January Photo Round-Up

Oh, January, how did you fly by so quickly? Here are some shots to remember you by.

A birthday party for a former colleague who came back to town for a visit.


Some nature shots. Clouds and a tangerine tree heavy-laden.

Music-making with students and music teachers.

Poetry-writing at Women’s Retreat

And the retirement of a Claremont business



Organist Celebration

Big projects with vision can have difficulty getting off thIMG_1263e ground. Money can be a major issue, as well as resistance to change. In the 1990s, it was clear that the CUCC church organ was headed downhill fast. Many discussions ensued about how to replace it, and one camp of people thought that the less-expensive electric organ was the way to go. In the end, with much fund-raising and faith, the church had a magnificent German Glatter-Götz Pipe Organ installed. In partnership with the local Rosales Organ Builders of LA, the instrument was completed in 1998 and has been a jewel, not only in worship services, but for many organ and other concerts and recitals.

Glatter-Götz and Rosales also teamed up to build the stunning Walt Disney Concert Hall organ.

Church organist, Carey Robertson, celebrated her 25th anniversary with CUCC by inviting a few friends for a weekend-long affair. Saturday’s events included an organ demonstration, an organ crawl where people could walk through the inner workings of the organ’s 4000+ pipes, a reception with piano and string music, a bell demonstration and a silent auction. She topped it off on Sunday by performing a free concert.

You can hear Roberston playing the crowd-pleasing Toccata and Fugue in D Minor on this organ on this youtube video.

More photos from the event can be seen here on the church’s Facebook page.

Scripps College Challah for Hunger

IMG_1214The sleepiness of Claremont during the college break is over, and students and faculty are back to business as usual. Business as usual on Fridays includes women at Scripps College selling Challah at Seal Court. The selling of this traditional Jewish bread (with a variety of delicious non-traditional flavors) started ten years ago at Scripps, with profits going to various charities. Over 50 chapters around the world have joined this venture which started here in Claremont.


You can check out the Facebook page, the website, and this short radio piece about Scripps College Challah for Hunger, but it’s even better if you go get your own loaf or two. Our Friday pleasure was Mexican Chocolate Chip. If you aren’t so adventurous, there’s always plain.

Ruth Dare

Ruth DareThe Claremont Courier ran this obituary for Ruth Dare last Friday. She had been my daughters’ piano teacher in the 1990s for about six years. Each week we would make the trek down into Pomona for lessons, sometimes heading to the Pomona Library since we were more than halfway there.

Older daughter had lessons for three years before younger daughter started, but younger daughter benefitted from absorbing three years of lessons before hers started. She would lie on the floor under the piano during her sister’s lesson, sometimes rolling around on the green carpet. Mrs. Dare was completely unbothered by this.

She was very kind to her students, hosting several recitals each year, including the Halloween recital where children were encouraged to wear costumes. After the performances, from newest students to more advanced students, we were treated to hot cider and cookies from her kitchen.

I’m sure my daughters will always remember putting attendance and practice stickers on the large charts, preparing for Certificate of Merit, and Junior Festival, as well as these recitals.


Highland Springs Resort and Einstein

For your reading pleasure, here is the next IMG_2562post in the series “Following in Einstein’s Footsteps”. Years ago I saw his house in Princeton, NJ. Last year we saw an apartment in Zürich where Einstein lived as a student at the ETH, H worked at said ETH, then there was a coffee shop in Prague where the mathematician hung out, and then we looked at his apartment in Bern, Switzerland where he devised his theory of relativity.

But. Who knew, who knew? that Einstein occasionally vacationed at Highland Springs Resort outside of Beaumont, California? Maybe you did, and maybe I knew it when I was at the resort two years ago, and then forgot about it. Now we all know.

Our church women’s retreat spent our third weekend at this historic resort, known in the 1800s as the San Gorgonio Ranch, an outpost for the San Gabriel Mission. Now it is known for its lavender festival in early June, and people also come out for steak dinners, weddings, and, like our retreat, for group events.

The main lodge

The views

The lavender fields

The 1100-year-old tree


p.s. For a period of time, Einstein’s brain was kept in a cider box under a beer cooler in Wichita, Kansas, my hometown.


Jim Mitchell – Redux Times Two

IMG_1150Many days each week I drive by the sculpture at Indian Hill and Harrison, on the spit of land where Indian Hill jogs to the west. Sponsored by the Claremont Community Foundation, artists may apply to have their work grace this spot for about 18 months. After the allotted time, the art remains the property of the creator.

The current sculpture, Redux, by Jim Mitchell, has been in place since mid-2014.



While working on my daily step count, I ran across the little sibling of Redux in front of a home on 9th Street, west of Indian Hill. Since I do not know anything about the artist, I can’t say whether this is his home, or if the owners purchased one of Mitchell’s works for their own.