Taste of Carmichael spotlighted ‘Carmichael’s only winery’: Wreckless Blenders

The Kiwanis Club of Carmichael hosted the 11th annual Taste of Carmichael on May 18 at the La Sierra Community Center. The event, which is a major fundraiser for the club, benefits some 70 different local children’s charities including Little League, boy scouts, girl scouts, fine arts programs, and parks and recreation.

Twenty-five food vendors and 10 wine vendors were on hand for the festivities. The food covered a wide range of delicacies from local eateries. Among the myriad of things to try were Indian, Afghani, Vietnamese, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and Persian food. There was a chocolate fountain as well for those in attendance with a sweet tooth.

There were cars on display from Jaguar, Subaru, Chevrolet and Mazda. The Effie Yeaw Nature Center and the Chautauqua Playhouse had booths set up as well. Altogether there were 58 booths full of food, wine and information. Congressman Ami Bera made an appearance as well.

Three live bands (Rio Jazz, Sister Swing and Vintage Fare) serenaded the crowd. “The music was just outstanding this year,” said event co-chair Rod Ward.

Spotlighted was John Troiano and his Wreckless Blenders winery. It boasts the title of ‘Carmichael’s only winery.’ Troiano, who has a bonded winery in his Carmichael home, brought a case of wines from his 2010 vintage.

Troiano began making wine in the late 1970s in New York before moving to California in 1987. He buys his grapes from the state and ferments them in his home winery. Troiano was unaware of the Taste of Carmichael event until he attended it in 2012.

“I’ve been here since 1993 and I didn’t know about it,” Troiano said.

He thought it was a neat community endeavor and decided to get involved in 2013. Wreckless Blenders has been in business since 2008, selling wine mostly through wine clubs, said Troiano.

In 2012, Wreckless Blenders entered four wines into the commercial wine competition at the California State Fair. Three of the wines received a gold award and the fourth received a silver award. Troiano said that he has entered wines in the upcoming 2013 California State Fair as well and is awaiting results.

The event, which had a ticket price of $35, regularly brings in north of 500 people, according to event co-chair George White. There were 150 items up for grabs in a raffle as well as other great prizes that were left to a silent auction.

Many of the raffle prizes included gift baskets that included wine, beer and restaurant gift certificates. Among the silent auction prizes up for grabs to the highest bidder were a lunch with congressman Bera, a sailboat trip on the San Francisco Bay, a fly fishing trip on the Yuba River, and several different kinds of wine.

This year’s event may have been more lightly attended than past events, according to some attendees, but the weather was warm, the food was good, the music was swingin’ and the wine was flowin’.

Dr. Pan helped Greenhaven residents ‘script (their) future’ 

Local residents joined Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) at the Asian Community Center (ACC) Greenhaven Terrace recently to hear from the representatives of the growing Script Your Future campaign about the importance of taking medications as directed.

“Action is the foundation for optimal health, and the Script Your Future campaign empowers communities to proactively manage their health through education,” said Dr. Pan, who chairs the California State Assembly Health Committee. “By making sure our communities are informed about the risks and responsibilities of prescription medications, we can help people live fuller, healthier lives.”

With a focus on knowledge and empowerment, the audience was presented with tools to improve overall health. Dr. Pan and representatives of Script Your Future unveiled for the first time medication log wallet cards translated in Vietnamese and Chinese.  The wallet cards provide an easily transportable way for people to record when they take their prescriptions.

“Today’s workshop and health screenings provide an opportunity for you to take control of your health by becoming more informed about the medications you take, and making a commitment to take medication as directed, not only for the sake of your own health, but also so you can be there for those that you love,” said ACC CEO Donna Yee, “When you talk with your doctor and your pharmacist about your medicines you create a prescription for better health!”

Community members were also able to discuss their individual medication, vitamin and supplement schedules with Rite Aid Pharmacist Noora Ahram, while registered dietitian Katie Renner, RD provided a healthy food demonstration along with a basic food and medication interaction education.

