May thru July 2009 Candygrams

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Friday, July 24, 2009---They’re Too Fast for Pictures!

My husband Jim and I volunteered today at Heritage Hall. It was remarkably QUIET!

There were some tours. A large tour of Project Lasso students from North Hills High School in the San Fernando Valley walked over from the L.A. County Science Museum in Exposition Park to see all the Heritage Hall trophies. Some of the students took football posters and schedules.

Another tour of fifty young ladies, who were attending a volleyball camp on campus, was led by Alicia Robinson. Yes, that Alicia Robinson who played on the undefeated 2003 Women of Troy National Championship Volleyball Team! She has shown me her beautiful championship ring! The girls ranged in age from twelve years old to high school age. Alicia was joined by current USC Men’s and Women’s Volleyball players Alex Jupiter, Austin Zahn, and Luke Morris. There were two more players...but they walked by too fast for me to identify, let alone to take a picture of!

Director of Basketball Operations, Coach Dwayne Polee came to the desk with a big smile. He didn’t want a treat and was in a hurry. He did have enough time to tell us that his son, Dwayne Polee Jr. is in Las Vegas today for the coaches’ mini-convention at Henderson International School. Outstanding high school players from around the nation are playing games at this convention. L.A. Times reporter Eric Sondheimer wrote an article this morning about all of the college coaches who are attending this convention. Our new men’s basketball coach Kevin O’Neill is recruiting there. Wonder if USC has the inside track to sign Dwayne Jr.? Coach Polee rushed away too fast for a picture!

I ran an errand on campus and saw Nick Young walk into the Physical Education Building with about six young men. Again, he walked inside so fast, I didn’t have a chance to say “Hello” or to take a picture! Once a Trojan, always a Trojan! Keep Fighting On, Nick, in the NBA!

Our last visitor was old friend Terrel Ray. Coach Ray always greets me with a big smile, and he always takes some Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares. He told me that the football players have to arrive on campus by August 7th and practice starts on the 8th! USC Football is almost here! Fight On, Trojans!

June 25, 2009---Rising Stars and Dried Cranberries!

Pulling my cart full of goodies behind me, I peeked into the open gate at Howard Jones Field. Inside were high school football players from all over the nation participating in drills. They were the Rising Stars who were invited to attend the football camp by Pete Carroll. I wonder how many of them will be future Trojans!

As soon as I walked into Heritage Hall, I noticed that there were several workers in the lobby and some others were peering downstairs from the second level. What is going on? All the electricity is off throughout the entire campus! A Metro train hit a power line downtown and electricity was out in the city.

I was able to volunteer for a couple of hours, until the lobby got too hot without any air conditioning. In that short time, several new friends came by the desk.

Marketa DeQuineUSC Rowing Assistant Coach Marketa DeQuine was the first new friend to say “Hello.” Marketa was a four-year letterwinner on the USC Rowing Team, the team captain in 2003, and named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team in 2002 and 2003. Coach Marketa, who is from Trebon, Czech Republic, is fluent in four languages---English, Czech, German, and Russian. Her father, Vaclav Vochoska, won two Olympic medals in rowing. USC is lucky to have her as a coach! What an outstanding Trojan! Fight On, Marketa!

Uona KaveingaJunior defensive tackle Christian Tupou came by the desk for the first time. He likes chocolate chip cookies! Christian is from Sacramento and is majoring in Political Science. I asked him what else he wants me to write about him, and he said “I’m SINGLE and ready to MINGLE!” What a tease! Fight On, Christian!

Christian’s roommate, Uona Kaveinga, also came by the Heritage Hall desk for the first time. Uona is a Sophomore middle linebacker from Leuzinger H.S. in Hawthorne. I will find out his major the next time he stops by to visit. Fight On, Uona!

Lindsay ShafferLindsay Shaffer, who has worked at Heritage Hall for one year now, came up to the desk with a big smile. Lindsay is a Compliance and SAAS intern. Her job is so important! I asked her if she is a USC alum, and she quietly said that she is a Notre Dame grad. Well, she is an adopted Trojan now! Fight On, Lindsay!

Scott SchraderThe final new friend is Scott Schrader. I saw him working on his laptop at the end of the Heritage Hall desk and asked him if he worked for USC. Scott said that he works for and that he is covering the “Rising Stars” workouts. He told me that his brothers, Wayne and Steve, attended USC and that his father is Long Beach Press Telegram columnist Loel Schrader. His dad is in the USC Hall of Fame. I told Scott that he could sit at the desk and work and gave him some snacks. So nice to meet a fellow journalist!

