The Valley Line: Minnesota visitors check out Rose Parade

What an exciting New Year celebration it was for me this year. My good friends Mary and Larry Libhardt, who live in Minnesota, decided to leave the ice scrapers behind and head for sunny California and the Rose Parade.

Of course I said that I would love to have them come stay with me and that I would see about getting parade tickets for them.

Yes, it was last minute, but I bid on and won two tickets to a prime spot for them on the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevard, right below the KTLA press box.

Since there was not a third ticket available, I played chauffeur for them, taking them to the parade route at zero-too-dark-hundred in the morning. Getting them there was pretty easy, but returning home after dropping them off was almost impossible. It took me more than an hour to get back home again to watch the parade on television — Channel 5, of course.

I was so excited to see that our float "Dog Gone!" had won the Bob Hope Humor Award. It certainly was well deserved because our dogs, along with their harried catcher, were so charming — they just made me laugh.

Julie Cameron, who acted as our guide when the float was being constructed, said the fuzzy canine named "Morgan" was named for Barbara Marshall's own dog companion. My son's youngest child is named Morgan, so she was especially thrilled thinking the dog had been named for her.

My Minnesota visitors were enchanted to visit the under-the-bridge float decorating site and see our local float becoming more beautiful each day while they were here. They both said that the floral transformation of our float was the absolute highlight of their California adventure.

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The La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. held its annual Major Donor Party under the bridge float decoration site on Dec. 29.

It was a lovely, relatively warm evening as float enthusiasts gathered to celebrate our float. The huge tent under the bridge was packed with well wishers to honor 11 past presidents of the organization.

The past presidents being saluted were Pat Hutchins, Mary Gant, Claire Slaughter, Pam Wiedenbeck, LuRetta Haire, current president Ann Neilson, Sue Beatty, first president Don Ziehl, Bob Neilson, Dave Moffett and Bob Wallace.

The gathering of major supporters included Otis Hutchins, Mike O'Connor, Tim Rahtz, Bill Pounders, Julie Cameron, David Granish, Chuck Terhune, Sarah and Mayfield Marshall, Ron and Trish Diaz, Beth Neilson, Art Johnson, Paula and Jack Mackowiak, Shirley New, Jesslyn Stadler, Christine Cherland, Jacky Hollingsworth, Gloria Winkley, Jim and Sue Stauffer, Joy and Joe Wilson, Dave Spence, Pat and Dick Anderson, Linda Fults, Cynthia Smither, Betty Jones, Tony Riewe, Charlotte Layland, James Harrington, Chrissy Helgager, Agnes Foos, Clyde Hemphill, Erik and Mary Lou Fiske, Bev Wallace, Daryal Gant, Joel and Darlene Peterson, Mary and Stan Charles, Barbara and Jack Dawson, Nancy Neilson, Scott and Linda Deacon, and Kris O'Connor.

Other major donors and guests that evening included Larry and Nancy Bergman, Don and Maggie Graff, Eleanor Ziehl, John Burrows, Jeb Long, and Jeanne and Jim Wallace.

Also attending were Diane and John Landrum, Bobbie Hemphill, Larry and Erimita Andreason, Cynthia Benton, Stewart Lee, Bob and Liz Craven, Cathy and Pete Palermo, Kim Beattie, Fraser and Dee Draper, Holly Merry, Susan and R.T. Van Valer, Tom, Marilyn and Thomas Atamian, Joe Thompson, Barbara Marshall, Becky and Chuck Gelhaar, Mike and Sally Horner, Anne Hills, Molly Brockmeyer, Carol Nakashima, Richard and Sharen Cholakian, Randy Bartos, Betsy Merchant, Duane and Jan Paul, and Peggy Hotaling.

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

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