The Valley Line: Residents get Showcase House sneak peak

A nearly full moon washed the gardens of the Pasadena Showcase House of Design with a soft glow when almost 300 formally-dressed guests came to take a sneak peek at this spectacular Flintridge estate.

During the month that this home will be open to the public, thousands of people will come to pay homage to the home’s architect, Paul R. Williams, and to raise funds for the many school music programs sponsored by Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA), which has presented these showcase houses for 42 years.

Greeting guests at the door of this beautiful home was LCF resident Kathryn Hofgaarden, who is benefit chair this year. Also saying hello to arriving guests was Marti Farley, president of PSHA. Nearby were Kathryn’s husband Charlie and their daughter Holly, who have been solid supporters of Kathryn; her team of PSHA members; and creative designers who have magically given this 1927-era manor new life.

The evening, known as “Premiere Night,” began with a tour of the house, gardens and its guest cottage. After cocktails, guests entered the restaurant, situated in the gardens, for an evening of fine dining.

Marilyn Anderson and Georgia Coye did a superb job as chairs of the evening. The dining tables were covered with beautiful cloths of a soft peach color embroidered in white. The floral arrangements were created with an array of white spring flowers.

Tastebuds Restaurant catered the dinner, with the entrée being a choice of filet of beef or a lovely white fish. Tastebuds is catering the food at Showcase House during its month-long run.

Karol Franks and Mary Ann Clayton, restaurant chairs, decided to not get dressed up for the party. Instead, they wore their black “work clothes” in order to make certain that everything was in order in the kitchen and to help servers. By the way, they did an impressive job.

After dinner, the party heated up as everyone packed the very small dance floor, dancing to the tunes of the band, “News at Eleven.” I’ve not seen such an enthusiastic group of dancers in a very long time — the moves they were bustin’ were pretty darned good.

The evening also turned out to be a great block party of sorts because many of the neighbors who live near the Showcase House were there to celebrate the new star of the neighborhood.

Some of the La Cañada Flintridge folks having a lot of fun at the party were Jan and Craig Tompkins, Karen and Phil Daroca, Erin Dundee, Beatriz and Ray Patchen, Brigett and Louis Guitron, Julie and Kevin Abbott, Paulette Geragos, Marybeth Rehman-Dittu, Lisa and Joe Elmassian, Linda and Scott Deacon, Eileen and Edward Reilly, Alice and Ted Fong, Phyllis Winnaman and Susan and Dick Ratliff.

Plan a visit to the Showcase House of Design soon. You can purchase tickets online as well as at the house. No tickets are needed to visit the gardens, to shop in the more than 20 shops or to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the restaurant. The house and garden tours come to an end May 15.

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