Jay Beeler

There’s another Best of Long Beach ballot on page four of this issue for local businesses in the categories of Food/Restaurants, Entertainment/Attractions and Retail Businesses. Now in its 22nd year, this is a popular way to find out who’s the best in our local area. Participating voters are eligible to win $5,000 in prizes.

You can also download and complete the online ballot anytime at and return to us by August 4 to be counted. The results will be announced in our Sept. 8 edition.

Area businesses can increase their chances of winning in the 94 categories by sending a link or copy of the online ballot to your customers, asking for their vote. They can also increase their chances for winning by becoming an annual contest sponsor and providing us with a dozen gift cards or gift certificates valued at $25 or more.

Gift cards and certificates are a great way for small businesses to attract new customers when they redeem them. It’s an ideal marketing tool for small businesses (like hair and nail salons) as well as larger businesses (like restaurants, retail stores and local attractions). Call us for additional details: (562) 597-8000.


Heartfelt condolences to the Dietz family of Manhattan Beach over the recent loss of Pat Dietz, who co-owned the popular Dietz Brothers music store in Manhattan Beach with his brother, John, since 1976. Pat was visiting a bookstore in Torrance two weeks ago with his 16-year-old grandson, Charlie, when a fender bender accident in the parking lot resulted in one of the drivers reportedly losing control and accelerating into nearby pedestrians.

Grandpa Pat, 68, pushed Charlie out of the way and saved his life. Pat sustained head injuries that turned fatal while Charlie suffered a concussion and multiple broken bones. Pat is survived by his wife of 47 years, Carol, daughters Kelly, Robin and Carrier, and son Erik.

The Dietz’s hold a warm space in my heart going back to the late 1960s. Parents Merle and Patty Dietz of Manhattan Beach raised 11 phenominal children – eight daughters and three sons. Three of the daughters lived in Belmont Shore during and following graduation from college and I eventually met them through my brother, Tom, who dated one of the daughters, Judy.

I was recently reminded that Tom wrote a letter to Judy while obtaining a masters degree in Madison, Wisc. in 1966. He started the letter by stating that he had made a momentous decision that had Judy thinking he was going to suggest they elevate their relationship.

Instead, his decision was to purchase a German Shorthair Pointer dog. Its name was Gustav der Schlaue Jäger, which translates to “Gus the clever hunter.” Gus was our roommate when Tom and I shared apartments in East Long Beach and a home in Naples.

Judy then started to date and became engaged to a Navy officer. Tragically, she was killed in an auto accident en route to a South Bay florist a few days before her wedding in 1967, riding with brother Jim Dietz. Sadly, her wedding became a funeral.

That same year I remember picking Gus up in Seattle, driving to Expo 67 in Montreal and passing through Conshohocken, Penna. to pick up something from my girlfriend’s parents. “That’s the guy that Anita’s going to marry,” were the words that I’d later learn that Jane said to husband Hank.”

After a short visit to my hometown of Waynesboro, Penna., Gus and I headed back home to Long Beach to live with his master. In subsequent years – after Tom relocated to the Seattle area – Gus would be cared for by Patty and Merle Dietz at their spacious Manhattan Beach home.

Today I keep in touch with the family through friends Bob and Alice (Dietz) Myrtle, who live on Naples Island. Also living in Long Beach are sister Kathy (Dietz) Sylvia, who resides in Belmont Shore and Theresa (Dietz) Becich, who lives in El Dorado Park Estates.


The six best doctors in the world are: the sun, rest, exercise, diet, self-respect and friends.

Stick to them at all stages of your life and enjoy a healthy life.


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