Chit Chat From Here and There

The unthinkable happened -- it rained on our parade! After a 50-year hiatus the rain came down in buckets on Colorado Boulevard. The stormy weather didn’t dampen spirits of the people marching down the parade route or even the spectators -- there were plenty of smiles to go around. In the parade’s 116-year history it has rained only nine times.

Here is the best part -- our city’s float entry, “The Great Howldini,” was a trophy winner! Our adorable and magical dog floated away with the Theme trophy for excellence in presenting the parade theme, “It’s Magical.” The rabbit that the clever canine was pulling out of his hat was looking pretty happy about the honor too.

The Rose Queen and her princesses, wearing clear rain ponchos over their beautiful gowns, smiled through transparent umbrellas to the crowd. Our two princesses, Michelle Corral and Rachel Geragos, who both attend Flintridge Prep, were weathering the storm beautifully.

I was very happy to be all cozy in my own living room in front of the fireplace to watch the parade. The flower-covered floats seemed to be even more brilliant on this wet, gray day.

Because of New Year’s Day being on Sunday and the parade rule of “never on Sunday” we had to wait until Monday to see the parade. I guess this never on Sunday rule has been around since the late 1800s because Pasadena church members didn’t want their horses to be frightened by the noise of the marching bands.

Even stranger is that the Rose Bowl game won’t be played until Jan. 4. I don’t understand it, but GO TROJANS!


Another wonderful tradition of many years has been the Eastman Kodak Company’s annual Rose Queen’s brunch. This year was its 34th event to honor the beautiful ladies.

Floyd Caldwell, who has recently retired from Eastman Kodak, continues to be the master of ceremonies. Floyd says that he so enjoyed this one event that he just couldn’t not continue to do it. He takes great time gathering facts about the queens and loves to introduce each of the women with anecdotes of their reign.

As in years past, the brunch was held at the lovely Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.

This year, three of the past Rose Queens who once lived in La Cañada Flintridge were celebrating anniversaries of their royal reign. Sally Stanton Rubsamen, 65 years; Joan Culver Warren, 50 years; and Ann Martin Wortmann, 30 years.

To share in this special anniversary brunch Ann Martin Wortmann brought her family with her. Daughter Devon, son John and husband John were all smiles as Eastman Kodak honored the beautiful woman in their life. Ann was queen in 1976.

Each of the past queens who was being honored that day was presented with a bouquet of red roses and a framed photograph of their coronation.

Last year’s queen and LCF resident Ashley Moreno, looking gorgeous as ever, was also on hand to take part in the ceremony. Camille Clark, this year’s Rose Queen, was animated as she spoke with the past queens and shared her excitement about the upcoming parade day.


There were many excited children who arrived at the La Cañada Thursday Club recent to meet Santa and to have tea. This is a beloved event that the club holds each year. The lucky children attending the tea were accompanied by very proud grandmothers, aunts and in some cases great-grandmothers and great-aunts.

The “Tea with Santa” event featured holiday crafts, games and photos with Santa Claus. All good little boys and girls enjoyed an afternoon tea specifically designed for them including hot chocolate, reindeer punch, Christmas cookies, brownies and peanut butter and jelly finger sandwiches. In the spirit of the season, guests were encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for donation to Hillsides.

Santa’s helpers included the 2006 Les Fleurettes Deb provisionals who assisted Santa Claus with photos, worked with the children at the craft tables and helped collect the toy donations for Hillsides.

Thursday Club members who assisted Santa with the tea were Denise and Dotty Greenawalt, Kate Duey, Linda Streeter, Julie Shaull and Diane Hyland, with special thanks to Paul Thrash.

Thursday Club members and their families who enjoyed tea with Santa were Vera and Garth Gragg with their grandchildren Dash and Quincy Foster, Nancy Wagner with her granddaughter Kaley Pomeroy, Pat and Lyle Wroan with granddaughter Brooke Steele, Bette Riegelmann, Pat Hicks with her great-nephew Joe Cantrell, Jackie Townsend with her daughter Denise Keiser and granddaughter Elizabeth Keiser, Barbara Self and her granddaughter Kylee Lewis, Jennifer Yates and Carolyn Stamper with Katie and David Holmes, Lee Johnson with grandchildren Emma and Kate McGrory and Kurt, Will and Tad Hawthorn.

Elaine and Don LaMarr were at the tea with their entire family -- their children Melissa, Courtney La Marr Stewart, Kory Kielpinski, her husband Knut and their children Brittney and Heidi.


The Thursday Club rang in the holiday season with “Winter Wonderland,” a festive dinner dance held at the clubhouse on Woodleigh Lane. Nearly 100 Thursday Club members and their spouses attended the event, which featured a gourmet dinner by Camilo’s A California Bistro and entertainment by Frank Jordan’s Compact Big Band. Committee members who planned and hosted the dinner dance were Roberta Raffaelli, Dotty Greenawalt, Vera Gragg and Mary Anne Houston. Thursday Club members dancing the night away included the Thursday Club president, Anita Torres and her husband, Leonard, Liz Andresen, Fran Andrews, Louise and Bob Beggs, Joanne and Les Bruckner, Eileen and Bob Ferber, Bonny and John Ford, Joann Gilson, Vera and Garth Gragg, Denise Greenawalt, Dotty Greenawalt, Kathy Haycox, Pat Hicks, Betty Holst Mary Ann and Jack Houston, Aline and Paul Kuhnle, Charlotte and Jim Layland, Janice Macmillan, Rose and Don Manning, Jewell and Dick Matsuura, Joyce and Greg Milliken, Carolyn and Dave Moffett, Joy Otte and Glen Hiatt, Dorothy Maddux, Helen Phinney, Roberta and Joe Raffaelli, Ruth and John Roschke, Audrey Schaub, Barbara Self, Sunny Sligh and Jim Dunlap, Beverly and Bob Sobraske, Maxine and Joe Stell, and Sue and Gerald Tutt.