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News

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics


The Town Crier chronicled the first election of Los Altos City Council incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw in 2010 and documented the Los Altos candidacy of Jean Mordo, who volunteered as a longtime public servant in Los Altos Hills before moving to the flat...

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Schools

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system


Courtesy of St. Simon Parish School
St. Simon fifth-grader Matthew Cummins uses a laptop in class last week. The school’s cloud-based Schoology system boosts organization and collaboration.

Families at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos laun...

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Community

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos main library is among the more popular branches in the county library district system, set to celebrate 100 years.

In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, wages hit $5 per day, the first ste...

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Sports

Eagles eye another stellar season

Eagles eye another stellar season


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight ga...

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Comment

Torok, Walter, Dave for MVLA board: Editorial

There’s really nothing major you can criticize about the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. It offers a diverse array of effective programs for all types of students. Its instructors, with few exceptions, are outstanding.

Howe...

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Special Sections

'Funabout' Fiat

'Funabout' Fiat


Photos courtesy of Fiat
The 2014 Fiat 500e uses 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles, which the engineers claim is the equivalent of 116 mpg of gas use. It has a sticker price of $33,095.

If you believe in climate change, would love to see alternat...

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Business

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground


Ted Fagenson

An East Bay app developer is testing his newest creation in downtown Los Altos.

Ted Fagenson, co-founder of Skrownge (pronounced “scrounge”), told the Town Crier that he’s beta testing his mobile gaming app this week ...

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Books

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween


Courtesy of Dee Ellmann
Jenny Hurwick self-published her picture book last month after decades of storytelling.

During her years working as a teacher and a Los Altos mom, Jenny Hurwick loved to tell stories. One tale she crafted for her son just se...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

'Gypsy' on its way out

'Gypsy' on its way out


Chris Berger/Special to the Town Crier
Alison Koch of Los Altos plays Dainty June in “Gypsy.”

This is the final weekend to catch the Sunnyvale Community Players production of “Gypsy” at the Sunnyvale Theatre. The musical is slated to close Sund...

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Spiritual Life

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Herman Lukwago educates children in Uganda.

Imagine life if your father had 25 children and you were raised in poverty in rural Uganda.

Now imagine that you and your siblings were orphaned at an early age and you ass...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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