October 2009 Candygrams

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October 30, 2009---Cheers! Coaches! Buses!

As my husband Jim and I arrived at the Heritage Hall desk to volunteer, we heard a loud ruckus coming from the auditorium. Cheers! Whooping! Hollering! Jumping! It was the USC Football team beginning their meeting. It sounded like they were bouncing off the walls! Fight On, Trojans!

Hebron FangupoAs soon as we set up, I saw a football player in a wheelchair. I asked him to come to the desk to get a snack. When he wheeled himself to the desk, he was able to stand up. It was #92 Junior Hebron Fangupo. Hebron, whose left foot was in a cast, took Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. He is majoring in Sociology and came to USC from Tonga. Hebron told me that his hobby is reading the Bible. Fight On, Hebron!

Allen BradfordAnother football friend, Allen Bradford, came to the desk for the first time. He is so quiet and soft spoken. Allen, who is majoring in American Studies, took a Rice Krispies Treat. I asked Allen when his dad was going to be able to come to a game. Allen said, “The Stanford game.” When I asked him if he has a hobby, Allen, with a big smile, told me that his hobby is writing music. “What kind of music?” I asked, also with a big smile. Allen’s eyes lit up, and he said, “Rap music... I can rap, too!” Rap On and Fight On, Allen!

Several “old” football friends rushed to the desk to take a snack before the buses were to leave at 1:30 pm. Again, please forgive me if I miswrite your name.

Curtis McNeal, Joe McKnight, and C.J. Gable
The friends were Curtis McNeal, Joe McKnight, and C.J. Gable. FIGHT ON, my friends! Curtis, Joe, and C.J.!
D.J. Shoemate
D.J. Shoemate. FIGHT ON, D.J.!
Cooper Stephenson, Joe Houston, and Chris Pousson. FIGHT ON, Cooper, Joe, and Chris!

Football coaches, at one time or at another, walked through the lobby. Trojan Candy wished each one of them good luck. Coaches Rocky Seto, Pat Ruel, Todd McNair, Brennan Carroll, Ken Norton Jr. and Pete Carroll were acknowledged.

Michelle JenkinsWomen of Troy basketball player, Aarika Hughes dropped by to say “Hello” and take a bag of chocolate chip cookies. Another Women of Troy player, Michelle Jenkins, came to the desk for the first time. Michelle, a Sophomore, is majoring in Business. With a smile, she took her “very favorite” Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate with Caramel. Michelle, who is from Beaverton, Oregon, told me that her mother couldn’t come for Parents’ Weekend, but that she is coming to the Homecoming Game. As for her hobbies, she said they are playing basketball and going to the beach. Fight On, Michelle!

Men’s Basketball friend, Center Davis Rozitis from Latvia, came by to visit. We gave him a Ghirardelli Halloween Dark Chocolate square to introduce him to our holiday. Davis said that he has recovered from the injury he suffered in the Men’s Scrimmage game last Sunday. Fight On, Davis!

Marcus Simmons

A new basketball friend, Marcus Simmons, stayed to visit. Marcus is a Junior majoring in Sociology. He is from Alexandria, Louisiana, and he knew fellow Louisianan teammate Dwight Lewis before they both came to USC. Marcus listed his hobbies as playing video games, surfing the internet (naturally, he will now check out Trojancandy.com), and playing basketball. When I asked Marcus how he likes our new coach, Kevin O’Neill, he said, “I love him!” Looks like Athletic Director Mike Garrett made a good choice! Fight On, Marcus!

Chanel Fischetti and Christine GreerTwo new friends on the Women of Troy Cross Country Team came by together. Chanel Fischetti and Christine Greer are Seniors and both major in Neuroscience. (SID David Tuttle was right about the Cross Country team being very smart!) Chanel is from Dana Point, CA, and Christine is from Warrington, PA. They like to run and to go to the beach. Whenever I asked them a question, they always answered in tandem! So, I asked them, “Do you do everything in tandem?” Both young ladies smiled, looked at one another, and said, “Yes!” With that, I took their picture together by the Lexus Gauntlet trophy, and they walked out of Heritage ... in tandem! Fight On, Chanel! Fight On, Christine!

Jon HachettMen’s Volleyball Co-Captains Murphy Troy and Jon Hachett walked by the desk, said “Hello” and continued downstairs. Jon came back to visit. He is a Senior majoring in Business Communications. He is from Rochester, NY, and he told me that he remembered coming to the Heritage desk when the Volleyball Offices were still in Heritage Hall. As for his hobby, Jon said that he likes spending time with friends. “That’s good,” I told Jon, “since Trojan Candy is your newest friend!” Fight On, Jon!

