The Valley Line: Celebrating 50 years of glorious homes

As I write this I have watched several cars go by my house with fresh Christmas trees tied to the tops of their cars. Our community is getting ready for the festive season. Last Friday our neighboring village of Montrose lit its tree-lined Honolulu Avenue with tiny white lights. Carolers strolled along the street singing traditional songs of the season and Santa handed out candy canes.

The village's wonderful weekend traditions of horse drawn trolley and pony rides, strolling carolers, Christmas music and Santa Claus continue this year. The trolley provides complimentary rides on Honolulu on Saturdays and Sundays. Free hand-led pony rides are available for the kids on Saturdays and Santa Claus can be seen strolling and handing out candy canes Saturdays and Sundays. There will be live Christmas music on the streets and an expanded Kid's Zone in the Sunday Market that includes a petting zoo.

On Saturday, Dec 7, at 6 p.m. the 37th annual Montrose Christmas Parade will take place, featuring marching bands and Santa riding in a helicopter above the parade route. I read that some folks might be putting together a ukulele marching band. That should be great fun — I hope they pull it off.

I hope that all of you had a great Thanksgiving. I certainly did as I went to Palo Alto to be with my kids and grandchildren. The city was jam packed on Saturday as the Stanford football team played Notre Dame. There were lots of tailgate parties going on. Yes, Stanford won, 27- 20. The Cardinal team is now on to the Pac-12 title game against Arizona State's Sun Devils. Earlier this year the Cardinal beat the Sun Devils 42 to 28. My goodness, the late Joe DuPlain, who owned and published the Valley Sun for many years, would have been very excited about that since he was a Stanford grad and an avid fan of the football team.

* * *

La Cañadan Martha Burns, a devoted fan of the trio "The Texas Tenors" dropped us a note to let us know that she was at the taping of the group's nationwide PBS Christmas special, "You Should Dream" that will air tomorrow, Dec 6 at 8 p.m.) on Channel KVCR. The three singers, JC Fisher, Marcus Collins and John Hagan, performed with the Phoenix Symphony.

The singers also were on the NBC "Today Show" Nov. 29 and their special showed on KOCE on Dec. 1.

Many locals might remember that the Texas Tenors performed a sold-out concert in April 2012 at Lanterman Auditorium sponsored by the Community Scholarship Foundation.

Martha had the surprise of her life at the May taping of the show when singer Marcus Collins called her up from the audience to be serenaded to on the stage.

The Texas Tenors burst on the music scene after their appearance on "America's Got Talent." Since that time they have performed more than 600 concerts throughout the country, as well as in China, Canada and the UK. They appear regularly in Branson, Mo.

* * *

This is a milestone year for Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA). They are celebrating 50 years of Showcase House presentations, several that have been in La Cañada Flintridge.

In honor of the occasion and to mark the soon-to-be-published book that will showcase these houses, more than 225 guests came to a party hosted by Snyder Diamond showroom in Pasadena to launch the pre-sale of PSHA's commemorative anniversary book, "50 Years of Pasadena Showcase Design Houses."

Greeting guests as they walked down the red carpet were Donna Gotch, president of PSHA and Fran Biles, who is the chairman of the book committee.

"I have had the privilege of working with five decades of Pasadena Showcase chairs and designers searching through the archives to find the best pictures of the 50 years of Showcase design and houses," Biles said. "All of us as PSHA members are excited about this beautiful history of architecture and design in Pasadena."

The party guests sipped signature cocktails, tasted freshly prepared gourmet food, and danced to live music.

Gotch said the book "will serve as a great tribute to all who have participated in our annual benefit as well as serve as a tribute to the historically significant architecture of the San Gabriel Valley."

Books are available for pre-sale by visiting

The 2014 Pasadena Showcase House of Design will be open to the public Sunday, April 13 through Sunday, May 11.


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

Copyright © 2019, La Cañada Valley Sun
EDITION: California | U.S. & World