A decade ago, a small group of volunteers saw their dream realized after five years of working to have a memorial to San Jose’s Vietnam War dead placed downtown. And on March 30, the 10th anniversary of that memorial will be commemorated with a Remembrance Ceremony at the Guadalupe River Park’s Arena Green.
The 13-foot-long black granite monument has etched on its surface the names of 142 men who lost their lives in military service during the conflict from 1961 to 1975. And after three years of silence because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 4:30 p.m. ceremony will continue the tradition of having each name read aloud.
Dennis Fernandez, a San Jose High grad and Vietnam veteran, designed the memorial, inspired by the famed Vietnam War memorial in Washington, D.C. He serves as president of the board for the San Jose Vietnam War Memorial Foundation and hopes the return of the annual ceremony brings out the public, especially Vietnam vets.
The program is scheduled to include remarks by San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan and former Mayor Sam Liccardo. A third speaker will be Chuck Toeniskoetter, who has a special connection to the monument. Toeniskoetter Construction donated its services as general contractor on its construction, with Chuck supervising everything, and this year’s March 30 ceremony is within a week of the date he left San Jose as a U.S. Marine lieutenant for his first tour of duty in Vietnam in 1968.
TIME TO GET JAZZED: If you haven’t been to the SJZ Break Room, San Jose Jazz’s downtown performance venue, you should make a plan to visit during this year’s New Works Fest, which runs April 14-29 and features live concerts by B. Deveaux, Destiny Muhammad, Frunkyman, Kira Hooks, Oddity and Tony Peebles.
The stage was created during the pandemic in the old Valley Title building on South First Street, which includes offices for San Jose Jazz, Cinequest and the Kaleid gallery. Break Room Project Manager Scott Fulton says it parallels the best jazz clubs around, and there’s something to that: With its club lighting, low ceiling and comfortable seats, the intimate venue really invites the audience to forget where they are and just soak up the music.
The six performers this year were all among the 20 grantees of the SJZ Jazz Aid Fund, which provided $1,000 grants to local musicians to help them through the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tickets are $10 to watch the shows live, and free streams of the concerts will be available on Facebook and YouTube. Go to www.sanjosejazz.org for tickets and details.
AT THE MOVIES: Seasoned PR pro Dan Orloff is used to shining a light on events happening in the South Bay, but lately he’s been spreading the word about something more personal. His son, Nathan Orloff, is the editor of the Keanu Reeves movie, “John Wick: Chapter 4.” He’s been working his way up through the movie biz for more than a decade and also served as co-editor of 2021’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”
The elder Orloff celebrated, naturally, by going with about 75 friends and family to see a special screening of the action flick on opening night Friday at Pruneyard Cinemas in Campbell. Meanwhile, Nathan Orloff had quite a night at the movie’s Hollywood premiere Monday, noting on Twitter that it was “surreal” to walk the red carpet for the first movie he’s been the solo editor for. Based on the reviews this movie’s getting, it definitely won’t be his last.
HAVE ART, WILL TRAVEL: Pop artist Sonya Paz was back in the Bay Area on Thursday night for a special reception and exhibition of her work at Jennifer Croll boutique in Los Gatos. Paz had galleries in Santa Clara and Campbell before branching out with VinoPaint, a creative events company in 2015, and then moving to Patterson. She’s still making art, though, and you can find it online at sonyapaz.com.
VINTAGE FINDS: If you’re someone who never seems to be able to find the time, the Preservation Action Council might have just the thing for you at its spring sale coming up March 31 and April 1. There’ll be 200 clocks available to purchase during the sale, and there’ll be a specialist on site Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to tell you all about your timepiece — whether it’s a mantle, wind-up, ormolu or even a cuckoo clock.
If you’ve got enough time already, there’s also an assortment of hand tools and other items for sale, as well as several items salvaged from San Jose’s dearly missed Western Appliance store on West San Carlos Street — including an 8-foot-by-2-foot mounted photograph of the store’s first employees in 1885. The sale takes place at 140 S. 17th Street, starting at 9 a.m. both days and going until 6 p.m. March 31 and 1 p.m. April 1.
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