August 2016 (4) Candygrams

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016---Plane Ride to Dallas, Texas

Trojan Candy, my sister Patti and brother-in-law Dudley Poon were booked on a 1:00 pm Southwest Airlines flight to Dallas to see the Advocare Classic football game against Alabama. At least half the waiting passengers were Trojans. I walked around the lobby talking to Trojans and giving them my Trojan Candy card. I chose only "visible" Trojans...who were wearing USC clothes. What a nice way to meet new friends, especially Trojans.

Barbara and Bill DelgadoOn the plane, I sat by two avid USC supporters. Barbara and Bill Delgado told me that they are good friends of Scott Thompson (8/4/2011). Scott is the Special Team/Offensive Administrative Assistant. Trojan Candy met him in 2011 when I was volunteering at the desk in Heritage Hall. Bill, Barbara and I talked about Scott, USC football and game trips we have taken. Then, they told me that their brother-in-law Fernando R. Ledesma ran track for USC in 1955-1956. I told them my husband Jim and I would check to see if we have a Heritage Hall Medallion for him. Needless to say, the two and a half hour plane trip went by pretty fast!

Kenny Kweens and Michael GrantAlso on the plane were band members of L.A. Guns, who were scheduled to perform at the Trees Deep Ellum in Dallas Thursday evening. As we disembarked the plane in Dallas, the crew played their CD. My husband Jim had flown in earlier and came to pick us up. As Pat, Dudley and I were on the curb loading our luggage, Trojan Candy saw a few members of the band also loading up their luggage. I jumped out of our rental car, walked over to a band member and took his picture. He was Michael Grant! Another band member Kenny Kweens joined Michael for this picture.

What a memorable plane trip!

Friday and Saturday, August 26-27, 2016---Women of Troy Volleyball vs. Marquette and UCI

Aaron, Tara, and Greg StrangeMy friend Gail Nagaoka and I came to see the season opener for the Women of Troy volleyball team. As soon as we walked into the Galen Center, Trojan Candy saw some familiar faces. I walked over to Tara and Greg Strange. They told me that their daughter Alexa (3/3/2016) is competing on the Women of Troy Volleyball Team. I know Alexa from Beach Volleyball. Tara introduced me to Alexa's younger brother Aaron. He is a Freshman on the USC Men's Volleyball Team.

Aaron StrangeNaturally, I had to interview Aaron. He is from San Clemente and plans to major in Interactive Media in the School of Cinematic Arts. Aaron will play Opposite on the team. He started playing volleyball when he was thirteen. More personally, Aaron's favorite food is sushi. He likes all kinds of music. Aaron has many hobbies. He likes to go to the beach, surf and go spear fishing for Sheepshead fish. Other favorite activities that Aaron enjoys are going to movies, building computers, coding and reading Star Wars books. What an interesting young man! Another great Trojan Family! FIGHT ON, Aaron!

Spirit of Troy
The Spirit of Troy was there.
Women Volleyball team introduction
Now it was time to introduce our 2016 Women of Troy Volleyball Team in this video.

Men's Basketball and Volleyball playersAfter winning the first set, our women didn't play well against Marquette. So Trojan Candy's eyes wandered around the Galen Center Arena and found the Men's Basketball Team, a few Women of Troy Basketball players, and some Men's Volleyball players sitting in the south seats. Not being shy, I waited for the second set to end. Then I walked right over to the section and took this picture. Then I walked into the stands and sat down on the steps by good friend Jordan McLaughlin. I complimented him on playing with the Pac-12 All Star Team during the summer. FIGHT ON, Jordan!

Nick RakocevicThen I asked Jordan if I could interview a new Freshman. Jordan pointed up to a player sitting about six rows up. How convenient. I walked up the steps, sat down by the Freshman, gave him my Trojan Candy card and asked if I could interview him. With a somewhat startled smile, Nick Rakocevic said I could. Nick, who is 6'10", is from Chicago. He chose USC because of our coaching staff, it was a perfect situation and the team is great. Nick is majoring in Communication. For hobbies, he said he likes to play basketball, hang out with friends and family, and listen to RAP music. Nick likes Italian food the best. His favorite movie is "Shutter Island." So glad you chose USC, Nick. FIGHT ON, Nick!

