July and August 2012 (1) Candygrams

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Thursday, August 16, 2012---Not Your NORMAL Thursday!

Trojan Sword statueTrojan Sword plaqueAs my husband Jim and I approached the ramp at the west end of McKay Center, I saw the new Trojan Sword statue with a plaque honoring Mark Jackson, the man who "led the development and completion of the John McKay Center...." Underneath the plaque are engraved five Trojan characteristics: faithful, scholarly, skillful, courageous, and ambitious.

Walkway to Heritage HallWe were walking up the new ramp to Heritage Hall when a familiar face greeted us. My senior citizen brain was trying to remember his name. When he said, "I bet you don't know who I am," I should have said, "Dentzel Washington," but I wasn't clever enough at the time. Then, when he said, "Jabari," I finished with "Ruffin!" With both of us smiling, I said, "I'll know your name next time, and be sure and come to the desk today!"

Little did I know, this would be the start of a very ABNORMAL day of volunteering at the Heritage Hall desk!

When we entered the west doors, the lobby was buzzing with activity. Kelly Owen and Allen Jebsen were placing footballs on four rows of long tables. There were two photography stations set up. At one station was friend Dan Avila. Ron Orr told Trojan Candy that the entire football team would be coming to the Heritage Lobby to sign all the footballs. We set up the desk quickly. As the entire team came into the lobby, new friends and old friends came to the desk. The first friend to come to the desk was Women of Troy Soccer player Morgan Morrow. Morgan is still in rehab this season. We also had to open the locked doors to let in all the Presidents of the various Trojan Clubs who were simultaneously attending a "Summit" meeting downstairs. One friend who came was Dr. Roger Rossier, President of the Orange County Trojan Club.

Kelly Owen and Allen Jebsen
Kelly Owen and Allen Jebsen were laying out USC footballs.
Football team
The football team was signing footballs.
Football team
More football players were signing footballs.
Morgan Morrow
Morgan Morrow is still in rehab.
Roger Rossier
Roger Rossier came for the Trojan Club Presidents Summit.

Six new friends came to the desk during all the commotion that was taking place with the football signings and photographs.

Jeremy WuThe first new friend was Jeremy Wu. He just started working in the SID Office. Jeremy will be covering Women's Volleyball in the fall and Sand Volleyball, Lacrosse and Rowing in the spring. He is an USC alumnus who graduated in 2002 majoring in Music Industry. Then his M.S. major was Communications. As an undergrad, Jeremy and his wife April both played in the Spirit of Troy. Jeremy played the saxophone and April played the clarinet. Trojan Candy lamented to Jeremy, that when I attended USC, women were not allowed in the band. How times have changed! Jeremy worked at Cal for five years before returning to his alma mater. He's back where he should be! FIGHT ON, Jeremy!

Two new friends dropped by the desk for the first time as the entire team was starting to exit out the east doors to take a group picture. Needless to say, Trojan Candy interviewed them fast and took their pictures even faster!

Spencer GrahamUSC Junior Spencer Graham is a Football Manager this season. Spencer is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Guess he likes football more than basketball!) He is majoring in History. In the rush, I forgot to ask him about his hobbies. Next time, in calmer times! FIGHT ON, Spencer!

Alex RiosThe second Football Manager walked up at the same time as Spencer. Alex Rios is a Senior majoring in Communications. Alex is from Newport Beach. When asked about his interests, Alex humorously wrote that he is a Ralph's Club member and that he loves orange juice. Trojan Candy also knows that he loves USC Football! FIGHT ON, Alex.

The two new friends rushed out the door as did Trojan Candy. All the team and candid pictures that I took outside are posted at a link at the end of my article. Click and enjoy!

After snapping pictures furiously outside Heritage Hall, I returned to the lobby. My husband Jim said that there was a barrage of football friends who came to the desk while I was outside. Sorry that I missed all of you. Come back to Heritage to visit with us next week!

Devian SheltonEven though the lobby was quieter now with most of the team gone, I managed to meet and interview three new members of the football team. Devian Shelton is a Freshman Cornerback from Inglewood. He is majoring in Communications. When asked about hobbies, Devian wrote that he likes to STUDY! He also wrote that he would like to see the new Batman movie ... but that, for right now, his entire life is football! Classes start soon, Devian, and so does football season! Enjoy both of your passions! STUDY and FIGHT ON, Devian!

