Thursday, February 6, 2014

Penn San Antonio Alumni Hold Ben's Birthday Bash, January 17, 2014

Again this year, we met at Youz Guyz South Philly Cheesesteaks to celebrate Ben Franklin's 306th Birthday.  Proprietors Kathy and Jimmy Delaurentis once again welcomed us with special selections from their menu, and offered us a delicious birthday cake as well.  Besides enjoying the cuisine and the company, we saluted two members who are celebrating their 90th birthdays:  John Ray marked his in December 2013, while Ed Keely reaches the milestone in February.  Club President Bob Weidman gave Penn Alumni ballcaps to both John and Ed.  We paired up into two teams for a short round of Quizzo, with enough prizes to cover both the winners and the runners-up.  (To protect the reputations of the players, scores of both teams will remain confidential.)  We served Ben's cake to our members, and shared it with the other restaurant customers and the kitchen staff.

Present for the celebration were: John Ray, Ed Keely, Jay Rossell and his wife Diane, Jo-Anne Kaplan and husband Mike Gershman, Rhonda Boyles, Ana Acevedo, Monica Flynn, and Bob Weidman. 

Here are some photo highlights:

Ben Stars on Youz Guyz' Philly Mural

Guidance for the Uninitiated

John Ray, South Philly mural behind him

Noshers Mike Gershman, Jo-Anne Kaplan, Ed Keely, Monica Flynn

Jo-Anne Kaplan, Mike Gershman, Ana Acevedo, Monica Flynn, Jay Rossell, Ed Keely, Diane Rossell, Bob Weidman. Seated:  Rhonda Boyles, John Ray

The Winning Quizzo Team

Youz Guyz Presented the Birthday Cake

Adios Till Next Year, Ben!

Monday, December 9, 2013

PennSan Celebrates Winter Season Holidays at Elaine Ayala's Home, November 23

Outside it was wintry and windy, but inside there was plenty of warmth and holiday spirit as Penn Alumni gathered at Elaine Ayala's charming home on Saturday, November 23.  The potluck brunch featured Elaine's delicious chilaquiles, and a variety of dishes brought by all.  Iris Gonzalez and Lorraine Pulido led a lively game of Loteria, with prizes.

Besides Elaine, Iris and Lorraine, present to enjoy the festivities were Lorraine's son Jared, Jo-Anne Kaplan and husband Mike Gershman, Rhonda Boyles, Toni Murgo, Dave Young, Ana and Martin Acevedo, John Ray, Sue Weintraub, Lee Joffe, Varda and Adam Ratner, Monica Flynn, and Bob and Cathy Weidman.

Here are a few photo highlights.  Happy Holidays, all!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Halloween and Giving Back

Hey there to all- this is Julianne LeGierse, C'11 Nu'11, updating the blog. To introduce myself, I am a Penn grad, Air Force Second Lieutenant, and Registered Nurse. I am also the Young Alumni board member of the Penn Alumni Club of SA.

Penn is a wonderful school known for giving back to the Philadelphia community. One of the best things about being a member of a local alumni organization, is the opportunity to do the same in a new place. Many of us are transplants to San Antonio and volunteerism is a wonderful way to make it feel more like home. One of our members, Sheila Mayfield, made it a family affair. After Halloween, her children had a ton of excess candy and they donated it to the Pediatric floor of San Antonio Military Medical Center.

I met Sheila and her family before night shift. The Mayfields were outside and waiting for me with everything ready to go. I have never met two children so generous! Candy is delicious and hard to part with as it is. For being so young they were extremely mature. We loaded it in my trunk and had a quick photo with two future Penn students:

The treats were very much enjoyed by the patients. For sure everyone I worked with was impressed by how much was donated. A BIG thank you to the Mayfield family for their generosity!

If you are a Young Penn alum in the SA area, please feel free to email me. If you are in the process of moving to San Antonio, I can also help steer you in the right directions for places to live and check out. My email is

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Photos from Recent Penn Luncheons

(With apologies to "September Song")

Oh it's a long long time
From August to October
And the posts catch up
When you reach November

OK, gang.  In late August we met at Mi Tierra at Market Square.  Here are a couple of highlights:

Counterclockwise from right, Ana Acevedo, Julianne LeGierse, Lorraine Pulido, Elaine Ayala, Iris Gonzalez, Raul Quiroga, Rhonda Boyles, Bill Dupont, and Ana's Eli spouse, Martin Acevedo.

In September we enjoyed breakfast at Il Sogno at the Pearl. I was away and we don't have photos or a good count of who was there, but Elaine tells me the fare was excellent.  (If you were there, please e-mail me to help me keep track, and I'm curious what you had for Italian breakfast.  Thanks!)

And for October, we traveled to the south end of town to Bernard's Creole Kitchen, a gem in the Stinson Airport terminal building.  All who went enjoyed it, and we recommend the rest of you check out Bernard's at your leisure.  I-37 to Military Drive, west on Military to Mission, which takes you right to Stinson Field.

Shown here are (clockwise from left) John Ray, Jo-Anne Kaplan, Mike Gershman, Iris Gonzalez, Rick Parkhurst.  Later arrivals were Elaine Ayala, Lorraine Pulido, Dave Young.  Did I forget anyone?


Thursday, November 21, dinner at St. Phillip's College's restaurant and cooking school, Artemesia's, 6 P.M. Details are in a an e-mail to the listserv.  Point of contact:  Jo-Anne Kaplan,  Seating is limited, reservations required.

