The Lighter Side: Time to connect, celebrate, remember

At a little wine tasting gathering at our house last December, our friend and fellow La Cañadan Jack Mackenzie pointed out that it will be 9/10/11 in the 91011 this year. The revelation of this once-in-a-lifetime matching of date to ZIP code was met with this universal response: “We should have a 9.10.11 party!”

Unlike many Cabernet-fueled ideas, this one felt good, even in the light of day. Our friend Todd Andrews took the bull by the horns and pitched the 9.10.11 idea to the City Council. Luckily, they agreed and next weekend our city will host a three-day event beginning with a party in the park Friday night, open houses and volunteer opportunities Saturday, and a chance to dine with old friends and make new ones at local restaurants Saturday night.

On Sunday, La Cañadans will join the nation in observing the 10th anniversary of 9/11 privately, or at the ecumenical service at La Cañada Presbyterian Church courtyard. For more information:

The theme of the event is “Connect, Celebrate, Remember,” but what stands out to me is “Connect.” Like a lot of people, when we first moved to La Cañada, we knew no one. Frankly, we were a little worried if we’d have anything in common with our new neighbors. But we soon found that if we just steered clear of controversial topics like politics, homework and Trojan football, we had much in common indeed.

We “La Cañaduckians” share a passion for our quality schools, a love for our mountains and beautiful vistas, and a delight in the frequent sightings of both local wildlife and local newscasters.

What’s more, we found in the people of La Cañada a generosity of heart and a willingness to help in times of need. Our friends here are always quick to offer rides to each other’s children, have organized meals in times of illness, and, when we were evacuated from our home because of the fire and mudslides, we had no less than five offers of shelter. Now I’d like to think it’s because of our charming personalities, but I know that it’s just indicative of the type of people we are lucky to have here in town.

So I encourage you to go to the 9.10.11 celebration to connect with your old LCF friends and hopefully make some new ones as well. Try to meet those neighbors you always see walking their dog. Who knows, soon you might be borrowing their hedge trimmer or hiring their teenager as a babysitter. Maybe if you’re really lucky, you’ll get to help them reduce the inventory of their wine cellar.

For comments, or complaints about not being invited to KRISTEN HANSEN BRAKEMAN’S wine party, you can contact the author at

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