Michael SylvesterMichael Sylvester, about whom I initially wrote on 8/29/2008, came by to visit. I teased Michael and told him that he looks like a Brian instead of a Michael! Laughing, Michael, who is associated with Athletes in Action and mentors USC athletes, took a Ghirardelli square. He told me that he has four sons who are athletes. Duron, who is 21, is a current Trojan majoring in Economics and was a wide receiver on the football team. Devin, age 17, is a wide receiver and kicker on his high school team. Perhaps he is a future Trojan! Darian, age 13, plays linebacker on his middle school team. Michael said that he and his family will be attending Darian’s game on Saturday night. His last son Deon, who is 4, is already showing his athleticism. What a family! Fight On, Michael and Sons!

Irene PuentesLast, but not least, Irene Puentes, who works upstairs (and literally “runs” the USC Football Office), came down to visit and took some Laffy Taffy. I think that banana is her favorite flavor. Irene, who lives in Whittier, has worked for four USC Coaches: Larry Smith, John Robinson, Paul Hackett and now, Pete Carroll! Wonder if she will ever write an autobiography? Fight On, Irene!

October 22, 2009---So Nice to Be Back at Heritage Hall!

Such a beautiful, vibrant day at Heritage Hall! It is Parents Weekend on campus, and the lobby is very busy.

So many old friends to say “Hello” to and to brag about my two new grandsons, Kane and Parker. So many new friends to meet.

As soon as my husband Jim and I arrived at the desk, Craig, who works upstairs in Marketing, brought down brand new Men’s and Women’s Basketball posters. They look really nice! Come to the desk and get yours!

The first “old friend” to come by the desk to visit was Taylor Mays. We talked briefly about the Notre Dame game and his “bogus” penalties. Then, he smiled when I told him that the SEC had suspended the officiating crew from the Florida-Arkansas game for calling a “phantom” penalty on Arkansas. Taylor said that he had heard something about the suspension on ESPN. With that and another smile, Taylor left. I told him, “Have a good game!” Fight On, Taylor!

Damian WilliamsThe next old friend to come to the desk was fellow Southerner, Damien Williams. Damien took a Starburst Gummi Burst. Since my husband is from Arkansas, Damian and he struck up a conversation. Damian said that he is from Springdale, Arkansas. My husband immediately told me that Springdale is near the University of Arkansas in northwest Arkansas (Damian transferred from the University of Arkansas along with Mitch Mustain). Then I told Damian that my husband Jim lived in Marianna, Arkansas. With a large smile Damian said that he played in a high school baseball tournament in Marianna. “Do you play baseball any more?” I asked him with a straight face! Damian answered, politely, “No.”( “DUH!” I said to myself. “He’s a star football player! Why did you ask him that?”) Unperturbed, I asked him if he has any hobbies. With another big smile, Damien said the he likes “hanging out.” Thank you, Damien, for “hanging out” at the desk with Trojan Candy. His picture was taken, appropriately, by the Shillelagh II trophy. Fight On, Damian!

Many old football friends came by the desk to get a treat or just to visit. Please forgive me if I neglect to mention your name. Walking by to little Galen, but not stopping, were Michael Morgan and Jeff Byers. Brandon Carswell, Jurrell Casey, Aaron Corp, Omari Crittenden, Shareece Wright, Joe Houston, Da’John Harris and Nick Perry all came by to visit, take their favorite snacks, and perhaps be shown pictures of my two new grandsons. Da’John and Nick related to Trojan Candy that the Notre Dame players were trash-talking the entire game, and that they were the worst team, so far, this season to do so. Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis sure has taught his team and student body to “Get Nasty!”

Simione VehikiteTwo new football friends came to the Heritage desk. An extremely soft-spoken Freshman, Simione Vehikite from Lahaina, Hawaii, came to the desk for the first time. He likes chocolate chip cookies! Simione is undeclared in his major and plays fullback. He said that he also likes to play rugby! Fight On, Simione!

Drew McAllisterThe second new football friend to come to the desk was Drew McAllister. Drew, who is from Danville, CA, told me that his mother is coming in for Parents Weekend. He is a Sophomore safety majoring in Public Policy and Development. P.P.D. seems to be the most popular major among USC football players! For his hobby, Drew likes to play video games. Fight On, Drew!

A little before 2:00 pm a distinguished gentleman came to the desk. He was former USC quarterback and 1985 Rose Bowl Offensive Player of the Game, Tim Green. Tim GreenThe Rose Bowl Defensive player of the game that year was OLB Jack Del Rio. Tim marvelled to me how fit, lean and strong all the college lineman are now...more so than in his playing days at USC. Tim is an architect and the Director of Business Development with SPF:architects. His firm did the Getty Villa remodeling. Tim was on his way to a seminar in Annenberg. The subject of the seminar was about the book What It Means to Be a Trojan.

There is a chapter in the book devoted to Tim. Fight On, Tim!

