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The Valley Line: A warm evening for a hot Happy Hour party

The Valley Line: A warm evening for a hot Happy Hour party
Sherry and David Kirchheimer hosted the July 27 La Canada Tournament of Roses “Happy Hour.”
(Courtesy of Chuck Terhune)

We are headed for August sizzle as the thermometer begins its climb upward. However, that is not the only thing sizzling — the Tony Award-winning musical “Memphis” is setting the Pantages Theatre on fire. The show, set in Memphis in the segregated ‘50s, would ignite a blaze of enthusiasm anywhere with its nonstop music and dancing. This amazing musical runs through Aug. 12.

Bryan Fenkart plays and sings the role of the white DJ Huey Calhoun, who falls in love with the black singer, Felicia, played by Felicia Boswell. Their onstage chemistry radiates to the last row in the balcony of the theater. Music genres such as blues, soul, gospel and rock ‘n’ roll performed by this cast absolutely blow the lid off the historic building.

I was fortunate to attend the cast party at Hollywood’s newest boutique hotel, the Redbury. “Dragging” me to the party was Toni Arellanes Miller, who grew up in La Cañada Flintridge and graduated from LCHS in 1979. The hotel’s bar, called the Library, was a beginning place for the party, which spilled out into the lush outdoor courtyard called the Glade. What a place for a celebration.

Bringing it all down to earth and on the home front, Sherry and David Kirchheimer hosted the July La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Happy Hour last Friday evening.


Yep, it was a hot one too, but as soon as the sun went down, it was very pleasant on the Kirchheimers’ expansive property — even a cool breeze swept through now and again to make it even lovelier.

Just one of the hallmarks of this monthly event is the plethora of hors d’oeuvres brought by guests. The quantity of the fabulous edibles truly brought new meaning to the old term of the “groaning board.”

Being a warm evening, refreshing libations were plentiful too. Acting as the cheerful barkeepers who always have a tale or two to tell were Don Spomer, Art Johnson, John Landrum and Bob Wallace.

Of course there was the usual chatter about how everyone’s summer was going, and sharing of getaway vacation stories.


Always the most important topic is, “How is the float coming along?”

Jim Geoghegan, who has been involved in our float construction for more than 20 years, said the float is coming into shape beautifully. He said they are just waiting for somebody to give their “Dino-soar” a nickname.

A fun part of the evening came when guests took turns riding on the Kirchheimers’ little train, which departed from the train station called “Flintheim.” Dottie Hazel said this was one mixer she just couldn’t miss because she wanted to ride the train.

So, responding to a toot of the engine’s horn, train enthusiasts headed out for an adventure around the Kirchheimers’ yard and patio.

The evening had a magical feeling created by the beautiful venue and the very charming frontier railway.

Among the “floaters” out for summer fun in support of our float were Jean and Don Spomer, Pat Anderson, Barbara Marshall, Claire Slaughter, Pat and Otis Hutchins, Vera and Garth Gragg, Liz and Bob Craven, Caroline Craven, Ron and Trisch Diaz, Martha Burns, Joey and Dave Mitchell, Pamela and Bud Carney, Joey and Dave Mitchell, Dottie and Gary Hazel, Jean and Jerry Martin, Lillian and Roy Olofson, Bill Pounders, Gale and Tom Caswell, Irene and Carl Christensen, Bob Wallace, Brenda Gant, Jeff Hughes, Nancy Wyman, Anne Hills, Peggy Jones, Joan and Chuck McGee, and Diane and John Landrum.

Other attendees included Ann and Bob Neilson, Carol and Bill Imbriale, Jim and Sherill Carbonetti, Chuck Hughes, Jenny Pass, Mary and Daryal Gant, Sarah and Mayfield Marshall, Bobbie and Clyde Hemphill, Linda and Scott Deacon, Florence Cox, Cathy and Pete Palermo, Art Johnson, Fraser Draper, Darleen Peterson, Betty Jones, Doris Horwith, David Hildreth, Adene and Jim Misamore, Peggy Hotaling, Lynn and Joe Thompson, Eremita Miranda, Larry Andreason, Chuck Terhune and Mary Brown.

The next Happy Hour will be the ever popular annual “Hamburger Night” at the home of Sarah and Mayfield Marshall, 4918 Vineta, at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24.


Anyone older than 18 is invited to attend, and no reservation is required.

Just bring an appetizer to share and enjoy a fun, casual evening with your friends, old and new, all in support of the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn.'s 2013 Rose Parade float.

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