Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Second time around

Photo Courtesy Of Eren Gknar/Special To The Town Crier Eren Gknar and her boyfriend, Peter Robertson, enjoy a beach vacation in Florida last year.

 

For a brief time last year, I found myself in the bridal industry niche for women planning their second weddings, a group Miss Manners calls “older” brides. It’s unclear when one falls into that “older” bride group, but on its last cover, the now-defunct Bride Again magazine featured a woman who couldn’t have been more than 35.

I’ve been around longer than that, but until I headed for the altar, I just thought I was “wiser.”

Because the divorce rate is now approximately 50 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, one would think that encore brides would have a real presence. However, most of them must be getting married quietly or in a chapel in Reno.

When I first tied the knot many moons ago, getting married was highly unfashionable. We did it anyway, in a large outdoor party at someone’s house where guests danced the night away to music from a friend’s rock ’n’ roll band. My mother was not amused. She had probably hoped that I would “act my age.”

Times have changed since the 1970s, so I decided to consult Miss Manners, aka Judith Martin, and other bridal experts. Most brides think the second wedding is the only one that counts, according to Martin, so they often decide to do it right, with an “event.”

From Miss Manners, I learned that the older bride wears a suit and hat and holds an appropriately subdued afternoon ceremony with punch and cake.

Like many baby boomers, however, I was not used to acting my age to that extent. I was used to celebrating milestones in a big way. Well, as big as limited finances would allow, considering we were nearing retirement age with the ensuing prospect of fixed incomes.

Several obstacles soon presented themselves. There was the color of my gown – and yes, I was determined to wear one, not a frothy, frilly number, but something that alluded to my experience, in a veiled way.

After my future mother-in-law congratulated me on landing the grand prize – her smart and talented son – she surprised me by saying, “Of course, you can’t wear white.” There aren’t too many black bridal gowns on the market, and actually, I had rather envisioned myself in white.

This idea that you cannot wear white is apparently commonplace but nonetheless misguided. Martin explains on page 409 of her “Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior” (W.W. Norton & Company, 2005) that the white-equals-innocence concept started with Queen Victoria.

However, Martin takes offense, stating pithily that the idea that white packaging advertises untouched goods always strikes her as “vulgar as it is unlikely.” Wish I had thought of that.

Because the bride makes a grand entrance, I did need to consider how to package myself. I called Priscilla of Boston on Santana Row and asked Summer about dresses for older brides.

There’s no separate section, but the store stocks dresses that are “a little more conservative, that cover up more, if that’s what you mean.” She noted that these encore bride dresses were “plainer, for second weddings.”

It’s true that encore brides have different couture needs. I spend time at the gym, but not that much time, so camouflage ranks high on my list of sartorial requirements. Baring my arms, shoulders or even my neck for professional photographs makes me blanch, not blush. So I thought we could drop by Priscilla’s to look at the dresses.

Next, we had to book a venue to nail down a date. We decided on marrying in a winery, a suitably Northern California idea that would underscore our sophistication, or so we thought.

I booked several appointments with winery social directors to get the grand tour. This is when I began to feel, well, foolish, not unlike the older man who chases after women half his age.

The appointments before and after mine seemed to be taken by gaggles of giggling teenagers, though they couldn’t have been that young. They had to have reached the age of majority.

A quizzical look would appear in the über-polished wedding event director’s eyes.

“Is this for you?” he or she would say in a tactful tone.

If you look at the magazines lined up at the local Borders bookstore, you will see dozens of bridal magazines, most featuring young blond women in strapless sweetheart gowns. None of them appears to have weathered a few years.

I asked the public relations director at a recent Santa Clara bridal fair if there were any magazines or booths for the mature bride, and she said, no, though there was one for grooms.

They just have to wear tuxedos, so why do they need their own magazines?

Eren Göknar is a freelance writer. E-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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