Unfortunately, our women lost in four sets.

Willie McGinestOn Saturday Trojan Candy was back for the third game of the season to see our women take on UCI. This time my husband Jim came with me to the match. Unfortunately, our women lost in three sets to UCI. We will get better as the season progresses.

However, there was a "bright spot" for me. One aisle over, Trojan Candy saw a familiar face. I walked over, introduced myself, and asked Willie McGinest if I could interview him and take his picture. He agreed to the picture but not the interview. Here is Willie McGinest! He told me that a relative of his is playing for UCI. Thank you and FIGHT ON, Willie!

Friday, August 19, 2016---Salute to Troy - Part 3: After the Program

End of program
The Salute to Troy program ended with the entire team on the stage and fireworks.

But, Trojan Candy's night was not over. I walked down the center aisle trying to get back to my table. I hadn't even finished my dinner yet.

I saw several friends along the way.

Herb and Kathy Goodman
Herb and Kathy Goodman.
Good friend Hayley Crone and Kendall Bateman
Good friend Hayley Crone (4/16/2015) and Kendall Bateman.
Jalen Jones and C.L. Max and Niki Nikias
Jalen Jones, President C.L. Max Nikias, and Niki Nikias.
John Katnik and his family
John Katnik (8/26/2011) and his family.
Patti Poon, Kane, Kelly, and Dudley Poon
Trojan Candy finally made it back to my table. I took a picture of my family. (Patti Poon, Kane, Kelly, and Dudley Poon) Kane was at the table, but where were Zane and Gen? I went off to find them.
Damien Mama and Brianna
On the way I saw Damien Mama. He and Brianna smiled for this picture.
John Katnik and his family
I walked back to my table, and Kelly took this picture of my family and friends. Dudley, Patti, Ben Chua (8/30/2013), Lai Tan and Genero Carapia and yours truly.
Still looking for Zane, and now also Kane, Trojan Candy walked in the other direction. I spoke with friend Chad Wheeler (3/23/2012) and asked him how he was doing. He said, "Better." Again, I advised him to go to acupuncture for his plantar fasciitis. He told me that he already had acupuncture in the summer. Hope you get well soon, Chad. We really need you.
Chad Wheeler
Chad Wheeler
Carol Fox
I ran into fellow TGLA member, Carol Fox.

Isaac Whitney and Darreus RogersThen, I saw Isaac Whitney (2/4/2015) and Darreus Rogers talking to one another. Naturally, I went up to them and took their picture.

Darreus RogersI had wanted to interview Darreus on the football picture day, but it was too hot in the sun. I asked Darreus if I could interview him, and he said, "Yes." Darreus is a Senior Wide Receiver majoring in Communication. He started playing football when he was seven years old. Darreus likes to listen to Rap and Rhythm and Blues music. And, as you saw in the video of Part 2 with the Wide Receivers on the stage, Darreus likes to dance. His favorite food is macaroni and cheese. His favorite movie of all time is "The Lion King." He also likes the movie series "Ballers" starring the Rock. Teasingly, Darreus told me that he would like to be considered "the most good looking guy on the team!" Trojan Candy can agree to that! FIGHT ON, Darreus!

Kane, Matt Lopes, and Zane
I finally found my two grandsons Kane and Zane! They were getting an autograph from Matt Lopes.
Kane, Nico Falah, and Zane
I followed them to Nico Falah.
Kane, Vavae Malepeai, and Zane
Then Vavae Malepeai.
Zane, Jordan Iosefa, and Kane
Next was Jordan Iosefa.
Juju Smith-Schuster, Kane, and Frank Martin
Last, but not least, Kane found Juju Smith-Schuster (5/26/2015) and Frank Martin.

What an end to such a glorious night! Now, I can go home and eat dinner.

FIGHT ON, USC Football Team!