The Valley Line: Helping children color in their world

Last weekend I went to visit cousins who live in Oak Glen (elevation about 4,700 feet) where autumn was in full and colorful swing. Because of the higher elevation and the crisp nights, the leaves on many of the trees were beginning to show brilliant color.

This is almost a hidden nook in San Bernardino County where thousands of apple lovers trek each year from September through November to celebrate the harvest of this crisp fruit.

Some people come to pick their own plump apples from the trees at farms that encourage them to fill a basket (for a fee, of course) while others come to taste apple-inspired foods suited for all tastes — apple sausage, jams, jellies, pies, tarts, dumplings and ciders — the menu choices go on and on at the many shops and restaurants. From Nov. 25-27 there is an apple butter festival in the glen.

There is a scenic five-mile loop to drive that is studded with apple farms to visit. Even though the pick-your-own-apples event is over for the season, all of the farms are selling pre-picked bags of apples of many varieties we are familiar with, as well as the special Vasquez and King David apples that are only grown in the glen.

Oak Glen is a picturesque and fun day get-away and is only about a 90-minute drive from La Cañada.


The Flintridge Guild of Children’s Hospital held its annual benefit luncheon and fashion show at the lovely La Cañada home of Lynn Jacobs.

It was a beautiful autumn day with no rain on the horizon as the dining tables with their bright yellow cloths were set up on the expansive back lawn.

Chairs for the event were Debbie Enterante and Teresa Salvo. The theme for the luncheon was “Let’s Color Their World.” The funds raised are being used to provide art supplies for the Pediatric Oncology Department at the hospital.

As soon as guests were seated, Patti Krisle, president of the Guild, introduced Rita Secola, who is Patient Services director at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases. Secola spoke about the specialized care children receive at this internationally known and honored hospital.

As guests dined, there was informal modeling of fall and holiday clothes created by Etcetera Fashions and coordinated by Cathi Beauclair, Michele Hall and Jennifer Doller. Models included Leslie Kevorkian, Tish Burnett, Gale Musker, Michele Hall, Judy Warren, Jennifer Doller, Suzy Sheedy, De De Brandt and Juliet Cullen.

Students from the Builders Club at St. Bede School served the luncheon. These hard-working youths included Michael Calmette, Ally McCollum, Victoria Paz, Elizabeth Dimen, Max Burcher and Will Huston.

Certainly to be recognized that day for their generosity were Mary Harrigan, owner of Stonefire Grill, who provided the delicious chicken salad lunch; Leonor Valls and Berta Gavina, owners of Gavina Coffee, who provided the coffee cart and party favors; and Salon Aguayo for providing gift bags that each guest took home with them.


I also want to tell you about a fascinating film that opened on Oct. 28th — “Anonymous.” This period film, which is rich in its intrigues, costumes and settings, is a political thriller that explores the authenticity of William Shakespeare’s literary works and the political climate of the London stage during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

I went to a special pre-opening screening of the film at Sony Studios, hosted by The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles and benefiting its educational programs.

After the showing of the film, The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles presented its Crystal Quill Award to the film’s award-winning director and producer Roland Emmerich, and to Bert Fields, author and entertainment attorney. Fields was honored for his recently published book,” Players: The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare.”

It was an exceptional evening of film and awards followed with desserts created by Wolfgang Puck and served in the beautiful Sony commissary. Actor Warren Beatty commanded quite a circle of shop-talkers. La Cañadan Ward Benshoof was on the guest list.

This is an excellent film (prime material for the upcoming award season) that certainly should not be missed by aficionados of Shakespeare and dramatic period filmmaking.

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

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