The Valley Line: Halloween, and an Asian evening

The little ghosts and goblins will be out and about this coming Monday eve, so make sure your candy bowl is full.

Montrose Shopping Park will be having its annual party for the kids. The “Halloween Spooktacular” begins in the village at 5 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. The event promises lots of fun with treats, costume contests, carnival-style booths and face painting.

The celebration of Halloween, or “All Hallows’ Eve,” began as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter, when the Celts believed spirits of the dead returned to earth.

I love seeing the neighborhood kids in their costumes. Many of their moms and dads will be dressed up for this ancient celebration too.


Pasadena’s Pacific Asia Museum celebrated its 40th anniversary with its annual “Festival of the Autumn Moon.” The benefit, held at the California Club in Los Angeles, raised just under $300,000.

Guests were encouraged to wear Asian-inspired clothes. Japan, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Korea and India were represented with beautiful costumes. Models were wearing costumes from Asia coordinated by fashion designer Peter Lai.

The evening began with guests sipping wine, nibbling on tasty tidbits and bidding on many one-of-a-kind silent-auction items that included furniture and accessories, jewelry, woodblock prints, fine art, and many dining, trip and entertainment opportunities.

When the dinner gong sounded, guests entered the handsome wood-paneled dining room where the tables were centered with exotic floral designs by Pheng Port.

As soon as guests were seated, an ensemble of Taiko drummers from the Taiko Center of Los Angeles entertained with their distinctive sound.

A formal welcome was given by Charles Mason, the newly-named executive director of the museum. He introduced festival chairs Carolyn Oliver and Kathleen Gilmore. La Cañadan Sue Komarek was on the festival committee.

Honorees for the evening were George Good and Lisa See. George, who became a trustee of the museum in 1983, is a collector of contemporary Japanese prints and has donated his collection of prints to the museum. He is also a collector of Chinese Peking glass. Lisa, who is from one of Los Angeles Chinatown’s founding families, is also a New York Times bestseller author. Her book, “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” was made into a movie and released by Fox Searchlight this past July.

Before the main entrée of perfectly roasted prime beef was served, there was a live auction of treasures such as a spectacular garden Buddha valued at $3,500, a double-strand graduated-pearl necklace with a diamond clasp valued at $7,000, a jade dragon pendant bead necklace valued at $3,500, and a 20th-century shrine box valued at $3,500.

The really big and exciting opportunity for the evening was to win a trip for two on the Eastern & Oriental Express from Bangkok to Singapore. This amazing trip was won by Susan Aprahamian, who bought her opportunity tickets at the festival.

A tribute film telling the story of the Pacific Asia Museum was also shown and introduced by Charles Mason.

The evening concluded with a beautiful production of classical Thai dancing by three dancers from Wat Thai Los Angeles.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. Email her at

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