Presidio Commanding Officers', and an accompanying display  honors the  men and women who served  here in the U.S. Army. This grand space also hosts free public programs and is a comfortable  place for  relaxing  during  a visit.
 
 
San Francisco Bay Aug 25, 2016
 
 
 
Thanks to Tony Mullins (aka Capt Kayaker) our branch, with over 100 members and guests, enjoyed a spectacular day cruising San Francisco Bay on the USS Potomac! The cruise started out cool and overcast but ended sunny and warm.  Our private charter allowed us to bring all manor of food, snacks and beverages onboard.  The docents and crew were excellent relating all of the stories, facts and information on the history of this vessel.  It was a truly wonderful day!
 
Some Photos of our Cruise
 
O.co Coliseum
Oakland
May 4, 2016
SIR #128 MEMBERS and Guests watched the  Oakland A’s take on the Seattle Mariners at 12:35 pm, Wed., May 4th.  Just $15 each for Reserved Seating Tickets in the “shade.”
 
 
Diablo Country Club
Diablo, CA
Apr
20, 2016
 
 
Filoli Gardens & Estate
86 Cañada Road, Woodside, CA
Apr 6, 2016
Designed between 1915 – 1917 and set against the dramatic backdrop of the northern Santa Cruz mountains in Woodside, California, Filoli Estate and gardens is an excellent example of the Golden Age of American garden design and country house architecture. 
 
 
 
Our group split up into 2 groups and went off with our assigned docents.  The gardens are extensive and truly beautiful. The old Oak trees surrounding the estate were awe-inspiring.  
 
 
Hiller Aviation Museum
601 Skyway Rd
San Carlos, CA
Mar 2, 2016
 
 
SIR 128 members, family and guests visited the Hiller Aviation Museum on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 for a docent-led tour of the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos. Upon entering the museum they experienced exhibits that highlighted the many historic flight achievements native to Northern California. Entry only cost $9 per person and included a 1 hour docent led tour.  
 
The exhibits were very interesting.  
 
Many from the group enjoyed lunch from the food trucks located in the Museum parking lot. 
Diablo Country Club
1700 Club House Rd.
Diablo, CA
Dec 2, 2015 Holiday Dinner/Dance Party
Spirit of the West Exhibit
Blackhawk Museum
 
Nov 11, 2015
 
A number of branch members and their guests participated in a docent-led tour of the recently opened Spirit of the Old West exhibition at the Blackhawk Museum.  The permanent exhibition tells the story of the western frontier from the perspective of both the Native Americans and the settlers before, during and after the expansion west.
 
The exhibition features authentic artifacts from the period, a large diorama depicting key historic moments, scenes of wildlife from the frontier and other elements that bring the past to life.  
 
 
Visitors did not believe how large and detailed this diorama is!
 
Our tour began at 1 pm and lasts approximately 90-120 minutes.  
El Sol Winery
Livermore, CA
October 22, 2015 Little Sir Phil Davey organized a visit/tour to the El Sol winery in Livermore attended by a small group of members and spouses. The feedback from attendees was very positive.  The tour & tastings, which were projected to last approximately 90 minutes, lasted 3 hours.  It included going to the vineyards and seeing how the vines are pruned and a visit to the warehouse where the grapes are stamped three times a day. 
 
 
 
And, of course, lots of tasting!
 
All in all, what a great three hours and all for only $7.50 per person
Giants vs. Dodgers
AT&T Park, San Francisco
October 1, 2015
40 members, spouses, family & friends enjoyed a gorgeous day on the bay watching their favorite National League baseball team!
 
 
Christ the Light Cathedral
Oakland, CA
June 24, 2015
Former Big Sir Frank Wnuk led a tour of the Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland on June 24th.  The cathedral was dedicated on Sept 25, 2008. It was designed by Craig Hartman of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Sa Francisco. The design uses the natural elements of Wood and Light and the ancient construction elements of Glass (sand and fire) and concrete, a Roman invention. The design has won over 32 architectural awards for its utterly unique design fusing Catholic tradition and 21st Century technology.
 
11755 Coarse Gold Lane
Columbia, CA
 
May 28, 2015
SIR 128 branch members and their guests (27 strong) trekked out to Columbia (gold country) to participate in another cooking class/dining experience at the Yankee Hill Winery.  This was the 2nd outing with a number of repeat attendees.  Upon arriving at 2 pm on the day of the event, the well-stocked kitchen was ready for action..........
 
Chef Ron Erickson led the group through the preparation of a Basque culinary experience.  
From left to right, Larry Roy, Bud Audette, Karl Scheick, Chef Ron & Jim Quon
 
...with many, many helpers!
 
Everyone seemed to have a good time creating tapas to enjoy before the main meal.  The group was very enthusiastic with most participants taking an active part in the preparation of the meal which featured a seasoned pork roast and several large pans of paella!  As with our prior event, the wine flowed freely throughout the 3+ hour event.   
 
