The Valley Line: A summer of song and remembrance

August 25, 2012|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Jazz notable Rickie Lee Jones was the featured soloist at the Muse/ique concert.
Jazz notable Rickie Lee Jones was the featured soloist… (Courtesy of Ben…)

Hallelujah, on Wednesday morning I awoke to a cool and refreshing beginning to the day. At last the oppressive heat wave we had been experiencing had broken.

I know that our hot days are only at bay for a little while, but what a delight it was to feel natural cool air. I even did a little happy dance in front of the thermostat when I saw that it registered only 70 degrees. This was one of life's little pleasures. See? I'm not hard to please.

Speaking of weather and such, even though a week ago Saturday was one of those stifling hot days, the olive grove outside Beckman Auditorium on the Caltech campus was a remarkably pleasant and shaded place to be when Muse/ique began its second concert of the season. This is a beautiful venue.

More than 1,400 music lovers brought their picnic baskets filled with gourmet goodies to enjoy before the concert began. I admired the creativity of many who brought floral centerpieces to enhance their tables that had been covered with purple and pink cloths.


Before the concert began I had a chance to catch up with Joyce and Tom Leddy, who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary that night. A beautiful bouquet of white flowers centered their table and a bottle of bubbly was icing in a lovely silver champagne bucket.

An added treat for them was that their children, Tom, who lives in Chicago, and Erin, who lives in Austin, Texas, were also at the concert to celebrate with them.

Tom and Joyce just spent a month in France touring and visiting old friends. They then settled for a couple of weeks in Aix en Provence, a charming city in the south of France, where they experienced the beauty of the lavender and sunflower fields in full bloom.

Erin, Tom Jr., his wife, Christie, and their daughters Reilly and Bryn also joined them in Aix.

Joyce said each morning they would amble to the outdoor marketplace to peruse the fresh fruits and vegetables in order to stock their cupboards. They also delighted in buying their baguettes still steaming from the oven. All of them agreed that this was a very special family time spent in a picturesque corner of the world.

Just as the sun was setting, the concert began with the singing of the national anthem sung by members of the Los Angeles Children's Chorus.

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