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The Valley Line: The season's last dance for the Stardusters

June 29, 2011|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Francie and Jerry Crichton live it up at the Stardusters' "Love Boat" party at the La Canada Flintridge Country Club.(Photo courtesy of Carol Cortez)
Francie and Jerry Crichton live it up at the Stardusters'…

We are now officially into summer, as June 21 was the longest day of the year and the date of the summer solstice. However, in places “down under” such as Australia, this very same day was celebrated as the winter solstice.

On that longest day, it was almost like the sun was standing still for us here in the northern hemisphere. Just a little bit of trivia to file away: in Latin, “solstice” means “sun stands still.”

The ancients celebrated the summer solstice by rolling fire wheels down the hills. Fire and water was celebrated at the summer solstice, along with the Earth as Mother Goddess at her most abundant.

Many engaged couples still marry in June, at the peak of nature’s fullest harvest. Some ancient traditions would feed the newlyweds honey-laced foods for the entire month, which is where the term honeymoon comes from. The full moon in June is the “Honey Moon.”

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The Stardusters Dance Club recently held its last dance until the fall. Gigi and Jim Schlueter chose a cruise theme for their last hurrah as presidents. The event was held at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club.

In honor of their “Love Boat” theme, guest of honor that evening was Jeraldine Saunders, author of the book, “Love Boats – Above and Below Decks with Jeraldine Saunders.” Saunders’ real-life experience as the first female cruise director aboard a major cruise line was the inspiration for the long-running hit TV show, “The Love Boat.” She is credited for being responsible for the boom in the cruise industry.

Hosts and chairs for the evening were Daryal and Mary Gant.

Committee members for this nautically themed evening were Margaret and Bob McMurray, Cathy and Pete Palermo, Orchid Donnelly, George Stevenson and Katia and Fred Elsea.

Providing the very danceable tunes was the 20-piece Esquires Big Band sponsored by the Esquires Music Foundation. The Schlueters chose their favorite songs, “I’m in Heaven” and “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” as the featured dances.

In a brief ceremony, the Schlueters introduced Roy and Lillian Olofson as the incoming presidents of the club, which was founded here in 1953.

Among the dancers that evening were special guests Andrew Ettinger and Heather Hewitt, Kitty and John Gurash, Georgia Clark and George Kunkel.

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