Robert DooleyTalk about two peas in a pod, my second new football friend was Robert Dooley. He, like Devian, is a Freshman, and he, like Devian, is majoring in Communications. Robert is from Chicago, IL, and plays Safety on the team. Unlike Devian, Robert wrote that his favorite music is Country Music and his favorite artist is Kenny Chesney. FIGHT ON, Robert!

Kevon SeymourEver heard of three peas in a pod? My last new friend was Kevon Seymour. He is also a Freshman, like Devian and Robert, and he is also majoring in Communications, like Devian and Robert. Kevon is a Cornerback, like Devian (what happened Robert?) Kevon wrote that he likes to "chill with friends, family and loved ones." Kevon, you can "chill" at the Heritage Hall desk anytime with yours truly! FIGHT ON, Kevon!

Seen at the SCene:

While Kevon was still at the desk, SID Dave Tuttle brought out an old friend. Olympic Silver Medalist Bryshon Nellum came to the desk with his mom, LeSeon Hughes. We gave him big hugs and congratulations. Other friends, Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and A.D. Pat Haden gave Bryshon congratulations and fist bumps outside. Then, Channel 2's Jim Hill and Channel 5's Rebecca Hall interviewed Bryshon outside on the benches for at least an hour combined. Finally, Jessica Onyepunuka, Bryson's friend since he was at Long Beach Poly, visited with him in the lobby. CONGRATULATIONS again, Bryshon!

LeSeon Hughes and Bryshon Nellum
LeSeon Hughes is so proud of her son Bryshon Nellum.
Robert Woods, Bryshon Nellum, and Marqise Lee
Robert Woods (8/19/2010) and Marqise Lee congratulated Bryshon.
Pat Haden, Robert Woods, Bryshon Nellum, and Marqise Lee
Pat Haden added his congratulations.
Jim Hill and Bryshon Nellum
Channel 2's Jim Hill interviewed Bryshon Nellum.
Cameraman and Rebecca Hall
Channel 5's Rebecca Hall came with cameraman to interview Bryshon.
Bryshon Nellum and Jessica Onyepunuka
Bryshon visited with Jessica Onyepunuka.

Heritage Friends: Dan Avila, Kelly Owen, Allen Jebsen, Ron Orr, Tim Tessalone, Dave Tuttle, Dr. Roger Rossier, Michael Yee, Greg Millward (who asked us to open the doors for the Trojan Club Presidents), Joyce, Sunny Shepherd, Haili Sun, Jim Hill, Fed Ex Dave, Monica Morita, Don Winston, Karen Bowman, Eloy Lopez, Dorothy Kim (as we left Heritage Hall)

Coaches: Track: Ron Allice, Lacrosse: Devon Wills, Football: Every Coach

Football: Every player on the team

Track and Field: Bryshon Nellum, Joey Hughes

Joey Hughes
Unfortunately Joey Hughes broke two fingers. Luckily, Joey doesn't need his fingers to run fast!
Sunny Shepherd and Dorothy Kim
As we were heading home, I ran into Sunny Shepherd and new friend Dorothy Kim who were greeting the football players coming up the All-American Walkway to football practice.

I took pictures of the new plaques of the All-American Walkway. The thumbnails below are from left to right.



August 12, 2012---Congratulations to my 2012 Olympic Friends!

Trojan Candy is so proud of all the USC 2012 London Olympians! Check out my USC Olympic friends about whom I have written in my Trojan Candy blog. To read their stories, click the caption below the picture.

