Life and Arts

The Valley Line: Dance clubs unite for winter gathering

Enjoying a Starduster dinner dance are, from left, Judy and Bob Snyder, Francie and Jerry Crichton, Sue Franzen, Polly and Brett Allen.
(Courtesy of Liz Craven)

Here we are already in the second week of our new year and I haven’t yet caught up on all the holiday celebrations in our community. Let’s dig in.

First off, a private Pasadena club was beautifully decorated when The Waltz Club of Pasadena joined Stardusters/Alaroma formal dinner dance. Jim and Susan Holland were the dance chairs of the club, which is led by co-presidents Roy and Lillian Olofson.

Delicious hors d’oeuvres preceded the sit-down dinner before guests danced to the music of Murray Middleman.

Some of the guests enjoying this lovely evening were Polly and Brent Allen, John and Judy Armstrong, Cheryl Craft and John Lain, Lynn and Carl Cooper, Liz and Bob Craven, Francie and Jerry Crichton, Bryan and Cindy Daley, Cynthia Bennett and Edward DeBeixedon, Lois Dery and Jim Fitzgerald, Margaret Ann and Tom Dunn.


Margaret and John Schock join the festivities at the Starduster/Alaroma dinner dance.
(Courtesy of Liz Craven)

Also attending the event were Marlene and Bob Evans, Sue Franzen, Janis and Riccardo Gallo, Marion and Paul Greene, Kitty and Jack Gurash, Susan and Jim Holland, Jeanne and Bob Jenkins, Virginia and Michael Karsch, Kathie and Rocco Liberio.

More were Ernest and Sharon McGee, Liza and Mark Nicoletti, Lillian and Roy Olofson, Cathy and Pete Palermo, Barbara and Tony Phillips, Gretchen and Rufus Rhoades, Rosemary and Bob Risley, Gigi and Jim Schlueter, Margaret and John Schock, and Judy and Bob Snyder.



Congratulations to Arlene Buchmann who came up with the concept for our 2020 Rose Parade entry, to designers Ted Baumgart, Grant Delgatty and Tony Gleeson, and to all the volunteers who created our adorable float, “Dodo Bird Flight School.” It charmed the judges who bestowed upon it the Bob Hope Humor Award and wowed the crowd that lined Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Day.

Dodo Bird Flight School
The La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association won the Bob Hope Humor Award for “Dodo Bird Flight School.”
(File Photo)

Got a good idea for our 2021 La Cañada Flintridge float? Now is the time to submit your great humorous ideas to the LCF Tournament of Roses Assn.

On Friday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m., all are invited to celebrate the 42nd year of the float association. Festivities begin with a no-host bar and a buffet dinner. Cost is $45 and reservations are due by Jan. 16. To make a reservation visit


I greeted this New Year deep in the Laurentian Mountains in Canada’s Quebec province. It was a magical place because I was ensconced in a snow globe-like wonderland out in the country. The nearest town was Huberdeau, about 5 miles away. French is the primary language of the villagers there. The extent of my knowledge of French is merci and s’il vous plait. Therefore, I did a lot of smiling and nodding my head.

A snowy wonderland scene near Huberdeau, Canada.
(Jane Napier Neely)

Celebrating with me were my daughter Heather, my grandchildren Cate and Ryan and the Paralta family — Gonzalo, Fernando, and Sebastian.


I stayed cozy in an old farmhouse that was first built in the late 1800s and has been beautifully renovated. I watched the huge snowflakes drift down while tending the big pot of homemade vegetable soup. The rest of the gang strapped on snowshoes and wandered around the 53-acre Paralta property.

Just 25 minutes away from our serene Gray Valley home is the downhill skiing resort of Mont Tremblant. One day we went into the nearby town of Saint Jovet, a picturesque village of bistros, restaurants and boutiques.

We had four gorgeous days in this beautiful valley before traveling to Ottawa. The city was beautifully dressed up for the holidays and so much fun to explore.

We had fresh snow blanketing the beautiful parks and outdoor skating rinks of the city. I was surprised that although it is Canada’s capital, it has a very small town feel about it. Of course the parliament buildings are majestic and impressive.

On our way back from the woods to Ottawa, we stopped at the 100-year-old Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello hotel for their famous luncheon buffet. By the way, the hotel is also known for its luxurious accommodations. The Chateau and its grounds are perfect for winter sports enthusiasts with cross-country skiing, curling arenas, ice skating and hockey rinks.

A couple go on a dog sled ride at the the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello grounds in Canada.
(Jane Napier Neely )

Cate and Ryan chose a dog sledding excursion for their activity. The dogs pulling their sled were mostly huskies and malamutes. They were absolutely gorgeous dogs and they love to run!

There were several teams of dogs, some as young as 2 years old who were just learning about being a part of a team, as well as the older experienced dogs that obviously were eagerly awaiting to hear the command of “mush” so they could get going! The dog teams that were left behind would bark and howl just waiting for their next turn to be part of the team.


This Canadian retreat was an amazing way to begin 2020!

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