On the Town:

The Assistance League of Glendale's Thrift Alley surprised us all with an early Christmas present — a half-off-all-merchandise sale Dec. 21. Its East Harvard Street venue was open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for shoppers looking for bargains on already bargain basement prices.

Assistance League volunteer Margaret Hammond played traffic cop, directing traffic to parking spaces that wouldn't block other cars. All she needed was a cop's helmet and whistle. The crowds gathered early. Shoppers were welcomed — 20 at a time. League President Jean Peacock greeted several hundred visitors during shopping hours.

Thrift Alley Manager Karen Millman stayed busy behind the scenes, while Co-manager Sylvia Kowall helped customers. Extra staff was needed for the day. League busy volunteers included Herta Collins, Nancy Frazee, Sally Benson and Rosario Martin.

Proceeds go back to Glendale residents via Assistance League philanthropies. One of those is Authors and Illustrators Day on Jan. 22. Led by Frazee, professional writers will visit Valley View School in La Crescenta. Award-winning writer and illustrator Marla Frazee, daughter of Nancy Frazee, will read to students from her books and share with them the secrets of her creative process.

Thrift Alley will be closed through Jan. 1.

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Some 30 “Seasoned Seniors” gathered at the lavishly decorated, Christmas-themed, Glendale home of Judith and Jon Ritchie on Dec. 21. The Ritchie home was packed full of Christmas keepsakes, long passed down through family generations.

Glendale residents in the holiday spirit included Annette and Ed Allison, Anna Jump, Kathy and Kent Lee, Lois and Kay Frost, Carolyn and Gary Crane, Carmen and Mike Watrous, and Micci and Jon Ige.

Although no doubt “seasoned,” these partygoers dropped a few years in the fun of a holiday evening.

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The day after Christmas with a chill in the air found Brand Park a very busy place. There were visits to the Doctors' House, couples posed for photographs at the gazebo, another couple posed in all their finery for an engagement picture on the steps of Brand Library framed by Moorish arches. Children worked on art projects at the Art Gallery.

There were dog walkers galore. One of them was Glendale resident Lucy Amirian, trying to walk off a cold with Tyson, her 3-year-old Doberman pincher.

Tyson, however, was more interested in chasing squirrels than obeying his mistress.

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Store sales trumped charity fundraisers over the weekend. On Sunday, partyers could be found taking advantage of bargains to stock up for future parties in 2010.

Pasadena's Crate & Barrel's half-off sale attracted buyers from all over.

Those closer to home included Kristin Kolada, who lives in Montrose and works for Walt Disney Animation. She managed the editorial department for the newly released “The Princess and the Frog” animated feature but, today, decided to part with some bucks at the Crate & Barrel stocking suffers display. Friend Seth Caplan, also a Montrose resident, is a producer with a film in development. Both were attracted to the store with gift certificates to redeem.

Newlyweds from Eagle Rock, Rina and David Padula, stopped by the store to return an unwanted wedding gift and replace it with a bargain blender.

Crate & Barrel staffers dealt the crowds with aplomb and sore feet.

The economic recession wasn't apparent on a busy Colorado Boulevard this afternoon.

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The Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale was open and ready for visitors Sunday . Although the crowds didn't materialize, security was in force.

Security Officer and Glendale resident Arthur Cayabyab was available to case the premises and answer visitors' questions.

Cayabyab, originally from the Philippines, has been on the Forest Lawn Security force since August.

The “Light and Hope” Stained Glass Window Display remains until Feb. 7. Admission is free.


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