History Made in the Crescenta Valley
As you know, I’m a lover of the Crescenta Valley. I love having a sense of belonging, of knowing that I have the ability to make a contribution, of connecting people. That is what this newspaper is all about, after all … creating connections so we can help each other, letting people know what’s happening in their own community so they can decide if they have something to offer or want to take part in an activity.
And I’m not alone. There are plenty of folks in our community who go that extra mile, who look for the chance to go beyond, whether in service or through their business. On Friday night at Deukmejian Park, Crescenta Valley Weekly had the chance to celebrate those fine folks who have been recognized by readers of the CV Weekly as The Finest.
Deukmejian Park, voted as having the finest sunset view, was the site for our finest party. Several restaurants, also voted as the finest in their category, provided tastes of their food. The award-winning Crescenta Valley High School jazz band was on scene and Porto’s Bakery provided an amazing (and delicious) cake.
Stuart Byles of the Stonebarn Conservancy, the organization that is revitalizing Deukmejian’s grapevines, was also on hand to give a bit of history about the park and its winemaking.
The park was transformed by the experts at Bonners Equipment Rentals in Tujunga. They did a phenomenal job as usual.
Over 125 finest folks and guests attended the bash that included a celebration of the Crescenta Valley Weekly’s fourth anniversary – for us, a historic occasion. To see pics of the celebration, check out page 15.
On Sunday afternoon, a sizable crowd was at Two Strike Park for the dedication of the memorial wall. The dedication was the result of years of fundraising, planning and (I’m sure) praying to restore a monument to those from the area who lost their lives while in military service to our country.
There were several moving moments during the ceremony: the ushering in of Carolyn and Paul Steinbacher whose son Nick died while serving in Iraq in 2006; the reading of the names on the plaques that were installed; the reminiscences by Art Cobery of his brother lost so many years ago; the raising of the flags.
Perhaps most emotional was a flyover by four planes a little after noon. Dedication attendees stood on the lawn, looking to the sky as the planes flew over. When they flew by the third time, it was in the missing man formation, bringing tears to the eyes of many of the spectators.
Memorial wall organizers were generous in their praise of the many supporters of the project over the years. Among the many groups recognized was Crescenta Valley Weekly. Mary O’Keefe and I walked to the microphone, dressed like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in matching tennis shoes, black pants, Prom Plus shirts and sunglasses. We even each had a camera strung around our necks! The applause we received from the audience was powerful; thank you.
The memorial wall will stand for many years because of the efforts of those who fought, those who lost loved ones and those who want to honor the sacrifices made. It is a testament to what can happen when a community comes together and I’m glad I was part of this historic event.