March thru May 2008 Candygrams

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Thank you O.J. and Davon!

O.J. with my grandson ZaneThank you for stopping by Heritage Hall on Fridays, staying to chat and taking some “Trojan” candy.

Thank you for putting your alma mater first! Both of you studied, finished all your exams, and passed all your courses, before you left for the NBA!

O.J., my grandson Zane will appreciate his autographed picture with you when he is older and when you are an NBA superstar!

May both of you “Fight On” in the NBA!

Friday, May 23, 2008---Congratulations to our Women of Troy Golf Team!!!

Trojan Candy and BelenThey just won our second NCAA Golf Championship today. Our women won USC’s first NCAA golf title in 2003.

When we see Belen Mozo in the fall, we'll give her a big “Trojan” hug and some “Trojan” candy!

In the tournament Belen finished in fourth place with a 290 total for four days. Our women won by 6 strokes, as they truly did “Fight On” over the second place Bruins.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008---The Lexus Gauntlet Trophy returns to Heritage Hall!

How exciting it was today to see the shiny “glove” return to USC. The shiny red Lexus with USC logos on both sides was likewise shiny and beautiful!

2008 Lexus Gauntlet Results
2008 Lexus Gauntlet Results
The Lexus Gauntlet Trophy
The Lexus Gauntlet Trophy
2008 Lexus Gauntlet Car
2008 Lexus Gauntlet Car

At 1:00 pm the large group of USC men and women coaches stepped out of Heritage Hall and posed for pictures. Channel 2 sent a reporter, but I did not see any footage on the 6:00 pm news

Lexus, trophy, and score
Lexus, trophy, and score
Some USC coaches
Some USC coaches
More USC coaches
More USC coaches

Mike Garrett and Bill PlaschkeAthletic Director Mike Garrett made a brief statement thanking Lexus. Then, as he turned around to look at the shiny red USC Lexus behind him, he asked, “Can I have one of these?”

After the picture taking, I went to congratulate Track Coach Ron Allice on his Women of Troy beating the UCLA Lady Bruins in the dual track meet and wished him good luck in the Pac-10 and NCAA’s. May all the Trojans Fight On!

Two reporters - one was Bill Plaschke of the (UC)LA Times - interviewed Mike Garrett. I don’t think that they were asking questions about the Lexus Gauntlet victory over UCLA. What a shame!

Friday, May 2, 2008---New Friends

Brian AndrewsWe met a new athlete today! His name is Brian Andrews. Brian is a “second” generation USC track team member. He ran the 400 meter hurdles when he was on the team last year. Brian will graduate with a degree in American Studies. He told us that his dad, Tom Andrews, and his uncle, Joel Andrews, both ran track at USC in the 1970’s and that their names are engraved on the banister upstairs. Uncle Joel’s 100 meter time remains in the USC Top Ten. His dad’s 400 meter intermediate hurdles and 400 meter hurdles times still stand in the USC Top Ten. Tom’s 48.55 time in the 400 meter hurdles was the USC record time from 1977 to 2000! What a Trojan Family!

Our friend Mamadou came by for the last time this semester. We gave him a handful of Airheads “for the road!” Mamadou told us he finished his finals and will be leaving for France to visit his family.

Angelo Johnson, our point guard for next season, and Patrick Turner, our Senior wide receiver for next season, both walked by but didn’t want any Trojan candy today. Next time!

Jay Fisher

Jay Fisher, a lecturer for the Writing Program came by for another visit. On a previous visit Jay had told us that there is a swim team member in the program who, along with four other Writing Program students, participated in Swim with Mike. More Trojans making a difference! Jay said that he reads my blog and that he will contribute an article soon!

Coach Terrel Ray always comes by for a visit. What a friendly smile!

Hailey DunhamOur friend Hailey Dunham came by to get her first piece of Trojan candy. She laughed when she realized the connection between Trojan candy and its namesake, Candy! However, she didn’t take any candy; she took a pack of sour apple gum. Now we know what she likes! We hope to see her every Friday in the fall.

Coach Mark TrakhWomen of Troy basketball head coach Mark Trakh came rushing into Heritage Hall with three coaches and a recruit and her family. Coach Trakh came over to talk with us. He was so enthusiastic in telling us about our next year’s team. When he smiles, his entire face lights up! We talked for a few minutes...then, Coach Trakh looked around...where is everybody? He lost “trakh” of everyone! Next thing we knew, he ran off.

About twenty minutes later, as we were packing up our candy to leave, the entire entourage of Coach Trakh, Coach Jody Wynn, Coach Derek Wynn, Coach Kai Felton, the recruit and her family came rushing over to the desk. We threw candy back onto the counter as quickly as we could! All we saw were hands taking what they wanted! Someone said, “This is just like Halloween!”