Website of Assemblymember Richard Pan: www.asmdc.org/pan

How the Summer of ’64 changed Janey Way

Marty Relles
Marty Relles
I graduated from Sacramento High School on June 11, 1964. Life’s possibilities seemed limitless. I enrolled for two summer classes at Sacramento City College the next week. My adult life had begun in earnest. Then something happened that summer which changed my life and the lives of all the Janey Way gang forever.

On Aug. 2, 1964, three North Vietnamese torpedo boats engaged the destroyer USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam. The Maddox sustained some moderate damage. The story made the network news that night. Two days later another attack supposedly occurred on the same ship. Then, the next day, Aug. 7, the U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which authorized the President to do whatever necessary to assist the government of South Vietnam. This didn’t seem like such a big deal to us.

Little did we know.

That fall, my friend Mike Gilson joined the U.S. Marines and went off to train at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. After eight months of training, Mike came home on leave at the beginning of summer, 1965. He swam with us at the river, went to movies and generally had a great time. After his leave, Mike shipped out for Vietnam.

We would never see Mike again.

He lost his life in a fire fight in February of the next year. When that happened, we grieved and also realized how serious the war in Vietnam was. More Janey Way kids would soon follow Mike into battle.

Jim Ducray volunteered for the Army in late 1966. He trained at Fort Ord and then received his orders for Vietnam. As he prepared to leave, his older brother Bill told him, “when you get there, tell them you can type.”

Of course, Jim couldn’t type, but when he arrived in Vietnam, he set out in search of the administrative company. He found an officer there and asked if they needed a typist. Fortunately, the officer said they did, and Jim got reassigned from his infantry unit to the typing pool.  Jim did most of his Vietnam service behind the lines and returned home unscathed.

Dick Kinzel wasn’t as lucky. He was drafted in 1967 and soon followed Jim over to Vietnam. Dick served in an artillery battery which supported the infantrymen on maneuvers in the field.  He lived through the infamous Tet Offensive of 1968 when the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong attacked U.S. bases throughout South Vietnam. It was a horrible battle and many U.S. lives were lost.

Dick told me, “It got so bad, we lowered our cannons to ground level and fired them directly at oncoming Vietnamese attackers. I was lucky to survive.”

Some of his buddies were not so lucky. Fortunately, Dick returned home in 1968.

That year my brother Terry volunteered for the U.S. Army, and soon after our neighbor Roger Thomsen received his draft notice.

Terry trained as a military policeman and shipped out to serve in Saigon.

Roger was not so lucky. He trained as an infantryman and when he reached Vietnam in mid-1969, shipped directly out to the field. Three months later he sustained serious wounds in a fire fight.

When Terry heard of Roger’s condition, he visited Roger at the hospital. There, he arranged for Roger to call his parents back home and the whole neighborhood breathed a sigh of relief. The Army soon sent Roger home to recuperate, ending his assignment to Vietnam.

Meanwhile, I received my draft notice, in April of 1969. As I was training at Fort Lewis, Washington, my brother shipped out for Vietnam. So when I finished my training, in accordance with U.S. military policy, the Army could not station me in the same combat zone with my brother.

Consequently, I received my orders to serve in West Germany along with the 80,000 other U.S. soldiers serving there. I spent the rest of my two-year army career as a member of the 510th Ordinance Battalion in Southern Germany. There I learned how to destroy my ordinance base, using C-4 plastic explosive and detonating cord in the event of a Russian attack on our base. Fortunately, that never happened. I returned home to the U.S. in the fall of 1971.

When I returned home, Sacramento seemed a much different place. Its borders stretched out to Rancho Cordova on the east, to near Elk Grove on the south and toward Roseville on the north.

Janey Way had changed too. Most of the kids of my generation had moved out of the neighborhood. I would soon follow. By this time, the war in Vietnam was winding down. Others like Denis and John Tomassetti would get the call, but they too soon returned home uninjured.

The war had changed us all.

We had to grow up quickly. We had all served our county honorably. After all was said and done, we had lost a dear friend, others sustained life-changing injuries, both physical and mental, and on Janey Way life would never be the same again.