Tumua Anae
Tumua Anae won the Gold medal with the United States Water Polo team.
Haley Anderson
Haley Anderson won the Silver medal for the United States in the 10K Marathon Swim.
Flora Bolonyai
Flora Bolonyai played for Hungary in Women's Water Polo.
Kami Craig
Kami Craig won the Gold medal with the United States Water Polo team.
Joel Dennerley
Joel Dennerley played for Australia in Men's Water Polo.
Katinka Hosszu
Katinka Hosszu swam for Hungary in the Women's 200 m Butterfly, 200 m IM, 400 m IM (4th place), and 4x200 m Freestyle Relay.
Josh Mance
Josh Mance won the Silver medal with the United States 4x400 m Relay team.
Bryshon Nellum
Bryshon Nellum just barely missed getting in the 400 m finals, won the Silver medal with the United States 4x400 m Relay team, and was the Flag Bearer for the United States in the Closing Ceremony Parade of Athletes.
Eva Orban
Eva Orban was a Hammer Thrower for Hungary.
Amy Rodriguez
Amy Rodriguez won her second Gold medal on the United States Women's Soccer team.
Felix Sanchez
Felix Sanchez won his second Gold medal in the 400 m Hurdles (first in 2004).
Duane Solomon
Duane Solomon finished 4th in the 800 m race for the United States.
Rebecca Soni
Rebecca Soni won the Silver medal in the 100 m Breaststroke, Gold medal in the 200 m Breaststroke (World Record) and Gold for the 4x100 m Medley Relay (World Record).

Congratulations and FIGHT ON, my USC 2012 Olympic Friends!

August 9, 2012---What an Exquisite Day!

The weather on campus was sweltering. Trojan Candy managed to take a picture of the almost finished football All-American Walk. The outside of the new John McKay Center looks almost the same, but there are two new additions since July 13! A statue of John McKay stands near the main entrance. The main portal now has the inscription "THROUGH THIS PORTAL ENTER THE WORLD'S GREATEST ATHLETES". It was so hot, my chocolate almost melted by the time we walked into Heritage Hall.

West Wing portal of McKay Center
The portal to the All-American Walk with the inscription "A sound mind and sound body" in Greek.
Center Wing of McKay Center
A statue of John McKay is in front of the Center Wing of McKay Center. Notice the security guard (bottom center) and SID Tim Tessalone (bottom right).
John McKay statue
John McKay statue up close

Portal at Main entranceHeritage Hall was very quiet when we reached the desk. As I unloaded our items, my husband Jim set up our iPad so that we could watch the USA-Japan Women's Olympic Gold Medal Soccer Game. USC alum Amy Rodriguez is on our Women's Olympic Team. FIGHT ON, Amy! GO USA!

Robert Woods, Cody Kessler, and Yoni AvivThree new friends and several old friends came to the desk today. Two football friends, Robert Woods (8/19/2010) and Cody Kessler, walked up to the desk with big smiles on their faces, and they brought a new friend with them! Yoni Aviv joined our football team in February 2012. Yoni, who is from Los Angeles, plays Defensive Tackle. Yoni AvivHe transferred to USC from Santa Monica City College. Yoni wrote that he likes to play basketball as well as football. His hobby is playing all the EA video games. FIGHT ON, Yoni!

Trojan Candy asked Robert if he is all healed and pain free. With a gleam in his eye, he said that he is fine. Fantastic! Since we just started a new year, I decided to also take pictures of all the old friends who came to the desk today.

T.J. McDonaldAnother football friend walked up to the desk in a sweatshirt jacket with his hood on. It must be 90 degrees outside. Trojan Candy asked T.J. McDonald why he had on his jacket. He said that it is freezing cold in the new John McKay Center! I told T.J. that he did a good job of recruiting Silas Redd. T.J. said that Silas stayed with his roommates Matt Barkley, Khaled Holmes and him. Good job, guys!

Silas ReddFriend Sunny Shepherd came to visit us at the desk, and it's a good thing that she did! A young man walked in the east Heritage Hall doors on his way toward the west doors. I didn't recognize him, and, uncharacteristically, I didn't ask him to come to the desk. Sunny said, "I think that is Silas Redd. Look at his eyes!" Then, Trojan Candy jumped into action. Sunny yelled out, "Silas?" When he turned around, I knew we got him! Thanks, Sunny! I asked Silas to come to the desk for an interview and picture. He said, "I'm going to lunch." Trojan Candy fudged, "It will only take two minutes!" Luckily, he followed me to the desk. Silas, who was wearing last year's football bracelet that read, "Locked In", wrote that he is majoring in Broadcast Journalism. He is our new #25 running back who just transferred from Penn State. Silas, who is from Norwalk, Connecticut, likes to draw and play video games. His favorite games are "Call of Duty" and "WBA 2K13". His favorite movie is "The Dark Knight", and his favorite recording artists are Jay-Z, Citizen Cope, and Meck Mill. Silas comes from an athletic family. In high school his father played football and basketball, and his mom ran track. Thank you for choosing USC, and FIGHT ON, Silas!

