“She thought the dashing, dark-haired, 29-year-old Coast Guard officer looked handsome in his uniform. He thought the beautiful, blonde, 26-year-old junior high school teacher looked intelligent and alluring. So in September 1969 when Frank Mannen encountered Chana Chiba at the communal mailbox where they lived in an apartment complex at 52 Bennett Avenue in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach, this officer and gentleman eagerly introduced himself.”

So begins my newest ghost-written memoir. The title, “E Pluribus Unum,” is as unique as the happily married couple whose delightful journey through life is celebrated within.

Soon after launching my freelance writing business in 1988, I serendipitously encountered City of Carlsbad Assistant Manager, Frank Mannen. I jumped at the opportunity to write a newsletter. Thus began nearly 20 fulfilling years of working with Frank and the City.

In the early 2000s, I started working for Chana; first in her role as Deputy Manager of the San Diego County Fair and then as Executive Director of the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation.

I have learned so much from Frank and Chana; not least of all how to face challenging situations with integrity, ingenuity and courage. I would not be where I am today, in my career or my life, without them. I am deeply honored to have helped create “Our Mannen Family Story.”