Several old friends stopped by to say “Hello” in a short time. Football friends defensive tackle Armond Arstead and center Michael Reardon came by for treats. Armond tried the new Pringle Pizza Flavored Stix. With a big smile, he gave me a big hug. What a BIG, sweet Trojan! Fight On, Armond and Michael!

Briana GilbreathBasketball players Marques Johnson, Jacki Gemelos, and Briana Gilbreath came by to visit. They are all taking summer classes and working out downstairs. However, no workouts today since the electricity was still out. Briana is from my hometown Houston, Texas. She was rushing to class but was nice enough to let me take her picture. Fight On, Marques! Fight On, Jacki! Fight On, Briana!

Before I left, the entire Heritage Hall lobby was filled with Rising Stars high school football players, who had brought their lunches inside to eat. The players were all lying on the rug or sitting on the stairs. Needless to say, the lobby resembled a stuffy locker room!

Eat Mor ChikinWith that, my sister Pat, brother-in-law Dudley, and I left with our carts in tow. As we rounded the south corner of Heritage, I saw another friend---Alex Stepheson! He’s so tall; how can anyone not see him! We offered him some snacks and opened up the boxes on our carts. Airheads! Sour Punches! Nerds! Alex said that he just wanted a snack! Gum! 100 Calorie Snacks! Alex smiled at the assortment and stuffed his treats in an empty baggie that I gave him. Then I tried to give him my new snack, a bag of dried cranberries. Alex looked at the bag, his smile disappeared, and he said, “No, thank you” as he gave me back the dried cranberries. Then, he bent over to give me a BIG HUG! However, he is so tall, and I am so short, he didn’t really embrace me!

I noticed that Chick-Fil-A helped to sponsor the Rising Stars football camp.

June 4, 2009---It’s Summer! Why Am I Here?

My entire teaching career I never taught summer why am I at USC in the middle of summer? It’s Heritage Hall....summer school is in session....and I love to volunteer!

2009 NCAA Men's Tennis Team Championship trophyThere were several visitors and some Orientation tours today. I directed their attention to our new 2009 NCAA Men’s Tennis trophy that is now displayed proudly in the Heritage Hall lobby. The trophy is in line with our 2005 BCS Glass Football and the Lexus Gauntlet trophy. Draped off the balcony above the trophy is a new Men’s Tennis Championship Banner!

Congratulations to the Men’s Tennis Team on winning their 17th NCAA Team Championship!

About the Lexus Gauntlet...USC’s name hasn’t been engraved on the 2009 plate yet. However, all Trojans know we have won the Lexus Gauntlet competition five times versus the Bruins winning only three times!

Pat RuelI saw football coaches coming and going! On the way to Heritage, I said “Hello” to football Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Carlisle. Linebacker Coach Ken Norton Jr. said “Hello” as he walked through the Heritage lobby. Offensive Line Coach Pat Ruel came by the desk and took a Ghirardelli Raspberry chocolate. Coach Terrel Ray smiled and waved as he drove by in a cart while I was walking back to my car. Fight On, USC Football Coaches!

Aven WrightOld friends Jill Dennis, Teresa Verbeck, and photographer Dan Avila stopped by to say “Hello” and take a treat.

Aven Wright, a Triple Jumper on the USC Track Team, came by to say “Hello.” I congratulated him on the track teams beating the Bruins in the dual track meet last month. He gave me an inside scoop on the upcoming NCAA Track Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Aven said that 40 men and women are leaving this Sunday for the meet on June 10-13. He said the top eight competitors in each event scores, and a team score of 60 will win the championship. We know that we can win the NCAA Track Championship this year! Fight On, Trojans to VICTORY!

May 14, 2009---The Calm Before the Storm!

Tomorrow is Commencement Day at USC. That is why I volunteered on Thursday this week. I thought that Heritage Hall would be very quiet, but it was actually very busy. All Doctoral candidates received their diplomas today. So several graduate students, still dressed in cap and gowns, brought relatives to Heritage Hall to see all the gleaming trophies. Fight On, all 2009 USC Graduates!

Several old friends and coaches either stopped by the desk to say “Hello” and take a treat, or they just waved.

Ben Malcolmson smiled and waved; Senior Associate Athletic Directors Steve Lopes and Don Winston smiled and said “Hello” as they walked out to a luncheon; Women’s Tennis Coach Richard Gallien and Women’s Golf Coach Andrea Gaston also smiled as they also walked out the door on the way to a luncheon; Coach Terrel Ray, who took his favorite Ghirardelli Almond, Hazelnut, and Peanut Butter Squares, said that the student athletes that he knows are ecstatic that finals are over; and Mike Garrett came to the lobby to have his picture taken by USC Official Photographer Dan Avila.

