November 2021 Happenings

Message from President Betty Goldstein

Dear Friends,

Fall has begun. We may not have the Eastern “turning of the leaves” in Southern California, but if you take a moment to look around your garden, your neighbors’ gardens or down the streets as you drive, you will see our California Sycamores and Liquid Ambers turning a variety of rusty gold colors. In my yard, the oakleaf hydrangeas are turning a reddish-brown as are my Japanese maples. These bright, beautiful eye-catching colors are the prelude to our winter season.

Here at the Gardens, the last of the Concord grapes have been harvested, the magnolia tree is heavy with the magnolia seed cones, which will soon release their rose-red coated seedlings, and the persimmon trees have an abundance of fruit on their branches. And as the days shorten, the hens lay fewer and fewer eggs, and they start their winter rest.

November is known as the month of giving thanks. I hope you have noticed the wonderful picture of the children at the beginning of this message. These children are among the first to participate in the second year of our Children’s Semi-Virtual Science Program. The children and teachers are thrilled with the program once again as the new school year starts. Here is a quote from one of the teachers who is participating in the program: “They loved the ‘Guess my healthy food game.’ We can’t wait to continue our health lessons this week. I have to tell you that the other teachers and I all agree that there is so much value in the binders and they are so well done. We really can’t thank you enough!!!”

As the program continues, we give many thanks to the Friends’ volunteers Patti Reinstein, Leslie Kavanaugh, and Kerstin Royce along with the many volunteers who assemble and pack the boxes to get ready to send to the different classrooms.

In one of my last messages, I promised you I would bring you an interesting story or tidbit of some of the items found in the Harry and Virginia Robinson archives. Friends member Patty Elias Rosenfeld, along with docent volunteers, and with lead volunteer Tom O’Connor among them, have contributed hundreds of hours toward this project. Many interesting stories have been gleaned from this effort. We thank Patty, Tom, and the other volunteers for their dedication. Here is an article about one of Mrs. Robinson’s Thanksgiving traditions. Appearing in the Los Angeles Times on November 11th, 1959, “It captures the generous, inclusive, hospitable tone Virginia set on Elden Way,” states Patty Elias.

We have two events for the month of November. On Wednesday, November 3rd, Mumsey Nemiroff will give a lecture on “FAKES, FRAUDS & FORGERIES in the Art World and How to Tell the Difference.” Please call the office if you are interested in attending.
So very timely, is our water-wise event. Our last Water-Wise Workshop is on Saturday, November 20th from 9:30 am - 10:30 am at the Virginia Robinson Gardens.

We are extremely grateful and thankful to our members and many followers. Because of your support, the Virginia Robinson Gardens has made it through these difficult months as strong as ever.

May you and your loved ones have a warm and cozy Thanksgiving Holiday.

Betty Rodriguez Goldstein
President of the Friends of Virginia Robinson Gardens

George Geary Takes Us on a Tasty Trip down Memory Lane

“When you are in Love’s, the whole world’s delicious!”

This famous slogan brought back decades-old memories of my favorite barbecue sauce and wonderful family dinners at the old Pico Boulevard restaurant. It was a full house as George Geary spoke to members of the Friends about his latest book Made in California: The California-Born Diners, Burger Joints, Restaurants & Fast Food that Changed America.

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A Great Day at the 2021 Membership Luncheon

On a beautiful, sunny day on September 23, 2021, the Friends enjoyed a very well-attended Membership Luncheon on the Great Lawn at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Our wonderful President Betty Goldstein, Chairperson Andrea Layne, and Co-Chairs Elaine Stein and Ellisa Bregman warmly welcomed the festively dressed attendees who were so delighted to see each other again. It was a particularly joyful celebration since the Friends were not able to experience this annual luncheon in 2020 due to Covid.

Our five new members, Candace (Candy) Beaver, Sandra (Sandy) Harris, Wendelyn (Wendi) Chandler, Jelena Trifunovic, and Paola Werstler, a wonderful addition to the Friends, met in the Pool Pavilion for the Members Orientation meeting. Co-chairs Leslie Kavanaugh, Patti Reinstein, and Kerstin Royce discussed the semi-virtual Children’s Science Program which has been an outstanding success and met with much enthusiasm and excitement by teachers and children, most of which are from the Title 1 schools.

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A Tribute to Harry the Cat

Harry was always waiting for you on the kitchen terrace. Weaving between your legs with a straight tail and a slight curl at its end was a sign of his fondness for you. Friends, staff, volunteers, and children couldn’t resist Harry’s meowing. He would always be by your side to help in the garden, but he expected rubs and hugs first. A keen eye, great hearing, and a strong sense of smell kept Harry in tune with his surroundings.

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Spotlight on Andrea Layne

Each month we spotlight a volunteer, staff member, docent, donor, or sponsor of the Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG) -- those that have made an impact on the organization. We want to let you know about these wonderful people and corporations that give so much to the Virginia Robinson Gardens and to the community, and what they do that is so impactful.

This month, we spotlight Andrea Layne, a dedicated Friends of Robinson Gardens member. Always eager to help, her first volunteer job entailed helping host the florists for the walk-through before Garden Tour.

We asked her these four questions

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To see what the Friends of Robinson Gardens have been up to, please visit our Archive.