Life and Arts

Congratulations: Resident celebrates her 100th birthday

Debbie Hobart celebrated her 100th birthday on Nov. 20 with more than 30 family members and friends in her Burbank/Toluca Lake-area home.

Additionally, Burbank Mayor Anja Reinke sent her a framed and engraved plaque congratulating her on her happy day.

Hobart’s house was filled with flowers, balloons, greeting cards, food, and of course, a large white cake with the words, “100th birthday” printed in frosting on it.

Rather surprisingly, every single one of the 36 people to whom Hobart’s cousins Erica and Roger Dudley sent invitations showed up.


Hobart basically keeps the house up all by herself with some assistance from the Dudleys, who like half of the other party attendees live in the area.

Hobart, for the last 40 years, has religiously kept a daily journal. It began as a notebook to record her husband and son’s medical conditions, but after they passed away, she continued on with it, now noting the activities of the day.

She frequently has friends drop in to have tea and discussions about the social and political events of the week. One recent visitor was Shirley Geller. Hobart re-read her diary and noted that Geller had a doctor’s appointment on a specific date. Hobart was just checking to see if the appointment had been kept. She also told Geller she was working too hard as a clinical psychologist, and that she needed to reduce her work hours.

“I’m better at giving out advice than taking it from others,” Hobart said.


Woman is speaker on positive aging

Burbank resident Suzanne Knode, 67, was a speaker at the fourth annual International Conference on Positive Aging this week in Los Angeles.

Knode was selected as one of 11 subjects for a nationwide campaign and photo exhibit to help raise awareness of how people can keep their minds beautiful. The campaign, Beautiful Minds: Finding Your Lifelong Potential, is co-sponsored by the National Center for Creative Aging and Martek Biosciences, a company committed to Brain Health.

In addition to being a subject for the photo exhibit, which was displayed at the conference, Knode spoke about her later-in-life career change to become screenplay writer. After taking a writing class at the Burbank Artists Colony, Knode wrote the screenplay of her first film, “Bandida.” Featured at the Valley Film Festival in 2007, Bandida was cast and made by seniors at the Colony — their first media endeavor.

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Urban studies student receives scholarship

Alex Fuchs, a John Burroughs High School graduate and a senior at Cal State Northridge, is a recipient of the 2010-11 Student Scholarship Los Angeles Section Award from the California Planning Foundation. This scholarship was awarded to 10 students in California, and Fuchs was the only recipient from Cal State Northridge. The award ceremony was held in November at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, where the winners were recognized for their achievement.

Fuchs is majoring in urban studies and planning and will graduate in May. He plans to continue his education pursuing a master’s degree. During this past summer he was able to fulfill his educational internship requirement under the direction of Michael Cusumano of the Cusumano Real Estate Group in Burbank.