All-in-all, it was really fun and a great learning experience for all attendees.  All for an incredibly low price of just $40 per person! Everyone appeared thrilled with the experience and said they would like to do it, again!  It appears that Moroccan cuisine was the consensus for a future class.    
Special 30th Anniversary Celebration
San Ramon, CA
May 20, 2015
A special SIR Lunch Meeting to mark our 30th anniversary as a branch was held on Wednesday, May 20th!

SORRY IF YOU MISSED THIS VERY SPECIAL EVENT!
IT WAS AWESOME!!!
 

Sir Bob Denison led the efforts of a small team of volunteers to plan and execute a spectacular Celebration Lunch with a special menu, birthday cake, prizes, special guest entertainment, and much, much, much more….. 
The Olivina Olive Ranch
4555 Arroyo Rd
Livermore, CA
May 13, 2015
We had 32 SIR128 members and guests travel to Livermore for a 2 hour tour of The Olivina olive grove and processing facility. This olive ranch is located across from the Wente Vineyards.  Everyone learned a great deal about the olive oil industry in general, as well as, the history of the Olive Oil industry in the Livermore valley.  In addition to the oral presentation, the group received an olive oil processing overview and tour from the owner.  Upon the tour's conclusion, the group had the opportunity to taste many of the fine Olivina oils with a number of members purchasing a bottle or two to enjoy at home.
 
  
 
   
 
Many thanks to Sir Robert Caviglia for organizing this tour.
Ladies Day Luncheon
Diablo Country Club
Danville, CA
April 15, 2015
April was an exciting month with the celebration of another fabulous Ladies Day Lunch at Diablo Country Club. Every year it is an honor and pleasure for we Sirs to cherish the ladies in our lives. The weather was great, food was delicious, good service, and a very entertaining comedian. We had a record high turnout of 250 members and guests this year representing a 25% increase over our 2014 event.  Here are some photos provided by members....
 
 
 
 
Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front Museum,
Richmond, CA
January 30, 2015
 
 
15 SIR's, spouses, and guests traveled to the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front, National Historic Park  for an informative two hour docent- led tour. Two excellent documentary films presented both the local Richmond, Kaiser shipbuilding of 746 Liberty ships from 1940 to 1943 as well as the Ford assembly plant where both tanks and jeeps were built and shipped overseas. Three women Rosie's, now in their late 80's/90's, spoke to us of their personal efforts as welders and riveters during WWII. Our tour ended with lunch at the nearby Assemble restaurant. We all enjoyed this informative program and would highly recommend it to others.
 
Diablo Country Club
Danville, CA
December 3, 2014
Our annual Holiday Dinner/Dance Party was, once again, our best attended event of the year!  Over 100 members attended this event!  Paid attendance, including spouses and guests, totaled 236.  Attendees enjoyed the wonderful meal and entertainment provided by Larry Lynch and the Mob.  The following photos were provided by members attending the event.  
 
DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY!
 
Sir Tony Mullins, Theresa Fierro,  Little Sir Ernie Fierro & Mary Mullins
11755 Coarse Gold Lane
PO Box 330
Columbia, California 95310
(209) 532-3015
November 13, 2014
Our Special Event - Yankee Hill Cooking Class, held in November, 2014 was an unqualified success by any definition!!!  This was the first event of it's type for our group but clearly won't be the last!  This last event was based on Italian cuisine.   We had 27 souls for the event and I was really pleased at that number considering that it was a 2-hour drive to/from.  However, most folks stayed overnight in the immediate area and came home the next day.  
 
EVERYONE ENJOING THE FRUITS OF THEIR LABORS!
 
 
Everyone had a good time.  The spirit and enthusiasm of all was readily apparent.  We started with the making of appetizers and had a large selection of them on the table within a short time.  All were enjoying the appetizers and wine while our teaching Chef, Ron Erickson, conducted sessions on making fresh pasta and Lava Cake.  At the same time, we had started a nice Chicken Risotto for the main course.  We had a terrific dinner of a tossed green salad, a Zucchini Pasta for a starch and the Chicken Toscana with Mushroom Risotto for our main dish.
 

 

  

 
 

The wine was good and unlimited.  The food was great as was the group.  All-in-all, it was really fun and a great learning experience for those that were so inclined.  Some just kicked back, relaxed and watched the action and sipped wine and had a great dinner!  All for an incredibly low price of just $35!  Everyone I talked to were thrilled with the experience all said they would like to do it, again!  So, it looks like it will be an annual event.  It might even be more than once a year.   I've already chosen Basque Cuisine for our next class.  I believe this will be in May.  That way, the drive to and from Yankee Hill Winery would be during daylight hours.
Wente Winery Oct 23, 2014
On Thursday, Oct 23rd, 35 SIR #128 members and their guests traveled to Livermore for a tour and wine tasting at Wente Winery.  During the tour, we learned how various Wente wines are made, bottled and mass produced–-followed by samplings of both "whites and reds." After the tour/tasting, many of the group joined Jim and Joyce Quon for the SIR monthly dine out at Posada Restaurant. Everyone seemed to have a  great time.