"It doesn't cost you anything--and I'm sure I would be grateful if I needed some," said Dorothy Limbach, 67, having donated her 100th pint of blood, this at the Red Cross' Westwood Center on Monday afternoon.
A surprise ceremony had been arranged by Uly Griggs and other friends from Westwood United Methodist Church. There were flowers, family members, her pastor and a proclamation acknowledging her as a member of the 12-gallon club.
But Limbach, an old hand at this, took it in stride. She's been donating her A-positive blood regularly since World War II when she lived in Cleveland and wanted to help the war effort.
Limbach, a widow, mother of three and grandmother, stays in shape hiking with the Sierra Club--"I'm a pretty serious environmentalist"--when she isn't working full time for the Santa Monica Consumers Credit Union, or taking photography and wood-shop classes at Santa Monica evening college.
She lives in West L.A., "practically at the end of the Santa Monica airport runway," and is one of four owners of a Cessna 172, with which she used to compete in the Powder Puff Derby and which she now flies for recreation, including a trip to Seattle last summer to visit a son.
She figures she's been blessed and she's happy to give whatever she can.
"It's little enough," said Limbach. "I have so much. A good family, a house that's paid for, good health, an interesting life and lots of good friends."
Living well may be the best revenge.
Rubbing it in, however, can be a little tacky.
So there's a new high/low in snobbery among Porsche owners who install license plate frames intended for lowlier, scruffier cars . . . the ones stating: "My Other Car Is a Porsche."
The Dear Abby for pets.
That's what Gwen Bohnenkamp is known as in San Francisco, where she sits at a phone in the office of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and dispenses free advice every Tuesday afternoon.
On that day the Animal Behavior Hotline is in operation from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. During its three months of existence, calls have averaged 25 a day, according to Bohnenkamp.
Advice sought has ranged from what to do about a cat that shreds expensive furniture to dealing with a dog that regards the house as a barking lot.
Escape From Skid Row
Still convinced that Skid Row is no place for children, the Rev. Alice Callaghan, director of Las Familias del Pueblo, announced that her agency has moved its 100th family "off the Row," this time a mother and three children, and helped them set up housekeeping at an apartment the mother chose in Lynwood. That leaves 120 families to go, Callaghan said. She hopes they will all be moved by next Christmas and that Las Familias will be able to go out of business.
Over the last 13 months Las Familias has located families (most of them recent immigrants from Latin America) living in overcrowded, dangerous and unhealthy conditions in hotels that were built as single-room-occupancy units. Not only has the agency helped the families find affordable housing elsewhere, and provided donated furniture and appliances, it has set out to end the practice of these hotels renting to families.
Those interested in helping may call Las Familias at 614-1745.
Keys to Wedlock
Organizers of World Marriage Day, a celebration of matrimony that includes observances in the United States and abroad, are flabbergasted. In their search for long-running marriages to spotlight on that day, Feb. 10, they're turning up plenty of couples who have been married 70 years or more. When the search began, the most optimistic guess was 60 to 65 years.
In fact, two couples, one in Los Angeles County and another in San Diego County, have been found with 79 years of wedlock each, Worldwide Marriage Encounter, the day's sponsor reports. And the national winning couple has been married 82 years. The names of winners won't be released until the day itself, she added.
In Los Angeles County, nominations are still being accepted, said Joe Spena. Nominations may be made by contacting Spena at 19704 Groverdale, Covina 91724. Or call him at (818) 331-3094.