Trojan athletes who came to Heritage today were women’s basketball players Kari LaPlante, Hailey Dunham, Aarika Hughes, and Nadia Parker, who is moving back home to Spanaway, Washington, after graduation; Volleyball player Austin Zahn, whom we congratulated for doing so well in the NCAA’s; and 800 meter track star Anniya Louis, who gave us all big hugs. I wished her good luck in the Pac-10 and NCAA’s!

Richard Gallien and Ken MatsudaFour new friends came to the Heritage Hall desk today. A very distinguished elder gentleman came to take some 2009 football posters. He was Ken Matsuda, the USC Track Coach from 1965-1984. Ken graduated from USC in 1956 with a degree in Exercise-Physiology. He taught special education before coaching at USC. Ken said he was born in Fresno, but, when he was eight years old, he was forced to live in the internment camps in Little Rock and Jerome, Arkansas. He said that an elderly man in the camp paid the kids 25 cents for each rattlesnake they could bring him, so that he could make wallets. Ken brought him a lot of rattlesnakes because he was just a kid and didn’t know any better. So glad that he was never bitten. Naturally, we gave him all the posters that he wanted and congratulated him on being inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame this past spring. Fight On, Ken!

Bryce NelsonNew friend, Journalism Professor Bryce Nelson, came to the desk for the first time today. He has walked through Heritage Hall several times before but never stopped to say “Hello.” I told Professor Nelson that my older daughter Kelly had been admitted to USC with a Trustee Scholarship to the School of Journalism in 1991. However, Kelly chose to attend Harvard University (USC’s loss!). Immediately, Professor Nelson told me that he too is a Harvard alumnus and was the President of the Harvard Crimson, the school newspaper. Kelly had also written for the Harvard Crimson. Her husband (also a Harvard grad) and she are now Supercollege authors. Professor Nelson said that he wanted to meet them someday when they are in town. Fight On, Professor Nelson!

Duane SolomonTwo new USC athletes came to the desk to take some treats today. They both took Airheads! Guess what sport they participate in? Football? NO! They are both on the USC Men’s Track Team! Duane Solomon is a Senior majoring in Sociology. Duane runs the 800 meters.

Martin BlencoweMartin Blencowe, who is from Brighton, England, and, whom I could listen to all day as he spoke with his beautiful accent, is a Senior majoring in Political Science. Martin runs the 100 meters. Fight On, Duane and Martin, in the Pac-10 and NCAA’s!

Walking outside on an errand, I congratulated women’s hammer thrower, Eva Orban, on beating the Bruins. Fight On, Eva, in the Pac-10 and NCAA’s!

Trojan Candy will take a short break in volunteering at Heritage Hall since the spring semester is over and summer school has not yet begun. However, many athletic friends will attend summer classes and work out every day in the Heritage Hall basement. Such dedication!


May 8, 2009---Trojan Candy Gets Preview of Lexus Gauntlet Trophy Presentation

Finals are going on today on campus, but there were still many visitors and athletes at Heritage Hall.

Several groups of high school tennis teams walked through the Heritage Hall lobby. The groups were trying to find the “little” Galen Center where meals are served for the athletes. Naturally, I sent them in the right direction.

Several old friends came by the desk to say “Hello,” visit for a while, and take some treats. Marc Tyler said that he would be attending summer school and took a pack of Bubblicious gum and what else? Airheads! Malik Jackson came in the lobby with Marc and took a Rice Krispie Treat, Sweet Tarts and a pack of Big Red gum. Malik said that he will move out of his student housing during the summer and that he will live at home while he attends summer classes. Matt Barkley went quickly out the Heritage door to the “little” Galen Center to eat. I wonder if any of the high school girl’s tennis players recognized him? Mamadou Diarra stopped by for his favorite Nerds and watermelon gum. He said that he will be going to summer school to further his Communications major. Athletic Director Mike Garrett, who was in the lobby, asked Mamadou to come over to meet two friends.

Coach Terrel Ray came to the desk with, as always, a big smile. Coach Ray took his usual Ghirardelli Luxe Milk Almond square (Did I tell you that my Trojan daughter, Steffany, is a Senior Brand Manager at Ghirardelli and that she developed this flavor?), and some Bubble Yum gum. We talked about our men’s volleyball team and its meteoric rise! I told coach that it was Coach Pete Carroll’s inspirational pep talk! Coach Ray agreed when he said that the guys were playing really good defense! Sound familiar? Fight On, Men of Troy!

Kari LaPlante came to say “Hi” and took a Rice Krispie Treat. Teammate Daniela Roark came with Kari. Old friend Joe Houston came to the desk with his usual big smile. I complimented Joe on the field goals he made at the Trojan Huddle game. As Joe took a pack of gum and a 100 Calorie treat, I asked him how David Buehler was doing after the roof collapse at the Dallas Cowboy’s practice facility. Joe said that he talked to David and that he was fine. Fight On, David, in the NFL!

