The principle of simplicity: Other Voices

Courtesy of Robin Chapman
Mrs. Ashley (Faye) Chapman mows the lawn of the family home in Los Altos in 1951. The house behind her is today being renovated for the third time since this photo was taken.

There is a house around the corner from me in Los Altos that is older than my own family home. While ours was not completed until 1950, this house was finished in 1948. Its simple outlines often appear in the background of our old family photographs.


Letter to the Editor

Parking loss offset by quality of life

I feel that I must comment on a recent letter discussing the efforts made in downtown by Passerelle Investment Co., especially citing the State Street Green (“Beware the flipside to Passerelle’s improvements,” Dec. 16).

As local residents, we thoroughly enjoyed the Green and found it heavily used by many people, both in the daytime and evenings.


For this I pray: Haugh About That?

Staring at the Sears, Roebuck catalog, I flipped through the pages until my eyes became fixated on the bright display of Mattel toys. There, right in the center, sat Barbie, complete with blond ponytail, black zebra bathing suit and hoop earrings. Immediately, I folded my hands and prayed, “Dear God, please tell Santa to bring me her. I promise to be a good girl forever.”

Falling into a deep trance as my request absorbed my thoughts, I felt a willowy presence by my side. Sure it was an angel about to grant my wish, I peeked, only to find my mom staring at me.


The perfect gift: No Shoes, Please

Reflecting on my highlight reel for the year, I think of my two trips overseas: Japan in April, Europe in October/November. I am especially grateful that my husband and I spent our days in Paris a few weeks prior to the terrorist attacks, and it makes me sad to have to say that. It is heartbreaking to think of this unique, historic and breathtaking city as the target of such cold-hearted violence.

But at the time, I was blissfully unaware of any impending catastrophe, therefore had a ball. We also ventured to Switzerland and Spain, the latter being a highlight because my husband has relatives there, and many wonderful meals and memories were shared during that leg of the trip. If Spanish cuisine in general was exceptional, cochinillo (roast suckling pig) in particular was sublime. Even today, my husband recollects and loves that dish so much, it could have been one of his relatives – but for the fact it was slaughtered and cooked to perfection.


Letters to the Editor

Holiday Fund recipient expresses thanks

All of us at Sunday Friends extend a heartfelt thank you to the more than 1,000 community members who participated in this year’s Holiday Shopping Spree. We are so grateful.

At Hillsdale Target on two Friday evenings in November, teams of enthusiastic shoppers of all ages turned their donations into holiday gifts for moms, dads and children – five vans full! The gifts have turned our Treasure Chest store, which normally offers basic necessities, into a gift and toy shop. Sunday Friends families can “purchase” gifts using tickets they’ve earned by learning, contributing and sharing at our Sunday programs throughout the year. They will actually be able to experience the joy of giving gifts to their loved ones this Christmas, many for the very first time.


Letter to the Editor

Civic center school site should not be option

Placing a school on Los Altos Civic Center property needs to be taken off the table until visioning of the civic center, Loyola Corners and downtown is complete and approved by a vote of the citizens.

The Los Altos School District is looking at the civic center as a possible new location for its next school (“Los Altos school-site talks to resume in January,” Dec. 9), and it was also brought up by the Los Altos City Council as an option at the post-Measure A meeting.


Juvenile invention: The Villaj Idiut

I run a Farmers Insurance agency here in town, and I have to say, it always shocks me when clients call up and ask, “Why is it so expensive to insure my teenager?”


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