NEIGHBORS : Judging by the Roots : Marietta Pluim, whose brother and uncle were on the bench, now has a son on the Los Angeles Superior Court.


Looking for a nice, black robe? Call Marietta Pluim of Leisure Village. The Pluim family seems to specialize in them.

Last week Pluim went to Los Angeles for the "robing ceremony" of her son, Jan, who was sworn in as a Superior Court Judge. He follows in some large family footsteps.

"We have sort of a unique situation," she said. "My uncle was a judge, my brother was a judge and now my son is a judge. I still can't believe it. It just doesn't seem this has happened to the family. It's such a wonderful thing."

Congratulations to Ojai artist Alberta Fins. Her acrylic painting titled "Admonish," will be hanging at the Clay-Miner Gallery in New York in an international exhibit of work by women artists.

Her 6 1/2- by 4-foot painting, which she describes only as a "political statement," was selected by Barbara Haskell, a curator at the ultra-prestigious Whitney Museum of Art in New York.

Fins is very excited about the exhibit, but there's just one problem. She won't be able to see it. "I won't be going," she said. "But I do have relatives in New Jersey who will probably go."

Where's a phone company when you need one?

I was on the telephone one day last week with a representative from Pacific Bell. He was just about to give me some important information when we got disconnected. Disconnected by a phone company. What are the odds?

Later that day I got a call from a woman at GTE--and was disconnected again.

Nominations are being accepted for the 10th annual Secretary of the Year contest sponsored by the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce. Employers are asked to submit letters describing why their secretary is the best in the area.

"We look for dedication, longevity, compliments from the boss," said Diane Moskowitz of the Chamber of Commerce. "We just want their impressions of their secretary." Last year's winner, chosen from among 30 nominated secretaries, was Ursula Barnacle of the Conejo Youth Employment Service.

The 1991 winner will receive prizes donated by members of the business community, with the biggie being a two-night stay at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza.

But don't worry, bosses, that's a weekend getaway. The victorious secretary should be back at work on Monday.

Remember the Egg Artistry Show at the Hyatt Hotel in Westlake a couple of weeks ago? It was exactly what it was cracked up to be. A huge success, with about 1,800 people checking it out over the two days.

As artist Ann Copeland was told by a fellow egger, "As you stepped into the room you could feel the electricity and excitement."

But there's more than one way to decorate an egg.

Just ask Ojai's Bernadette DiPietro. She's getting ready to teach a Ukrainian egg decorating class March 23. And she should know about Ukrainian egg decoration. She's Italian.

"But my uncles married Ukrainian women," she said. "I never did the eggs as a child--they were something that kids just didn't do. But my aunts would do them at night when the kids were asleep and then on Easter morning these beautiful eggs would be there."

DiPietro said Ukrainian egg decorators traditionally depict religious themes and for many years were banned in the Soviet Union. "It's just in the past few years, since Russia opened up and became more liberal, that they've allowed it. It had been an underground art."

DiPietro's workshop will run from 1 to 6 p.m. She said that's usually plenty of time to learn the correct techniques. "In five hours they can make three eggs," she said. "The first egg isn't so great, but the second one is 100% better."

Class size is limited to 10 people, so if you're interested, call 646-2539 as soon as possible. Cost is $55, which includes registration, supplies and a set of tools to take home.

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