School’s out but Trojan Candy will reminesce.

Friday, April 25, 2008---Another exhilarating day at Heritage Hall!

Tours! Tours! Tours! There are always tours coming into Heritage Hall. Today, there were some special tours. The Sigma Nu fraternity brought in several tours of 4th and 5th graders from Madison Elementary School and Jefferson Elementary School in Pasadena. The program put on by the 90 fraternity brothers is called Sigma Zoo ’08. After the tour of the campus, the children are taken to the Quad where there is a petting zoo, pony rides and bouncing houses. This is a biannual philanthropic event put on by Sigma Nu. More Trojans making a difference!

Cornerback Omari Crittenden came by for a piece of Trojan candy. We have a new friend. He likes Whoppers! Fight On, Omari!

Coach Terrel Ray came by again. I noticed his 2005 BCS Championship ring. It is enormous! There is a diamond “SC” in the middle. Boy! It would be so nice to see a 2009 BCS Championship ring on Coach Ray’s finger next year!

We had a long conversation with former DT sports editor Ashley Zeldin. She was meeting her friend Sharifa for lunch. Ashley and I talked about our respective blogs, the (UC)LA Times and various USC athletic events and athletes. Such a comrade in arms! Check out Ashley’s blog at Fight On! Ashley!

Taylor Mays walked by, waved hello, but took no Trojan candy this week.

Simone JelksCamille LeNoir and Hailey Dunham walked by. Hailey waved hello but didn’t stop for any Trojan candy. Simone Jelks did stop by, just like she said she would. She did take a piece of Trojan candy and let me take her picture. Come back every Friday, Simone!

Trojan Candy, Juan Figueroa, and Patti PoonOur friend Juan Figueroa came by, as he normally does every Friday. I finally got a picture of him and his big, wonderful smile! Juan told us that he is going to compete in the long jump for our men’s track team this Saturday, May 3, against the Bruins. Juan will only have this week to practice his long jump technique. Last year, our men beat the Bruins because Juan scored points in the long jump. As SID Tim Tessalone walked by, he gave Juan a “thumbs up” when Juan told him that he would compete for the track team. I gave him the Victory sign!...and a piece of his favorite watermelon gum!

Trojan Candy and Belen MozoLast, but not least, Pac-10 Women’s Championship golf player, Belen Mozo came running up to the desk, smiling, as usual. Such a cute, bubbly Trojan! She came to get a DT. Belen said that she will go home to Spain for a few weeks after her finals and then return to USC for summer school. She is an economics major. We congratulated her on winning the championship (and on earning 5 Lexus Gauntlet points!)! Belen told us that Coach Andrea Gaston cried tears of joy when they won...all of the team did. What a Trojan accomplishment! Belen also said that the NCAA championships will be very difficult for all the women golfers since they have to take their finals while they are on the road competing. May they perform well in their academics and in the NCAA’s. Fight On!

Friday, April 18, 2008---What An Unbelievable Friday!

Kate, a Freshman on the Women Of Troy rowing team came by for the first time. After she took a piece of Trojan candy, we told her that it is up to the ladies to win the Lexus Gauntlet trophy. Fight On to VICTORY!

Paul Salata came by and gave us a Draftnik sticker. He said that he will be at the NFL draft to present the XXXIII Draftnik trophy to the last football player chosen in the draft. Paul met with Jim Hardy to wait in the lobby for Jarrett Bell of the USA Today to arrive. The three men met to discuss a future book that they will write together.

Gary Klein of the (UC)LA Times came by. He covers the USC football team.

Coral Schneider brought a tour group in. She always comes to the desk to visit with us. Such a beautiful smile she has! Another pretty Trojan! Coral told us that she will graduate in 27 day...not that she is counting! She majored in Business Finance, Marketing and Political Science PHEW! Coral may return to her native Denver after graduation. How can she miss all those future football victories in the Coliseum?

Coach Brendan Carroll always comes by to say hello and to pick up a Daily Trojan. He never takes a piece of Trojan candy. That’s okay! His smile is always wide and sincere. Just like his dad’s!

Frostee Rucker came by with a friend and took a piece of Trojan candy. I asked him who his friend was. He said that it was Sedrick Ellis. May Sedrick Fight On! in the NFL draft and beyond.

Adam RoseWe met Adam Rose of the L.A. Times “All Things Trojan” Blog. A USC alumnus, he interviewed me, and then, bless his Trojan heart, put our picture and article on his blog. You can see his article at What a surprise! Adam is such an excellent writer and an unbelievable photographer! Who were those three people in the picture? We don’t even recognize ourselves!

