50 Days to 50 Years: Day 25-2, Don Cucos with Rosalind Clifton

7 07 2016
“One of the signs of passing youth is the birth
of a sense of fellowship with other human
beings as we take our place among them.” — Virginia Woolf


Day 25 was another two-fer, but my relationships with Pastor Roger and Rosalind Clifton are long and rich, so they both deserved their own posts. Lovely Rosalind “Roz” joined me in beautiful, downtown Burbank for a Mexican lunch at Don Cucos.

Thanks to my sweet husband, I became an Amateur Radio operator or “Ham”, in 2007. Along with him, I participated in the San Fernando Valley Amateur Radio Club meetings and events, as well as ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) and ACS (Auxiliary Communications Service). Roz is also involved in those groups, and since female Hams are not as prevalent as the men, of course we struck up a friendship. We served on the SFVARC board together, and even though I am not very active in the club or Amateur Radio these days, we still keep in touch.

“Hams” are part anachronism, part nerd, and full-on techie. We collect radios like some females collect shoes. It’s an obsession, but it has a practical side as well. We help the community through emergency response, event support, and by holding the “MacGyver” card when all other communications fail—and trust me, they do.

Roz is an Okie—born and raised in Oklahoma, and has an extensive family that she returns often to visit. Even after 17 years in Los Angeles, she still maintains her Midwest accent, which is part of her charm. You look up “salt of the earth” in a wiki or dictionary, and there is probably a picture of Roz next to it. She is a solid, plain bread lady, who always has a bright and beautiful smile, and a kind word. She has a quiet, weighty presence, balanced by great conversation and deep wisdom that comes from simply living life.

Like many of the seasoned citizens who I call friends, Roz is embracing and pursuing her life—age is simply a number. A few years ago she bought an RV, and has been taking it out on the road to Hamfests and family visits. I don’t enjoy traveling alone, so I admire that in her.

Roz also has quite the droll and quirky sense of humor. She has a bumper sticker on her car that says, “Your proctologist called. He found your head!” That gives you an idea. So like many of my quality relationships, laughter is a part of the equation.

We enjoyed all that, along with good food at Don Cucos. I had a margarita along with my fried burrito, and Roz had iced tea with her enchilada and taco combo plate.

Roz is proud grandmother to Lexi, Waverly, Maddie, and Noah, so I got to catch up on their lives too. Roz used to bring Noah to the SFVARC picnics, and the first time I met him, he was just 6, and a boisterous, charismatic bundle of boyhood. Now he’s 16, and popular with the ladies. Noah will be a senior, and Roz says he has gone to every prom since he was a freshman! Apparently now he channels that boisterousness into theater and drama, and the charisma speaks for itself.

While I will not experience the rich tableau of children and grandchildren, Roz’s commitment to family, her love of adventure, and her willingness to continue to grow and do new things is something I greatly admire and hope to emulate as I pursue the next 50 years. Thanks, Roz, for leading by example.



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