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The Valley Line: La Cañada Juniors Cup a festive event

November 25, 2010
  • Ladies in the race at the La Canada Juniors party "The Juniors Cup." (Left to right) Event co-chairs Michelle Sabourin and Kris Mueller; Melissa Mazin, president of the club; and silent auction co-chairs Nancy Rappard and Chizuko Petersen.
Ladies in the race at the La Canada Juniors party "The… (Kirsten Harbers )

As you pick up this paper to read, it is quite likely the savory aroma of baking turkey is wafting through your house. By the way, a very happy Thanksgiving Day to you.

I will be sitting around the Thanksgiving table with my daughter Heather and her children, Catherine and Ryan, and my Santa Barbara twin sister Elaine and her extended family.

Of course we will be missing my son Chris, his wife Megan and their children Aidan, Lucan and Morgan. They are still living in England will be preparing an American-style Thanksgiving feast for their Brit friends.

Mother Nature has been whipping up a very autumn-like ambience for us here in our beautiful valley. The leaves of the liquidambar trees are coming into full and glorious color along our Foothill Boulevard medians and especially along Princess Anne Road. I so enjoy seeing the dots of foliage color as I drive along our city's streets.

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I do love the crisp feel and colors of autumn so much that I decided to fly to the East Coast to go "leaf peeping." Wow! It was amazing! The trees were showing off their most brilliant colors as I meandered down country roads, over covered bridges and stopped in tiny seaside and lake villages to admire the beauty. My two-week journey took me to Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

My first stop was in Nantucket, which is an enchanting place. What drew me there was that five of my ancestral families (Macy, Coffin, Starbuck, Gardner and Worth) bought the entire island in 1659. And what a bargain it was — they paid 30 British pounds and two beaver hats for it.

It was interesting to learn that these families were escaping religious persecution from the harsh and punitive faith of the Puritans on the mainland of Massachusetts. Nantucket became a Quaker stronghold and the faithful were led by my eighth great-grandmother Mary Coffin Starbuck. She was simply known as "Great Mary."

My most precious memory of visiting this magical island is that I held and looked through my ever so great-grandmother Mary's ledger book of transactions that she made at her general store starting in 1662. This precious book, which has a sheepskin cover, resides in the archives of the Nantucket Historical Association Library, which is attached to the Quaker meeting house on Fair Street.

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