The Valley Line

April 23, 2009|By Jane Napier Neely

Has it been hot enough for you this past week?

The weather people said it was heating up but at first they didn’t say our area would be breaking April heat records that have stood since the late 1800s.

It’s been so hot that even the mocking- birds that buzz-dive my dog Lola have been laying low, not even uttering a squawk.


However, I have loved the breakfast and dinner al fresco dining opportunities that the balmy weather brings. For the dinner occasions I had to disturb the cobwebs that the garden spiders had so carefully spun around my barbecue during the winter.

I know that many of you barbecue all year round, but I just have to get into a summer mood in order to fire up the beast.

Enjoy these summer-like evenings because I’m sure that June Gloom is just around the corner and might even come sooner than expected — you just never know about the weather any more.

Calling all Lookie-Loos! Now is your hour. The Pasadena Showcase House of Design is open for touring through May 17.

I’ve been reporting this event for over 30 years now and I’m still astounded that the women of the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA) pull off this incredible feat with such expertise.

When you consider that it takes the PSHA organization and their team of interior and exterior designers less than four months to completely renovate and redesign a mansion and its surrounding gardens to such perfection, it is even more amazing.

This year’s Showcase House is an Italianate-style mansion built in 1917. It is situated in a lovely, historic neighborhood in San Marino.

Benefit chair Marti Farley who is a gregarious Texas-born lady with a radiant smile, has been the key figure in this project because she has overseen every nail that has been pounded in a wall and each seedling planted in the garden.

Marti has been assisted in this year’s Showcase House presentation by the 64 energetic members of the PSHA organization, as well as 22 interior and nine exterior designers.

Joy Sullivan has been holding the baton as she orchestrated the entire group as president of the fund-raising organization.

The ladies of Showcase and their guests, along with the designers and their guests celebrated the opening of the House with a grand premiere party last Friday evening.

The black-tie event began with a tour of the house and then everyone moved on to the San Gabriel Country Club for a superb evening of dining and dancing.

Marti was the star of the evening and celebrating with her was her family and special friends. Flying in from Texas was her brother Haney Croff and friends Randy Goswick and Jesse Davis. Also sharing the sparkle of the evening was Marti’s husband John and their daughter Alana.

It was not only a grand evening but an even grander party.

JANE NAPIER NEELY has been covering the La Cañada Flintridge social scene for over 26 years. She can be reached at

La Canada Valley Sun Articles La Canada Valley Sun Articles