The Valley Line: Coleman cracks wise at Oakmont luncheon


The La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. held its annual award banquet at the La Cañada Thursday Club. LCF Mayor Jon Curtis was the master of ceremonies. Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by Jeff Hemphill of Cut, Carve and Pour.

New officers were installed and all the volunteers that spent countless hours on our award-winning float, “The Backyard Rocketeer” were recognized. Chuck Terhune, president of float association, was effusive in his gratitude of thanks for all float supporters and workers.

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The Oakmont League of Glendale recently met at Oakmont Country Club for the first luncheon meeting of the year called to order by Lydia Trout, league president.

The featured speaker was Fritz Coleman, KNBC weather caster and stand-up comedian. Coleman was introduced by program director Sharon Swinford. Coleman, who is very generous with his time and talent, had guests laughing heartily as he tried out his new “stand up” routine about growing old. Yes, many of us could relate to his comments, which made it even funnier.

He did get serious when he talked about global warming. He said it didn’t matter what your personal political views are, the facts are documented and verified that global warming is absolutely occurring. “We must take care of our planet,” he said.

Ladies of the La Cañada Thursday Club met for tea last week. The clubhouse was filled with hearts and flowers and the tea tables had glorious flowers arranged in cobalt blue ceramic vases.

The day’s program, arranged by Alison McQuay, was a fun and fabulous concert by the La Cañada High School fifth period jazz class conducted by teacher Jason Stone.

These kids, ranging from freshmen to seniors, are so amazing and their music even more so. Their playlist began with Duke Ellington’s “Satin Doll,” and went on with “All Blues” by Miles Davis, “Chameleon” by Herbie Hancock, “Song for my Father” by Horace Silver, “Night in Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie, and other tunes.

In honor of upcoming Mardi Gras they ended their set with some honest-to-goodness New Orleans Dixieland. Guests were encouraged to “second line” by waving their handkerchiefs in the air around the room. Sorry to report it, but none of us in the audience was brave enough to do that.

But it brought back personal memories for me when, several years ago, I attended a wedding at New Orleans’ St. Louis Cathedral. After the ceremony we were led by a Dixieland band to the reception. Along the way we attracted office and restaurant workers who came out to join the fun. One guy even jumped atop the hood of a car to dance. Oh my, New Orleans people do love their music.

Among the LCHS musicians performing at the Thursday Club tea were Zach Northrup, Pedro Ortiz, Justin Hwang, David Lam, Liam Crehan, Travis Dietlin, Trevor Bohannon, David Leyva, Jonathan Padgett and Quinn Johnson.

Teacher Jason Stone did make a side comment that sent giggles throughout the audience: He said that Travis Dietlin, who sports a wildly natural hairstyle, had the best hair in the band.

Stone is very proud of these young musicians and rightfully so!

Helping out with the many duties of tea serving were chairs Yvonne Tutwiler and Jari Faulkner. Making tasty dainty tea sandwiches were Iwona Grimwood, Jody Platisa, Kim Ortiz, Lee Johnson and Lisa Whan. Making cookies were Donna Jones, Rose Manning, Sandy Engler and Eunice Van Valkenburgh. Pouring tea and coffee from beautiful silver pots were Jane Workman, Karen Millman, Linda Pebsworth, Cathy Smith, Margie Fields and Barbara Self.


JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.