Like the great Lou Gehrig once said, “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” I understand that Gehrig was giving his speech at Yankee Stadium, knowing that not just his playing days were over, but it was his chance to thank his community for their love and support.

Thank God, my family and I are in good health, but when my wife Bonnie was successfully battling breast cancer two years ago, our community was there, and I’ll never forget that. We just celebrated Bon’s 50th birthday with a trip to Italy to visit our son Kyle, who’s studying abroad in Florence. So, yeah, this turkey’s grateful and will remind you to take all those unpleasant tests that we can’t study for. Capisce? Take care of yourselves, so you can be there for others.

There’s so much wonderful stuff going on in Dana Point this time of year. The Dana Point Turkey Trot is next week on Thanksgiving morning, and the Dana Point Harbor is beginning to light up for #HappyHarborDays. This year’s 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights is set for December 6-7, 13-14 and sports a “Tiki Holiday” theme. FORTY-FIFTH Annual . . . let that spectacular tradition sink in. I encourage you to get out with family and friends and make some memories!

It’s also the third anniversary of my being appointed by our city council to serve on the Arts and Culture Commission, and what a great experience it has been.

This Saturday afternoon, Nov. 23,  from 2-6 p.m., my band Small World returns to the legendary Swallow’s Inn in San Juan Capistrano for an afternoon of rock and roll. It’s amazing to think of all the life that’s happened since we first played there 15 years ago. No cover charge, 21+ only.

Small World

Music Preserves Foundation was honored to be a part of the Dana Point Harbor Time Capsule Celebration last month. We were thrilled to place Music Preserves content in the capsule, which will be opened on October 28, 2069. Thank you and congratulations to County of Orange, Dana Point Historical Society, Dana Point Harbor Partners and all involved. I hope our community and students continue, for years and years, to gain a deep understanding of the social impact and benefits of music and music history, cultivating appreciation, creativity and compassion. (To learn more about Music Preserves programs, please go to and please consider us for your Giving Tuesday donation on December 3.)

I’m so thankful to the City of Dana Point, Capistrano Unified School District, Doheny Blues Festival, Ocean Institute and Ohana Festival for having Music Preserves Foundation be a part of your iconic events in 2019. We’ll cap off an awesome first year at the Merry Monarch Tree Lighting on Dec. 15, from 3-5 p.m., at the Monarch Beach Resort, featuring musical performances by CUSD student-led choir, Jazz band and orchestra and yours truly playing some holiday carols to kick things off. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, with 100% of ticket sales benefiting CUSD music programs.

Dana Point Symphony Orchestra’s third annual Holiday Concert is Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church. General admission tickets are $30; $25 for students/seniors. For more info, visit

Anthony Small is the Executive Director of Music Preserves Foundation, Chairman of the City of Dana Point Arts and Culture Commission and a singer-songwriter. Small and his family have lived in Dana Point for 22 years.

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