Damonte RobinsonNew friends from other sports came by the desk. Damonte Robinson, a Freshman from Banning H.S. in Los Angeles, will play point guard on our men’s basketball team. He is a Communication major who likes to play football also. Damonte took a Grape-Strawberry Nerds. Fight On, Damonte!

Megan OhaiTwo Women of Troy Soccer players came by the desk for the first time. Megan Ohai, a Junior midfielder, is a Psychology major from Draper, Utah. She attended Alta High School in Utah, and she loves watching movies. 100 Grand candy was Megan’s favorite. Fight On, Megan!


Meagan HolmesAnother Megan? Yes! Meagan Holmes, a Senior defender on the Women of Troy Soccer team, is majoring in Real Estate Development. She attended Dulaney High School in Timonium, Maryland, and she loves hanging out with friends. Laffy Taffy was this Meagan’s favorite. Fight On, Meagan!

Forel DaviesForel Davies, a Senior two meter defender on the Women of Troy Water Polo team, came by the desk for the first time. Forel attended Carlsbad H.S. in California, and she is a Communication major. Her hobby is surfing, and strawberry-grape Nerds are her favorite. Forel told me that her mother is coming to Parents Weekend. Fight On, Forel!

John PetruskaOld friends from other sports to come visit were Farren Benjamin and Shalina Clarke from Women’s track and field; Jennifer Song from Women’s golf; and Nikola Vucevic from Men’s basketball.

One last new friend that we met was Dr. John Petruska. He has been a Professor of Molecular Biology at USC for over 40 years! We enjoyed reminiscing about the “good old days” at USC, before Heritage Hall was even built! Fight On, Dr. John!


October 18, 2009---More Good News!

ParkerTrojan Candy is back home in Los Angeles. I wasn’t able to volunteer at Heritage Hall on October 9th as I had planned, because my USC Alum daughter Steffany had her first child, my third grandson, four weeks early on Thursday, October 8! Please see the picture of my newest future USC Trojan! His name is Parker.

Trojan Candy will be “in the House” volunteering on Thursday, 10/22.


October 4, 2009---Trojan Candy at Berkeley

My fellow Heritage Hall volunteers---sister Pat and brother-in-law Dudley---and I boarded BART at Daly City on Saturday 10/3 gameday for the hour long ride to Berkeley. As we stepped onto the platform we were greeted with a Trojan Victory sign from a young Trojan. We returned the Victory sign. The Trojan Family must stick together! There were several Trojans riding the train with us, but, of course, there were more CAL Berkeley fans. During our trip a few raucous CAL fans yelled out, “GO!” and were answered with “BEARS!” We Trojans on the train remained reticent, because we knew that our team would do the talking on the playing field!

Cable Car ShuttleThe weather was BEAUTIFUL in Berkeley! Nothing like the pouring rain that we suffered through in 2007. The football stadium is at least one mile (all uphill) from the BART station, so we always catch the free CAL shuttle up. This year, no CAL fans heckled us. Some of the shuttles are regular city buses, while others look like cable cars. We rode on a regular city bus through the campus to Memorial Stadium.


Entrance to Cal Memorial StadiumTightwad HillThere were renovations at the stadium. As usual, there were CAL fans on “Tight Wad Hill.” These fans see the game for free. I hoped that during the game we would not hear that blasted cannon that is mounted on “Tight Wad Hill”. The cannon is shot every time CAL scores any points.

Now for the game... Thank you, Taylor Mays!!!!! Your first quarter interception in the end zone was the turning point of the game! You won the game for us in the opening minutes!! We all know that our Trojans played for Stafon Johnson! Our offense, defense, and special teams all played well in his honor! FIGHT ON, Stafon! FIGHT ON, Trojans! BEAT the Irish!

After the game, we stayed to hear the Spirit of Troy play. Our band out-lasted the CAL Band, who played a short concert on the field. Then the CAL Band marched off dejectedly into the tunnel. Good-bye! Happily, we took the long trek back to BART. At least, it was all DOWN hill!

Boomer Roepke and Billy O'MalleyWe could barely squeeze ourselves into the over-crowded train. As I held onto the seat handle, I looked around to see a tall young Trojan smiling at me. He said, “You’re the lady who gives out treats at the Heritage Hall desk.” I smiled back and replied, “Yes, I’m Trojan Candy.” Then I saw another young Trojan smiling at me, so I smiled back. It turned out that these two young Trojans are actually on the USC football team. They were Billy O’Malley, #39 a punter, and Boomer Roepke, #25 a cornerback/punter. They were not on the travel squad, but they came up for the game. They stayed in San Francisco and were on the field during the game. FIGHT ON, Billy! FIGHT ON, Boomer!

By the way, my new darling Grandson #2 is doing GREAT!

Trojan Candy looks forward to volunteering at Heritage Hall next Friday, 10/9. FIGHT ON till then!