The Valley Line: Summer's a time for art and Rose Parade 'floaters'

Summer is humming lazily along in its happy way. I’ve been enjoying the soft rhythm as the days and evenings unfold. The only thing that would make summer better would be if we had lightnin’ bugs that flitted by with their tiny illuminations — you know, the kind that you see in the South and used to catch in jars so that you could see where the light was coming from. They didn’t stay in the jar for long; we always let them fly away.

The music beat goes on, too. “Music in the Park” tonight will feature the sound of Jack Lantz’s Big Band. Plan on going. I know it will be great dancing music.


I went with a friend the other night to see the play, “War Horse” at the Ahmanson Theatre. Wow! What an amazing production. I was mesmerized. This is a multiple Tony Award winner and I can see why. The horses that are full-sized equine puppets are so amazing they seem to become real in front of your eyes. There are so many surprise elements to this production that it is absolutely unforgettable. I hope that you can find a free evening (or afternoon) to go see this because I can assure you it is one of the most intriguing productions to come to the stage.

One of my most favorite summer events opened last night and runs through Aug. 31: The Laguna Beach annual Art Festival and “Pageant of the Masters.” The pageant is celebrating its 80th year. You’ve just got to see it to believe it! I have been going to this event since I was a young girl so it is my summer tradition.

The pageant is known for bringing artistry and theatrical illusion to make “living pictures and sculpture” on an outdoor amphitheater stage. The theme for this year’s presentation is “The Genius.” A couple of weeks ago I had a sneak peek at several of the tableaux and they are beautiful. One of the stunning pieces I saw is called “Gallery of the Louvre” by American artist Samuel F. B. Morse. He was not only an internationally known fine artist but also the inventor of the Morse Code. He was truly a Renaissance man who did blend art and science — a genius!


Right here in town, the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. held its first summer Happy Hour, hosted by Diane and John Landrum at their home on Lasheart Drive. About 75 “floaters” came out to experience the balmy summer evening. Of course guests were sampling the many hors d’oeuvres and cooling beverages.

As always when the “small talk” was done, it got down to nitty-gritty discussion of how the construction of our float is going. Our float, “Dino-Soars” is coming right along. Much of the float structure construction has begun and float animation is beginning. The push is on to ready the float for New Year’s Day.

Some of those attending the party were Sherrill Carbonetti, Sue Beatty, Claire Slaughter, Jean and Don Spomer, Pat and Otis Hutchins, Richard Grippi, Sarah Marshall, Beverly Ward, Lynn Jarvis, Gloria Winkley, Vera and Garth Gragg, Ruth and Charlie Plowman, Becky and Chuck Gelhaar, Liz and Bob Craven, Caroline Craven, Chuck Terhune, Charlotte Layland, Tony Riewe, Joey and Dave Mitchell, John Burrows, Jean and Jerry Martin, Rob and Barbara McLinn, Joyce Ruygrok, and Gloria and Terry Beyer.

Other floaters included Ann and Bob Neilson, Carol and Bill Imbriale, Harriett and Chuck Hughes, Mary and Duane Batanhorst, Sharlyn French, Fernando Rabelo, Bob and Dorothy Lyans, Bobbie and Clyde Hemphill, Cathy and Pete Palermo, Barb and Jim Heywood, Harriett Hammons, Art Johnson, Joan and Don Williams, Jamie Meker, Bob Wallace, Darleen and Joel Peterson, Jenny Pass, Jean and Ron Zink, Betty Jones, Penelope Verner, Peggy Hotaling, Lynn and Joe Thompson, Eremita Miranda, Larry Andreason and Nymia and Mike Cucueca.

The next Happy Hour will be at the home of the Kirchheimer family, 700 Flintridge Avenue, at 6 p.m., on Friday, July 27. Anyone over 18 is invited to attend, and no reservation is required. Just take an appetizer to share and enjoy a fun, casual evening with your friends, old and new, all in support of LCFTRA’s 2013 Rose Parade float.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. Email her with your special event news at

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