Jackie Owens and Abe MarkowitzTwo more friends, Abe Markowitz and Jackie Owens, came by to visit. Abe graduated in May 2012 and plans to start graduate school this fall semester. Jackie told me that individual workouts begin soon for the Women of Troy Tennis Team. FIGHT ON, Abe! FIGHT ON, Jackie!

Jamal BoddieMy last new friend came by the desk as we were packing up. Assistant Director of Basketball Operations Jamal Boddie has been working at USC for a year now. He majored in Journalism at the University of Arizona where he was a student manager of the basketball team from 2005 to 2009. Jamal told us that he met Coach Kevin O'Neill at Arizona in 2007. Now, he works for Coach O'Neill at USC. Jamal, who is from Memphis (just like my husband Jim), likes to read biographies and watch his favorite television show "Law and Order". You're a Trojan now, Jamal, so FIGHT ON!

All during the day we were frequently checking on the London Olympic Games. We watched the USA Women's Soccer Team at the desk, and then, we walked into the Sports Information Director's Office periodically to check on the progress of the Olympic Swimming Marathon and the USA Women's Water Polo. Dave Tuttle and Chris Roberts were quite busy writing about all our Women of Troy winners! Haley Anderson won a Silver Medal in the six mile Swimming Marathon! Then, USA Water Polo team members Tumua Anae, Kami Craig and Lauren Wenger won the Gold Medal! What an exciting day for the SID office. FIGHT ON, Haley! FIGHT ON, Tumua! FIGHT ON, Kami! FIGHT ON, Lauren!

Before we left, we saw the USA Women's Soccer team defeat Japan 2 to 1 to win the Olympic gold medal. Amy Rodriguez won her second Olympic gold medal!

FIGHT ON, ALL USC Olympians!

Seen at the SCene:

Ron Orr, Art Bartner, and Cynthia WieseCoaches: Football: Aaron Ausmus; Women's Golf: Andrea Gaston; Women's Lacrosse: Devon Wills

Heritage Hall Friends: Gabby (who brought down the new two-sided 2012 Football posters) Fed-Ex David, Karen Bowman, Greg Millward, Dave Tuttle, Chris Roberts, Ron Orr, Dr. Art Bartner, Cynthia Wiese (fellow Town and Gown member)

Football: Morgan Breslin, Robert Woods, Cody Kessler, T.J. McDonald, Abe Markowitz, Matt Barkley (who went down the stairs after his closed door interview with Los Angeles Times reporter T.J. Simers)

Women's Tennis: Jackie Owens

July 13, 2012---Old Friends, New Friends and an Olympian, Too!

Bryshon Nellum and Trojan CandyMy husband Jim and I rushed to the Loker Track Stadium. We arrived on campus a little later than usual. Actually, we were just in time! As Jim was at the top of the stadium taking pictures of the John McKay Center, friend Loudia Laarman came to visit with me outside of the track office. Our conversation turned to a mutual friend, who made the 2012 London Olympic Team. Friend Bryshon Nellum qualified in the 400 meter race. Just as we were talking, Loudia said, "Speak of the devil!" Bryshon walked up to us. Trojan Candy immediately told him how proud we are of him! Jim came down to congratulate Bryshon too and take our picture. Bryshon told us that he is training on campus until he leaves for London next week. Good Luck, and FIGHT ON at the Olympics, Bryshon!

The John McKay Center is almost finished! The outdoor field is in and the front wall is finished. All three wings are beautiful!

West wing of McKay Center
The Astro Turf is complete and planters have been installed.
SC looks great! Planters have been installed in front of the East Wing.
Wall along Loker Stadium
The wall along Loker Stadium now has the fence and lamp posts installed.

