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Life and Arts

The Valley Line: Walkers, chickens and a turtle host Kiwanis party

Kiwanis Summer Party
Attending the Kiwanis Summer party were, from left, Gigi Schlueter, Farhad and Marty Motia, and Mary Gant.
(Courtesy of Alice Perez)

Recently the moon has been shining so brightly through my bedroom window at night that I can make hand puppet shadows on the floor. Its presence has served as a reminder of what happened 50 years ago when man stepped onto the surface of the moon from Apollo 11. I’ll never forget that day as we shared this momentous event with a group of friends and my two kids Chris, 3 and Heather, who was then 2. They don’t remember that exciting landing, but I sure do. What a thrill it was to watch it on TV!


On July 14 the noontime Kiwanis Club held its annual summer party. Terry and Woody Walker were the wonderful hosts for the event, which was attended by more than 50 guests.


Robin’s Wood Fired BBQ cooked up the most delicious food of chicken, beef and all sorts of good side dishes. Kiwanis members were great bartenders, making certain that the wine, soft drinks and water all kept flowing.

Folks were called to dinner in an unusual way when Woody took out his father’s bugle and played a squeaky tune of some sort. Whatever it was, it got everyone’s attention.

Before dinner was served, guests had a great time inspecting every corner of the Walkers’ yard. Their chickens that live in a great coop with an architectural style that reflects the Spanish motif of the Walkers’ house seemed quite content. The chickens were adorable as they clucked and came to the fence to say hello.

The real animal star at the party was “Crunchy,” their 40-plus-year-old tortoise who was busy eating an ear of corn. He was very precise as he ate each kernel along the row and then turned the corner and started on the next row. It was like watching a typewriter roller in action.


Woody then put Crunchy out on the grass and gave him his favorite dessert, a rose from the garden. It doesn’t matter what the color of the rose is, he just loves those sweet petals.

Keeping guests entertained throughout the evening was Mark Achuff, a talented acoustic guitarist. He played all genres — classical, jazz, Latin and Brazilian.

It was a wonderful group of people that truly enjoy each other’s company, and they do such great work in the community and beyond.

Guests enjoying the evening included Ellie Wildermuth, Don Voss, Sky and Maureen Sprowles, Wes and Jennifer Seastrom, Gigi and Jim Schlueter, Eric Sarkisian, Nick Sarkisian, Terry Piasky, Alice Perez, Tom and Dulce Passanisi, Cathy and Pete Palermo, Trish McRae, Maureen Bond, Harriet Hammons, Helen and Dave Gilstrap, Clyde, Bobbie and Jeff Hemphill, Sookie Matthews, Pat Anderson, Stewart and Gloria Lee, Nancy and Mike Leininger, Marge and Kenneth Lowe, Linda Magarian, Fraser and Dee Draper, Diane Della Valle, Irene and Carl Christensen, and Rhoda and Hoard Backer.


From left, La Cañada Flintridge Mayor Len Pieroni, from left, Maureen Bond (dressed as an Oompa Loompa), City Manager Mark Alexander, (aka the Candy Man), City Councilwoman Terry Walker (channeling Johnny Depp’s version of Willie Wonka), Mayor Pro Tem Greg Brown and Councilman Jon Curtis enjoy themselves at the LCF Chamber mixer.
(Courtesy of Jane Napier Neely)

Once again city officials went all out with amazing décor in Olberz Park when they sponsored the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce’s July 18 mixer.

It was a Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory fantasy planted right in the middle of our town with giant lollipops, gummy bears swinging from the trees, a bubbling fountain with chocolate-colored water and so much more. Truly whimsical were brightly colored mushrooms that had been cleverly handmade by Deputy Eric Matejka of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station. It turns out he is quite the set designer and craftsman and says he loves doing it!


Los Gringos Locos provided the fabulous food. Their actual chocolate fountain was quite scrumptious, with wonderful fruits and other yummy things to dip into its sweet, flowing goodness.

The mixer was also a show place for vendors of the community to set up booths. There were also quite a few new community business owners introduced.

City Hall folks seem to love to come up with inventive, colorful themes for their annual mixers. They’ve previously turned Olberz Park into a disco wonderland (2018’s “Thursday Night Fever” mixer) and the Land of Oz a few years ago. This year’s gathering was an equally fun event and very well attended.


La Cañada Presbyterian Church’s Parent Education Program
Members of La Cañada Presbyterian Church’s Parent Education Program donate to Pasadena nonprofit Door of Hope. From left are Dorothy Chen, Stephanie Ferguson, Maggie Mason, Ashley Barrett, Angela Shepherd-Isagholian, Daniela Kim, Barbara Stratte, Lynne Graves, Betsy Farhat, Darby Pearson and Charlotte Miller.
(Courtesy of LCPC Parent Ed)

The La Cañada Presbyterian Church Parent Education group reports it recently presented a $4,619 check to the Pasadena-based Door of Hope, a nonprofit organization serving homeless families.

Ann Bierling, director of the parent ed program, said, “It was our honor to support Door of Hope and their mission to support families in need.”

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