Jeff Jardine

Jardine: Cookin' up help against cancer

From the e-mails and voice mails:

ONE-TIME VICTIM'S PAYBACK -- In 2005, I wrote a column about Ryan Cuthbert, an Oakdale man stricken with a rare and fast-growing stomach cancer. At the time, his prognosis wasn't good. But chemotherapy, including an experimental type, decreased the size of the tumor and got the disease under control.

He's no longer on medication. Cuthbert and his wife, Jenell, have a 3-year-old son, Deegan, and Ryan continues to work, play softball and enjoy life.

Shortly after he was diagnosed, the community held a fund-raiser for the Cuthberts. It generated more than $65,000.

Now, another longtime Oakdale resident, Jamie Neathery, is battling cancer and the community will step up with a fund-raiser July 11.

Cuthbert has never met Neathery, but he will help cook for the event. He and dad Steve Cuthbert will assist another father and son team, John and Brett Word, who organized the fund-raiser for Cuthbert in 2006.

"So many people were involved in mine," he said. "Not just the people who put it on and did the cooking, but the whole community at large. I'll still have people come up to me and wish me and my family well."

The event, which includes a dinner, live and silent auctions and music, will be at the FES Hall in Oakdale from 5 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $25 each. Contact Jacoba Peichoto at 872-3042 or

MARCH MAKES MONEY -- In January, I wrote about Henry Johnson and his new best friend, Derek Coleman.

These youngsters from Turlock started kindergarten together in Denair and quickly realized they were the same: Both were born with craniofacial deformities that required surgery. Both now have the same racing stripe in their hair from one ear to the other, left by scars from their cranial operations.

In 2008, Henry's mom, Rachel Johnson, created Henry's March as a fund-raiser for the Children's Craniofacial Association. It raised $28,000 the first year. This year, despite a rainy March day and a weak economy, Henry's March raised $21,000.

Henry and Derek, by the way, are teammates on a T-ball team.

PUTTING HIS STAMP -- Modesto native John Mattos, a graphic artist in San Francisco, created the new 44-cent postage stamp commemorating famed racehorse Seabiscuit. The image shows Seabiscuit in his 1938 victory over War Admiral.

Mattos, 56, is a 1970 Downey High grad who went on to study at the Art Center College in Pasadena, tracing the footsteps of another Downey grad, George Lucas.

Mattos owns John Mattos Illustrations in San Francisco. He's done work for a long list of companies including Apple, Microsoft and Oracle, Hewlett-Packard and General Electric, as well as such entertainment and sports clients as MGM/United Artists, Disney, Francis Ford Coppola and Aerosmith, the 49ers and NFL properties and the New York Rangers.

He's also done projects for publishers including Time, Newsweek, Forbes, Fortune and Reader's Digest.

The Seabiscuit stamp is one of several Mattos has done for the U.S. Postal Service. One other, the 2006 Winter Olympics stamp, was released and nine more await release. Also, the Portuguese Consulate in San Francisco commissioned him to create a commemorative poster for the Portuguese government.

Mattos uses watercolors or pencil to create his works, then redoes them digitally. The key, he said, is not getting too detailed with his originals because that detail will often be lost in an inch-square postage stamp.

"It's like doing a billboard, in a way," he said.

Mattos once worked as an artist at The Bee, and he was best man at Business Editor Dave Hill's wedding.

PRESERVING HISTORY -- Do you own a historic building and want to restore it, but the myriad number of codes and restrictions has you spooked? Maybe you've come across a building official who doesn't seem to be up on those same codes or restrictions?

Various private and government agencies in Tuolumne County want to educate property owners, planning officials, contractors, elected officials, building inspectors, Realtors and attorneys on how to best and most efficiently deal with historic buildings.

They'll host "Keeping Time II" at Faith Fall, Church of the '49ers in Columbia on June 19. Sessions will focus on incorporating green technologies into historic buildings, preventing demolition, understanding state historic building codes and finding new uses for old buildings. Speakers will include an archaeologist, architects, a preservation lawyer, a general contractor specializing in historic buildings and a senior planner.

The cost is $35 per person and includes lunch. Contact Carol Rios of the Tuolumne County Community Development Department at 533-6601 or

Jeff Jardine's column appears Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Local News. He can be reached at 578-2383 or