Our friend of two years, Juan Figueroa, came by. As you know, he loves watermelon gum! We always have a package waiting for him. Bubblegum too! Juan said that he is graduating this year, but will return for one more year. Naturally we encouraged him to compete on the track team since he has used up his eligibility as our star player on the Men’s Volleyball team. In last year’s USC-UCLA track meet, Juan actually scored points in the long jump. Juan told us that he had only practiced for three days to learn how to long jump. Those points helped us to beat the Bruins! I asked Juan if he is going to try out for the 2008 Olympics. He said that in two weeks he will go home to Puerto Rico to try out for the Olympic team. Another USC Olympian! Fight On, Juan!

Taylor May's pinkie

Simone Jelks came by for the first time to take a piece of Trojan candy. We told her that we are in Heritage Hall every Friday. I congratulated her on winning the trophy for the highest GPA on the Women of Troy basketball team. What an exceptional accomplishment! Simone said that she will come back to visit us every Friday. Fight On, Simone!

Last, but not least, Taylor Mays came by but didn’t get any Trojan candy this week. His friend, the “just a student,” was with him The friend, Thomas Williams, did not take any candy either. I asked Taylor how his little pinkie was doing. Whereupon, he wiggled his little finger for the picture. Is he still teasing me?

Sunday, April 13, 2008---USC Spirit of Troy Spring Concert

Trojan Candy and Dr. Art BartnerIt’s been USC all weekend. We attended the USC Band concert at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. The “Give My Regards to Broadway” concert was superb! Dr. Bartner was his usual energetic self and Tony Fox did an excellent job of arranging. The three guest performers were OUTSTANDING! Robert Thies on piano and Teri Bibb and Dennis McNeil on vocals were unbelievable. It is so funny to see the concert band participants “don” their sunglasses when the uniformed band members march up to the stage. The Trojan audience loved the rousing “pep rally” that ensued, ending with Conquest. The reception after the concert was scrumptious! This was the twelfth annual band concert. Come and see #13.

Saturday, April 12, 2008---Swim with Mike

Trojan Guild membersMy sister and I arrived early at the Swim with Mike Fund Raiser to volunteer at the Trojan Guild booth. It was so hot already. The Guild sells USC related items to raise money for scholarships. Come by and visit us at the 2008 Homecoming. We’re the organization that sells the football and basketball ribbon necklaces. The pool was full of excitement. There was a silent auction and many booths selling merchandise. All funds were being raised for Swim with Mike. The band played in the pool stands, Traveler was there for pictures and the football team had a scrimmage. Tables at the Swim with Mike barbecue were set up to allow patrons to have a “ringside” seat of the scrimmage. As we sat down in our front row seats I saw Taylor Mays. He smiled and said, “Hello.” I asked him how his “little pinkie” is. He smiled, wiggled his pinkie and said that it is better. Is he still teasing me?

After attending the Swim with Mike event, it felt so good to sit in the shade at Dedeaux field as we watched the USC baseball team play Cal. It felt even better to see the grand slam home run that was hit by Trojan Mike Roskopf! We won 11-5!

Friday, April 11, 2008---Mamadou and Women’s Basketball Banquet

Many tours came by Heritage Hall. Some of them came quite late. There could be a future Trojan among them!

Many volunteer students were in and out of Heritage. They met to pack the bags for Swim with Mike.

Mamadou Diarra and Patti PoonOur friend Mamadou comes by every Friday. He visited with us for a while before he had to go to a class. His favorite Trojan candy is Airheads! We found out that he has four sisters and one “little” brother. One of his sisters is older and the others are younger. When I asked him if his brother might want to come to play basketball at USC, he told me that his brother likes to play volleyball. That’s OKAY! We have a men’s volleyball team too! His family is living in France now. They have two homes. One is in Mali and the other is in France. Mamadou told us that he is trilingual! He speaks French, Bombara and English! I’m so envious!

After my sister Pat and I took pictures with our 7 foot friend, the funniest thing happened. Two fans wanted a picture with him also. The first picture that the young man took of Mamadou and his friend, he cut off Mamadou’s head! Such is the life of a 7 footer!

SID Darcy dropped by. She told us that we lost the doubles in our women’s tennis match against Arizona State. We went to see the end of the match, USC WON!

Taylor Mays walked by. No Trojan candy for him today. I asked him how he felt. (concussion?) He smiled and said that he hurt his little “pinkie” but that he taped it up. Is he teasing me?

At 5:30 pm we went to the Women of Troy’s Basketball Banquet at the Galen center. All of the women were so much taller than they look on the court...perhaps it was the high heels that they wore. Such beautiful Trojans! The dinner was delicious and we definitely enjoyed the recap of the season. We sat with Hailey Dunham, her father and her brother. Hailey told me that she and Camille LeNoir have coached 7 year old girls for the past two years in Henry Bibby’s Girls Basketball camp in Torrance and that the entire women’s basketball team will be volunteering at Swim with Mike the next day. A perfect example of Trojans who step us to make a difference!