Saturday, November 23, Elaine Ayala will host our winter holiday gathering, a potluck brunch at her home, 2824 Buena Vista, 10:30 A.M.  Contact Elaine to rsvp and volunteer your culinary offerings.  Details were sent in an e-mail to the listserv.  Elaine is

Thursday, August 15, 2013

June Luncheon at LIsa's Restaurant, July at Nicha's

PennSanAntonio's June and July Luncheon Updates

Hello All,

I'm posting this late--the June update was lost in draft status and I just today (Aug 15) found it again, so I added a report on July.

We held our June luncheon at Lisa's on Bandera at Woodlawn.  For most of us, this was a new place, and thanks go to Elaine Ayala for putting it on the itinerary.  Besides excellent Mexican fare (more Mexican than Tex-Mex), the restaurant offers a unique artistic experience:  The walls are adorned with the colorful artwork of San Antonio's own, original, Brother Cletus.  The restaurant is not far from the campus of Our Lady of the Lake, and Brother Cletus's studios are nearby.  If you don't already know about this artist, Google up his website, and also drop in at Lisa's.  The Penn diners this month were Elaine Ayala, Dave Young, Julianne LeGierse, John Ray, Toni Murgo, Iris Gonzalez, DaveYanez, and myself.

Elaine, ever inventive with our monthly schedule, promises to offer a breakfast outing soon, and she has other ideas as well.

July's meeting spot was Nicha's, on Roosevelt Blvd on the south side of town.  (Nicha is a nickname for Dionisia, one of the original owners.)  This is another bit of Puro San Antonio that everyone should check out.  It's across the street from the historic Mission Drive-In, the new and modern Mission Branch of the San Antonio Public Library, and just north of the San Antonio Missions National Park headquarters.  Sad to say, the only Penn lunchers that day were Elaine and myself!  That's a first and I hope last, but it did give us good opportunity to talk over ideas for future events.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Penn Happy Hour, Monday August 19, Paloma Blanca 5-8 P.M.

Penn Alumni Get-Together
La Paloma Blanca - 5800 Broadway, San Antonio  78209
Monday, 19 August, 2013
5:00pm - 8:00pm

Join local Penn alumni for happy hour at La Paloma Blanca.  It's time to bid adieu to the relaxing days of summer and reminisce about the 70-degree Philly weather!    Alumni, family and friends are encouraged to join us.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Colonel Michael Jaffee Retires From United States Air Force

Colonel Michael Jaffee celebrated his retirement from the United States Air Force in a ceremony held at The Luxury on the Museum Reach, May 26.  Michael, C'88 and W'88, is leaving the San Antonio Military Medical Center and will join the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.  While at SAMMC and on deployment to the Middle East he performed important work and research in the area of Traumatic Brain Injury, a field he will continue to follow at UVA.

Brigadier General David Young III, USAF Retired, C'71, was the presiding officer at the ceremony.  The two are joined in this photo by Penn Alumni Club president Bob Weidman, Rear Admiral, USN Retired, C'63.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Penn San Antonio Alumni Summer Events Update

Our next alumni luncheon will be 11:30 a.m., Friday, May 31, at Simi’s India Cuisine, 4535 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 737-3166, on the city’s Northwest Side, just inside Loop 410. It offers a fabulous buffet. Please join us and let Elaine Ayala know via email at if you’re planning to attend.

Here’s our schedule of luncheons to come:

11:30 a.m. Friday, June 28, Lisa’s Mexican Restaurant, 815 Bandera Road, (210) 433-2531, on the city’s West Side.
11: 30 a.m. Friday, July 26, Nicha’s, 3119 Roosevelt Ave. (210) 922-3330, on the city’s South Side, across from the old Mission Drive-In.
11:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden at The Pearl, (210) 354-4644.
11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27, The Cove, 606 W Cypress, (210) 227-2683, in the Five Points area, just outside the downtown area.
11: 30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, Bernard’s Creole Kitchen, 8535 Mission Road, in the Stinson Airport, on the city’s South Side.

Please note that Elaine has changed the July 26 location because the original restaurant is too small and too hot! (Good move, Elaine!)

And as usual, we will hold a Freshman Sendoff sometime in late July or early August.  Details will be posted here and sent to our ListServ subscribers as soon as available. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Menu for Bright Shawl

Some have asked, so here is the menu for the Bright Shawl, where we will meet May 1:

There is a daily encore plate that includes a hot entree and soup/salad bar for $10.95/person.  The daily encore is different every day and we won't know the day's selection until we arrive on May 1.  If a guest doesn't want to order the daily encore, all items on the tea room menu are available.

Buen provecho!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Special Event Luncheon--Honoring Penn's Association of Alumnae, May 1

This is my reminder to all of San Antonio's Penn alumni--not just our women--that we're gathering at the Bright Shawl on May 1 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Association of Alumnae at Penn.  All of us have a lot to be proud of in the accomplishments of Penn women of San Antonio, but in a broader sense we're taking the moment along with Penn clubs worldwide, to mark this anniversary.  I hope many of you can join us.  Please let Sheila Mayfield know by April 29 if you plan to attend.

I've repeated Sheila's e-mail blast here for your reference. 
Ps. I'm told the Bright Shawl has a new and excellent chef and menu.

See you there!


Please join us for lunch at the Bright Shawl on Wednesday, May 1 at 11:30 AM to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Association of Alumnae.  Every woman that is a Penn Alum is a member of the Association of Alumnae, and we have a lot to be proud of in San Antonio and beyond!  The Association of Alumnae has done much to promote the tradition of women serving Penn and looks forward to meeting the needs of Penn women in the twenty-first century.

Our luncheon… 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 11:30 AM
The Bright Shawl
819 Augusta
San Antonio, TX  78215

Please RSVP by Monday, April 29 via email so we can have an accurate headcount. 

Austinites:  Please feel free to join us!

Sheila Mayfield, WG'03
Penn Alumni Club of San Antonio