Helen YanMore "old" friends. As soon as we walked to the desk in the Heritage Hall lobby, we saw friend Helen Yan! After big hugs, Helen told us that she just started a summer job on campus. She will be a Junior at the University of Pacific in the fall. The three years since we met have just flown by! Helen stayed to visit and also went to the track stadium to look for Bryshon before she had to go back to work.

Isabelle HuangNow, for the six new friends! While Helen was still at the desk, a pretty young lady walked up to ask what we were selling. We told her that we are not selling the treats, but giving them away. The young lady, named Isabelle Huang, smiled and told us that she works next door in Annenberg. She said that she would get something sweet for her boss. Isabelle works in "Career Development and International Programs." She graduated from USC in 2011 with a major in Communication and a minor in Marketing. FIGHT ON, Isabelle!

Jabari RuffinTrojan Candy's second new friend walked by the desk and didn't have time to stop because he had an appointment. He promised that he would return. He kept his promise! Jabari Ruffin came back to the desk with a big smile. Not being shy, Trojan Candy told Jabari that he looks like Denzel Washington! Jabari smiled again and said that his dad is often mistaken for the actor. Teasingly, I told him that I would call him "Denzel" from now on. He said that would be OK. Incoming Freshman Jabari, who is from Downey, will play Linebacker (#40). He wants to major in Psychology. Denzel (Jabari, just kidding!) likes to listen to R&B artist John Legend, and his favorite movie is "The Godfather." Jabari likes to surf and to play with his German Shepherd Mya. FIGHT ON, Jabari!

Jordan SimmonsTrojan Candy ran out the east doors of Heritage Hall to bring back my third new friend. The two of us walked up to the desk just when Jabari did. I took pictures of my third new friend Jordan Simmons while Jabari wrote in my notebook. Jordan is also an incoming Freshman. He said that he was offered a scholarship to USC when he was a high school sophomore attending the USC summer football camp. Jordan, who is from Encino, is undecided in his major. He will play left Offensive Guard (#68). Unfortunately, Jordan told me that he is injured and may have to red-shirt. (We'll see him at the desk for five years then!) His favorite music is R&B and Hip Hop, and his favorite artist is Drake. "Crash" is his favorite movie. Jordan wrote that his favorite hobby is shopping for shoes! He told us that he has a hundred pair of shoes! Teasing him, Trojan Candy said that is worse than a woman! FIGHT ON, Jordan!

Jaloni Miller, Chris Miller, and Charles RachalChris Miller's Rose Bowl ringThe next three new friends walked up to the desk after we had packed up to go. They were looking for posters, just like several previous visitors did. Trojan Candy did give each one of them a pocket football calendar. Then, the visitor mentioned that he played football at USC. When he told us his name is Chris Miller, my husband and I both said, "You were a receiver!" Then I saw the (1996) Rose Bowl ring on his finger. Naturally, I took a picture of his ring! I asked him what he is doing now, and Chris said that he is a football Coach and Offensive Coordinator at Frederick Douglass Academy High School. The school is an Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) Charter School that has about 500 students. With Chris were his son Jaloni and the quarterback of the team, Charles Rachal. I asked Chris what NFL teams he played on. Chris wrote the Green Bay Packers in 1997 and 1998, the Chicago Bears in 1998, and the CFL Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1999. Chris has three children. Jaloni (16), Jaylah (12), and Brooklyn (7). Three more future Trojans! FIGHT ON, Chris!

Seen at the SCene:

Heritage Hall Friends: Drew Morcos, Dave Tuttle (who told Trojan Candy that NBC has already filmed a feature of Bryshon Nellum and his comeback. Look for the interview during the Olympics!), Helen Yan, J.K. McKay, Isaac Flores, Donna Heinel, Fed Ex Dave, Martin Jauregui, Karen Bowman, Monica Morita

Track: Loudia Laarman, Bryshon Nellum

Coaches: Football: Jeff Fucci, Monte Kiffin; Track: Ron Allice

Soccer: I just missed interviewing three new Women of Troy soccer team members while I was taking a picture of Helen. Next time!

Football: Dion Bailey, Curtis McNeal, Cyrus Hobbi, Soma Vainuku, Emon Saee, Max Wittek, John Katnik (whom Trojan Candy saw working at the Book Store)