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La Habra Woman Helps Seniors Get Service at Self-Service Stations

September 15, 1985|Herbert J. Vida

Senior citizens sometimes need help filling their gas tanks at self-service pumps where prices are lower, so Edith Mahle, 70, started a campaign in her community of La Habra to persuade service station owners to help, saying: "Seniors should not be penalized for having infirmities."

So far she has convinced 10 of 12 full- and self-service stations to offer the help. "I tell them, 'One of these days you're going to be a senior citizen,' " said Mahle, who has been a parent to 17 foster children and received a Freedom Foundation award for promoting a mail-in candy program for servicemen during the Vietnam War.

After her success in La Habra, "now we're trying to see if this can mushroom throughout the county," Mahle said.

She is also alerting gas station operators to pay more attention to the disabled when they drive in.

"I've had many disabled people tell me they're ignored at gas stations and have to wait a long time," said Mahle, one of the founders of the American Assn. of Retired Persons.

"I'm telling gas station operators they'll benefit from the service," she added, "because seniors and the disabled spend money when they need their car tuned and have the oil changed. Besides, it's against the law not to fill the tank of a disabled person."

Besides that, she's trying to get a politician to send letters of commendation to those who make a commitment to service cars of senior citizens. "Gas station owners would like that," she said.

It's a matter of good will and good business, agreed Kay Jacklin, supervisor of social services for La Habra, to help senior citizens. "Many seniors can still drive but don't have the hand strength to manipulate the heavy gas hose."

Painting a mural of monkeys at the Santa Ana Zoo was a thrill for Garden Grove artist Leslie Lehman, 28, but her goal these days is to paint a duck, any duck that will get her art work printed on the state duck-hunting license stamp.

This is no foolhardy venture, she said.

"Initially, I thought the recognition of winning the state stamp contest that thousands enter each year would be enough," said the mother of two, "but then I heard the winning artist can make thousands of dollars by selling lithographs of the work. My priorities changed."

After ducks, she said, "I might try fish."

Having a poem printed in Highlights for Children, a magazine with a circulation of 2 million, is an accomplishment, but it's more impressive when you consider that the author, Michael Martens, who attends Greenville Fundamental School in Santa Ana, is 10 years old and actually wrote "Beach" when he was only 8.

"He was excited to see it printed," said his mother, Maureen Martens, "but he asked me, 'Don't I get paid for it?' " The answer was no.

The ocean, peaceful as the forest,

Blue as the sky,

Clean as the howling breeze,

Sandy as the desert.

Anyone who knows anything about golf knows about Roger Maltbie, winner of the 1985 PGA World Series of Golf, so when Santa Ana City Manager Robert C. Bobb got into Maltbie's foursome on Monday for Santa Ana's third annual Mayor's Cup Classic at Mission Viejo Country Club, it gave him somewhat of a start.

A 13-handicap golfer, Bobb said, "I hope I don't embarrass him" as he headed out to the course for a practice round.

Acknowledgments--El Toro resident Albert Hernandez, 65, who will retire in November from El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, where he works as a foreman, was awarded $3,010 for a suggestion on jet plane fuel that saves $77,000 annually . . . Cypress High School student body President Kenneth Kawamura, 17, was named to the California Department of Education's newly formed statewide advisory committee on family relationships and parenting education.

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