The Valley Line: Construction of float framework makes headway

We are just rounding the corner of the second week of October and there's scarcely a colored leaf in sight.

Last Sunday I was admiring the beautiful cirrus clouds that were lightly streaking across the sky and was amazed to a see a short but straight band of rainbow colors. Wow! I had never seen such a thing before.

Later in the evening I went to the computer to learn more about cirrus clouds. Cirrus is a Latin word meaning a ringlet or curling lock of hair. That is exactly what the clouds looked like and the rainbow band was like a colorful barrette clasping the wisps. What a wondrous gift Mother Nature gave us that afternoon.


Diane and Dick Crowther graciously hosted the recent La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. Happy Hour at their Green Lane home. Of course the topic of the evening was centered by news of the progress of our 2014 Rose Parade float, “Dog Gone.”

The construction team announced that the float frame is just about complete. Now the focus will be on the decoration scheme and flowers that will be needed to begin the floral work that will make the float come alive the last of December, when everything goes into high gear.

The next Happy Hour is scheduled for Oct. 25 at the La Cañada Flintridge home of Jim Boreham.


It was an exquisite Indian summer eve when more than 150 supporters of Descanso Gardens attended the Sept. 28 “Only at Descanso” gala fundraising event. More than $130,000 was raised.

This year's theme was En Plein Air, in honor of the hundreds of artists who come to the gardens to do landscape paintings. Of course the inspiration for the school of plein air painting began in France with master artists such as Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Manet and Sisley.

The evening began on the promenade, where guests gathered for cocktails, some of them named for famous French artists.

Paul Haaga Jr., a longtime Descanso benefactor, acted as master of ceremonies. He encouraged guests to join bidding rounds in order to raise funds for Descanso's educational programs for Southern California schoolchildren and special-needs students.

Paul was recently named the acting president and chief executive of National Public Radio. The day after the gala he and his wife, Heather, were jetting off for Washington, D.C. to begin their new life there for a few months.

After a paddle auction, guests entered an oak forest, where dinner was served at a never-ending table that stretched down the path. The tables were covered with homespun tablecloths, vases of autumn flowers and leaves.

The canopy of oak boughs was illuminated by strings of café lights that created a magical ambience. I was just waiting for the wood faeries to fly by.

The dinner, prepared by Patina Catering, kept the harvest theme going, beginning with a sprightly raw Tuscan kale salad. The entrees included grilled hanger steak with golden potato tart and herb pasta cannelloni with field greens and ricotta filling.

The Rose Pavilion was the setting where fine cheeses and chocolates were served for dessert. Guests gathered at small tables for cordials. The cushy seating of the cigar lounge drew guests who enjoyed a smoke and a glass of port. The dance floor in the pavilion was seeing brisk action as guests danced to the music of the Gerry Rothschild Band.

The evening was underwritten by the Haagas, Sid and Betsey Tyler, Rick Neumann, Karl Swaidan, the Dorothy L. Johnston Foundation, Hank and Ana Maarse and Patina Restaurant Group.


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

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