Serna Knorschild views a file of cars cruising past her front door, some waving flags, balloons and colorful signs, while blasting their horns to help celebrate her 99th birthday Tuesday in Watsonville. — Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

Today is May 5 and an important day in Mexican history: Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 during the Second Franco-Mexican War. Also known as Battle of Puebla Day, the day is noteworthy in that Mexican troops, a mere fraction of the invading French troops, miraculously held ground and defended their country.

I ran into my long time friends Ann and Dobie Jenkins Sunday near the Santa Cruz Harbor. They used to live in Watsonville and played big roles in a host of groups, including the Monterey Bay Birding Festival. As usual, they had their binoculars at the ready. As we stopped for a chat Dobie pointed out a pair of western bluebirds resting on a barbed-wire fence. It was refreshing to catch up and socialize.

An employee tested positive for Covid-19 at Taylor Farms San Juan Bautista facility.

I cruised through Watsonville and Pajaro today. I noticed that a new mural was being painted at Pajaro Middle School by artist Martina Goulart. It’s big, brilliant in color and showcases the school’s mascot, a panther. Goulart said she also painted an even larger mural inside the school’s gym.

I was also invited to photograph a different kind of birthday party for Sena Knorschild, who turned 99 today. A file of about two dozen motorists, some waving flags, balloons and colorful signs, drove slowly past her door while hollering happy birthday and blasting their horns. The birthday girl stepped out onto her front porch and waved her praise and thanks to the noisy group of friends.  

There are now 1,167, 241 cases in the U.S. with 52,197 deaths. The local COVID-19 cases are:
• Santa Cruz County, 137 cases, 2 deaths, 100 recoveries.
• Monterey Co. 235 cases, 6 deaths, 65 recoveries.
• San Benito Co. 52 cases, 2 deaths, 48 recoveries.

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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