The Valley Line: The perfect clime for a party

Labor Day has come and gone, and we are getting back into our autumn schedules. Cross-town rivals USC and UCLA have started the college football season, keeping tailgaters busy creating menus of tasty food and beverages that make this tradition so much fun.

Kids are back in school and loading up their backpacks with books and homework. Right on track is the weather, which is always sizzling hot when school begins. There’s something new this year: Mother Nature added a different ingredient, humidity, with an active monsoon-like atmosphere and threatening, rain-laden clouds. That is something we don’t usually experience in Southern California. Oh well, just think how boring it would be if it was just hot without any added flourishes.

According to rules from days gone by, after Labor Day we weren’t supposed to wear any white clothing, which meant we had to store away our whites. That may still be true in other climes, but in California the old rule has been relaxed and white is a year-around color, so just carry on.

The Republican and Democratic conventions are over, and the campaign trails will be seeing plenty of action until the elections in November. I know by that time I will be weary of the rhetoric from both sides. Still, I hope to be a well-informed voter by the time I reach my polling place.


Las Candelas recently held its annual end-of-summer garden party.

The organization, founded in 1935, provides volunteer services to emotionally disturbed children. Among the entities it supports are Hillside School and Learning Center here in La Cañada, Hathaway-Sycamores in Pasadena and the Didi Hirsch Glendale Center.

Debbie and Bruce Hinckley hosted the party in their beautiful terraced backyard.

Chairmen of the event were Jeannie Flint and Cathy Keen. Also on the committee were Nancy Crosland, Shirley Johnstone and Linda Gregg.

La Cañada resident Monica Sierra, who is beginning her second term as president, greeted guests as they arrived. Also saying hello was her husband, Jose Sierra.

“The Spot” catering company provided the fabulous food that began with passed hors d’oeuvres. The main meal was roasted chicken breasts in a savory sauce, along with a fresh salad filled with all sorts of goodies. Dessert was an amazing fresh peach and berry cobbler.

During the cocktail hour there was much buzz about the upcoming Las Candelas fashion show on Feb. 25. This is the group’s major biannual fundraising luncheon and fashion show, and it is always beautifully presented.

New members Carolyn Beaton and Patti Baker were both involved in the party presentation. Carolyn is the club’s public relations director, and Patti, who is the owner of the flower shop Patti’s Pretty Petals, created the lovely floral centerpieces for the tables.

Prospective new members introduced that evening were Marian Graydon-Greene and JC Bayer. They were there with their respective spouses, Paul Greene and John Bayer.

Among the guests at the garden party were Ginny and John Simpson, Fran and Terry Buchanan, Jeannie Flint and Dave Werbelow, Diane and Newt Russell, Carole and Larry De Paul, Margaret Steenken and Scott Cline, Ellyn Semler, Harriett and Bob Rector, Sally and Jim Perkins, Sharon and Doug Anderson, Liz and Phil Reynolds, Ann and Stan Jones, Bobbi and Sal Gangi, Cathy and Bob Keen, Shirley Johnstone and Joe King, Patti and Ron Baker, Glady and Jack Kabateck, Diane Endsley, Val Moorhead and Roberta Raffaelli.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Let her know about your special, local event at

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