On Thursday night last week, Steve and I headed to Beverly Hills to meet our son Andy and my best friend Amy for dinner. Andy is a trained chef and works at Bouchon in Beverly Hills, a Thomas Keller property that is quite well known. For some time we have talked about heading over the hill to check out the restaurant and I was excited to finally make the trek there.
From the moment we stepped into the restaurant, we were treated like royalty. “Chef Andrew” was the star of the evening and our server Ritchie made sure that everything was perfect. Our experience started with champagne and ended with four different desserts for us to share. Between were a variety of courses that included deviled eggs, watermelon and feta salad and a tower of shellfish that was amazing.
The evening ended with a tour of the massive kitchen. It was a night to cherish, especially knowing that the time (and money) invested in Andy’s career were so well-rewarded.
Fast-forward to Tuesday night’s July 4th extravaganza at Crescenta Valley High School. Steve was working most of the day with the rest of the Crescenta Valley Fireworks Assn. team and their hard work paid off.
I wasn’t able to get to the high school until nearly 7:30 p.m. (I was working on this week’s issue of the paper beforehand). Once there it was obvious to me that CVHS was the place to be for Independence Day fun. Food trucks lined Ramsdell Avenue and over one-hundred tables filled the parking lot next to the track where people were able to eat food either brought from home or purchased from the food trucks. Live music entertained the crowd and along the east side of the track were inflatable slides that my granddaughter had a grand time careening down. At dark, Annie Blood sang the national anthem and then the fireworks began. The display was incredible, eliciting oohs and aahs from the crowd that was probably numbered over 4,000.
The only thing that tempered my enthusiasm was learning of the loss earlier in the day of civic leader Warren Boehm. Warren loved July 4th – his daughter told me it was his favorite holiday – and over the years Warren could be found at the annual displays, lending a hand in one way or another. Warren was president of the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce the year that the fireworks didn’t go off. That was when the chamber was the organizer of the celebration and it was Warren who had to stand up to the thousands of people to tell them that there would be no fireworks due to extenuating circumstances then work to refund their money.
I’ve been associated with the chamber for over 15 years and Warren was involved every one of those years. On more than one occasion I had the chance to sit with Warren and just chat. One year we were assigned the job of watching for a hole-in-one at the chamber’s golf tournament. We talked about everything from the history of the valley to running the newspaper. Warren was always encouraging and a cheerleader for the CV Weekly.
Warren wasn’t on the field on Tuesday, but as his friend Jean Maluccio said, he was probably still watching those fireworks he loved – just from another direction.
In next week’s CV Weekly, we’ll share more about Warren and the legacy he left us in the Crescenta Valley.