Local pianist performs, volunteers and finds 'keys' to a good life

Doreta Strotman performs the classics with her signature jazz-style improvisations at Los Altos Grill Sunday evenings. The Mountain View resident has been playing since the age of 4.

Sunday evenings, Doreta Strotman’s job is to make Los Altos Grill patrons happy by performing her jazz-style improvisations on the restaurant’s piano. Seeing them enjoy her work puts a smile on Strotman’s face as well.

“There are always people who will stop and say something about how they’ve really enjoyed something,” the Mountain View resident said, “and that just really makes you feel good.”

Los Altos Senior Program Past, present and future: Speakers and members pay tribute to rich legacy

Photos Mary Larsen/Town Crier
Los Altos Recreation Coordinator Cheri Anderson, above with longtime Senior Program member Stan Ferris, organized a panel touting the program’s history featuring Paul Gonella, King Lear and Ferris.

The Los Altos Senior Program continued its 40th anniversary celebration with a speaker panel Feb. 16. Panelists King Lear, Paul Gonella and Stan Ferris discussed their experiences with the program over the years, and several audience members offered personal reflections.

After an introduction by Los Altos Recreation Coordinator Cheri Anderson, co-worker Barbara Wilmoth treated the group to a slide show of past members and events. The photographs documented a variety of celebrations, luncheons and barbecues, as well as offered glimpses of some of the program’s many activities, including bocce ball, ArtVentures, exercise classes, the Monkey Toy Ladies and excursions. Several in the audience were pleased to see pictures of members no longer with them.

Mountain View nonagenarian enjoys the luck of the genes

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Lloyd Lettis, 96, of Mountain View plays tennis three days a week at Los Altos High School.

Ninety-six-year-old Mountain View resident Lloyd Lettis seems to have a gene for longevity. And one for farming. And another for travel.

He calls himself “lucky” in his life’s circumstances, seeming to overlook the hard work that was involved.

Finding harmony though the decades

Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Marvin Bertelson, second from right, rehearses last week with his barbershop quartet, the Four Gents in Accord.

Mountain View High School choral students have been learning to chop a chord from a veteran barbershop performer whose music has long outlasted his formal career. Marvin Bertelson spent a first lifetime teaching music to elementary school students before he retired in 1990. But the dedicated barbershopper, born in 1925, is now singing – and teaching – into his 90s.

When Bertelson moved to the Bay Area in 1958, “every corner had an apricot orchard on it – you got lost,” as he described it. He worked as an educator throughout his career after leaving the military, teaching music in what was then the Mountain View School District. After retiring, he continued leading a church choir and performing barbershop, and began coaching Mountain View High School students in the barbershop tradition.

More than a gesture: Celebrating the Giving Season

Nearly every able-bodied senior is a volunteer. So it is that many seniors – during the Giving Season just passed – have found themselves encouraging friends, neighbors, classmates, parishioners and just about anyone with a lapel to grab to provide financial support for their favorite charity. It is when such appeals are successful that the fun begins.

How much will your Medicare cost in 2017?

Not long ago, I had dinner with a group of friends from college. One of the big topics of conversation was Medicare, for which we’ll all be eligible in the next several years. (Farewell, callow youth!) And one of the biggest questions about Medicare was “How much is it going to cost me?”

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos