May 2020 Happenings

Message from President Patti Reinstein

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”   Joshua J. Marine author Today another month has passed since our quarantine in Los Angeles from the coronavirus began on March 19, 2020, forever changing our lives. We need to acknowledge the sheer awesomeness of what is happening worldwide.  We are living in extraordinary times, but in spite of this disaster, I hope that we will all try to seek new ways of finding grace and harmony in our future.  You are not alone.  We will find our way together. Even though we have been physically apart for some time, we at Friends of Robinson Gardens are still looking for new ways to shape our future and fulfill our past commitments.  The Children’s Science Fair was scheduled for Friday, March 20, 2020 — the second day of Spring under the graceful leadership of Patty Elias Rosenfeld. …

FRG Member Susan Rosenthal Sews Masks for the VA!

Our wonderful Friends of Robinson Gardens member Susan Rosenthal sewed 100 non-surgical masks for the West LA Veterans Administration’s CTRS (Care Transitioning Rehabilitation Service) Program for veterans without homes. This new program on the VA grounds provides tent housing and social distancing for homeless vets while they wait out the COVID-19 crisis. Susan is a VAVS (Veterans Administration Volunteer Services) Representative for the Daughters of the American Revolution and is an active volunteer at the VA.      

Virginia Robinson’s Columbia Electric Car

Virginia Robinson bought her new car in 1906. The Los Angeles Times heralded the event on April 8 describing the car as, “…a twenty-four-cylinder Columbia Stanhope-Victoria…”. Since there was no model with that name at the time, it was likely to have been an extremely popular model among the East Coast society ladies, a “Victoria-Phaeton.” This model of the Columbia electric cars was considered an expensive automobile. People could purchase the much more affordable gasoline internal combustion engine cars as well. Nonetheless, the electric cars had many advantages over the gasoline version. Electric cars were odorless, quiet and simple to drive as well as easy to charge at home. They were much more user-friendly, as we would say today. The following is a photograph of a woman charging a 1912 Columbia electric car. These characteristics made the higher price tag for this electric car worth it for a woman of…

Spotlight on Lynn Whitaker

Each month we spotlight a volunteer, staff member, docent, donor, or sponsor of 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 Lynn Whitaker, a dedicated Friend of Robinson Gardens Executive Board Member. We asked her these three questions: How did you first learn about VRG, and what inspired you to become a Friend? In the early 90’s, a close friend of mine was taking a gardening class from Nancy Goslee Power, and one of her gardens was featured on the Garden Tour that year.  My friend invited me to join her on the Tour, and I was hooked!  When I moved back to NYC in the late…

Spring Renewal: Messages from former President Patti Reinstein

Memorial Day

“It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us…”
-Mother Teresa

Hello Friends,

Mother Teresa knew what she was talking about! Since March 15, most of us have been quarantined by the coronavirus, some alone and others with partners and children. This has given us a chance to practice togetherness in real time and to take a deeper look at ourselves, as well as our loved ones. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Most of us have set up routines and adjusted our living habits since we are together 24/7. After so many weeks of togetherness, my husband of 52 years and I have found a rhythm that has settled in for us. We work at opposite ends of the house. We divide the chores.… Read More

The Gift of Nature

“Like tiny seeds with potent power to push through tough ground and become mighty trees, we hold innate reserves of unimaginable strength. We are resilient.”
-Catherine DeVrye, The Gift of Nature

Hello Friends,

As of today, our social distancing orders in Los Angeles County remain in place, testing our strength as well as our fortitude. The impact of the last two months cannot be overstated. Losses have mounted in both our health and economic worlds, and we often receive mixed messages from those who guide us. … Read More

The Beautiful Spring Came…

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.”
– Harriet Ann Jacobs, former slave

Hello Dear Friends,

I am grateful to be able to stay in touch with you each week and am always excited to read your wonderful comments. For me, spring has forever been a season of hope and warmth and life. After the long winters growing up in Boston, there was always a renewal of spirit as signs of spring were revealed.… Read More

In All Things of Nature There is Something of the Marvelous

Hello Dear Friends,

Aristotle said, “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous”. As children, we are able to find beauty and miracles everywhere. As we grow up, we often take for granted the magnificence around us. Due to the coronavirus, we have been given time and should take the opportunity to look at the world through the eyes of our inner child…with curiosity and love. Of all the seasons, spring is the most festive and joyful. Our world is awakened by trees and flowers and birds. It is covered once again in color and we are warmed by the sun.… Read More