Santa Clara Valley Lives: Los Altos History Museum belongs to the community

Courtesy of Robin Chapman
The J. Gilbert Smith House is a centerpiece of the Los Altos History Museum.

San Antonio Road once stretched from El Camino Real up past Skyline Boulevard into La Honda, when pioneers used it as a redwood logging road during the 19th century. Before that, it was an Ohlone pathway, traveled by California’s original inhabitants as they moved from San Francisco Bay into the foothills.

Early orchardist J. Gilbert Smith pitched a tent on his land along this road and lived under the California sky as he worked to plant his apricot trees and build his house, beginning in 1901.

Museum to host final Crab Feed after 31 years


Tickets are available for the Los Altos History Museum’s final Crab Feed fundraiser, scheduled 6-10 p.m. Feb. 2 at St. William Church Parish Hall, 611 S. El Monte Ave., Los Altos.

For 31 years, the all-you-can-eat crab fest and live auction has been a Los Altos tradition, raising funds to help the museum continue its mission of producing engaging educational programs and exhibitions for the community. The final Crab Feed will honor Pinky Whelan, founder and creator of the event.

Concerts benefit Lighthouse for Blind

The 17th annual benefit concerts for the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, “The 1950s – When Broadway Ruled,” are scheduled 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12 and 13 at Spieker Ballroom on the Menlo School campus, 50 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton.

The concerts will include selections from “Guys and Dolls,” “The Sound of Music,” “My Fair Lady,” “West Side Story” and “The King and I.”

El Cajon Project gives local youth chance to explore

Leslie Nguyen
Courtesy of El Cajon Project
Leslie Nguyen learns culinary skills through chef Betty Ewing’s El Cajon Project.

Betty Ewing has been trying to make a difference in the lives of youth since 1993, when she founded the El Cajon Project. The nonprofit endeavor provides youth at risk of not graduating from high school with a newfound sense of direction, responsibility and self-sufficiency through an immersive culinary program.

“(In 1993), I had a restaurant and had spoken to the local high school’s vice principal,” Ewing said. “I asked, ‘Do you have students that might not graduate?’ He replied, ‘Absolutely.’”

Community Briefs - Week of Dec. 19

Course helps residents become local ‘LEAD’-ers

Los Altos Community Foundation is accepting applications for its 2019 Leadership Education Advancement program.

Designed for local residents and business owners who want to make a difference in the community, the LEAD course provides an in-depth introduction to Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. In 10 interactive classes, participants learn about the municipal, nonprofit, school, hospital and business groups that drive the community and meet the organizations’ leaders.

Dinner honors Los Altan of the Year

The Town Crier has named Los Altos resident Dennis Young, a community volunteer for more than four decades, its Los Altan of the Year for 2018.

Young, 75, has been deeply involved in community volunteerism since the 1980s. He’s been active in everything from the Rotary Club of Los Altos to the Community Health Awareness Council and Los Altos Community Foundation.

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