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What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? Locals count their blessings

With Thanksgiving just days away, the Point Loma-OB Monthly asked several area residents and workers what they are grateful for this year as people get back together again after last year’s pandemic-dampened holiday.

Peter Bolter

Peter Bolter
(B.J. Coleman)

Bolter is principal owner of Kaiserhof German-American restaurant on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard in Ocean Beach, where the family business has been since 1993.

“I am grateful for this great community we are in here in OB. Many people don’t have this kind of great community.”

Tony Cohen

Tony Cohen
(B.J. Coleman)

Cohen was born in Israel and has lived in Ocean Beach for 18 months after moving from New York City. He has taught self-defense to women for decades.

“I am grateful for having discovered this wonderful community. I have been embraced by it. ... I am grateful for people in my life. ... I am grateful to make decisions for myself.”

Carl Jutras

Carl Jutras
(B.J. Coleman)

Jutras moved to Ocean Beach a year and a half ago and has worked at California Accessories on Newport Avenue since then. He spent his first 20 years in upstate New York. He has been married for four years.

Jutras is a musician who can be seen and heard on YouTube and his Facebook page.

“I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for my folk music. I am grateful for everything, especially for where I am in life.”

Lucy Martinez

Lucy Martinez
(B.J. Coleman)

Martinez has worked at Beach Sweets on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach for 11 years. She has a 6-year-old daughter and lives with her two younger brothers and her mother and father.

“I am grateful for my work. The business owner is so nice, very understanding. I am grateful for having my family around. As a single mom, they help me so much. ... That’s what keeps me going.

“We’ve had a tough time with this pandemic, and I am grateful we’ve been through it to better times.”

Rio O’Donnell

Rio O'Donnell
(B.J. Coleman)

O’Donnell has worked in his family’s business, Sunshine Daydreams on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach, for 25 years. He and his wife have a 3-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son and are expecting another child.

“I am grateful for compassionate people who breathe away anxiety, who are sympathetic and express calming speech. I am really grateful for people who are very empathetic, who make you feel at ease.”

Jovana Radmanovic

Jovana Radmanovic and Aleksandar Sumatic
(B.J. Coleman)

Radmanovic has been married to her husband, Aleksandar Sumatic, for five months. Radmanovic OBT Store, their shop for collectibles, vintage items, recordings and antiques, has been in operation since April 2020. The couple hail from Serbia.

“I am grateful for my husband, for my growing business and for the future adventures we will have together as a couple.”

Chris Stripling

Chris Stripling
(B.J. Coleman)

Stripling has lived in Ocean Beach for 10 years. He is a musician, singer-songwriter and professional disc jockey who grew up in Chicago.

“I am grateful for my No. 1 best friend and girlfriend. She is my rock. I am grateful for this community I live in, with the farmers market each Wednesday. And I am grateful we are back to some kind of normalcy. I am grateful for my dog and that OB is very dog-friendly as a community.

“I am also grateful for all kinds of music. ... Music kept me straight.”

Isaiah Valdez

Isaiah Valdez
(B.J. Coleman)

Valdez moved to Ocean Beach three months ago from La Mesa. He works as a server in Crown Point and offers personal training lessons at Gold’s Gym. He anticipates entering California Western School of Law in San Diego.

“I am grateful to be working with so many awesome people. I am grateful, not having a lot of family left, that this is now my family.”

Angelica Ynfante

Angelica Ynfante
(Courtesy of Angelica Ynfante)

Ynfante has lived in Ocean Beach the past nine years but will depart for a new position as an assistant technical director at Baylor University in Texas, the state where she was born. Her background is in theater production.

“When I was furloughed [from Pacific Events], my life could have gone a different way. Only two theaters continued productions during COVID. But those are now sending out work we did internationally, which is cool.

“I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for my theater community friends here, who are not just co-workers but more like real family who take you in for whatever you need.”


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