Friday, April 4, 2008---Taylor Mays and his friend and Mark Sanchez

Another delightfully busy day at Heritage Hall. Two women water polo players came by for a piece of “Trojan candy.” They were Tekla Beckmann and Cally Lucas. Both young ladies have such beautiful smiles! We wished them good luck against Stanford on Saturday.

Taylor Mays and his “friend” also came by. His friend, with a big smile on his face, told us that he was “just a student.” I complimented him on taking his studies so seriously. Later we found out that the “friend” was linebacker Thomas Williams. May he “Fight On!” in the NFL!

Two Trojan parents and two Trojan grandparents came by to look at all the trophies in the lobby. They are from Connecticut. Their son and grandson works as a lifeguard at the Galen Center pool. They asked me why would someone pick USC over UCLA? Such an easy question to answer! You’re a Bruin for 4 (5? 6?) years and a TROJAN for LIFE!

Mark SanchezCharles White ran through the lobby, saying “Hi.”

Last, but not least. Mark Sanchez came by for a piece of “Trojan candy” I showed him my copy of the April 7, 2008 Sporting News. He and Mitch Mustain are on the cover and are featured in an article titled, “A Safe Haven, not a Trojan War.” Mark glanced through the article while he stood at the desk. He had not seen it yet. I asked him if the hit by the Arizona player shown on p. 26 really hurt. Mark said, “Not really!” It sure looks like a hit like that would hurt. Guess that is why he is a football quarterback, and I am a retired teacher! Mark graciously autographed the magazine for me. May he Fight On! in spring practice.

Friday, March 28, 2008---A Day at Heritage Hall

Such a busy day! So many tours!

Especially interesting was the tour of an All-Star Girls Soccer team from Oahu, Hawaii. They came to meet the Women’s Soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin. It was so nice of Coach Ali to meet with the young girls and their parents and coaches. They were interested in how they can achieve a scholarship to play at the collegiate level. Good luck to all of them and may some of them become Trojans!

A new track athlete came by our desk for a piece of “Trojan candy.” His name is James Logan, and he competes in the triple jump and the long jump. I hope that he comes back to see us every Friday. Best of luck to the men’s track team. May they defeat the Bruins again this year!

Volleyball MVP Juan Figueroa and his brother came by to see us also. Juan loves the watermelon flavored gum that we pass out. We wished him “good luck” for the two matches this weekend. (As a post-script, our men beat Pacific on Friday and Stanford on Saturday) Fight on, Juan!

Our tall friend, Mamadou Diarra, comes by to see us every Friday. He loves Air-Heads! He will make a “big” difference for our basketball team next season.

Lastly, Coach Terrel Ray came by to visit again. We see him every Friday. I just had to find out what his capacity is on the football team. He told us that he helps with the running backs, but that he mainly makes sure that our football players attend class. Good for him and all our hard-working scholar-athletes!

Monday, March 24, 2008---A Celebration!

Tonight my family attended the USC Men’s Basketball banquet at the Galen Center. Fun and scrumptious food was had by all...not too much disappointment about the season being over. After all, we were picked to finish in 7th place in the Pac-10, and we ended up tied for 3rd! There is much to look forward to next year!

The entire team was so cordial to everyone. All the players graciously signed autographs. All of the Trojans are so tall! They don’t look that tall on the basketball court! Needless to say, I was looking way up to everyone of them.

O.J Mayo and Gregory YeeEspecially nice, polite and soft-spoken was O.J. Mayo. He signed autographs for everyone with a large smile (dimples and all), answered “Yes, ma’am” and “Yes, sir” to whomever he spoke to, and held his two fingers in our Trojan salute when guests asked to take a picture with him. I’m so glad that he is a Trojan! May he “Fight On!” in his Sophomore year and in the NBA.

Taj Gibson and Gregory YeeThe video recap of the season was highlighted with so many great plays on the court and with locker room antics. Coach Floyd related many humorous stories to us. He also challenged the team to strive harder for next year, both on and off the court.

The entire Founder’s Hall erupted when Taj Gibson announced that he was returning for his Junior year. The shouts were even louder than the USC Pep Band.

The last award given was the MVP trophy. No surprise was O.J. We all waited breathlessly when he came up to accept the honor. Everyone wondered, “Will he announce his plans?” He merely ended his acceptance speech with a “Thank you”. All Trojans should be thanking him instead!

Friday, March 14, 2008---Another USC Olympian!

Today USC women’s volleyball Super-Star, Asia Kaczor, stopped by our Information Counter in the Heritage Hall for a piece of candy. When I asked her what she was going to do after graduation, she told me that she is going home in July to try out for the Polish Olympic team. I wished her good luck. Look for our newest USC Olympian in August!