Thank You, Montrose Centennial Committee!
I will never forget the once in a lifetime Montrose centennial celebration we had this weekend. It was a time to celebrate the joy of being a part of such a unique little town. Truly there is no place like Montrose, so quaint and seemingly far removed, yet so close to the bustle of L.A. I have come away from the weekend with a renewed appreciation for the people of Montrose, especially those who give of themselves, and there are many, to make Montrose the gem it is.
What most people don’t know is the amount of planning that went into making this weekend happen. It was the vision, come to life, of Alyce Russell (Andersen’s Pets and Ocean View Bar & Grill), Linda McMenamin (MSPA Events coordinator), Steve Pierce (MSPA ambassador), Melinda Clarke (MVCC Chamber of Commerce), Andrea Beatty (Village Travel), and Jake Menachian (La Perla Design Gallery). These folks, chaired by Alyce, formed the specially appointed Centennial Committee. This group met weekly, for hours at a clip, since last year to put together the wonderful events of last weekend, and more, for us to enjoy. A perfectly fitting western theme was chosen, a centennial logo was designed, and all activities, performances, merchandise, and advertising was worked into the theme. It was a family affair and there was something for everyone.
For me, the weekend started off Friday night with a gift from Alyce Russell in the form of a private reception. It was held at Ocean View Bar & Grill to thank the sponsors that helped make the Centennial Days happen. What a wonderful community spirit was in that room as merchants, landlords, press, city officials, historians, authors and more joined together in a joyous occasion! To put it simply, I had the best time! And from the looks of things, so did everyone else! The icing on the cake was the presence of Ron Auletti, the grandson of original Montrose founder J. Frank Walters, who flew in from Washington with his granddaughter Kristi Biagianti, just for the 100th birthday. Such a memorable evening! From all of us, thank you, dear Alyce!
Saturday morning was sunny and perfect. A fitting backdrop for the day’s festivities, and there were many! I wandered down the street with camera in hand and ran into Anthony de Longis, the famed bullwhip master, and his lovely wife Mary. They gave me a demo of their upcoming shows which I videoed and posted on the MSPA Facebook page. No sooner had we finished the video than the horse parade, featuring The San Fernando Rangers, marched by. I captured the moment forever in my mind and on film as they royally pranced under the centennial banner at the corner of Honolulu and Ocean View. In the afternoon, I was able to sneak out of the store and catch the Karen Quest Cowgirl show. There was one seat left up front and I grabbed it. Karen stole the show and we were all entertained. What fun!
Sunday was picture perfect! The Harvest Market was in full swing, the shows were going, Robert Newcombe was doing walking tours, and everyone was soaking up the magic of Montrose. This day for me was all about the cake as Robin Goldsworthy, Mary O’Keefe, the wonderful Prom Plus Club kids, and I had the pleasure of cutting and serving Happy 100th Montrose birthday cake. We had four huge cakes from Montrose Bakery and numerous cream puffs from Baked that we served to lines of happy receivers. There was song and dance and laughter, such a fitting end to a joyous celebration.
I have pictures that will bring this story to life for you. Please visit the Montrose Shopping Park Facebook page to see them. Thank you to Alyce, Linda, Steve, Melinda, Andrea, Jake, the MSPA, the Platinum Sponsors, CV Weekly, Prom Plus Club kids, the CV Historical Society, the City of Glendale, and all who made this a Centennial Celebration to remember!