AltaEvents of Note

From my pals Karen and Lilli (and I have two of Sam Horn’s books): Get your self promo on in 2010.

In tough times and in a crowded marketplace, no one can afford to blend in. You’ve got to break out to land that book deal, contract or new job that you want. Do you have a book proposal, a business idea or a career that needs a boost?

National speaker and author Sam Horn and IWOSC’s own marketing expert Lilli Cloud are teaming up on a personal branding seminar that will get your new year off to a fantastic start!

“Pop! Your Book, Brand, Business or Career,” co-sponsored by IWOSC, will take place on Sunday, Jan. 24 from 1-4 p.m. at the Pasadena Conference Center, Room 211, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101.

Sam is the author of six books from major publishers and the 16-time emcee of the Maui Writer’s Conference. She has worked with some of the world’s most famous authors, screenwriters, agents, editors and directors, including Mitch Albom, Frank McCourt, Ron Howard and Jacquelyn Mitchard.

Lilli works with entrepreneurs and career changers to articulate their core offering and share it with the world – both verbally and in writing – in a clear, compelling way that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Together, Sam and Lilli are going to be dynamite! They have priced this
half-day program far below what they would normally charge so that it is
affordable for writers, startup entrepreneurs and people in career
transition. Spend all afternoon in an interactive program that will inform, motivate and enlighten you – all for just $49!

Buy your ticket online now at: and please spread the word to your friends and colleagues. This is truly a one-time opportunity to get insights and coaching at an affordable rate from two top-line professionals. Anyone with questions about this event can email
me off-list at Hope to see you on Jan. 24!

This piece sold last night!

So far the show is going great! Come on out to 2475 N. Lake Ave on Saturday 12-8 or so with a potluck BBQ, and Sunday 12-6 with a potluck brunch!

Bob Stane, who everyone knows from all the great music he produces at the Coffee Gallery Backstage and the comedy he set loose at the Ice House for years, is making more than anyone else could out of his “fork in the road” on S. Pasadena Ave. I’m heading there today for a photo myself to catch all the action. Just read on and be amazed. Then give him a hand with food and decor!

Bob Stane Says:  Today, we have two sermons in one.  Double your pleasure, double your fun.
Both have the subtle thread of volunteerism running through them.  Oh, Bob, you have started your novel.  No Chuckie and Chuckette,
I have not.  Wait for it.   Here is the fun part.  As you know, we scored big with THE FORK.  It ran on TV all over the country and was featured in The Chicago Tribune, with color photo.  (Internet Version).  Also The Los Angeles Times featured us with a half page as
did The San Gabriel Tribune.  It went on and on and is still a “happening” event. The door is only slightly ajar. The demons are peeking around the corner.
The conquest of the media world is only a greedy grasp away.  I can almost taste the heady essence of complete power.
Of course with absolute power comes absolute corruption.  Well, I can’t be perfect.  Stay with me on this one.
We are starting The Fork In The Road Gang with everything that goes along with belonging to, and  flaunting,  a snooty and exclusive  organization.  A fraternity  that is much too good for such as I.  But that will be worked out.
You, however, are invited to join.  Can you feel that warm tingle go up and down your spine?  Delicious.
Read the copy about the food drive.  There is a lot more opportunity for future glory in this than you might think.  Then go down to the next item of forkiness  and absorb the hint of evil that goes with ongoing holidays and Pasadena events.        Oh, yes, yes, yes.

THE FOOD DRIVE:  (Good deeds, etc. The Holidays are here)
“Put The Fork In Hunger”  food drive to benefit Union Station Homeless Services.  Largest Food Drive Ever!
This Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 4 P.M.  Bob Stane, Ken Marshall (The Coffee Gallery Backstage) and Philip Coombes( will be launching Pasadena’s largest food drive ever! benefiting Union Station Homeless services.  Union Station Homeless Services  will be feeding more than 5,000 people in the park on Thanksgiving Day and any non-perishables you can drop off at the fork this weekend will be greatly appreciated and much needed.
The food drive will be taking place at The infamous “Fork” located at the “fork in the road” where St. John and Pasadena Ave. meet. (or divide depending if your cup is half full or half empty) This is just South of Huntington Hospital and Bellfontaine.  (From now on, this piece of dirt is dubbed, “Fork  Plaza”). Please look for the volunteers wearing bright Orange shirts.  Simply go slow, roll down your window and give your non-perishable food items to the volunteers with outreach bags.

