Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Lost Apricot Trees of Los Altos Hills

The view of the San Francisco Bay Area from the hilltop orchard of the late David Packard in Los Altos Hills is something to see.

This is an excerpt from an article I recently wrote for the Los Altos Hills publication Our Town:

Summer is coming to an end and the rolling hills around us are the dusty color of adobe. Aging apricot trees planted long ago will soon begin to shed their leaves. At local markets, you’ll find reminders of the warm days past in the orange, scented, sweet, dried, California apricots: true local treasurers. In Los Altos Hills, the remnants of the apricot orchards that once filled our acres are reminders both of our waning summer and of our history. For, the exotic apricot trees harken back to the time of the Franciscan missionaries, who brought the first apricot seedlings with them as they walked the dusty paths from Mexico into the Santa Clara Valley.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rest in Peace Julie Harris: A Haunting Talent

Actress Julie Harris in "The Haunting," one of the most interesting scary movies of all time. Directed by Robert Wise.

Julie Harris, who died Saturday at the age of 87, starred in a number of really important movies--East of Eden (Warners Brothers 1955) with James Dean was one of them--but, she was never, really, a movie star, in the true sense of that phrase. She didn't star in blockbusters. All of her movie choices were just a little bit different and off-beat. All allowed her to continue her work on stage.

She held the record for Tony nominations and is so well-known for her stage role as The Belle of Amherst that many of us think Emily Dickinson must have looked exactly like Julie Harris. She was Oscar-nominated and a Kennedy Center Honoree. But I think the role she will be best remembered for is the role she played in The Haunting (1963)--a movie that will live on and on because it is so darned good.

Events Calendar for CALIFORNIA APRICOTS: Check Out New Entries into Early 2014!

This is a photo from our latest book signing at Barnes and Noble Eastridge. We had a nice crowd for the first rainy day of the season in Northern California!

The last of the fruit trucks of the season are hauling plums and prunes and raisins to market in Northern California, and the San Joaquin and Central Valleys. It means autumn is here. Still, there is still a good-sized schedule of events coming up for CALIFORNIA APRICOTS. Stop by an event, and pick up a signed copy: then you can check that off your holiday shopping list! Coming up soon:

Saturday, September 28: Noon to 4:00 p.m. Saratoga Heritage Day: book signing and apricot nibbles at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga, CA. 95070. This should be fun as it includes folks in historic costumes along with goodies to eat. It is being held in one of the few cities in California whose entire downtown district was named in 1950 a California Historic Landmark. Join us!