Neighbors are getting out again

| September 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

Well, there seems to be a bit more socializing going on, as local residents find ways to deal with the latest phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not surprisingly, most of the gatherings are outdoors (or masked, indoors).

MARY NICHOLS, Windsor Square, was celebrated on an outdoor terrace downtown.

A case in point was a wonderful (and naturally, pandemic-belated) birthday tribute to Windsor Square resident Mary Nichols, the retired chair of the California Air Resources Board, given by her friends Michael Peevey, Diane Wittenberg and Amy Holm on August 31. A large number of Mary’s local friends and fans were on hand, on the outside terrace on the Third Floor of The California Club, including Hancock Park’s Ann and Robert Ronus and Larchmont Village’s Rev. Betsy Anderson. Also there to honor Mary was the senior local Episcopalian, the Bishop Diocesan, Rt. Rev. John H. Taylor. Among the speakers and well-wishers was former Gov. Gray Davis. The event also provided support for, with which Nichols works to reduce the carbon footprint and fight climate change.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY members convene under an outdoor canopy for their garden party annual meeting and luncheon.

Two days earlier, and also outdoors, the annual meeting of the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society took place in the lovely garden of member and Windsor Square resident June Bilgore. There was a full program, and a highlight was a salute to, and remarks from, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Commander Shannon Paulson. She recently was promoted to her current rank and has become assistant commanding officer of the Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Branch, following her successful tenure as captain of Wilshire Division.

LAPD BRASS at the meeting include, from left, Capt. Sonia Monico, Commander Shannon Paulson and Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala, seated with Society president Richard Battaglia.

Also from the LAPD and attending as guests of the Society were: Commander Paulson’s replacement at Wilshire Division, Capt. Sonia Monico and, from the LAPD’s very senior leadership, Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala, who directs the Office of Operations for LAPD. The Society’s many speeches, elections and interview with Alison Martino were followed by a delicious buffet lunch.

GAYLE GARNER ROSKI, artist, traveler, storyteller.

On a more somber note, but with loads of bright colors as the deceased would have wished, a number of locals headed south to Santa Ana on Sept. 12 for a pandemic-delayed celebration of the life of artist Gayle Garner Roski, who died in October of 2020. Raised on Hudson Avenue in Hancock Park, Gayle went on to an adult career of family raising (primarily in Toluca Lake), followed in later years by much exotic world travel and — significantly for all who are enjoying her artistic legacy — painting, especially images documenting her beloved City of Los Angeles.

LOUISE and STEVE GRIFFITH and Roski’s “An Out-of-this-World View — Griffith Observatory,” 2018.

Locals Cheryl and Bob Baker, Hancock Park; Hilary Crahan, Windsor Square; and Louise and Steve Griffith, Hancock Park, were among the hundreds of people who gathered with Gayle’s family to celebrate her life and work and also to view the exhibition of her paintings now installed at the Bowers Museum ( through November 7, 2021.

Many of the exhibited images are from Roski’s extraordinary, large-format book, “The Gift of Los Angeles: Memories in Watercolor,” published following her death. The book includes so many scenes that are familiar to Larchmontians. It is available for purchase from the museum or from Gearys ( and

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