We are also looking for volunteers (anyone? anyone?) to help on both days of the event, Hint:  students  looking for  service hours.  For further information or to volunteer, please contact Philip Coombes at or call 626 644-3227.  (do not call Bob Stane, phone or e mail Phil.). Adults welcomed and needed. Call now.
Easiest route is from Arroyo (Pasadena Freeway).  Go west on Glen Arm.  Go north on Pasadena Ave.  Admire fork. Volunteer or drop off food.  Go around the corner, park, and gaze. Think about the audacity and the work and imagination that went into this stunt. Now your appetite is whetted.  You are doomed.  However, if Glenda, The Good Witch shows up you may get away with it.
Mapquest. Type in 866 N. Pasadena Ave. Pasadena, CA.  The Fork lives to the left of this address.


What’s next, Bob. Exploit me, take full advantage.  “See World Conquest.”
The Fork In The Road, at Fork Plaza, has only started to infect the community.  So much potential  mischief, so little time.
Get this insight.  “The Fork and Fork Plaza” are new players on the Pasadena scene.  New and shiny. Just right for seasonal exploitation.
The television cameras are waiting for the close up, CB.
We need a Santa hat for the top of the fork.  There will be lights (we hope).  Other wonderful decorations and “inspired” things might happen or appear. The top of the fork is 24 inches wide.  Just right for some sewing genius who can make a hat or ?  A craft project or do you have a huge Santa hat in your garage?  Ideas welcomed.  Ken will install, do not
climb any ladders.
All right, Bob, what do you really want to do?  Spill your guts.  O. K., you got it out of me.  What I really want is to get The Fork featured in The New Year’s Day parade television coverage and as a feature, on TV, during the football game, January 1, both.  That will require ideas.  And a crown on the top if the fork.  See “crafts.”  Want to see your work on TV?  Sure you do.
Now, Bob, how are you going to get it on TV on New Year’s Day? Answer: Remember, The Fork is a new player and the TV commentators have about worn out anything else that might be spectacular in Pasadena.  That leaves The Fork and my festering imagination to supply (safe and sane) visuals.  The Rose Court?  Maybe.  The Cheer leaders of both football teams?  Dancers? Perhaps.
Actually, there is much more but I cannot tell you as I need to reserve much of the ideas to seduce the TV channels.  I have great visuals in store. Can’t give it away. So cool.  You will be proud of me.
Hint:  I may need someone to craft a large pie.  Envision a round wash tub (tin/zinc) cut down (shortened) to pie size.  Then a pie crust (made of?).     Oh, yes, a pie.  That warm tingle is, again, going up the spine.  You will think of better things than I.
Now you can contact Bob Stane.  Think outside the pie:
This is going to be good.  (or as Terry Southern wrote of Guy Grand’s escapades in his book “The Magic Christian,” “it cost him a pretty penny to get out of that one.”).

Here’s the fab artwork for the next art bender weekend in Altadena. Leaving the image sideways for now, so you can read the details.


Group Show Dec. 3-6, 2009

I’m a little behind on this, but here are some shots from the fabulous Art on Palm event in Wildwood Park on Oct. 10. MaryRose Smyth hosted with help from fellow artists. I need to caption a couple of them so you know who these incredible artists are. I will do so shortly. In the meantime, here are the pix!


One more Saturday–Oct. 24–to get your work into the next Art Bender Weekend at the Gallery at the End of the World (GATEofw). Gotta be the best gallery hang ever. I worked in several galleries myself, and fun is what they should be about. Nobody does it like Ben and the “GATEofw.” I’m in–showing my photography. So see you there Dec. 3-6!


Open Call Sat. Oct. 24th, noon-5pm
2475 N. Lake Ave., Altadena CA (Lake Ave exit off 210/134 Fwy)

From gallery empresarior Ben:

The Gallery At The End Of The World is a slightly legendary gallery at the top of the hill in Altadena, CA (just north of Pasadena). Every season, we host a magnificent 4-day art opening and reception called the ArtBender Weekend.


In addition to our regular crew of artists, we like to have 30+ “guest artists” for each show. We’re pretty open minded about what kinds of artwork we accept, with an emphasis on having a diversity of styles and a healthy mix between “established” artists and up-and-comers. And it helps to have a good attitude– we like established artists who appreciate the vitality and enthusiasm of their younger counterparts, and younger or less-established artists who have the presence of mind to appreciate the mentorship of the more established artists.


ALL ARTISTS PAY A SMALL CO-OP FEE TO PARTICIPATE, with the amount based on how much space you need. All the co-op fees are used to help keep the gallery up and running as we are a non profit organization.


At the GATEotw, the gallery space itself is a living, breathing, and ever-evolving work of art. From the 50 year old trumpet vines that shade the Patio, to the vintage Shasta travel trailer that serves as the office, to the cleverly hand-built stage, bar, and kitchen, the space really must be seen to be appreciated.