Greg WoidneckAnother Special Teams football player friend came to the desk after I called out to him to get a treat. Senior Greg Woidneck usually comes with a group of players, but he was by himself today. Greg was wearing shorts and flip-flops. My son Greg loves to dress the exact same way! Wonder if all Gregs do? Back to the punter Greg. He told me that he is graduating on Friday 5/15/09 with a Business degree in Real Estate Finance. He said that he was at Arizona State University for one year, Mt. San Antonio Jr. College for one year, and then at USC to play football. As he took two packages of Bubblicious Sour Citrus gum, Greg told me that USC was where he wanted to be all along and that he is a third generation Trojan. Greg’s grandpa Robert attended USC on a G.I. Bill in the 50’s. Robert was an engineer at Fluor Corporation. His dad Jeff majored in International Relation. His brothers Rob and Brian are also Trojans and both majored in Business and were football managers. Greg told us that his little sister Katie is a current Trojans majoring in Communication. What a Trojan Family!

Carin Andersson and Kinga Mikolajczyk

Old friend for two years, Carin Andersson, a Junior Women of Troy Rowing member from Sweden, came to the Heritage desk with a big smile. Carin, who is majoring in Neuroscience, took a Ferrero Rocher and a Rice Krispie Treat. She brought a friend, Kinga Mikolajczyk with her. Kinga, as she took two Lindt chocolates, told me that she is from Poland and is a Sophomore majoring in Psychology. I congratulated both Trojans on beating UCLA in rowing, and I took their picture by the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy that they helped to earn! Fight On, Carin and Kinga in the NCAAs!

Prime Ticket carI saw a black Toyota hybrid drive up to the foot of the Heritage Hall stairs. Two men who work for Prime Ticket came into Heritage with equipment. They told me that they came to tape an interview with Athletic Director Mike Garrett. The interview had to be done today since Mr. Garrett will be out of town on Monday, 9/11/2009. What is significant about Monday 5/11/2009? That is the day that the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy will be presented to our victorious USC Trojans!

Trojan Candy with John JacksonJohn Jackson and Chris HaleSoon after SID Dave Tuttle removed the plastic case on the Lexus Gauntlet trophy, John Jackson walked in the door. He looked over some notes as he prepared for the interview. Since Mike Garrett was nowhere in sight yet, Trojan Candy walked up to John and asked if he wanted a snack. He smiled and said he would come by the desk later. Then a muscular man came in the door, bypassed John Jackson, and walked directly to the desk to get a Rice Krispy Treat. With the treat in hand, the man turned and shook John’s hand. He was Chris Hale, a defensive back who played football in 1989 with John. Chris told me that he is from Monrovia and now owns a T’Shirt company. He said that he came to Heritage Hall just to see John. The two old friends kidded one another in conversation. Then Mike Garrett came downstairs to be interviewed by John Jackson for the Lexus Gauntlet Show that will be aired on Wednesday 5/13/2009.

Chris and I eavesdropped on the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy presentation!

May 2, 2009---Three Victories and the Lexus Gauntlet, TOO!!!!

At the USC-UCLA dual track meet, I found out that our Women of Troy Rowing Team beat the Lady Bruins 7-1 earlier in the day! All we needed, then, was for either our Men’s or our Women’s Track Teams to beat the Bruins and the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy would be ours!

Loker StadiumI attended the track meet at Loker Track Stadium and watched both the Men’s and Women’s Track Teams beat the Bruins! Our women won 93-70 and our men won 92-71! With the three victories, USC won the 2008-2009 Lexus Gauntlet Trophy!

Start of Men's 200 meter raceSeveral Trojan Candy friends played a big part in the track victories. Coach Ron Allice and his entire track team had come to Heritage Hall for team pictures back on January 16, 2009. Track friends who have stopped by the Heritage Hall desk are Eva Orban (hammer throw), Judith Onyepunuka (4X100m relay, 100m), Shalina Clark (4X100m relay, 100m, 400m), Liz Gill (5K, 10K), Anniya Louis (800m), Sean Cawley (400m), Aven Wright (triple jump), James Logan (triple & long jump), and Captain Stenn Parton. I look forward to meeting new USC track friends in the Fall 2009!

Men celebrating victoryI sat in the best area of the Track Stadium to take pictures of the triumphant Trojans! Here are pictures of the men and women celebrating the victories.

Victory lap by men and womenWomen's teamIf you view the “USC Women Clinch Gauntlet with win” video at, you will see Trojan Candy sitting next to the USC Band.