June 2015 Editor's Letter

Summer is here!

It is June and time to start thinking about summer and what you’ll be doing the next few months. With Father’s Day approaching, it’s a given fathers will be honored throughout the community on June 21st. One father, in particular, will be enjoying his family on the special day. I think you will enjoy reading about Newport Beach Mayor Ed Selich’s take on fatherhood. “I’m a very lucky guy,” he says of his grown daughters, son-in-law, two adorable grandchildren, and his wife Lynn, whose personality and culinary skills have added a new dimension to their family festivities.

You will be just as impressed reading about the generosity of Newport Beach residents Janet and Mark Hilbert, who have offered their renowned California Scene art collection to Chapman University, along with funds to create a museum. They want to share their passion for the art they love that depicts everyday life in our fair state from 1930 through the present. Note that our cover is a piece from their collection, California artist Rex Brandt’s “Surf’s Up on a Golden Day,” which he painted in 1968. Brandt captures the joy of surfing, which is so much a part of our culture, and, in case you don’t know, he also designed the city’s official seal in 1957, and he and his wife Joan Irving were early supporters of the Orange County Museum of Art.

Also of note in the issue is Mary McGeachy’s story of the iconic Balboa Island restaurant, Wilma’s Patio. With mother Wilma passing last year, daughter Sherie Drewry, who is owner/manager, relates the history of the 33-year-old eatery. Drewry declares the success of the family business is its employees, many of whom have been with Wilma’s for decades. “We grow our own,” she says of her family of employees. You will enjoy learning about the success of Peter Smrecek, D.D.S., who has been in business for 37 years. The Newport Beach dentist keeps up with the latest procedures and tries to be the best he can be. He credits his wife Val, who works with him, with sharing his values and dedication.

Other stories you’ll find interesting are our Open House feature, where Julie Laughton of Julie Laughton Design Build explains her passion in remodeling a three-year-old home and becoming friends with the owner in the process. Colin Roohan’s tale of “Cycling in Croatia” relates the fun of cycling with a group while enjoying life on the Adriatic and the simple pleasures it affords, while Tom Strongman talks about the 2015 Audi Q5 Diesel and its amazing fuel economy and performance.

With June known as the “wedding month” for many people, we leave you in Parting Thoughts with the idea that, no matter what, there is no perfect wedding. However, the author says, “Sometimes, even the flubs can lead to wonderful things.”

Take a look at what’s happening in our Around Town department and note some fun things you might want to do in our Lifestyle Calendar. Oh, and take a look at our Good Times features and the charity work in our community. There is also a photo collage from a party given in my honor as the new editor of said publication at Bluewater Grill in Newport Beach by my good friend Julie Ann Ulcickas. You can tell by people’s expressions it was great fun!

Until next time,

Donna Bunce, Editor


COVER: “Surf’s Up on a Golden Day,” 1968, by Rex Brandt, who created the iconic Newport Beach City seal. The painting is a part of the California Scene art collection that Janet and Mark Hilbert are donating to Chapman University.