This year, it is time once again for another edition of the “God Bless America!” Blog-A-Thon, this time in honor of the Fourth of July. It was on that day in 1776 our nation was born, and in only a few short years, our independence from Great Britain was secured. From the very start our country has been a nation that is built on the honor and tradition of our forefathers. There is no better way to honor all that the American people have done for us, and all that they continue to do, than by the way we treat each other, and by the way we treat our country. Today, as we celebrate the birthday of our flag, let us also honor the

If America has ever had a single, identifiable song, that song may well be “God Bless America.” While it originated with Irving Berlin, it has been updated and modified many times, but always with those lyrics. Recently, the song has become another weapon in the American arsenal of political rhetoric. It has been a common campaign song for decades, and it still remains a favorite for the debates at political conventions.

Barbie Butz is a freelance columnist for The and Paso Robles Press; you can e-mail her at [email protected] word-image-15147 For those of us who write, it’s exciting to be published, whether it’s in a newspaper, magazine or local club newsletter. My column began in 1959 with Glen Annie Way, which appeared in the Goleta Valley Gazette and was much like the one I write now for the Paso Robles Press. I like to connect with my readers and let them know what there is to do in North County and what they can do when I share recipes. A good friend of mine, Deanne Shepherd, now retired from the Court, has been writing, blogging, and publishing articles in religious publications for several years. It was published in not one, but two popular religious magazines, and she shared her enthusiasm with me. The copy of the magazine Dianne gave me is JUSTbetweenUs, Encouraging & Equipping Women For A Life of Faith, summer issue, and her article appeared in this section: His history. Title: Small towns. She talks about one of her grandmothers and describes how this woman influenced her life. When her grandmother died, Dianne found small notes wrapped in the few worldly possessions she had. His diary was a tattered folder, but in it were the treasures of his prayers and thoughts. It is from these prayers and thoughts that Dianne created her story. It is a beautiful and thoughtful text. Congratulations, Diann. For more information about the magazine, email [email protected] or call (800)260-3342. Last week a few of us got together to surprise Ginny Malik of Greg Malik Real Estate Group with a retirement party. We had breakfast at Grenda Ernst’s and enjoyed her patio garden and the fresh air. It was a great way to celebrate the holidays with friends. Ginny, the producer of Dancing with Our Stars, will now be able to devote even more time to this event, in addition to all the other projects and events she is involved in! Knowing Ginny, she certainly won’t sit still. We all agreed that retirement meant we had more to do than when we were working. Talk about busy people: Members of Quota of Atascadero are hosting an event on the 1st. July from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the Atascadero Grange Hall, 5035 Palma Avenue, another Bunco night. Tickets for this popular evening of entertainment cost $20 and include appetizers, soft drinks and wine. There will also be a silent auction where guests can bid on many special items donated by local businesses. To make a reservation, contact Pam Meyer at (805)466-1588. Quota of Atascadero is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Proceeds from the event will be used for the organization’s charitable activities. I’ve heard a lot about the SLO Grilled Cheese Festival, and I understand that the pan is hot and the cheese melts, which leads me to vote for the best SLO Grilled Cheese 2021, the cheesiest sandwich and the best twisted grilled cheese! In May and June 2021, restaurants across the county will participate in Restorative Partners’ third annual Grilled Cheese Festival. The contest is free and open to all restaurants in SLO County that have a great grilled cheese on their menu or have added grilled cheese as a special for the duration of the event. It’s very simple: Visit participating restaurants, order and taste their grilled cheese, take a picture of it, post a review on Yelp, and then head to the website to vote in the categories above. To share on social media, use #SLOGrilledCheeseFest. This festival by Restorative Partners is designed to support local restaurants, many of which have been hit hard by the pandemic. The mission of the organization is to change the lives of crime victims through healing and relationship building services. This is done by facilitating programs in juvenile facilities, five sober living homes and other community programs and services. For more information and a list of participating restaurants, visit restorativepartners.org. On this day of remembrance, we must remember many people and events. Let’s all do it and remember to be grateful for their service, whether it’s first responders, our military, or just someone in your family who has made an impact on your life….. Have a good weekend. God bless America! On you.

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