And the 4-day (Thursday-Sunday) reception format is very unique, and has proven to be a great factor in driving art sales– unlike a regular opening, where the patrons glide through, eat some cheese or a cracker and sip the ubiquitous cheap white wine, at the ArtBender Weekend people tend to settle in and stay for a while. After the investment of driving all the way up to the End Of The World, people find the atmosphere so pleasant that they stick around– often for the entire weekend! And after spending so much time there, getting to know the artists, they tend to develop relationships and make purchases on that basis. We have a superb sales
record for a gallery of our size and nature.

The next ArtBender Weekend is the first full weekend of December ’09. The final OPEN CALL will be held Saturday, OIct. 24. PLEASE BRING SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK. If you can’t make it to the open calls for whatever reason but would still like to participate, please call or e-mail the gallery to make other arrangements.

Art on Palm, Altadena

9:30 a.m.−5 p.m.

1419 E. Palm Ave.


One of the great things about a community with personality, namely Altadena, is the incredibly creative people who live here. Two such people, Catherine Cowles and Mary Jane Elgin, started what has become a regular event, Art on Palm.


Catherine says, “about five years ago Mary Jane and I were talking about selling our artwork. I mentioned that since she had a fabulous home on 1439 E. Palm Street—which she recently sold—she had the perfect setting to sell her work. She said she wasn’t interested in doing a solo show. My heart sank. But she said she would do one to include other artists if I helped her. Joy!


“We began with about 11 artists; friends from our clay class and a jeweler. The show was a hit. It had a nice vibe, fabulous location and supportive and interested community. Since then we’ve slowly added artists whose work we admire.”


The show took on a deeper cause after the war began in Iraq. “We decided to ask our fellow artists to contribute five percent of their sales to the West L.A. Fisher House Foundation.” (The West Los Angeles Fisher House provides housing for family members of veterans while they are undergoing long term care at the VA hospital.)


“When Mary Jane sold her large home, we were concerned about the future of our little venture. But she approached neighbors Maryrose Smyth and Mark Pickett and they graciously invited us to use their lovely canyon garden. The coming show is our 11th and we’ll have about 31 artists.”


Maryrose and her husband Mark Pickett are holding the show in their secluded enclave, called Wildwood Park, designed by Henry Green in 1920. I stumbled on this area a couple of years ago when out shooting photos of local gardens. I felt like I was in a national park with its rustic homes, outdoor fireplace, and trails. In fact, it was designed as a hunting lodge. Maryrose and her husband bought the house at 1419 E. Palm about six years ago, and didn’t stop there.


 “Mark and I had one house, and we bought the house next door when the owners moved. We never thought we’d get the chance.” Maryrose and Mark didn’t want to take the chance of someone moving in who didn’t have artistic sensibilities.


“We’re raising two boys here. It’s the perfect, wonderfully childhood dream environment. And we have lots of neighborhood children.”


She says most of the artists have known each other a long time, and have ties to Creative Arts Group in Sierra Madre. “I come from a tradition of realism, and now I’m more out on a limb, painting more personal interior landscapes.” No doubt her environment is having an influence on her work. “It’s quiet, green, lush. Feels like you’re not in an urban environment.”


The show features a wide array of artists in tents and at tables. “There will be works on paper in all media, photography, a whittler, two or three are potters, and jewelry. Last time we were in the field and it was hot, now everybody will be under the trees, and circle the properties.”

Refreshments provided by Jones Coffee Roasters of Pasadena.  

You can check our Maryrose’s work at

Other participating artists:

Stephani  Anderson 
Jane Asari

Erica Batchelder

Janet Chico

Catherine M. S. Cowles

Ellen Dinerman

Mary Jane Elgin

Bill Haske

Lynn Hendricks

Jim Heuston

Stephen  Johnstone

Beverly Jones

Susan Kromka

Elizabeth Manak

Betsy Miller

Dana Sue Miller

Katherine Nakazono

Detra Prete

Cathy Reichel-Clark

Di Yamamoto Skowron

Anne Sears

Susan Spinks

Kathleen Swaydan

Anna Vosburg

Lys Wilcox

Bruce Wilson

Kaylie James Wilson

Stephen Woodruff

Hitomi Yamamuro

Lucia Yang































Here’s an event not to miss! Music, art and cocktails in a mausoleum. Now that’s a party!

Sorry for late notice, but I’ve been out of town.

As if we haven’t had enough fires and other emergencies to wake us up, right? But I bet most of you don’t have your emergency plans in place still. Tonight at the Altadena Community Center, 7-9 p.m., learn how you can remedy that and prepare for the next emergency or disaster.

The Community Center is at 730 E. Altadena Dr., next door to the Sheriff station.

Fire above Altadena Sunday Aug. 30, 2009

Fire above Altadena Sunday Aug. 30, 2009

I shot this from the car on the way to a wedding Sunday afternoon. Feels like the invaders in Independence Day to me.

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