■ By Chris Smith / Advisory Editor
When you do anything often you tend to get good at it, and such is the case with Golden Era Productions, which hosts innumerable events at its golf facility on behalf of nonprofits.
Saturday night, Dec. 1, was when Golden Era Productions chose to thank all the people who have helped with its film productions and facilities support throughout the course of the year. The Scientology organization, which is nothing but a positive force in the valley and generously gives of its time and resources to support nonprofits, once again extended its hospitality in the form of a round of golf for the golfing set, and a dinner dance for its vendors, supporters, and friends.
I hadn’t been to the golf club in several years, the last time being when the San Jacinto Chamber held a mixer there. I thought I knew where it was – right next to the Soboba Springs Country Club. Wrong! My date and I drove back and forth along Soboba Road several times looking for it before I finally broke down and checked the address on the invitation, then plugged it into Google Maps. It’s not hard to find – if you know where you’re going, but Golden Era Golf Course and Golden Era Productions are in two different locations.
Once we arrived, we realized that we were far from the first to get there. In fact, the parking lot was full, and there were all manner of traffic coordinators to guide us into a comfortable parking space. The fact that a large goose who had wandered in from the golf course was standing in the traffic lane of the parking entrance and was appearing to keep an eye on the vehicles there gave the place a certain charm as if we were about to enter a house depicted in a Grimm’s fairy tale – perhaps one made of gingerbread. It wasn’t so far off as guests were given a loaf of spice bread as they left the premises to heat up for breakfast the next day!
Upon arrival we were met by a Golden Era photographer who took my date, Carol’s, and my picture – which was fine, because we had discussed ad nauseum what to wear to an event that started with golf and ended with a dinner dance. Not golf shorts, for sure! So we were looking photo-worthy, and it was fun being on the other side of the camera for once.
There was a little wine bar, something we wondered whether they would have given the Scientologists’ stated opposition to the dependence upon and abuse of drugs and narcotics, and let’s face it, alcohol is a drug. But it was nice for those of us who aren’t afraid to sip a little crushed gape with dinner.
I started to cruise around to see if anyone were there that I knew, and I must say, I really don’t get out enough. Of the 250 attendees who were at that party, I knew perhaps five, and two of them were Community Affairs Director Muriel Dufresne, who invited us, Linda Greilich, who is in charge of community events, and two city councilpersons. That was it. But we did meet several others during the course of the evening, and all of them were extremely nice, including Krystyne Gray,
vice president of the Hemet-San Jacinto Interfaith Council.
Between Carol and myself, one of the two of us was hungry about that time, so we cruised on over to the buffet, and saw a collection of delectables including some homemade French onion soup, delicious little servings of herbed roast chicken, sliced roast beef with horseradish, green bean casserole with creamy mushroom sauce and crispy onion topping, roast potatoes and carrots, and a mixed salad with pomegranate dressing. The Christmas bread pudding with nuts and raisins and warm brandy sauce was the piece de resistance, however.
While we were eating, Linda Greilich, a former professional singer who is well known in the valley for her performances at Destination, the Diamond Valley Arts Center, Ramona Bowl, and other venues, performed a few songs with the Golden Era band to the delight of attendees.
After dinner, I continued cruising and found a few “photo ops” (opportunities) to justify my existence, before we said our goodbyes and made our way back to the now dark parking lot. All in all, a very pleasant evening with some very charming people and a few new acquaintances to call friends at the time of year when you definitely don’t want to be – dare I say it – alone!