"My butt was so big, I could serve dinner for eight on it." Rim shot. One hundred pounds lighter and with a considerably smaller derriere, keynote speaker author and radio talk show host Mother Love regaled her audience of more than 1,000 women at the 10th annual Women's Health Conference. Presented by Sen. Carol Liu and the Wellness Community Foothills Inc., the conference drew women (and a smattering of men) from all over the Southland on Friday. This year's conference had grown so large, it had to be moved to the Pasadena Convention Center.
A continental breakfast kick-started the day of congeniality, healthy food and health workshops. Wearing a bright pink fright wig in honor of Halloween, Liu offered greetings and introduced emcee KABC7 health specialist Denise Dador.
After Dador's remarks Executive Director of AT&T Anita Gabrielian talked about her own cancer scare. Fortunately, exploratory surgery revealed no malignancy. Gabrielian, who is also a member of Glendale Community College's Board of Trustees, well represented the conference's Premium Sponsor AT&T.
But it was the slimmed-down Mother Love who audience members came to see. A history of diabetes in her family and a similar diagnosis for herself gave her the incentive to lose weight, start exercising and stop smoking and drinking. Diabetes had resulted in the death of half her family members before they were 60 years old. She was determined that the same thing wouldn't happen to her.
"Before my weight loss, I never wore yellow," Love said. "People would call out 'Taxi!' "
But today, Love was all about healthy lifestyle choices as she closed her presentation with, "Women up ladies, take a proactive approach to your health."
Another celebrity, this one grown in our own backyard, is making the rounds of local speaking engagements. Glendale resident and author Denise Hamilton's book "Los Angeles Noir" has been adopted by the city for its One Book/One Glendale program.
Hamilton's first stop was at Glendale Community College on Oct. 27. Several hundred students, filling the college auditorium, were primed to meet the author. A former Los Angeles Times staffer, Hamilton discussed how her former beat, the East Los Angeles area, contributed to the authenticity of her works. Students had a chance to ask questions after her remarks.
Following her lecture on the Noir genre in crime novels and films, Hamilton signed copies of the series of short, Noir-oriented stories she edited that make up "Los Angeles Noir" and "Los Angeles Noir 2." Students lined up for the author's signature. Among those students was linguist major Naira Davtyan.
The Central Glendale Library on Harvard will also host appearances by Hamilton and will make dozens of her books available for the public to borrow.
The Los Angeles Tinseltown Rose Society has had long roots in Glendale. Members meet at Glenoaks Park in the Joe Bridges Clubhouse on the third Sunday of each month. They also tend a rose garden in Glendale's Fremont Park. But the rose in their yearly schedule is the annual Rose Show. On Sunday, more than 500 roses were on display in Descanso Gardens' Van de Kamp Hall. The flowers were toted in by some 40 exhibitors, each hoping to win "Best in Show."
Rose Society President and Glendale resident Marcia Sanchez-Walsh expected 1,000 to 1,500 visitors, all wanting to catch a peek at the roses in their most perfect stages. Show Chair Manson Yew wants rose lovers to know that roses are easy to grow in California, many of which don't even have to be sprayed to kill bugs. Co-chair Tim Lawlor added that the roses come from exhibitors' gardens from California and Arizona.
For more information, Rose Society members encourage the public to visit their website at http://www.Los AngelesTinseltownRS.com.
A small crowd was gathered even before the 9 a.m. opening of the Little White Chapel Christian Women's Fellowship's 22nd annual Chapel Crafter's Boutique in Burbank on Saturday. Crafters bought their favorite handcrafted items from artisans from around Southern California.
A unique booth filled with handmade goodies from Peru and Guatemala caught many a customers' eye. Artist Didi Morante showed off her handwork including alpaca gloves, baskets, hand-painted greeting cards and other unique trinkets. Burbank resident Theresa Jarbo favored the hats and tried on one or two.
Vendor Connie Shaw from Burbank featured her handmade "Quillows" — pillows that open into throws. Shaw is a boutique regular who will next show at Burbank's United Methodist Women's Annual Holiday Boutique on Nov. 12. That boutique will feature arts, crafts, jewelry, baked goods and a chili dinner — one-stop shopping for the holidays.